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Cowboys Reach Agreement
With City Of Arlington
The city of Arlington and the Cowboys have completed an agreement that “would keep the team in a planned $650[M] stadium for at least three decades,” according to Jeff Mosier of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The agreement includes a 30-year lease that “gives the team an opportunity to buy the stadium after that,” but both sides could extend the agreement “for an additional 40 years”; a $2M annual lease payment; payment of 5% of naming-rights fees to Arlington, up to $500,000 a year; and a cap on construction costs for the city at $325M, or 50%, whichever is less. The Cowboys would also reimburse Arlington police for “staffing necessary for traffic and crowd control at football games and other events at the stadium.” In exchange, the Cowboys receive all income from ticket sales, parking and concessions at all football and non-football events. The Cowboys can also add a user tax on parking and tickets, which “will pay for some of the Cowboys’ debt” and would not be subject to NFL revenue sharing. The Arlington City Council is scheduled to vote on the final agreement next Tuesday. The city and team can still withdraw from the agreement before July 1 if the planned cost of the stadium exceeds $675M (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/1). In Ft. Worth, Wethe & Claunch note the agreement lacks building cost estimates and does not say “where the stadium will be built, how it will look or how much land will be needed.” However, it does allow the city to “audit the costs any time” during the stadium’s construction (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 2/1).
In California, Guy Ashley reports prospective A’s Owner Lewis Wolff, while addressing the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority yesterday, said that the focus “now is all about building a new stadium.” Former Oakland City Council member Dick Spees, on the financial package needed to build a ballpark: “It will be a public-private collaboration of some kind. Given the reluctance the public has about taxpayer money going to a stadium, it’s going to be a challenge. But I do think it’s possible we can get this done” (CONTRA COSTA TIMES, 2/1).
Dodgers Halt Seismic Improvements
For Chavez Ravine
ON SHAKY GROUND: In L.A., Steve Henson reports the Dodgers do “not plan to resume” seismic improvements to Dodger Stadium “even though about half the work hasn’t been completed.” The project was put on hold last year when News Corp. began looking to sell the team. Dodgers Senior VP/Public Affairs Howard Sunkin said, “At this time there are no seismic requirements necessary. We have a building that is seismically safe and responsible.” Henson notes the Dodgers “are in the midst of a $15[M] renovation unrelated to the seismic upgrading that will add 1,600 premium seats” to the ballpark (L.A. TIMES, 2/1).
AFTERSHOCK: While Aramark last month was ordered to pay $105M in damages due to a drunk driving accident following a game at Giants Stadium, Giants Exec VP & COO John Mara “adamantly rejects the characterization” of attorney David Mazie, who said Giants Stadium represents a “culture of intoxication.” However, Mara indicated that Aramark’s procedures and policies “will undergo thorough scrutiny before” next season. Aramark’s contract is with the NJSEA, not the Giants, but Mara said, “Our intention is to have Aramark come in and make a presentation to us about how they handle alcohol policies and how they’re going to enforce it, and what changes they are going to make” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/30).