SBD/Issue 172/Facilities & Venues

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  • Red Bulls Announce Price Points For Skyboxes In New Stadium

    Red Bull New York has priced the 30 skyboxes in its new stadium in Harrison, New Jersey, at $65,000-75,000 a year. The club will open the new stadium in time for the '10 MLS season. It hopes to sell multi-year leases for the skyboxes, which come with 13-17 seats. The $65,000-75,000 annual cost covers all food and beverage expenses except alcohol during Red Bulls games and gives leaseholders access to an exclusive, two-story lounge. Skybox packages also provide access to a private entrance to Red Bull Arena and right of first refusal for any non-Red Bulls games and other events at the arena. The team is reserving one box for its own use.

    SKYBOX TYPE
    CAPACITY
    COST
    NO. AVAILABLE
    Skybox Style A
    17 people
    $65,000
    25
    Skybox Style B
    19 people
    $70,000
    1
    Skybox Style C
    22 people
    $75,000
    3

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  • French Open Plans New Covered Court In Attempt To Update Event

    Organizers Unveil Plans For New Stadium With
    Retractable Roof In Attempt To Attract Sponsors
    French Open organizers yesterday unveiled plans for a "new stadium with a retractable roof as the tournament competes" with other Grand Slam tennis events "to attract sponsors and fans," according to Danielle Rossingh of BLOOMBERG NEWS. French Open Tournament Dir Gilbert Ysern said that the venue, near Roland Garros, will cost about $166M (all figures U.S.) and "may be ready in five years." Ysern said that the French Tennis Federation will pay about $111M toward the cost of the new venue, with Paris contributing another $28M and the French government funding the remainder. Ysern said that construction on the stadium, "which will be used for tennis events only, may start in 2011, subject to environmental regulations and approval from its neighbors." Ysern said that the French Open "plans to hold night sessions at the new venue." Also, tournament officials are "looking into building a roof over the main Court Philippe Chatrier." But Ysern indicated that it "will be trickier ... since building rules won't allow construction to exceed the current height of the seats," and thus the new roof "would have to be temporary" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 5/26). While the tournament does have plans for some night matches, Ysern said that it "will not go the way" of the Australian and U.S. Opens with "graveyard-shift matches." Ysern said that the French Open has "fallen behind the other three Grand Slams in terms of infrastructure, both in terms of space and amenities." ESPN.com's Bonnie Ford noted an "expanded facility and schedule would surely be planned with an eye on increasing revenues" (ESPN.com, 5/26). In London, Neil Harman notes the "promise of extended days" with the new court "was not a popular move." But Ysern insisted that nothing "would ever be done to undermine the event's prestige and the considerations of the players would be paramount" (LONDON TIMES, 5/27).

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  • NBA Facility Notes: Ellerbe Becket On Board With Barclays Center

    FCR Insists Ellerbe Has Been Hired To
    Implement Cost-Cutting Measures For Arena
    In N.Y., Jotham Sederstrom reports Ellerbe Becket and Forest City Ratner (FCR) yesterday confirmed that FCR hired the architectural firm last fall to "reevaluate the extravagant" Barclays Center design created by architect Frank Gehry. FCR spokesperson Joe DePlasco yesterday insisted that Ellerbe "has been hired to implement cost-cutting measures" for the Nets' planned arena. DePlasco said that a "reevaluation of Gehry's design would be completed by July, at which point Ratner will determine" whether Gehry "will remain on the project." DePlasco contends that Gehry still is the "master architect" of the entire Atlantic Yards development. However, sources suggest that the partnership "could soon change" because of "how Frank Gehry works" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/27). Ratner anticipates Barclays Center "will carry a final price tag of about $800[M], about $150[M] less than previous estimates" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/25 issue).

    FLASH DANCE: U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen O'Malley Friday "lifted an injunction in place since last fall that prevented" Cavaliers season-ticket holders from using Flash Seats to resell tickets online. The injunction "did not prevent season ticket holders from continuing to use Flash Seats as a means to transfer tickets electronically" and to enter Quicken Loans Arena without a ticket. Lifting the injunction is "part of an overall settlement" between the Cavaliers, Flash Seats and Ticketmaster (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 5/23).

    BRIGHT LIGHTS: The Heat will finally unveil their new "MiamiMediamesh" outdoor LED system tonight at AmericanAirlines Arena. The Heat in January signed a deal with A2a Media, the Boston-based company that markets the flexible, transparent mesh outdoor LED. The Heat are the first U.S. pro sports team to buy the technology, which can display moving text and full color video while hanging permanently on the outside wall of the arena. The Heat are attaching the 3,400-square-foot mesh system on the arena's front-exterior façade (John Lombardo, SportsBusiness Journal).

    UNITED WE STAND: Levy Restaurants has signed a deal to acquire the concession and restaurant contract at United Center from Bismarck Enterprises, effective after the NHL Playoffs. Bismarck Enterprises President Peter Wirtz will continue his role as a food and beverage consultant at the major league level, according to company spokesperson Jim DeMaria. Wirtz, who declined comment, has previously worked with the Mavericks, NBA Kings and Yankees to improve their concession operations. Levy’s takeover of Bismarck includes United Center’s retail shop and HawkQuarters, the Blackhawks’ team store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. It is Levy’s 15th food concessions contract for an arena housing an NBA and/or NHL team. Levy is wholly owned by London-based Compass Group, the world’s largest food service provider with $17B in annual revenue (Don Muret, SportsBusiness Journal).

    STRENGTHENING THE ALAMO: In San Antonio, Guillermo Garcia reported the Spurs are seeking $10M in Bexar County (TX) bond money for "improvements at the county-owned AT&T Center" in addition to the $75M in bonds that voters approved last year. The request is part of a contract that "would keep the Spurs in San Antonio until 2032," though County Commissioners last week "put off approving" the deal (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 5/24).

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  • Facility Notes

    In Orlando, Jason Garcia reported Walt Disney World and ESPN are "building a new research facility at the Wide World of Sports complex." The "ESPN Innovation Lab" will allow the network to "test new applications such as virtual graphics during events staged at Disney's sports venues." ESPN believes that the Wide World of Sports venues, because they are "in year-round use," will make an "ideal spot to test and tweak new broadcasting concepts during actual in-game conditions." Disney World and ESPN both are owned by Walt Disney Co. (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 5/26).

    BEAR MARKET: CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS' Ed Sherman reported the Cubs have announced a "new option" for Bud Light Batter's Eye, the "premium seats in the centerfield bleachers" at Wrigley Field. The area "can accommodate up to 100 people, but the Cubs, like everyone else, are discovering few people have that kind of money to entertain large groups." The team is "making it possible to purchase single seats for the Batters Eye area for an individual game, although most people probably will take at least groups of four." Sherman noted the idea "takes from the concept for the new Theater Boxes at United Center" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 5/26).

    BankUnited Has Arena Naming-Rights
    Deal With Univ. Of Miami Through '15

    BANK WITHDRAWAL? In Ft. Lauderdale, Sarah Talalay noted it is "too early to say" if the name of the Univ. of Miami's BankUnited Center "will change in the wake of the government seizure and new ownership of BankUnited." The bank has a 10-year deal through '15 for naming rights to the arena, and a BankUnited spokesperson Friday said the deal is "business as usual" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 5/22).

    BEACH BASH: The Dodgers for Sunday's game against the Angels at Dodger Stadium debuted Bleacher Beach, converting two sections of the Reserved Level in left field to a beach party. The section includes unlimited fresh grilled beach fare and soft drinks, as well as gifts, music and decor. Tickets cost $45 in advance or $50 on the day of game for individuals and $35 per ticket for groups of 20 or more. The Dodgers will feature Bleacher Beach for all 10 remaining Sunday regular-season home games this season. Fans for last Sunday's Bleacher Beach as well as fans attending the Bleacher Beach for the June 7 Phillies-Dodgers game receive Dodgers beach bags. Thereafter, fans will receive Dodgers floppy hats, sandals and beach towels (Dodgers).

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