SBD/Issue 198/Facilities & Venues

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  • Mets Seeking More Tax-Free Financing For Citi Field Construction

    Mets Seeking More Tax-Free Financing
    For Construction Of Citi Field
    The Mets are "seeking more tax-free financing" for the construction of their $632M Citi Field, set to open next season, according to a city official cited by Michael Frazier of NEWSDAY. The Mets have already received $528M in tax-exempt bonds, and N.Y. Economic Development Corp. President Seth Pinsky indicated that the Mets now are seeking about 10% of the current bond agreement, which would be about $52M. The Mets' financial intentions surfaced Wednesday "in a more than three-hour state Assembly committee hearing examining tax-exempt financing for sports complexes." The meeting was called by New York Assemblyman Richard Brodsky after Brodsky learned that the Yankees are "seeking another $350[M] in public financing" for construction on their new ballpark, also set to open next season. Frazier writes the news that the Yankees were seeking additional tax relief "rekindled a long debate over whether sports facilities should receive public financing." The Mets' "intentions to seek more tax-exempt bonds for the new Citi Field was first mentioned publicly" Wednesday in the hearing. N.Y.'s Independent Budget Office indicates that the current public financing plan would "save the Yankees $147[M] over 30 years, while the Mets will bank $104[M] over 40 years" (NEWSDAY, 7/3).

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  • Orioles May Move Spring Training To Vero Beach As Soon As 2010

    Orioles May Move Spring Training Site From
    Ft. Lauderdale To Vero Beach In 2010
    The FAA has "rejected Fort Lauderdale's request to be exempt from a $1.3[M] annual payment for the upkeep of Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport in order to continue hosting" the Orioles' Spring Training at adjacent Fort Lauderdale Stadium, according to Sarah Talalay of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. The decision most likely means the Orioles, who have held Spring Training at the stadium for 13 years, will "decline to pay the $1.3[M]" and "may exercise an option agreement to move to Dodgertown in Vero Beach ... as soon as 2010" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 7/3). In Florida, Ed Bierschenk writes Indian River County (FL) has a "draft agreement outlining future plans for a team, who sources say is the [Orioles], to replace the [Dodgers] in Vero Beach." Indian River County Administrator Joe Baird, while not naming the team county officials are working with, said that negotiations are still "ongoing and proceeding very well." Baird added that "no deadline has been established for securing an agreement with the team for the use of Dodgertown." The county is still waiting for written confirmation from the Dodgers that the team "will be gone" by '09 (, 7/3).

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  • Facility Notes

    Omaha Selects Three Architecture
    Firms To Design New Ballpark
    Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey Wednesday selected three architecture firms to team up to design Omaha's new downtown stadium, which will host the College World Series. HDR will lead the $140M project and will be assisted by HOK Sport and DLR Group. The Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority "hopes to negotiate a final contract with the HDR team by the middle of July" (Omaha WORLD-HERALD, 7/2).

    GETTING STARTED: In Pittsburgh, Jeremy Boren reports work on the Penguins' new $290M  hockey arena "will begin by mid-July, but the Penguins aren't planning to celebrate with a groundbreaking until August." The arena's owner, the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority, "authorized payments of $52.57[M] spread among five contracts to begin clearing part of the 28-acre site within three weeks and excavating land along Centre Avenue in the Hill District next month" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 7/3).

    TAKING THEIR TIME: While USA Basketball "had set a goal of announcing its future plans" for the location of its HQs by the end of the summer, Exec Dir Jim Tooley said that the organization "won't rush the decision." Tooley: "There are a lot of parameters to a move like this, so if we need to take a little more time, we'll do so." Louisville, Glendale, Arizona, and Colorado Springs -- the organization's current home -- all have offered proposals (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 7/3).

    FIELD OF DREAMS: Fields Inc. has been selected to install the field in the Twins' new ballpark. The company recently installed an upgraded natural playing surface at Lambeau Field (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/2).

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