SBD/Issue 172/Facilities & Venues

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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