SBD/20/Facilities Venues

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         The controversy over a downtown megaplex in Boston was
    detailed in the BOSTON GLOBE.  The Boston Redevelopment Authority
    wants to separate a convention center from a domed sports
    stadium, "not only because it sidesteps the controversial issue
    of using public money to assist team owners, but also because the
    habits of conventioneers and football fans argue for different
    sites" (Michael Rezendes, BOSTON GLOBE, 12/19).  Patriots Owner
    Robert Kraft's proposal to sell his Foxboro Stadium back to the
    state was also examined.  "The Patriots are the hottest ticket in
    town, and Kraft knows it," writes Charles Pierce. "He is trying
    to enrich himself by pretending that he is doing the rest of us a
    favor.  He wants the increased profits that will come from the
    increased skybox seating in a megaplex, and he wants his team
    moved closer to the profit center in Boston. .... He wants all
    the rest of us to pay for it" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/18).  GLOBE
    business writer Joan Vennochi writes on the strained relationship
    between Kraft and MA Gov. William Weld.  "Gov. Weld continues to
    feel some obligation to Kraft, even though the Pats owner has
    worked hard over the past year to wear out his welcome in the
    Governor's office" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/18).  Among the six "major
    players" polled by the GLOBE, only one said he was an "ardent"
    supporter of a sports facility as part of the megaplex process
    (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/18).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New England Patriots

         Members of the Tampa Sports Authority (TSA) voted on Monday
    to develop plans for a new stadium costing at least $150M.  The
    vote came after a proposal for renovating Tampa Stadium was
    presented by the architectural firm, HOK of Kansas City, MO.  The
    firm unveiled its study on how to improve the facility by adding
    up to 7,400 club seats and 48 more luxury boxes at a cost between
    $26-48M.  Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman said
    elected officials would be reluctant to back that type of
    appropriation without the Bucs extending their current lease to
    the year 2025.  There was a feeling among some TSA members that
    renovation plans would only buy time.  TSA Chair George Davis:
    "The new ownership groups say ultimately they'll need a new
    stadium."  Davis announced a press conference today by local
    leaders who have been working to keep the team in Tampa (Francis
    Gilpin, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/20).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

         Raiders Owner Al Davis is talking with Hollywood Park
    officials to build a privately-financed $175M-$200M 65,000-seat
    stadium across the street from the Great Western Forum in
    Inglewood, CA.  Officials close to the negotiations say the new
    stadium would have at least 150 luxury boxes and be ready for the
    1997 NFL season.  Hollywood Park Inc., which owns the racetrack,
    would build and own the stadium on its 345-acre complex.  The
    City of Inglewood has hired an accounting firm to help Hollywood
    Park Inc. arrange financing for the project.  City Manager Paul
    Eckles: "They (the Raiders) are dead serious about it."  In
    addition to providing luxury boxes which the L.A. Coliseum lacks,
    the new stadium would have 20,000 parking spaces, up from the
    Coliseum's 8,000.  A possible deal could include "some financial
    commitments" from the NFL.  NFL Dir of Communications Greg Aiello
    confirmed that "conversations have taken place" between the
    league and Hollywood Park  (Mark Katches, L.A. DAILY NEWS,

    Print | Tags: Facilities, NFL, Oakland Raiders

         Earlier this month, reports indicated that NFL Commissioner
    Paul Tagliabue asked Bills Owner Ralph Wilson to consider playing
    some league games at SkyDome in Toronto.  But officials of Erie
    County, which owns and operates Rich Stadium, plan to sign the
    Bills to a new lease after their current lease expires in '98 and
    have a $23M renovation of Rich Stadium already in progress, which
    will add 14 new luxury boxes.  The team does have a friendly
    lease, good luxury seating, and one of the largest capacities of
    any NFL stadiums.  Today, we continue to examine our State of the
    Stadiums with a profile of Rich Stadium in Buffalo.
    Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
    AGE: Completed in 1971.
    OWNERSHIP: Owned by Erie County, New York
    CAPACITY: 80,091 — 2nd highest in the NFL.
    NAMING RIGHTS: Bills paid an undisclosed amount for naming rights from Rich Products, a family-owned company in New York, agreement runs through 1998.
    LUXURY SEATS: 88 suites — 1,000 enclosed club seats — owned and operated by the Bills.
    GAME-DAY: Team pays for all game-day personnel.
    MAINTENANCE: Team handles routine maintenance. City pays for extensive strutural repair.
    CONCESSIONS: Ogden Food Services, team splits % of net revenue 50/50 with the county.
    ADVERTISING: Team receives all advertising revenue.
    PARKING: 12,500 spots at $7, revenue split 50/50 with county.
    LEASE: Expires at the end of 1998.
    RENT: $660,298 — 6th lowest in NFL.

    (Source: Buffalo Bills; rent figure from Florida Times-Union article on July 24, 1994.)

    Print | Tags: Buffalo Bills, Facilities, NFL, Wilson Sporting Goods

         The public buyout of the Target Center "took a giant step
    toward completion Monday" when Minneapolis city finance officer
    John Moir offered a solution to the potential "deal-breaking
    problem of ticket surcharges tied to interest rates."
    Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commissioner Chair Henry Savelkoul
    after the new proposal was offered: "We have essentially reached
    agreement with all the principal elements [to complete the buyout
    of the Target Center and sale of the Timberwolves]."  The
    solution offered by Moir, which still needs approval by the
    Minneapolis city council, includes an arena reserve fund, managed
    by the sports facilities commission and funded with money from
    the sale of tax-exempt bonds.  If necessary, that money would be
    used to cover the cost of any "excessive rise in ticket
    surcharges."  All parties involved "expressed confidence that the
    major hurdle had been cleared" with this new proposal by Moir.
    The $54M public purchase of the Target Center from outgoing T-
    wolves owners Marvin Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner has been a year
    in the making.  When the sale of the arena is complete, perhaps
    by the end of January, the sale of the T-wolves to Glen Taylor
    for $88.5M also will be complete (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR
    TRIBUNE, 12/20).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Minnesota Timberwolves

         American venue-management companies are looking to expand
    their operations to foreign markets, where government-managed
    facilities that cater to large markets could give these companies
    large earning potential.  Ogden Corp. and Spectacor Management
    Group (SMG) have been leaders in exoanding into foreign markets,
    with ventures ranging from arenas in London and Oslo to Australia
    and Japan.  Latin American expansion is also on the menu, with
    large markets having a "huge" potential upside, translating "into
    big dollars."  While most markets in Europe and Latin America
    currently have an arena and stadium these facilites usually
    generate less money than their American counterparts because of
    the lack of "top shelf concession stands, premium seats and space
    for inbuilding billboards."  This could change with the sports-
    management expectations of expansion into European and Latin
    American markets by the "top four" American sports -- baseball,
    basketball, football and hockey.  Manuel Marrerro, Ogden Director
    of Business Development for Latin America: "This is not a stab in
    the dark. ... We have a strategy, we have a commitment" (Eric
    Conrad, Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 12/20).

    Print | Tags: Facilities

         Monday's cover story in the MIAMI HERALD's Business section
    examines the now-defunct Blockbuster Park, Wayne Huizenga's mega-
    development that was to have been built in Miramar, FL.  Now that
    the plan has been aborted, it remains uncertain what to do with
    the land and where Huizenga will build a new hockey arena and
    baseball park for his teams.  One possibility is for Blockbuster
    parent company Viacom to sell the land -- possibly to home
    developers.  Or, they could develop the land themselves, perhaps
    with a partner.  If the park had been built in Miramar,
    Huizenga's Panthers would have moved to a new arena there, a site
    he has yet to rule out.  Other proposed sites for an arena
    include Hollywood, near Joe Robbie Stadium and a site near
    Sawgrass Mills.  As for a baseball stadium, Huizenga would like
    to move his Marlins out of Joe Robbie Stadium and build in
    Miramar, but he acknowledges that is a remote possibility.
    Huizenga:  "I don't think there are any front-runners.  I just
    think we have to start all over" (Don Finerock, MIAMI HERALD,

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Miami Marlins, Viacom
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