SBD/Issue 36/Facilities & Venues

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  • Mini Me: Twins Unveil Scale Model Ballpark To County Officials

    The Twins yesterday unveiled a scale model of their new 40,000-seat, $390M ballpark to Hennepin County (MN) Board members, who next week will vote “on whether to accept or reject the design,” according to Heron Estrada of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The “only real objection that commissioners raised” dealt with the lack of landscaping around the park. Twins Sports President Jerry Bell said, “We’re thrilled with the design. We wanted to have a Minnesota ballpark, and we think the look and feel of this ballpark is that. It has the river stone, the blue-green glass is reminiscent of the lakes ... and the outfield with the evergreen trees.” HOK Sport is building the ballpark and designed the model, and Senior Principal Earl Santee said that one of the “best features ... is that it will have easy access for pedestrians, drivers and riders of mass transit.” Santee added that the “signature design element of the stadium will be the crescent-shaped canopy that will sit atop the structure.” Santee: “The canopy is the iconic piece. It will look like a halo above the stadium.” Estrada reports the ballpark will also include knotholes “placed purposely around the stadium so people outside can catch a glimpse of the games inside.” Santee said, “We’re trying to find creative niches for people to hang out in.” Bell said that the team is “committed to paying any cost overruns that might surface” before the ballpark opens before the 2010 season. Bell: “If we have to pay more to build the ballpark, the quality won’t suffer” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/31). In St. Paul, David Hanners notes the model included “some new elements, such as a picnic area in center field” and a right-field upper deck that “juts over the field” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 10/31).

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  • $20.5M Georgia Dome Project Would Include Paint Job, New Seats

    Georgia Dome Could Undergo
    $20.5M Makeover In '08
    The Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) plans to paint the Georgia Dome next year and the “new color scheme -- inside and out -- will reflect" the Falcons, according to Leon Stafford of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. Other planned renovations include replacing 61,000 seats and adding “brighter concourse lighting and updated bathrooms.” The GWCCA will vote on the plan next month. The expected costs for the work, which is expected to be finished before the '08 season, is $20.5M, with $13.5M from the GWCCA and $7M from the Falcons.  GWCCA Exec Dir Dan Graveline said that the project will also “give officials a chance to improve direction signs, unclutter advertising and paint ceilings so the interior lighting is more prominent.” Stafford notes the project comes after the Falcons’ $30M luxury suite renovation this year (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/31).

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  • Facility Notes

    In Ft. Lauderdale, Sarah Talalay writes a panel of Miami-Dade County commissioners “gave the go-ahead” yesterday to “continue negotiating a deal for a Marlins ballpark” at the Orange Bowl site, although three commissioners said that “they will balk if the team lowers the amount it committed to the project earlier this year.” Some on the panel “want a ballpark plan brought to the full commission before making a decision.” Commissioner Carlos Gimenez said, “If the Marlins come up with less money on the table, you’re going to lose this commissioner” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 10/31).

    NCAA Grants Omaha Additional Time To
    Develop Best Deal To Retain College World Series
    COLLEGE WORLD SERIES: In Omaha, David Kotok reported the NCAA Monday gave the city of Omaha an additional four months “to come up with its best offer and strike a deal to keep” the College World Series in the city past 2010, when the current contract expires. The decision to extend the negotiation deadline to April 30 “gives the stadium review committee the time it needs to come up with a recommendation to either invest in improving Rosenblatt Stadium or build a new stadium north of downtown” (Omaha WORLD-HERALD, 10/29).

    ASTRODOME: In Houston, Bill Murphy reports a $450M plan to turn the Reliant Astrodome into an upscale convention hotel "may have hit a wall,” as the Texans and Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (HLSR) officials came out against it. HLSR COO Leroy Shafer said, “Every dollar spent that is spent there is one that might not be spent at the rodeo.” Texans President of Business Operations Jamey Rootes said that the team “was worried that the hotel would hamper the flow of fans in and out of Reliant Park” on the team’s ten game days. Rootes added that the Texans “share the rodeo’s concerns over sponsorship and deals for exclusive sales rights” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/31).

    PGE PARK: Triple-A Pacific Coast League Portland Beavers Owner Merritt Paulson is considering changes to PGE Park that “could accommodate a [MLS] team but force the Beavers to find new digs.” Proposed renovations would turn the stadium "into a soccer and football venue exclusively.” The proposal is contingent on Paulson finding “at least $80[M] to renovate PGE Park, purchase an MLS expansion team and build a new Beavers park” (PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/26 issue).

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