SBD/Issue 222/Facilities & Venues

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).

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