SBD/Issue 98/Facilities & Venues

Facility Notes

Bruce Ratner May Lobby For Federal Stimulus
Funds To Help Support Atlantic Yards Project
In N.Y., Rich Calder writes the future of the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn "could hinge" on President Obama's $827B stimulus plan. New York state and N.Y. city officials expect Forest City Ratner CEO and Nets Owner Bruce Ratner to "lobby hard for a piece of the federal pork to help bail out" the Atlantic Yards project, which includes the new Barclays Center arena for the Nets and 16 residential and office buildings. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz yesterday said that "funds from the stimulus bill should go to offset arena construction, and especially aid Ratner in a revamp of Long Island Rail Road's Vanderbilt rail yard." Calder notes although stadium projects "don't qualify to receive money through the stimulus bill, arenas are not mentioned in the document" (N.Y. POST, 2/9).

BUD OUT: In St. Petersburg, John Romano wrote Rays ownership at "some point in the not-too-distant future ... is going to grow frustrated with local bureaucracy and public antipathy" in its attempt to build a new ballpark, and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig will "make himself available to play the role of bad cop." But Romano wrote, "Don't do it." It is "unseemly" that Selig, who earned more than $18M in FY '07, "should be pimping for public funding" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 2/8).

DARK HORSE: In Las Vegas, Steve Carp reported with Nevada's blackout of Santa Anita and "four other TrackNet racetracks in its second week," handle is "down statewide." TrackNet, which reps Churchill Downs and Magna Entertainment Corp., and the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association failed to reach a new deal by January 28. Race book operators have offered replacements "to fill the void," but they are "drawing minimal play." However, some race books reported that business has increased on "racing from Aqueduct in New York and the Fair Grounds in Louisiana." Las Vegas Hilton Dir of Race & Sports Jay Kornegay: "Our players have adjusted. They're not playing as much, but they're playing other tracks" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 2/7).

A SOFTER APPROACH SHOT: In Hartford, Tom Yantz reports the PGA Tour Travelers Championship's operating budget will be cut by 8-10% for this year's event, scheduled for June 25-28. In addition, there is "no increase in ticket or concession prices, free concerts will be offered and one price category on Corporate Row" has been reduced (HARTFORD COURANT, 2/9).

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