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The S.F. Giants, eager to build a new stadium, are considering a seat-licensing strategy similar to that employed by the Carolina Panthers in which season-ticket holders can purchase the long-term rights to their seats, which can then be sold or kept in the family for generations. In order to finance a $220M football facility, the Panthers sold permanent seat licenses for as much as $5,400. Without endorsing the Charlotte plan, Giants Senior VP Pat Gallagher said the team probably would have to similarly finance a new stadium: "We're going to have to be very creative. We'll have to come up with a business solution as opposed to a political solution. ... Our long-term plan is that the fans deserve, at some point, to look forward to a new ballpark" (Michael Martinez, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/20).
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino came out in favor of a "slimmed- down proposal" on Boston's proposed Megaplex -- a $440M "stand- alone" convention center, without a stadium. Menino's position is at odds with Gov. William Weld's proposed $700M combination convention hall/football stadium. Menino's plan is expected to "reignite debate" in the MA Legislature. Of the three possible sites detailed by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), there are plans for a convention center or a stadium, but not both. Senate President William Bulger: "The lack of a stadium may be a problem for some people." But the Boston Redevelopment Authority concluded that the disadvantages of adding a stadium far outweighed the advantages (Kindleberger & Vaillancourt, BOSTON GLOBE, 10/20). Menino's plan -- "without the costs and controversy of a domed stadium" -- could see legislative action "within months" (Phil Primack, BOSTON HERALD, 10/20). A HERALD editorial supports Menino and urges officials to adopt a proposal that is a "doable" plan (HERALD, 10/20).
Mariners CEO John Ellis told the editorial board of the SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER yesterday that the team will not sign a long-term lease on a new stadium unless a retractable roof is included. The retractable roof adds $20-32M in costs to the $223M project. King County stadium task force officials have "questioned the cost-effectiveness" of the roof since a KPMG Peat Marwick study released last month stated that such a feature "represents the highest cost alternative for a relatively nominal gain in attendance and revenue generating capability." Some members also believe the issue of weather is "irrelevant" since rainouts were sparse last year at the Tacoma Tigers' roofless stadium. Team officials say they want the retractable roof to "guarantee fan comfort." Ellis "rejects the notion" that the team should pay for the roof and "said a more attractive building could double stadium revenues ... without any increase in attendance." Ellis: "We have the potential to be the Northwest team. We need a facility that will make it possible for us as a region to realize that potential." Ellis' reaction if the task force decides not to include a roof on the new stadium: "Don't build it" (Angelo Bruscas, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 10/20).
Roger Faulkner, chair of the group bidding for a Detroit MSL franchise, says the city's chances of attracting a team are diminished because no proper stadium is available. The 80,000- seat Silverdome, whch was used during the World Cup, is too large for the 20,000-capacity which MLS officials are seeking. MLS also wants its teams to at least have "long term plans" for natural grass field (DETROIT NEWS, 10/19)....The Yankees, the Tampa Sports Authority and Hillsborough County break ground today on the team's $17.5M, 10,000-seat spring training stadium and practice facility (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/20)....The new United Center has a seatside computer menu by the arena's concessionaire, Bismarck Services. The in-seat service is available to club and courtside ticket holders and could generate $1M per year (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 10/19).
THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY has compiled information on the NFL's stadiums and continues an occasional series of profiles today with Three Rivers Stadium. A baseball-only facility is currently under study in Pittsburgh.STADIUM:Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA.
AGE: Built in 1970. CAPACITY: 59,500 for football, 47,000 for baseball. LUXURY BOXES: 115 luxury boxes - Steelers control 11 skyboxesthey constructed -- others controlled bythe Stadium Authority. OWNERSHIP: Owned and Operated by the City of Pittsburgh. CONCESSIONS:ARA Services. Concessions split 60/40. Of the 40%,the Stadium Authority receives 70%, the teams 30%. PARKING: 3,500 spots, operated by Alco Parking ofPittsburgh. $5 a car. LEASE: Steelers lease expires 1999, Pirates 2010. ADVERTISING: Teams and stadium share advertising revenue, eachgetting 1/3. Estimate of total advertising salesis $2.7-$3.0 million. RENT: $852,233 per year. PUBLIC $: Annual public subsidy of $3.7 million.