SBD/Issue 132/Facilities & Venues

Facility Notes

In Indianapolis, Schneider & O'Shaughnessy notes with the city's Capital Improvement Board (CIB) facing a $20M shortfall this year, "solving the financial woes afflicting the [CIB] will be the responsibility of Marion County taxpayers, fans, visitors" and the Colts and Pacers. Indiana state Legislative leaders Thursday said that "many options were being discussed -- including requiring the Indianapolis Colts to pony up money, raising alcohol or hotel and restaurant taxes, and expanding special tax districts that already capture sales and income taxes for special purposes such as the arenas," Lucas Oil Stadium and Conseco Fieldhouse (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 3/27).

TAX HIKE: In a front page piece, the Baton Rouge ADVOCATE's Will Sentell reported guests at hotels and motels in East Baton Rouge Parish and "elsewhere would pay higher taxes to help subsidize the New Orleans Saints under a plan that could be debated in the state Legislature." Current subsidies for the team under an '01 agreement "come from hotels and motels only in Orleans and Jefferson parishes." Louisiana state Rep. Patrick Connick Wednesday said that he "wants to consider expanding areas where the tax would apply in part to ease pressure on the state's general fund, especially during tough economic times" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 3/26).

Yormark Rules Out Permanent
Move To Nassau For '10-11
NOTHING BUT NET: In New Jersey, John Brennan noted Nets Sports & Entertainment President & CEO Brett Yormark "ruled out 'a move in a permanent fashion' to Nassau Coliseum during the 2010-11 season," but said that the team is "'open to exploring' moving some preseason and regular-season games there." Yormark: "Long Island will be a major market for us" (Bergen RECORD, 3/26). Meanwhile, in Newark, Dave D'Alessandro wrote architect Frank Gehry, who is designing the Atlantic Yards project, which includes Barclays Center, is "at the heart of the Brooklyn project," and Forest City Ratner CEO and Nets Owner Bruce Ratner is "tethered to him." But now Gehry is "saying the project is kaput." D'Alessandro: "We'd say Ratner has some explaining to do. ... It certainly seems there is no Gehry commitment anymore, no matter how much back-tracking he does through a publicist" (NJ.com, 3/25).

EMPTY NEST: NEWSWEEK's Melinda Liu notes seven months after the Beijing Olympics, "visitors to the Bird's Nest are paying $7 to stare at a big, empty bowl." Tourist visits "plummeted from 80,000 per day in October to 15,000 in December." The $450M stadium costs $15M "annually to maintain, but the only major event announced for 2009 is an Aug. 8 performance of 'Turandot,' directed by Zhang Yimou, the man behind the Games' opening ceremonies." With "dreams of wringing $30[M] per year from the stadium, its managers now plan to convert part of it into a shopping mall" (NEWSWEEK, 3/30 issue).

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