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Magna Entertainment May Sell Controlling Stake
In Santa Anita Park To Help Pay Down Debt
SEEING RED: In Toronto, Tony Van Alphen reports MEC yesterday revealed that it "won't keep earlier pledges to eliminate its heavy debt load by the end of the year and may never do so." MEC yesterday reported a Q2 loss of $21.3M, an improvement from the $23.4M loss for the year-ago period, but for the first time acknowledged that the "continuing weakness in the U.S. real estate and credit markets will mean it won't meet a deadline for selling assets to wipe out liabilities of more than" $850M. MEC's revenue in the quarter, $166.3M, was down from $167.4M in the year-ago period (TORONTO STAR, 8/7). In Baltimore, Sandra McKee reports while the total Q2 loss "was in line with past performances," MEC's $4.4M quarterly loss in Maryland alone was "unusual because it came in the quarter that includes the Preakness Stakes," which is run at Pimlico. The Maryland losses are being "primarily attributed to a 12[%] loss in handle, a Preakness betting decline of $13.7[M] from 2007 and a loss of $1.7[M] in maintenance contributions from" the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (MTHA). The Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) yesterday also said that it will cut Laurel Park's fall meet by 11 days, following news earlier this week that the MTHA will "not fund the state's six major fall stakes races." The MJC yesterday also confirmed that it is "closing the barn area at Pimlico" effective August 31, pending approval by the Maryland Racing Commission at its August 19 meeting (Baltimore SUN, 8/7). MJC President & COO Tom Chuckas said that Pimlico "would reopen for stabling and training during its spring meet, but horsemen may not be willing to return for just a six-week period" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/7).
Steelers Gain Land Near Heinz
Field For Entertainment Development
MONEY MAN: A source said that Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Capital Management Chair Stanley Druckenmiller "remains optimistic a deal will be worked out where he will gain majority stock control of the Steelers' franchise." The source added that Druckenmiller is "eager and ready to proceed with a purchase plan that is 'simple and uncomplicated' and would greatly benefit the long-term financial health of the franchise." The source added that the plan is "uncomplicated" because Druckenmiller "would buy out the four Rooney brothers in a straight cash deal that would be paid immediately and not over any period of time." The source said that the deal "would allow the Steelers -- if Druckenmiller becomes majority stock owner -- to operate without any debt or interest payments and enable the team to spend the necessary money to remain competitive in the NFL" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/7).
Reebok Today Opening Store At Patriot Place
RazorGator beginning today will cut the fees it charges individual ticket sales by half from 15% to 7.5%. The 10-day promotion is designed to bulk up RazorGator’s profile in exchange-based secondary ticketing, as the company’s focus in recent years has veered more toward corporate hospitality for major sporting events and ticket management software. The move will apply only to individual ticket sellers and not brokers who trade on the site. Buyer fees will remain at 10%. “Over time, there will definitely be permanent margin compression in the industry,” said RazorGator CEO Jeff Lapin, echoing recent comments of the same tenor by executives from Live Nation and StubHub. “I’m not sure that time is definitely now, but we’re testing this out and seeing what kind of reaction surfaces, and it’s something we may extend depending on what happens. This is a big segment of the market we really haven’t focused on, one in which we want to have a big role.” The timing of the promotion coincides with one of the secondary ticketing industry’s busiest portions of the year, with new college and pro football inventory hitting the market to join existing trading for baseball, the end of the summer concert season and other major events.
Tribune Co. Chair's Real Estate Team Cuts
Parking Garage For Plans Around Wrigley Field
SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED: Digital phone service provider Vonage has inked a multi-year deal with the NJSEA to become the first of two planned Legacy Partners of the Izod Center. The deal was coordinated by Nets Sports & Entertainment and includes entitlement rights to the Vonage Concourse and in-arena signage, including on the rotating box office LED (Vonage).
LAKE LIVING: The Indians and nonprofit Gateway Economic Development Corp., which owns Progressive Field, have reached a deal that will keep the team at the ballpark "until at least 2023." Terms of the deal will be "unchanged." The team pays Gateway for its "share of operating expenses, as well as for capital repairs up to $500,000 each" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 8/7).