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The Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) "now estimates" that the bill for structural concrete at the Ravens' new stadium "will come in at $43 million, well in excess of the $27 million envisioned," according to Jon Morgan of the Baltimore SUN. MD-based Clark Construction Group, the contractor which won the "fast-track bid" in '96, will receive "[m]ost of that money." When winning the bid, Clark had "promised to negotiate" a "guaranteed maximum price;" however the state and Clark "never reached agreement" on such a price, and costs "quickly soared -- accounting for most" of the project's $20M in overruns. Clark's contract "was the biggest on the project." MSA officials said it "will be able to stay within" the $220M budget outlined in the fall. MSA Exec Dir Bruce Hoffman: "I think we're past the point of any surprises" (Baltimore SUN, 3/9).
The USTA signed an eight-year agreement with Restaurant Associates to provide all restaurant, catering and concession services at the USTA National Tennis Center and the U.S. Open (USTA)....Because construction of their new stadium won't be completed until September 17, the Bucs will start the '98 season with seven road games, five preseason and two regular season (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/8).....The Brewers have banned smoking in the seating areas of County Stadium. Smoking will be restricted to certain concourse and catwalk areas (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 3/6)...The Angels are "constructing an actual-size infield" at the entrance plaza to Edison Field with "green and orange bricks substituting for grass and dirt." For a $75 donation to the Angels' charitable foundation, the team will inscribe a name, a company name, or a personal message on one of the bricks. The team "hopes to raise" $500,000 for local charities through sale of the bricks (L.A. TIMES, 3/7).
Allegheny County and Pittsburgh officials are "studying the possibility of selling bits and pieces of new football and baseball stadiums as a way of increasing private investment in the projects," according to Belko & Barnes of the Pittsburgh POST-GAZETTE. Private investors who owned stadium assets like "seating, scoreboards, or other equipment," could "reap tax benefits" by writing off the "cost of depreciation" on such equipment. The plan was discussed last week and may be announced this week by city officials as they work on a $777M "so-called Plan B for financing the new stadiums" and expanding the city's convention center. In related news, Allegheny County's Department of Economic Development has hired IL-based stadium consultant Marc Ganis, who heads SportsCorp Ltd., for advice on the financing issues (POST-GAZETTE, 3/6). DEALMAKER: In San Jose, Renee Koury profiled Ganis, who "created" the Raiders seat-license plan. NFL VP/Communications Greg Aiello, on Ganis: "He's got ideas and expertise. He seems to get things done. He's a personable guy. And he's a wheeler-dealer" (S.J. MERCURY NEWS, 3/8).
A retractable dome on a new Broncos stadium "would add between" $66M and $145M to the cost of the facility, "but could add more than" $19M a year to Denver's economy "by attracting more events," according to Peggy Lowe of the DENVER POST. Those numbers are from a "stadium issue paper" done by the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce. A retractable dome was part of a State Senate-approved bill, which, if approved by the House, would be on the November 3 ballot. However, Senator Elsie Lacy, the bill's Senate sponsor, "has said she will attempt to separate the dome issue onto a separate ballot" from the stadium. CO Gov. Roy Romer said that he "is opposed to the dome." The Chamber's study showed a retractable roof facility could host events that included the Super Bowl, the Men's Final Four and the Big 12 Championship (Peggy Lowe, DENVER POST, 3/7).