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SBD/Issue 144/Facilities & VenuesPrint All
Wolff’s Involvement In SJSU
Stadium Seems To Be Dead
Commission Reviews Details Of
Proposed $954M Stadium For Vikings
LITTLE SUPPORT: The AP’s Dave Campbell wrote while the Vikings and the MSFC “have been invited to an informational hearing of the [Minnesota] House Tax Committee next month, the prospect of immediate progress is not strong.” House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, when asked about the chances of a Vikings stadium plan being heard this year, said, “If I checked it for vitals, I’d say it was at the morgue.” Gov. Tim Pawlenty added, “It is easy to draw up plans. The question is who gets to pay for it” (AP, 4/19).
DESIGN CLASS: Several urban designers said that the plan for the new stadium is “a first-rate start — but more of a marketing pitch than a true master plan.” Carolyn Krall of Minneapolis-based Landform Engineering said, “They need a lot of money to make this happen. To do that, they are going to need people to fall in love with the new stadium. The interior view does that; the exterior not so much” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/20).
Tax Rate On Tickets, Merchandise Purchases
At Verizon Center To Increase To 10%
Wagering and attendance “suffered significant drops” at the recently completed Laurel Park winter meet, with total wagering falling from $321M in ’06 to $291.8M this year and attendance dipping 19.3% to 214,409, according to John Scheinman of the WASHINGTON POST. The meet, which ran from January 1-April 15, featured 71 days of live racing, one less than last year. Maryland Jockey Club President & COO Lou Raffetto said that field sizes were “hampered by bad weather and a shortage of horses.” Raffetto: “Last year we had a record meet. We set the bar pretty high. Our meet this year, in terms of horseflesh, wasn’t a solid one. We were probably down [150-200] horses from where we were a year ago” (WASHINGTON POST, 4/20). In Baltimore, Sandra McKee reports the in-state handle dropped 10.8%, while the out-of-state handle also fell 7.8% from $183.1M to $168.8M. Raffetto “attributed the decline in out-of-state wagering to increased competition for simulcasting signals and a decline in the size of fields at Laurel Park” (Baltimore SUN, 4/20).
M&T Bank Stadium will undergo “four significant changes” for the ’07 season, including a series of “digital upgrades to the SmartVision video screens,” a $1M upgrade to the club level to include a timeline of Baltimore football, five new suites in the corners of the stadium and a “‘tailgate-friendly’ marketplace for fans to buy products.” The team will pay for all improvements “in lieu of rent” (WASHINGTON EXAMINER, 4/18).
SONICS: A SEATTLE TIMES editorial states the Washington state Legislature’s “lack of action on a new Renton arena ... is extremely disappointing,” and comments by elected officials “demonstrate the poor chances of the bill coming up for a vote.” The editorial asked, “What is [Sonics Owner Clay] Bennett supposed to do if the Legislature is not even willing to vote on the proposal?” (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/20).
PENGUINS: The Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority is looking to relocate the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol-Beth Jacob synagogue in order to build the Penguins’ new $290M arena. Rabbi Stanley Savage said that he “had heard nothing about a possible relocation.” Savage: “I just think it’s a shame that the last of 23 synagogues can’t stay here” (POST-GAZETTE, 4/20).