SBD/Issue 222/Facilities & Venues

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  • Study Of San Diego’s Finances Uncovers Petco Park Bond Issue

    Report States San Diego Officials Held Bad
    Financial News To Protect Petco Park Bonds
    A 266-page report from risk management firm Kroll Inc. stated that San Diego officials “buried a heap of bad financial news that would have imperiled” the Petco Park project” in ’02, according to Matthew Hall of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. Kroll’s consultants, which included former SEC Chair Arthur Levitt, said that a report on city finances by a blue-ribbon panel “was toned down and delayed — until 13 days after the city’s ballpark bond offering closed — for fear that ‘disclosure of the truth would derail’ the sale.” While Petco Park “is mentioned only briefly” in the Kroll report, Dennis Gibson, a former Murphy aide, “told Kroll investigators that there had been a general concern about how the blue-ribbon report might affect the city’s credit rating and that a negative rating could ‘implicate’ the ballpark bonds.” The report states, “The City was plainly concerned that a public report highlighting serious problems ... would make the bond offering more difficult or impossible” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/14).

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  • Bumps In The Road: Kentucky Speedway Sees Record-Low Crowds

    Kentucky Speedway Sees Record-Low
    Crowd For IRL Meijer Indy 300

    The crowd of 35,814 for Sunday’s IRL Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway “was the smallest crowd by almost 12,000 (47,323 in 2001) ever to see the IRL run” at the seven-year-old track, and was down by almost 27,000 fans from 62,595 last year, according to Mark Story of the LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Built Ford Tough 225 on July 8 drew 21,889, also “the smallest crowd ever to see it run” at the track. However, a record crowd of 72,886 attended the Busch Series Meijer 300 on June 17. Kentucky Speedway Exec VP & GM Mark Cassis said, “I am concerned, but not pushing the panic button. If we hadn’t drawn 70,000-plus here for Busch in June, then I’d be a whole lot more worried.” Cassis said that factors contributing to Sunday’s low attendance “included the stratospheric cost of gas” and an “overall economy that, in Ohio, is uneven at best.” Also, the Bengals began their preseason schedule against the Redskins at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday night. Cassis said next year’s truck race will move to July 21. He added that the track is “hoping to move the IRL race to” Saturday, August 18, at 8:00pm ET, but “had not been able to get that date and start time cleared with ABC/ESPN” (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 8/14).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Cincinnati Bengals, ESPN, Facilities, IndyCar, NASCAR, Walt Disney, Washington Redskins
  • Facility Notes

    Dallas-based developer Harvest Partners, which controls the lakeside land considered to be Renton, Washington’s “best shot for winning over the [Sonics], says it is no longer interested” in building an arena there. Spokesperson Natalie Quick said Harvest Partners “looked at the site and the potential uses and realized that it was going to be the best use for that site to have additional retail tenants” (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 8/15).

    BOARD GAMES: The CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL’s Erik Spanberg reported Bank of America Stadium now has “graphics-message boards added on each side of the seating bowl at a cost” of $2M. The boards extend from goal line to goal line “between the stadium’s 300 and 400 seating levels.” Panthers Stadium LLC President Jon Richardson said that he “hopes to have new video scoreboards installed in time for the 2008 season,” a project that would cost $10M and “likely double the size” of the current 24-by-32-foot scoreboards (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/11 issue).

    HIDE & SEEK: In Boston, Gordon Edes notes Red Sox Owner John Henry and Chair Tom Werner were “poking around” behind the garage door in center field at Fenway Park during Saturday’s Orioles-Red Sox game, “investigating the site of a proposed ballpark restaurant, when the door started to rise.” Henry: “I didn’t think anyone would notice” (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/15).

    ON TRACK: CBS’ “Evening News” last night examined the use of synthetic racing surfaces at horse racing tracks in the U.S. CBS’ Sharon Alfonsi said the Polytrack surface at Kentucky’s Turfway Park cost about $8M, but “the payoff has been huge.” California racing officials “are so impressed” with the surface, they are “mandating synthetics be installed in all five of their parks by next year.” However, “critics say creating a sterile track takes away from the art of picking a horse. They say it might save the horses, but ruin the game.” But Keeneland Association CEO Nick Nicholson said, “It’s utterly impossible to do what’s best for the horse and ruin the game” (CBS, 8/14).

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Bank of America, Boston Red Sox, Carolina Panthers, Facilities, Florida Panthers
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