SBD/Issue 144/News & OpinionsPrint All
Clear Channel Entertainment and AMA Pro Racing recently finalized a seven-year deal for the '03-09 AMA Supercross seasons, extending the 28-year relationship between the two organizations. The agreement calls for AMA to continue to sanction all supercross motorcycle races produced and promoted by Clear Channel in the U.S. (THE DAILY).
The following list the 16 events on the '03 AMA Supercross Series schedule:Date
Venue City1/4 Edison Int'l Field Anaheim, CA1/11 Bank One Ballpark Phoenix, AZ1/18 Edison Int'l Field Anaheim, CA1/25 Pacific Bell Park S.F., CA2/1 Edison Int'l Field Anaheim, CA2/8 Qualcomm Stadium S.D., CA2/15 Metrodome Minneapolis, MN2/22 GA Dome Atlanta, GA3/1 RCA Dome Indianapolis, IN3/8 Daytona Int'l Speedway Daytona, FL3/22 Edward Jones Dome St. Louis, MO3/29 Reliant Park Houston, TX4/5 Silverdome Pontiac, MI4/12 TX Stadium Dallas, TX4/26 Rice-Eccles Stadium Salt Lake City, UT5/3 Sam Boyd Stadium Las Vegas, NV
The WASHINGTON TIMES' Eric Fisher reported that DC's three minor league baseball teams "have pulled the plug on local radio broadcasts of their games, signaling a growing disconnection between the suburban locations now favored for such franchises and the broadcast fees required to get on the air." Minor league clubs "typically pay local AM stations to get their games on the air," with rights fees often ranging "in the tens of thousands of dollars." Additionally, "the radio signals involved are often weak, pointed in only one direction at night and easily disrupted by weather or geography." The teams involved – the Double-A Eastern League Bowie Baysox, and the Single-A Carolina League Potomac Cannons and Frederick Keys – decided to drop their radio deals because there "was too little value there for the money, especially when also considering the soft advertising market." The Canons are now transmitting their games on their Web site, while the Keys and the Baysox "will only reach the airwaves a combined 14 times this year through the Comcast-owned CN8 TV station." Comcast-Spectacor Dir of Minor League Operations Frank Miceli, on the decision to drop radio broadcasts: "When we closed on purchase of the clubs [in January 2001], we started taking a long look at operations across the board. The radio element seemed like something a little out of whack. In the case of the Baysox, in particular, you had a radio signal that couldn't even be clearly heard in the parking lot [of Prince George's Stadium]. We enjoyed our relationship with WNAV, but if we can't really reach all our fan base, our core markets, it doesn't represent the best use of our dollars" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 4/14).
The AP's Matthew Rosenberg reported that Helsinki was picked to stage the '05 World Track and Field Championships, "filling the gap left when London decided against building a new stadium for the event." Helsinki was chosen over Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Moscow and Rome. Helsinki hosted the first world championships in '83, and "argued that it was time for the meet to return there." Also figuring in Helsinki's favor was the "popularity of track in Finland." The '01 World Championships were held in Canada, and many felt "the large number of unsold tickets detracted from the meet" (AP, 4/14).
The OKLAHOMAN's Steve Lackmeyer reported that the Oklahoma City Council recently voted 7-1 to name the city's downtown arena the Ford Center. To acquire the naming rights for the facility, the Oklahoma Ford Dealers' agreement "is worth $8.1 million over 15 years – and includes up to $7.7 million in cash that would be deposited in the city's MAPS maintenance fund," which goes for "the arena and other downtown projects." Council member Jerry Foshee said that "the city also will benefit from statewide promotions that Oklahoma Ford Dealers plan in conjunction with the arena," as the dealers have already "booked 12 events once the arena opens in June." The Ford Dealers "hope to use some of the arena's displays to highlight Ford's history in the state – and to use other exhibits for educational purposes." The naming-rights deal with the Ford Dealers was negotiated by SMG and Cox Business Services Convention Center (OKLAHOMAN, 4/14).
The N.Y. TIMES' Winnie Hu reported that Yonkers, NY, city officials announced a plan "to build a $25 million baseball stadium in downtown Yonkers that would anchor their redevelopment efforts." The new 6,500-seat facility would be home to a team in the independent Atlantic League. Plans call for the new ballpark to feature "amenities like two dozen luxury skyboxes, concession stands and roughly 100,000 square feet of space for restaurants, pubs and stores." Groundbreaking is tentatively set for this fall, and construction would "take eight months to a year to complete." The ballpark is estimated to cost $25-$30M, with the cost "partly offset by revenues from the baseball team, which would lease the stadium, and from the businesses that rent space in the stadium." The remainder of the money "would come from a mixture of the city's nontax revenue sources, state development grants and public investors" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/13).