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MLB: Walt Disney Chair Michael Eisner and Edison CEO John Bryson jointly announced the naming of Edison International Field of Anaheim yesterday (Edison). The deal represents a 20-year, $2.5M total sponsorship package (Barbara Kingsley, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 9/16). NHL: The Kiel Center plans to sell naming rights to the arena. Clark Enterprises Chair Jerry Ritter hopes to have the new name "in place" by the start of the '98-99 hockey season (ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/15 issue). ...KC-based Heinlein + Schrock Architecture has been selected to design Nationwide Arena - the new NHL arena for downtown Columbus, OH. The 18,500-seat, $120M arena is set to open in August 2000 (Heinlein + Schrock Architecture). NFL: In AZ, the East Valley Partnership is interested in a natural-grass playing surface that can be moved in and out of the building on a rail system for its proposed retractable roof multipurpose facility (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/13)....The Redskins agreed to "modify" their elaborate color-coded parking plan at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium after state and local officials said that delays in sorting permit-holders held up traffic before Sunday's inaugural game. In all, 6,200 people rode shuttle buses from Metro stations to the stadium (Pan & Fehr, WASHINGTON POST, 9/16). NBA: Mavericks execs said they are "on schedule" to place an arena development proposal before city council members "within a month," but they still won't say which city council will be receiving their arena plan (David Markiewicz, FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 9/15).
There is "a battle being waged" between Dolphins Owner Wayne Huizenga and the NFL over a 220-foot rotating ad sign directly behind one set of goal posts at Pro Player Stadium, according to Mike Freeman of the N.Y. TIMES. Freeman: "It is not on the level of Jerry Jones and the NFL, because Huizenga cooperates with the league more than Jones. But the result is the same: Huizenga does what he wants and the league isn't happy about it." An NFL spokesperson said that the league has written to Huizenga, "citing its unhappiness with the placement of the advertising." The NFL reportedly also told the team "that no advertisements can be placed at field level." The situation is being "closely watched by many in the league," and fact, "many observers expect" the league to soon fine the Dolphins (N.Y. TIMES, 9/14). AMBUSHED: In Toronto, William Houston reported that TSN execs are "upset" over the CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats selling a sign advertisement to a sports TV "rival." The ad in Hamilton's Ivor Wynne Stadium promotes the cable service Headline Sports, and is "visible" on TV broadcasts. TSN, which carries 40 CFL games, wants the ad removed, but Houston wrote the Tiger-Cats "[need] the money." The matter is before the league. The ad space is "rumored" to have been sold for C$12,000 (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 9/13).
RI officials met with Patriots Owner Robert Kraft in Boston yesterday "to try to work out a deal that would lure the team across state lines," according to Tina Cassidy of the BOSTON GLOBE. Another meeting is scheduled for Wednesday. While sources say "that both sides are feeling positive about the negotiations," Patriots VP/ Communications Don Lowery dismissed reports that Kraft has already agreed to move (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/16). In Providence, Christopher Rowland reports that PSLs would be used to raise $43.5M of the stadium financing. Of the 68,000 seats, about 58,000 would be subject to PSLs, "with the majority costing $750 or less" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL BULLETIN, 9/16).
No new talks have been scheduled between the Raiders and Oakland and Alameda County officials to work out differences over Umax Data Systems' naming-rights agreement, putting the deal "in danger of falling apart," according to Renee Koury of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. As the NFL season continues, "it could reduce" Umax's "incentive" to buy naming rights. Seven home games remain, with the next one scheduled for September 28 (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/15).