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An "Inside Edition" undercover investigation "found serious food safety problems at [MLB] parks all across the country," according to Matt Meagher. "IE" visited 15 MLB parks, and shot hidden-camera footage depicting apparent violations by food workers. Meagher: "We were looking for so-called critical violations, shoddy food handling and service practices the [FDA] says can lead to food-born illness." At Bank One Ballpark, Meagher found "hot dogs, burgers and chicken served at dangerously low temperatures." Meagher: "But it wasn't only Phoenix. At eight of the 15 stadiums, half of the foods we tested were below the 140- degree (FDA approved temperature) safety limit." Meagher said that food temperature "is just one problem," noting health inspection reports that found "rodents and cockroaches in Kansas City, flies in San Francisco, and rodent droppings" in the Astrodome. While Fenway Park was one of the ballparks that received a "clean bill of health" earlier this year, that was when it was inspected three days before opening day with "no food, no fans." "IE" found "dangerously low temperatures in nearly half the Fenway food we tested." Meagher: "We tried to get some answers from Aramark, the company that runs Fenway Park's food concessions. Instead, we got kicked out." "IE" was also kicked out of the concession areas at Yankee Stadium. Afterward, host Deborah Norville: "Concessionaires at Kansas City, Milwaukee and Phoenix all say that they periodically spot check their food, and that they are looking into our findings. Health officials in Boston say that they plan follow-up inspections" ("Inside Edition," 5/20).
D'Backs Managing General Partner Jerry Colangelo issued a written apology on Wednesday for walking out of an interview with HBO's Armen Keteyian. In a statement, Colangelo said, "I would like to make a public apology for my actions that day, and in particular for my uncharacteristic use of profanity. ... I simply lost my temper and regret having done so" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 5/21).. ....In Houston, the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority postponed hiring Schindelwolf & Associates to inspect construction of a new ballpark so Mayor Lee Brown can review the two-year contract (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/21)....The Santa Clara City Council OK'd a study on how to finance a 45,000- seat ballpark as long as stadium proponents paid for the study (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 5/20)....CNBC's Mike Hegedus reported on the SkyLinks GPS System, which is used by 30 golf courses around the country, and uses the global positioning satellite technology to give players their exact yardage to the green. SkyLinks Dir of Sales & Marketing Richard Beckman: "We feel this is going to be a $10 to $20 million business very, very quickly." Boston-based SkyLinks is "one of the top three" GPS systems providers, and "has picked up some big-time backing" including the John Deere Corporation ("The Edge," 5/20).
MLS Crew Owner Lamar Hunt has "invited" the 22-member group of Columbus-area business leaders who control 45% of the team to help finance construction of the team's new $15- 17M stadium, according to Merx & Mark of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. Hunt Sports Group, which owns 55% of the team, has "signed a guarantee" to cover the cost of the 22,500- seat facility. Crew Soccer Stadium Limited Liability Corp. is the private organization set up by Hunt that will "build, own and manage the facility." One local owner, George Jenkins, said that the area execs "haven't discussed collectively whether they will take Hunt up on the offer." Jenkins said that after a stadium site is finalized next week, Hunt Sports Group will "analyze financing needs" and bring a proposal to local investors. The OH Expositions Commission approved a lease arrangement with the team and will help select the site. The stadium will be designed by OH-based NBBJ, with ground-breaking set for July, with the opening scheduled for next April (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 5/20).