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  • BOWLEN OPTIMISTIC THE BRONCOS CAN BUCK OUT OF STADIUM LEASE

              Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen on Wednesday predicted that
         "he can negotiate" a deal with the city of Denver "to break"
         his team's lease at Mile High Stadium, which expires in
         2018, in time for a special stadium election in May,
         according to Alan Snel of the DENVER POST.  Bowlen said that
         the fact that Denver spent two years "dealing with" Ascent
         Entertainment over the severing of their lease at McNichols
         Arena "will help the city and the Broncos hammer out" a
         deal.  However, Snel points out that there are "several"
         legislative "hurdles to attain" before a stadium election
         could be held in May.  But Bowlen remains "optimistic." 
         Bowlen: "We're not reinventing the wheel here. ... We just
         have to shut the doors and keep the negotiations out of the
         newspapers" (DENVER POST, 10/23).  In Denver, Ann Imse
         reports that Stadium Board Chair Ray Baker yesterday said
         that the new stadium is "likely" to cost $300M, a figure
         which is 25% "more than" the original $240M projection.  The
         taxpayers' share of the stadium cost "is capped at" $180M by
         state law, so the entire increase "would be borne" by the
         team.  Despite Baker's estimate, Bowlen feels the facility
         will cost between $260-$280M (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 10/23).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Denver Broncos, Facilities
  • FACILITY NOTES

              The Greensboro Coliseum unveiled a new, $1.1M
         scoreboard during last night's Blues-Hurricanes game.  The
         Hurricanes paid for 60% of the scoreboard's cost, with the
         remainder covered by the team's rent payments to the arena
         (Brian Holloway, Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 10/22)....MLG
         Board Member Brian Bellmore said that, despite reports, the
         Maple Leafs have "no intention of moving" to the Raptors new
         Air Canada Centre (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN, 10/23).
     
    

    Print | Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, Facilities, Gale Force Holdings, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors
  • FOR PLAYERS ONLY: WARRIORS BAR PUBLIC FROM PRACTICE FACILITY

              Oakland City Council members "were shocked to learn"
         that the public "will not have access to the Warriors' two-
         week-old training facility," even though the city paid $1M
         of the center's $7M construction costs, according to Stacey
         Wells of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE.  Council members say that they
         thought the city's financial contribution "was in exchange
         for use" of the facility for youth basketball events and "to
         ease overcrowding at the adjacent Oakland Convention
         Center."  But Warriors spokesperson Eric McDowell said,
         "Right now the only accessibility is for the basketball
         staff and training."  Wells: "At this point, it's unclear
         whether the basketball team has broken its promise to the
         city or if officials misinterpreted the pledge" (Stacey
         Wells, OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 10/22).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Golden State Warriors
  • NEW REPORT SHOWS COST OF RAIDERS DEAL CONTINUES TO GO UP

              The financial situation at the Oakland Coliseum "is
         looking worse" as Oakland and Alameda County "may have to
         kick in about" $6M this year "on top of" the $8M already
         budgeted "to bail out" the complex, according to a front-
         page report by Rick DelVecchio of the S.F. CHRONICLE.  Both
         the city and the county "have earmarked cash" to cover
         Coliseum deficits for the next two years, but the "deepening
         hole" may mean that the "cushion will disappear sooner than
         expected."  Oakland City Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente:
         "We have $20-million-plus.  I was counting on that $20
         million to last a couple of years, at least."  DelVecchio
         adds that if the surplus funds are "exhausted," money "will
         have to come from" general funds, and the cost of any
         bailout "would be split" by the city and county.  The
         deficit comes "partly" as a result of the "slow sales" of
         Raiders PSLs, which, with "more than" 20,000 available, have
         "been abysmal."  From July 1 to September 30, the Coliseum's
         revenue from PSL sales totaled $1.9M, "just" 28% of what the
         Coliseum Authority had budgeted.  In the first quarter, the
         Coliseum "ran" $11.8M "in the red" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/23).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Oakland Raiders
  • POLL: VOTERS WON'T SUPPORT TAX FOR PIRATES AND STEELERS

              A new poll shows southwestern PA voters are set to
         "resoundingly reject" a proposed 0.5% sales tax to help fund
         new sports stadiums on November 4, according to Dennis
         Barbagello of the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW.  Results of the
         poll, commissioned by PA-based Lincoln Institute of Public
         Opinion Research, a non-profit foundation, "indicate that
         Allegheny County voters are likely to reject the plan by a
         two-to-one margin," and voters in the 10 other counties "may
         vote nearly three-to-one against."  Opposition to the
         proposal "is especially strong outside of Allegheny County"
         where 71% of those surveyed said they will vote against it,
         compared to 15% who "indicated support."  Other findings
         found that 43% don't believe the Pirates will leave the city 
         if a new ballpark is not constructed; 31% feel they will and
         26% had no opinion.  "Only" 15% believe the Steelers will
         leave without a new stadium.  The poll of 336 registered
         voters in the 11-county region was conducted for the Lincoln
         Institute October 15-16 by PA-based Precision Marketing. 
         Margin of error was +/- 3% (TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 10/22).
              TURNING TIDE? ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reported that
         since '89 "voters in nine cities have approved referenda to
         finance new facilities for their professional sports teams. 
         Only one has failed, Seattle, and it was later approved
         there.  So NFL officials and proponents of new stadiums in
         cities such as Philadelphia and Denver are closely watching
         the November 4 ballot issue here in Pittsburgh to see if the
         tide is turning against taxpayer support of professional
         sports franchises" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/22).   
         
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Facilities, NFL, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers, Walt Disney
  • TWINS TALKS SPIRALLING TOWARDS CLIMAX: SPECIAL SESSION IN MN

              The Twins pursuit for a new ballpark is "creeping
         toward a political climax," as a special session convenes
         today in St. Paul to "determine the fate" of MLB in MN (Jay
         Weiner, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/23).  A STAR TRIBUNE
         editorial this morning states that if the Twins leave MN,
         the Minnesota "economy and culture will be poorer and more
         isolated" (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 10/23).  In St. Paul,
         Patrick Sweeney reports that Twins Owner Carl Pohlad bought
         full-page ads in both Twin Cities newspapers "to deliver a
         message to the public and to lawmakers."  In the ads, Pohlad
         said he "is willing to discuss" a ballpark contribution, and
         also "pledged, as a show of good faith," that if he sells
         the team to NC investor Don Beaver, he "will donate the
         difference between his investment in the team and Beaver's
         purchase price to local charities" (PIONEER PRESS, 10/23).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Minnesota Twins, MLB
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