Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
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Carroll Properties, Inc. has purchased Louisville Motor Speedway (LMS) from Kenny Stilger and Andy Vertrees. Carroll Properties Chair Jerry Carroll will retain Vertrees as LMS' promoter and GM, and will spend $400,000 for a new racing surface (Carroll Properties). In Cincinnati, Terry Flynn reported that Carroll and his four business partners expect to spend $100M on the 60,000-seat superspeedway. The partners "don't yet have a single commitment for a race date from any major sanctioning body," but Carroll said is confident the facility "will attract the big races." Carroll's plans "call for an expansion to 180,000 seats by 2002." Carroll's partners include Richard Duchossois, owner of Arlington Park race track; John Lindahl, a partner in Turfway Park; Bruce Lunsford and Chris Sullivan, founder of Outback Steakhouse and general partner of the MLB Devil Rays (Terry Flynn, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/9).
In S.F., Matier & Ross write that the investigation into "irregularities" in the 49ers stadium campaign last June "is winding up," and that there is "little or no evidence of ghost voting or any conspiracy by the stadium campaign to steal the election" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/12).
A Dallas Morning News poll shows that "voters are poised to approve" a $230M arena project, according to Gillman & Lee of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Of those surveyed, 54% will vote for the deal, 40% will oppose it and 6% are undecided. The poll, which surveyed 508 Dallas residents last week, has a margin of error of +/- 4.5%. Voters will decide Saturday whether to approve higher motel and car rental taxes for the city's $125M share of the arena deal. The survey found "virtually identical responses among men and women and support among all age groups. But there were significant gaps" among older and younger voters: 70% of voters 18-35 years old said they support the arena, compared with 42% of those 55 and older; 55% of those 35-54 years old favor the arena deal (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/10). PEROT AND HICKS CONTRIBUTE: A report filed Friday revealed that the pro-arena Yes! for Dallas campaign has raised more than $1.9M, including more than $1.6M from owners of the Stars and Mavericks. Mavs Owner Ross Perot Jr. has donated $815,250 toward the campaign, while the Stars have contributed $807,250. The anti-arena group raised $39,557 during the first reporting period and $36,665 in the second (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/10). GOTV EFFORT: In Dallas, Mavs players staged their first campaign appearance for the arena at an area mall on Saturday. At least 400 people attended (STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/11)....NBA Commissioner David Stern is scheduled to hold a news conference today in support of the new arena from its proposed site (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/10).
Reds Managing CEO John Allen said the team "won't enter into an agreement for transformation" of Cinergy Field "until architects and engineers assure the club a 1970s bowl configuration can be turned into a 21st-century moneymaker," according to Hobson & May of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. MLB is also "skeptical" of Hamilton County, OH, Commissioner Bob Bedinghaus' prediction that a Cinergy Field renovation could be on the "cutting edge of a new wave of designs in the style of Anaheim Stadium's $100 million renovation." An MLB source: "It's a reversal of the successful trends that have been in the game recently. Anaheim has a baseball footprint. Cinergy is more of a football print." MLB must approve any stadium deal. Allen said that the team "runs the risk of not drawing enough fans" with a transformation, as opposed to a new park (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/9).