More Than 50,000 Fans Flock To Travers Dodgers' Scully Says Next Year His Last In Role U.S. Open Set To Begin With Renovated Stadium Nationals Xerox Launching Campaign Around U.S. Open Road America Eyeing Sprint Cup Race Funding For Wilson's Family Pours In Fan Dies From Turner Field Fall Sonoma Looking To Be Finale Again For '16 Renovated Sun Life Stadium Gets Good Reviews
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Twins Ink Target To 25-Year Naming-
Rights Deal For New Ballpark
TARGET PRACTICE: The deal is Target's second naming-rights contract for a major league venue in Minneapolis. The company bought naming rights for 15 years to Target Center in '90 and extended that deal, valued at $1.25M annually, for an additional five years in '05-06. That deal is set to expire about the same time the ballpark opens, SBJ research shows. "We value both partnerships and those deals are mutually exclusive," Reitz said. "Anything that happens further with the [T'Wolves] and Target Center will be an independent decision."
Experts Today To Examine Damage To Reliant
Stadium Roof Sustained During Hurricane Ike
NEW SCHEDULE: The Ravens-Texans game originally scheduled to be played in Houston yesterday and then moved to tonight has been rescheduled for Sunday, November 9 at 12:00pm CT at Reliant. The Bengals-Texans game that was to be played on November 9 has been moved to October 26, the bye week for both clubs. The Ravens were scheduled for a bye on November 9, but instead this past weekend will count as a bye week for both the Ravens and Texans (Mult., 9/13). In Baltimore, Jamison Hensley reported the NFL had discussed playing Ravens-Texans tonight at an "alternate site -- possibly New Orleans or Atlanta -- but it ultimately decided to move the game to a later date." One reason for the "postponement was the potential problem of getting the Texans to one of those sites because the airports in Houston have been shut down." Ravens President Dick Cass said that when the NFL was "talking about alternate sites, moving the game to Baltimore wasn't discussed." The NFL "felt some backlash in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when it forced the [Saints] to play a scheduled home game against the [Giants] at Giants Stadium." Hensley noted while NFL teams "have had their games relocated because of severe weather, reshuffling the schedule is an unusual move" (Baltimore SUN, 9/14). ESPN's Chris Mortensen: "The networks were involved certainly in this decision as well" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/14).
ADDITIONAL CHANGES COULD COME: Fox' Jay Glazer reported if there is a "lot of damage to the stadium, there’s already talk about swapping" the Colts-Texans Week 5 game to Indianapolis, then playing the Week 11 game between the teams in Houston (“Fox NFL Sunday,” Fox, 9/14). McClain suggested if Reliant Stadium is not ready for Colts-Texans on October 5, the team could look at nearby Rice Stadium. McClain: "While it's not up to NFL standards, it seats 70,000. (The Texans) don't want to have to relocate like the Saints did from New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina drove them all the way to San Antonio. So I suspect they will not be leaving Houston because they've got a stadium close by that they could use in an emergency” (“NFL GameDay Morning,” NFL Network, 9/14).
MORE IMPORTANT PRIORITIES: Fox' Glazer noted the Ravens “wanted to play (and) it really came down to the reaction of the Houston Texans players,” who worried about leaving their families in the wake of damage in the Houston area from Ike. Glazer: “Commissioner Goodell, obviously very sympathetic to that” (Fox, 9/14). SI.com's Peter King writes, "For much of Saturday, I was on the side of the Ravens, who wanted to play their game with Houston somewhere -- New Orleans if not Houston -- tonight." However, he changed his mindset after talking to Texans TE and player rep Mark Bruener. Bruener: "You'd have to see what's happened here to believe it. ... If we had been asked to leave town and play a game somewhere else, it'd have been hard to have our minds in the right places, especially for guys who had to leave families behind" (SI.com, 9/15).
NFL Receives Praise For Postponing
Ravens-Texans Game Until November
RECOVERY FIRST, GAMES SECOND: In Houston, Richard Justice wrote under the header, "In Due Time, Games Will Help Greatly." Justice: "Not one cent, not one man hour should be spent on getting [Reliant and Minute Maid Park] ready to play until we're on the road to recovery in our neighborhoods and schools, until we begin to become whole again. ... At some point, we'll get back to the games. When we do, those games may feel more important than they were before. They're going to be an island of normalcy" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/14).
Giants And Jets Shut Down Stadium
Naming-Rights Talks With Allianz
LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE: Lamping said that the "'depth of feeling' from the public led him to scuttle the potential sponsorship deal, and he broke the news to Allianz on Friday morning" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/13). Lamping: "It's fair to say that the reaction was strong and we certainly noticed that and it may have been a little stronger than we had expected." Anti-Defamation League National Dir Abraham Foxman said the decision "reflects that they are listening to the voices in the community, both from Holocaust family survivors and from veterans of the Second World War who don't believe that we can have normalcy" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 9/13). Giants Treasurer Jonathan Tisch, when asked to comment about the deal, said, "I'm not the spokesperson for the team, so you have to talk to others about that" (AP, 9/13).
LESSENING THE BLOW: On Long Island, Neil Best noted many companies, "foreign and domestic, have sordid histories, and many people buy their products without thinking twice." But this deal was different "partly because of the vileness of the history, partly because the name would have been emblazoned in big letters on a sports palace paid for with the help of fans via PSLs, a slap in the face too harsh to bear" (NEWSDAY, 9/14). In N.Y., Gary Myers wrote this "should be one of the greatest times ever" for football in N.Y., but "raising funds to pay for the [stadium] is the cause of an awful lot of aggravation and bitterness among their loyal fans." And news of the potential deal with Allianz "caused an uproar in the Jewish community in the New York area." For the Giants and Jets, "bowing to public pressure ... was the right thing to do, but it's still surprising it got that far." Giants co-Owner John Mara and Chair & Exec VP Steve Tisch and Jets Owner Woody Johnson "have taken a public relations beating over the last couple of months between the PSLs and Allianz" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/14).
Vikings Hoping To Use Hospitality Taxes To
Help Finance New Stadium In Minneapolis
OUTSIDE OPINION: Colts Owner Jim Irsay said of the Vikings' stadium need, "The key is, it is urgent. They simply can't remain in this facility. It's not possible." Irsay said that the Colts "ultimately were able to generate support for their new stadium because of local and state leaders' ability to recognize the importance of the team's presence as well as the new stadium, which, with a retractable roof, can host a number of major events." Irsay added, "You have to understand. If you're a mayor or governor of a city or state, you don't do this because, 'Oh, I like the Wilfs. Or I just like football.' That's not what it's about. The public-private partnership is about a win-win situation." Irsay added, "The Wilfs can't put $600[M] into a stadium. That's never going to happen. You'd never make it back in five lifetimes" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 9/15).
Smith Clashing With Cabarrus County
Officials Over $80M Incentive Package
Mets Dugout One Of Items To Be
Auctioned Off From Shea Stadium
KEEPING A SECRET: In N.Y., Greg Smith reports the city of N.Y. and the Yankees "secretly crafted a letter" that U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) "used to lobby the IRS for tax changes that would save the team $66[M]." Records indicated that this was done at the "same time Yankees [Chair] George Steinbrenner and the team's law firm, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, raised almost $25,000 for Rangel." Akin Gump's political action committee (PAC) also "donated an additional $30,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in this election cycle," and Rangel is the Chair of the committee's BOD, while Yankees President Randy Levine is a Senior Counsel at Akin Gump. The N.Y. Daily News obtained "internal e-mails and correspondence ... under the Freedom of Information Act [which showed] how the Yankees and [N.Y. Mayor Michael] Bloomberg's top deputies have worked hand in hand to win special tax breaks" for the Yankees. Additionally, Yankees execs, Akin Gump lawyers and Akin Gump's PAC "have raised $45,000 for Rangel" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/15).
Rangers Unveil Renderings Of New Rangers
Locker Room And Fitness Center At MSG