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Wrigley Chair Discusses Ballpark Naming
Rights During Annual Shareholder Meeting
UNDER CONSTRUCTION: In Chicago, Blair Kamin reports the Chicago city ordinance that confers landmark status on Wrigley Field “does much more than offer protected status,” as it also grants landmark protection to the ballpark’s “essential contours.” Keeping the protected features in place would “restrict the ability of the Cubs and the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, which wants to buy Wrigley from Tribune Co.” However, the ordinance “hardly shuts the door to further changes at the ballpark.” It does not protect the seats and seating configuration nor the "interior concourses, where the Cubs already have put up new advertising signs.” The ballpark has just 66 skyboxes and Kamin wonders, “Would new skyboxes be built in the same spot as the old ones? Or would new plans call for raising Wrigley’s upper deck to accommodate a second tier of skyboxes? That step could raise Wrigley’s roof beyond the height described in the landmark ordinance and force fans in upper-deck seats farther from the field” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/13).
TICKET TAX: With the Cubs considering a $0.25-0.50 tax per ticket to help pay for Wrigley Field renovations, the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES' Greg Couch writes, “So the Cubs want to ask for this tax only from the people who will benefit? I’m pretty sure the Cubs are the ones benefiting here, right? They want you to pay to fix up their stadium.” If the Cubs want to “jack up prices, then just go ahead. People still will come. But why try to trick them into thinking this is something else?” The Cubs “want to make as much money as possible. They are a business. That’s fair. But why try to dupe fans? Why treat them like idiots?” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/13).
STATE SALE: A CHICAGO SUN-TIMES editorial is written under the header, “Sam Zell’s Scheme To Sell Wrigley Field To The State Is Nothing More Than A Foul Ball That Benefits Only His Cash-Strapped Tribune Co. -- At Your Expense.” The editorial states there is “not a single good reason the State of Illinois should buy Wrigley Field. … Beautiful as it is, Wrigley Field is not some architectural damsel in need of being ‘saved.’ Only Sam Zell and his Tribune Co., owners of the ballpark, stand to gain. And in an economic downturn, only the taxpayers stand to lose” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/13).
Superdome Commission Chair Wants
To Ink Hornets To Long-Term Lease
State Legislature Unlikely To Address KeyArena
Renovation Funding Before Adjournment
TOP SECRET: In Seattle, Greg Johns reports lawyers for the city of Seattle and the Sonics' Oklahoma City ownership group "have joined in a motion requesting some documents be kept confidential in their upcoming trial." The mutual agreement "seems surprising, given that part of the city's strategy involves its ability to expose NBA financial records in relation to KeyArena's performance, as well as communication within the Oklahoma City ownership group concerning its intent to buy the Sonics" (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 3/13).
In Cincinnati, John Fay reports the Reds have a deal in place to move their Spring Training home from Sarasota, Florida, to Goodyear, Arizona, in 2010, after Goodyear recently "secured key financing." Reds Consultant John Allen said that the team is discussing a 20-year lease with Goodyear, where they would share a $76M facility with the Indians. Allen added that the lease agreement and financing plan still need approval from the city. A vote is expected next month, and Allen said that he "expects the city's approval." The approved $33M financing "would be used to build facilities for the Reds, such as a clubhouse and offices" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/13).
HOT CORNER: DC Metro Police Department 1st District Commander David Kamperin said that officers with the department's Special Operations Division for Nationals games at Nationals Park will be "deployed on foot, on bicycles, in cars and on Segways to at least 39 'static posts'" in order to direct traffic and help with crowd control for games at Nationals Park. Kamperin added that "10 beats -- staffed by either one or two officers -- will patrol, mostly on foot, the neighborhoods surrounding" the ballpark. The team has hired off-duty police officers to patrol the stadium (WASHINGTON TIMES, 3/13).
EAT SEATS: Braves Exec VP/Sales & Marketing Derek Schiller Tuesday on Fox Business said of ballparks offering all-you-can-eat seats: "We're certainly appealing to what we believe is the common, everyday fan who wants to understand a little bit about how much they're going to spend when they go to a baseball game." Schiller said over the course of 81 home games, the team "can afford to take those sections that don't normally sell-out, build in food and beverage into those seats and now sell those seats which we weren't doing in the past" (Fox Business, 3/11).
NYRA Official Says Spitzer's Resignation Should
Not Have Any Effect On New Franchise Deal