SBD/Issue 29/Facilities & Venues

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  • Brewers Planning Several Miller Park Upgrade For '09 Season

    Brewers Planning Overhaul, Upgrades To Miller
    Park Suites, Retail Store And Meeting Rooms
    The Brewers plan to "overhaul 43 of Miller Park’s luxury suites, extensively remodel the team’s main retail store and upgrade several meeting rooms” at the ballpark in time for the '09 season, according to Mark Kass of the BUSINESS JOURNAL OF MILWAUKEE. Brewers Exec VP/Business Operations Rick Schlesinger said that the projects, along with already announced plans to add a Harley-Davidson-themed seating deck, are “aimed at helping the Brewers increase revenue and enhancing fans’ experiences at Miller Park.” Schlesinger did not reveal the cost of the renovations, but indicated that they "will be paid for by the team.” Kass notes two existing suites on the third level will be “converted to a party suite that will honor the 2008 team,” and Schlesinger said that it will be similar to suites honoring the '82 Brewers and the '57 Milwaukee Braves. The remaining third-level suites will be “renovated with wood floors, a carpet inlay, fresh paint, new furniture and lighting, and flat-panel HD television sets.” Miller Park’s five meeting rooms also "will be renovated and new audio visual equipment will be added." The “goal will be to continue to increase the use of Miller Park for nonbaseball events.” Meanwhile, work on the 4,700-square-foot main retail store will include the “addition of a section for sausage mascot items, along with a section dedicated to women’s apparel.” Schlesinger said that the team’s retail sales “increased by more than 40[%] this past season.” He added the team sold “several hundred thousand dollars” in playoff merchandise (BUSINESS JOURNAL OF MILWAUKEE, 10/24 issue). Schlesinger said that the “timing was right for redoing the suites.” Schlesinger: “With the upgrades we’ve done in the Metavante and Gehl Clubs, it made for a bigger contrast between the clubs and the suites. We know that hospitality budgets are probably going to be reduced. But this is one of our approaches to try to overcome some concerns” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/24).

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  • Penguins, Steelers Debut New Technologies For Fans

    Penguins Set To Introduce Yinzcam Service
    At Mellon Arena To Improve Fan Experience
    The Penguins are testing Yinzcam, a service that allows any fan with a Wi-Fi enabled phone to "watch replays from a few minutes ago or from a prior game," and the service "could debut within weeks" at Mellon Arena, according to Kim Leonard of the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW. Fans using Yinzcam can "check live scores from [NHL] games and even choose camera angles, to focus on one section of the ice or on certain players." The service also is "designed to allow ticket-holders to view the nearest concession stand or restroom line from their seats, so they can better time their trips." Leonard noted Yinzcam is a "more live action-oriented service" than Songwhale, which debuted "without fanfare this season at Steelers games as a short-range, digital content service that allows ticket-holders to watch player interviews, music and videos, download ringtones and wallpapers and even get electronic gift cards and concession stand coupons." Songwhale is "free and available via cell phones, smartphones or PDAs -- before and during games" at Heinz Field. Songwhale President Ty Morse said that Nike, Gatorade, Miller, Virgin Records and other companies are sponsors of the service, and the Virgin and Capitol record labels "offer songs on the service to Steelers game-goers." Morse added that Songwhale "likely will be expanded at next season's Steelers games to include special camera angles and other features" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 10/22).

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  • Facility Notes

    Cardinals President Says Team Still Moving
    Forward With Ballpark Village Development
    MLB Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III said that the club's Ballpark Village is "still moving forward" despite the current economic situation. DeWitt, speaking to the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers Thursday, said, "We're moving down the path. We're committed to the project." DeWitt "acknowledged that the volatile credit market had raised some questions" about the project. However, he said that he "was confident that bond markets will improve by March," when a $100M tax increment financing bond is to be issued pending approval (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/24).

    GIDDY UP: CNET Founder Halsey Minor last week made public a proposal he submitted to the BOD of MI Developments (MID), the parent company of Magna Entertainment Corp., which owns Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course. Minor is seeking to "acquire the more than $220[M] in loans Magna owes MID, relieving the parent company of 'the balance sheet risk of continually extending loans to a faltering business'" (Baltimore SUN, 10/22).

    MOUNTAIN MEN: The Mountain West Conference announced the five finalist venues to host the MWC Basketball Championships from 2011-2013: the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, The Pit in Albuquerque, Pepsi Center in Denver, Cox Arena in San Diego and Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City. A final decision is expected in June (LASVEGASSUN.com, 10/22).

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