SBD/14/Facilities Venues

STADIUM NOTES

     Soldier Field officials unrolled the first shipment of 6,000
feet of new sod to repair the "overused, exhausted" field for the
Bears home game this Sunday.  American Sod Corp. President George
Brandt said "it will take time" for the field to recover from
heavy use during the World Cup and concerts this summer.  Soldier
Field Stadium Manager Jim Dugan is "praying for no rain" which
would make the field much more vulnerable during the game (Peter
Baniak, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/14)....The purchase of the IHL's
Detroit Vipers "fits snugly" with Pistons owner William
Davidson's strategy to keep The Palace at Auburn Hills "busy."
Davidson acquired the Vipers by buying the IHL Salt Lake City
franchise in April for $5M, and moved them to The Palace.
Besides filling dates at The Palace, Pistons President Tom Wilson
notes that IHL franchises have jumped in value 20-fold in the
past four years, and the Vipers could average 10,000 in
attendance this season and be profitable in their first year
(David Barkholz, CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS, 9/5-11 issue)....Susan
King of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission said that
although the Metrodome will lose as much as $600,000 in revenue
from the Twins, they will still have more than $12-$13M for
improvements.  King told THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY: "The
Metrodome is the only publicly owned stadium in the nation.  The
money we have is through profits that will be used to do major
expansion on the building" (THE DAILY, 9/13).  The Commission is
also in "serious negotiations with the city of Bloomington to
sell the Met Center for between $15-20M, with the final price to
be determined by an arbitrator" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/13).
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