SBD/Issue 55/Facilities & Venues

Facility Notes

VIKINGS' STADIUM SEARCH: Vikings Owner Red McCombs, on finding a stadium site: "I'm here waiting for a suburb to jump up and say, 'We want the Vikings.' Nobody has stepped up just yet. ... But really for us, where the actual site is doesn't matter" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/2). In St. Paul, Glenda Holste wrote under the header, "Vikings Get Greedy In Their Relentless Drive For New Stadium" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/29). Meanwhile, a Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE editorial stated that placing the Vikings and the Univ. of MN on the same site "remains a worthy goal, one that's in the state's best interest. But satisfying each side will be exceedingly difficult. ... Voters are in no mood to help finance two football stadiums, after all. ... A Vikings-Gophers solution will be difficult, especially with no model to follow" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/29).

Padres Ballpark Plans Changing

HITTING THE WALL? In San Diego, Jonathan Heller writes that JMI Realty, the Padres' development arm, "faces a more than six-month battle to convince city officials and a skeptical public that it needs condominium towers of 20-plus stories to make its plans for ballpark district development pencil out." But East Village residents said the construction would "wall off" the ballpark from the community (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/2). A SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE editorial stated, "Instead of a large slope where families could watch the game, the scaled-back park would be virtually flat, and views of the game would be obstructed by a security fence and the back of the outfield bleachers. ... Changing the Park at the Park from a very appealing place for San Diegans into a courtyard walled off from the ball field is a bad idea. It breaks faith with all the people who have been supportive and excited about the ballpark district" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 11/30).

NOTES: In Baltimore, Tom Keyser wrote that the "stewardship of Maryland thoroughbred racing passed [Wednesday] from the Maryland Jockey Club into the hands of Magna Entertainment Corp. when officials of both companies signed documents finalizing their $117.5 million deal." The closing took place at Baltimore-based Venable, Baetjer and Howard, which reps the Maryland Jockey Club. Magna Entertainment Corp. now owns a majority interest in Pimlico, Laurel Park and the Bowie Training Center (Baltimore SUN, 11/28)....Sharks officials "say they're listening — and reacting — to the complaints of unhappy" fans about the safety netting at HP Pavilion. Sharks President Greg Jamison: "We are going to hang, sometime this year, another generation of netting that hopefully will be an improvement." In San Jose, David Pollak wrote, "Gauging acceptance is difficult. While it's easy to find fans who have adjusted, the crowd still boos virtually every time the puck goes into the netting." Sharks VP Kent Russell added that "about 100 season-ticket holders have registered strong objections" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/30).

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