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RI Gov. Lincoln Almond said he would like to complete a stadium deal with the Patriots this week, but said, "we still have a way to go," according to Karen Lee Ziner of the Providence JOURNAL-BULLETIN. Reacting to reports on Boston news stations yesterday that the team plans to announce a stadium deal with the state of RI "this week," Almond said "we're still verifying things ... It takes a lot of diligence on both sides to finalize figures." Providence Mayor Vincent Cianci "reiterated" that there were a number of issues remaining (JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 9/15). In Boston, Will McDonough reported the Patriots "appear to be a lock" to move to RI, with the state finalizing its offer "within the next month." McDonough added there is "no sweetener" in the deal for Patriots Owner Robert Kraft, as the state will give him the land for the stadium, help with the roadways necessary, contribute "some money" to the construction of the new stadium, and "perhaps" set aside a piece of land at the site that the team can develop (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/13).
About 2,000 of the 15,000 premium club seats at the Redskins' new Jack Kent Cooke Stadium were "still not sold" for yesterday's inaugural game, according to Thomas Heath of the WASHINGTON POST. The seats, priced at $99-199 per game, are for sale under five, seven, or ten-year leases. Home games "will continue to be" on TV despite the unsold seats, since club seats do not count under the NFL blackout policy. Redskins' Dir. of PR Mike McCall said the seats "will be sold by the end of the season" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/15). REVIEWS ARE IN: In DC, Frank Ahrens reviews the new facility, writing the "most important test of any football stadium is how well, and comfortably, it lets the fans watch the game. Here, Cooke Stadium shines"(WASHINGTON POST, 9/15). But in Baltimore, Vito Stellino called it, "Giants Stadium with more premium seats. It has a dated, obsolete look with no special touches" (Baltimore SUN, 9/14). PRIVATE VS. PUBLIC: In Baltimore, Jon Morgan wrote on stadium financing, adding while it's "too soon to declare a trend," private financing has "sneaked" into several stadium deals. NFL Senior VP/League & Dev. Roger Goodell said that while all-private financing is "possible ... it's very difficult to structure a stadium deal that does not have a public component to it" (Baltimore SUN, 9/14).
CA-based Edison Int'l has agreed to a 20-year deal "for about" $2.5M per year "to become the title sponsor" of Anaheim Stadium, according Barbara Kingsley of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. The deal with the utility company is scheduled to be announced today. Edison, which is currently an Angels TV sponsor and a radio sponsor of the MLS Galaxy, will receive "signage in the stadium and other broadcast advertising" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 9/13). In L.A., Greg Hernandez wrote Disney will earn "about" $1.4M annually in the 20-year deal. Anaheim Stadium will now be referred to as "Edison Field," and a logo of a baseball diamond with Edison's own logo inside will be featured at the end of each row of seats, on tickets and throughout the stadium. Edison will also receive "prime" ad space and will have use of a $165,000 luxury suite (L.A. TIMES, 9/14).
MLB: The Reds said they would consider renovating Cinergy Field "in the unlikely event they can't strike a deal with Hamilton County for a new ballpark." Reds Managing Exec John Allen said "he fully expects to agree on a deal for a new ballpark," but added "if, for whatever reason, the deal couldn't work...yes, we would consider a renovation" (Geoff Hobson, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 9/13). NAMING RIGHTS: AT&T is among the companies "that expressed interest" in acquiring naming rights to the Panthers' Sunrise arena (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD, 9/14).