SBD/Issue 135/Facilities & Venues

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  • Recount: DC Official Told To Look At Stadium Estimates Again

    DC Council Questions Validity
    Of Gandhi’s Ballpark Estimates
    The DC Council told DC CFO Natwar Gandhi to “reexamine his recent cost estimate” for acquiring land for the new Nationals ballpark, saying that the initial figures “are inaccurate and that the bill could be much higher,” according to a front-page piece by David Nakamura of the WASHINGTON POST. Gandhi last week said that DC would have to pay $77.1M to buy 14 acres on the Anacostia waterfront, but some of the landowners “will seek more money than Gandhi estimated or go to court to block the city from buying or condemning the land.” The dispute “could vastly increase the public costs of the stadium, delaying the ballpark’s opening or forcing the city to look for another site.” Council member David Catania, who opposes public funding for a stadium, said, “If the CFO does his job right, this (land) will cost more, and we’ll need to find another site that costs less.” M. Roy Goldberg, whose trash transfer station on the site was estimated by Gandhi to be worth $7.1M, said, “I have no idea where those numbers come from. They are way low, not even close.” But Gandhi said, “We’re quite confident of the numbers we have, but we’ll look back and see if we made any major errors in our calculation. If so, we’ll correct it.” Council member Jack Evans, the council’s “most ardent ballpark supporter,” said that some colleagues “are challenging Gandhi’s numbers solely because they are trying to stop the stadium construction.” Evans: “A majority of the city council would be thrilled if the stadium did not happen and will work very hard to make sure the city does not get the land” (WASHINGTON POST, 4/7).

    Print | Tags: Baseball, Facilities, Washington Nationals
  • One Of Minny: Tagliabue Endorses New Vikings Stadium

    Tagliabue In Minnesota To Drum Up
    Support For New Vikings Stadium
    NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue “endorsed the concept of a new Vikings stadium development” during a news conference yesterday at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota, according to Jay Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. His visit was organized by “the leaders of Anoka County’s efforts to build a $1.6[B], 740-acre development” in Blaine that would include a stadium. Tagliabue: “I’m confident we’ll get something done here. ... I don’t think the [Vikings] are going to move out of the state.” Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said that he told Tagliabue that “having ‘a gun to your head’ undermines efforts to build strong relationships between Minnesota’s political, business and community leaders” and the franchise. Weiner writes Tagliabue “dismissed the idea that the Metrodome could be refurbished to the NFL’s satisfaction.” Tagliabue said that the NFL’s G-3 stadium lending plan “could be expected to be extended” to the Vikings’ effort (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/7). Tagliabue said Anoka County and Blaine “have an understanding of what can be done financially to make this a reality. ... This is one site that would be more than satisfactory” (AP, 4/6).

    POLITICAL OBSTACLES: In St. Paul, Sid Hartman reports Minnesota House Majority Leader Steve Swiggum and Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson said that there “was no chance the State Legislature would offer the Vikings” the same $7M per year they are going to contribute toward a Univ. of Minnesota football stadium, “which has priority because the university is owned by the state.” Swiggum and Johnson added that the school’s football stadium “currently was the No. 1 priority, followed by the Twins. And they didn’t give much hope of a Vikings stadium bill this year” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 4/7). NFL Network’s Derrin Horton noted Pawlenty said that “the chances for a Vikings stadium bill to pass this year are remote.” Horton quoted Pawlenty as saying, “Don’t plan on the state helping, ... at least not soon” (“NFL Total Access,” 4/6).
    Politicians Do Not Have Much Hope For Vikings Funding Passing This Year

    FOWLED UP: The STAR TRIBUNE’s Weiner reports Tagliabue spoke “in vague terms” about Reggie Fowler bid to buy the Vikings. Tagliabue: “We’re not looking at whether the person is qualified. We’re looking at whether the committed financial arrangements can be concluded or not.” Tagliabue added of the stadium situation, “We’re in a bit of limbo until we determine who is the owner going forward” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/7). More Tagliabue: “I believe that Fowler might have the assets, but he hasn’t done a very good job of putting it all together” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 4/7). Tagliabue added of Fowler’s bid, “We said at the outset when this was announced in mid-February that we expected the approval process to take 60 to 90 days, and I think we’re still well within those parameters” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 4/7).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Football, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings, NFL
  • Bill Looks To Divert Income Tax Dollars To Sports Properties

    The Missouri state Senate yesterday approved a plan “to divert about $20[M] a year in taxes paid by out-of-state athletes and entertainers to help fund sports stadiums” in the state, according to Terry Ganey of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. The taxes would be “divided up among cultural institutions, libraries, public television, historic preservation and sports venues.” The plan is “expected to generate” $34M by ’09. Senate Majority Leader Charles Shields said that the money does not “go to any sports team but to the publicly owned facilities where those teams play,” and added that the funds “would be used to offset state money that already goes to facilities in” St. Louis and K.C. Ganey notes the bill would distribute funds to the Edward Jones Dome, the refurbishing of the Kiel Opera House and the proposed Ballpark Village around the new Cardinals ballpark, as well as the K.C. Sports Authority, which maintains stadiums for the Royals and Chiefs (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/7). Sports authorities and other entities “would get a share proportional to what they collect when athletes or entertainers visit the area.” The bill now goes to the state House (Kelly Wiese, AP, 4/7).

    Print | Tags: Baseball, Facilities, Football, Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Grinding It Out: Nike Canada To Use Shoes For Sports Complex

    Nike Looking To Recycle
    Shoes For “Green” Complex
    Nike Canada yesterday expanded the Reuse-a-Shoe program, which “invites runners to donate their old, used athletic shoes to be ground up and the materials recycled to create” athletic fields, courts and tracks, according to James Christie of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. The goal is to build a C$500,000 sports complex in Toronto for soccer, basketball and track. While there is no specific site yet, Nike Canada Dir of Corporate Communications Derek Kent said that Toronto’s eastern Malvern neighborhood “is a strong candidate.” Kent noted that the shoe-grinding concept “has already seen facilities spring up in Australia and Japan” (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 4/7).

    Print | Tags: Basketball, Facilities, Nike, Soccer, Track & Field
  • Facility Notes

    In Jacksonville, Gene Frenette reported the Gator Bowl Association is planning to ask the Jacksonville City Council for a ten-year extension of its lease agreement at Alltel Stadium. But a “potential hitch ... is a year-long dispute” with the Jaguars over signage at the venue. An amendment to the Jaguars’ lease “gave the team year-round control of the advertising signage (ribbon boards), including all non-NFL events.” The Gator Bowl's current lease gives it exclusive advertising rights for its game, but those terms do not extend beyond the ‘06 game (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 4/6).

    NOT RUNNING UP THE FLAG: Darlington Raceway President Chris Browning, whose track is owned by ISC, contacted ISC about a report that SMI Chair Bruton Smith wants to buy the track and move its remaining race to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Browning: “They told me, ‘Hey, nothing to it, buddy.’ That was good enough for me” (AP, 4/6).

    Print | Tags: Colleges, Facilities, Football, Int'l Speedway Corp., Jacksonville Jaguars, Motorsports, NFL, Speedway Motorsports Inc.
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