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Ratner Scales Back Atlantic Yards Plan
REAX: N.Y. City Council member Letitia James, who represents Brooklyn, said the reduction is “obviously not enough. They’ve got to really go back to the drawing board and dramatically downscale this project if they want support in the community.” But Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, “a project cheerleader who called for Miss Brooklyn to be scaled back, said he welcomed the changes.” Markowitz: “This step will help make a good project even better for Brooklyn. It’s the right project in the right place at the right time” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/6). In N.Y., Nicholas Confessore notes the “reaction from people who work and live nearby was almost uniform: Big deal.” See SportsBusinessDaily.com to read the story (N.Y. TIMES, 9/6).
POLL BACKS COMPLEX: A poll of 601 N.Y. residents from August 23-28, commissioned by CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS, found that the Atlantic Yards development is favored 60% and “disliked by only 25%.” Support in Brooklyn is 60% with 33% “viewing it unfavorably.” The complex is viewed favorably by 56% of African-Americans, 58% of whites, 68% of Latinos and 72% of Asians. Respondents cited jobs and affordable housing “as the two most important benefits of the project,” while the Nets’ move from New Jersey “is less of a factor.” The poll was conducted by Charney Research and has a margin of error of 4% (NEWYORKBUSINESS.com, 9/5).
49ers' Stadium Project Could Include Arena
Rowan Univ. (RU) officials said that the $1B MLS stadium project at the school — “comprising the stadium, restaurants, stores and student housing — was put out of action” by the state of New Jersey’s “fiscal crunch,” according to Wendy Ruderman of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. RU needed the state to borrow about $100M to pay for infrastructure, including roads, parking, water and sewer. Debt service on such a bond would have cost state taxpayers $6-8M a year for 30 years. Brendan Gilfillan, a spokesperson for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, said that Corzine was “still reviewing [RU’s] stadium proposal and that the subject was not dead.” New Jersey state Senate President Richard Codey, who supports the project, said that he “expected to meet with Treasury officials and [RU] leaders to discuss the proposal this month.” But RU President Donald Farish said that he “was not banking on the state’s financial help,” stating that the project “would only move forward without financial help from New Jersey taxpayers.” Farish added that developer Milestone Investment Group, which missed a July 1 deadline to secure financing and submit a stadium plan to MLS, is “still interested in the project but was trying to determine whether the investment was still profitable” (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/2).
Campaign reports for three Hennepin County (MN) Commissioners that supported a new Twins ballpark “indicated that accepting money from Twins officials is a touchy issue so soon after the county voted to help finance” the new $522M ballpark. Commissioner Mark Stenglein said that he returned campaign money from Jim Pohlad, the son of Twins Owner Carl Pohlad, while Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, “who had accepted money from the Pohlad family in the past, did not take any money from the team owner this year.” Commissioner Mike Opat, the lead proponent of the new Twins ballpark, “likewise stayed away from accepting money from the Pohlads” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/6).
ALLTEL STADIUM: A source said that a Jacksonville-area company offered $2.5M annually over ten years for the naming rights to Alltel Stadium, which the Jaguars “rejected because they are looking for something in the [$5-6M] range.” Jaguars Senior VP/Stadium Operations & CFO Bill Prescott: “We think we really need to tap into the national market” (JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/1 issue).
NOTES: In L.A., Jim Peltz noted “although not every seat was filled” at California Speedway for Sunday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup Sony HD 500, there were “few patches of empty seats.” There “appeared to be at least 85,000 spectators in the grandstands,” in addition to 10,000-plus fans in the infield. NASCAR’s unofficial estimate was 102,000 (L.A. TIMES, 9/5)....MasterCard’s new PayPass wristband will be given to the first 5,000 fans entering Giants Stadium for Sunday’s Colts-Giants game. The wristbands feature Giants team colors and will be pre-loaded with $25 (MasterCard).