SBD/Issue 132/Facilities & Venues

MLB Facility Notes: Rooftop Owner Ends Holdout, Will Pay Cubs

Cubs Home Opener Won't Be Marred By
Rooftop Wars, Threat Of Visual Obstructions
In Chicago, Fran Spielman reports Lakeview Baseball Club Owner Anthony Racky Thursday agreed to "share 17[%] of his 2008 profits" with the Cubs and to "reimburse the Cubs for legal fees tied to the breach of contract lawsuit filed against Racky in federal court." As a result, the April 13 Rockies-Cubs home opener "will not be marred by rooftop wars and the perennial threat of visual obstructions." Racky had "withheld the 2008 payment to protest a Jumbotron that, he claims, blocked half his view during" the Red Wings-Blackhawks NHL Winter Classic, but his protest "suffered a major blow last week, when a federal judge refused to prohibit the Cubs from blocking Racky's view" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/27).

FISHING FOR ANSWERS: ABOVETHELAW.com's Marc Edelman wrote, "From a taxpayer perspective, the Marlins new stadium deal epitomizes fiscal irresponsibility." The specific terms of the agreement "skew hugely in the Marlins' favor." Edelman: "No matter how you spin it, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is walking away with what Miami-Dade County Judge Jeri Cohen recently referred to as 'a sweetheart deal'" (ABOVETHELAW.com, 3/25). SI.com's Jon Heyman wrote, "As a South Florida resident, I am disgusted that a new baseball park was approved in an economy where the ocean is lined with empty condos. But I have to give credit to the Marlins for somehow getting the darned thing approved" (SI.com, 3/26).

CITI LOOKING SHARP: The Mets and Sharp Electronics Corp. have agreed to a multimedia and community outreach relationship at Citi Field that will provide more than 800 Sharp Aquos LCD HD TVs throughout the ballpark. In addition to in-game branding at the park, including rotational signage, permanent signage on the center field scoreboard, in-game video features and a presence on Mets.com, Sharp will take an active role in the Mets' community outreach efforts as title sponsor of the Mets/Sharp Electronics Student-Athlete Leadership Conference Series (Mets).

SPRINGING FOR UPGRADES: In Minneapolis, La Velle Neal III reports Twins President Dave St. Peter recently sat down with Lee County (FL) officials to "begin discussions about the future" of the team's Spring Training facility in Ft. Myers. The Twins "don't want a new ballpark," but they do have "some ideas to upgrade Hammond Stadium and the surrounding complex" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/27).

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