SBD/Issue 41/Facilities & Venues

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  • Chelsea Dismiss Report That Club Is Considering New Stadium

    Chelsea Committed To Staying At, 
    Redeveloping Stamford Bridge
    English Premier League club Chelsea "have dismissed reports that they are ready to quit Stamford Bridge" for a new venue three miles south, according to Peter Boyle of the LONDON TIMES. A club spokesperson Saturday said of the proposed move, "This story is total nonsense." Boyle noted Chelsea in the current financial climate "are unlikely to consider selling their current stadium because of falling property prices" (LONDON TIMES, 11/9). In a statement, the club said, "The architects HOK have not been commissioned by Chelsea to build a stadium and do not work for the club. Their approach was unsolicited. ... We will not be considering moving away from our present stadium until all possibilities of redeveloping Stamford Bridge are exhausted" (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 11/9).

    ORIGINAL REPORT: In London, Jamie Jackson had reported Chelsea "are considering advanced plans for a new stadium next to Battersea Power Station, three miles from their current home at Stamford Bridge." The new ground "would hold between 65,000 and 75,000 fans and have a retractable roof" and "has been designed" by HOK Sport, which built Wembley Stadium. Plans for the stadium "have been presented to club executives" by London-based HOK architects and a "representative from HOK's New York office." A source said that the proposed development is "expected to cost up to" US$782M, and added that the development would be "funded in part by the development of Stamford Bridge into luxury apartments." Also, in spite of the credit crisis, which is "affecting the price of property, Chelsea would expect high interest in what is an exclusive area of prime real estate, allowing them to profit from the move" (London OBSERVER, 11/9).

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  • Facility Notes

    HOK Sport Principal Steve Hotujac said that club lounges at Louisville's new $238M, 22,000-seat downtown arena "will have a distillery theme ... to celebrate Kentucky's bourbon heritage." At the mezzanine level, there will be "both a club lounge and a loge lounge," and HOK Sport interior designer Tracy Tapp said that the design for those venues "will follow a Bluegrass theme, saluting both Kentucky's musical roots and its rolling Thoroughbred horse farms." Louisville Arena Authority Chair Jim Host said that "work on lining up operators and sponsors for the arena's hospitality venues has slowed as the authority struggled earlier this year to finalize its financing package for the arena's construction" (BUSINESS FIRST OF LOUISVILLE, 11/7 issue). Details of the Louisville arena sponsorship opportunities were first reported by SportsBusiness Journal.

    A's Owner Frustrated With Cisco Field
    Developments In Fremont, California
    SLOWLY BUT SURELY: A's Owner Lew Wolff said that he has "become frustrated at times" while "waiting for the past year on environmental reports for the 143-acre parcel that would hold" the club's 32,000-seat Cisco Field in Fremont, California. Wolff: "I think we can get it done, but the frustration of the process sometimes gets to me. Right now, we're playing in a football stadium. It's not good for baseball."  Wolff added: "We're getting close to receiving the first drafts of the environmental impact reports. We've run into lots of things, which every developer does in California. We have an election that just happened that is favorable to our getting to Fremont. We're just following the process and we're pretty much on schedule" (MLB.com, 11/10).

    WAITING GAME: The HOUSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL's Greg Barr reports the MLS Dynamo are "close to finalizing a two-year lease extension -- with a rent increase -- through 2010" at the Univ. of Houston's Robertson Stadium. The club will have to "wait until 2011 at the earliest" before their proposed downtown stadium could be completed, and that is dependent "on whether all parties can agree on a deal." Dynamo President Oliver Luck: "We haven't had any traction with [Harris County] over their contribution. And now the other thing that's hurt us is the credit markets. When they'll come around is anyone's guess" (HOUSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/7 issue).

    GOLDEN TICKET: In St. Paul, Charley Walters reported the Univ. of Minnesota (UM) has sold each of their 58 stadium boxes at TCF Bank Stadium, which opens in '09, and they have "eight private suites left to sell at $45,000 each." Nearly half of their 1,200 outdoor club seats "have been sold." UM said that they have a waiting list of "400 for regular-season tickets" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/9).

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