SBD/Issue 181/Facilities & Venues

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  • TD Ameritrade Inks Naming-Rights Deal For CWS Ballpark In Omaha

    New Omaha Ballpark Hopes To Attract As
    Many As 70 Events A Year, Including CWS
    TD Ameritrade has "signed a deal that will put its name on the new 24,000-seat stadium in Omaha, Neb., that will house" the College World Series (CWS), according to Terry Lefton in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources "put the 20-year deal at about $750,000 a year, with annual escalators." The venue "hopes to attract as many as 70 events a year, with roughly half of them being the NCAA Division I baseball championship." The CWS "will move from Rosenblatt Stadium to the new field in two years." The naming-rights deal "includes signs, suite and club seats, additional tickets and hospitality, and the use of the facility for corporate events." Lefton notes the deal is "significant since it represents a naming-rights deal at a time when the market has soured, and one being done by a financial services company, most of which are under pressure to shed any marketing expenditures, especially sports marketing." TD Ameritrade's HQs are located in Omaha, and the deal was "largely done to demonstrate hometown support." Phoenix-based Gemini Sports Group (GSR) "negotiated the deal and will plan activation with agency of record status for TD Ameritrade." GSR President Rob Yowell: "Ideally, the College World Series will turn into a larger and longer event, a celebration of baseball and America, and TD will be a big part of that." Lefton notes TD Ameritrade's ad campaign with actor Sam Waterston is a "fixture on NFL and college sports telecasts, but this is the company's first sizable sports sponsorship" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/8 issue). Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority President Roger Dixon said that TD Ameritrade will "pay an average of about" $1M annually over 20 years, though payments in the first years "will start around $750,000 and go up from there." In Omaha, Maggie O'Brien notes the city is "counting on revenues from the naming rights to help pay for the stadium's construction," and as the new home of the CWS, the ballpark's naming rights are "viewed as more valuable than stadiums built for a minor league team" (Omaha WORLD-HERALD, 6/9).

    TICKET MASTERS: In Omaha, Dane Stickney reports the CWS for the first time this year is "taking part in the secondary ticket market, allowing what could be seen as NCAA-supported scalping." CWS season-ticket holders who "can't use their reserved seats can now sell them with the NCAA's blessing" through TicketExchange, a service supported by Ticketmaster. If the tickets are sold, the seller "gets a check, minus a 10[%] posting fee that's shared between Ticketmaster and the NCAA." CWS Ticket Chair Herb Hames said that the service is a "win-win because the site enables those with extra tickets a legitimate, sanctioned way to sell them to those who need tickets without including nonsanctioned brokers." Stickney notes "fewer than 60 total tickets were listed on the site" yesterday, and tickets "weren't available for many games, including the first two contests Saturday." The NCAA "uses similar Web sites to sell tickets to other events," including the Division I men's basketball tournament (Omaha WORLD-HERALD, 6/9).

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  • Impact Of Gehry's Departure From Atlantic Yards Project Debated

    Gehry's Departure From
    Arena Project Debated
    Architect Frank Gehry's departure from the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn is "not just a blow to the art of architecture," it is a "shameful betrayal of the public trust," according to N.Y. TIMES architect critic Nicolai Ouroussoff. Gehry's arena complex, in which the Nets' Barclays Center "was embedded in a matrix of towers resembling falling shards of glass, was a striking addition to the Brooklyn skyline; it was also a fervent effort to engage the life of the city below." A new design by Ellerbe Becket has "no such ambitions." A "colossal, spiritless box, it would fit more comfortable in a cornfield than at one of the busiest intersections of a vibrant metropolis." Its "low-budget, no-frills design embodies the crass, bottom-line mentality that puts personal profit above the public good." If it is "ever built, it will create a black hole in the heart of a vital neighborhood" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/9).  

    BEST FOR THE PROJECT: N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg Friday on his radio show indicated that "scrapping a costly sports arena design will help ensure that construction of the long-delayed Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn could soon begin." Bloomberg said that the move "bodes well for the project." Bloomberg said Nets and Forest City Ratner Owner Bruce Ratner "came to the conclusion ... that in this day and age you just cannot finance something as complex to build as that stadium." On Long Island, Michael Frazier noted the new design for Barclays Center "will be unveiled in late June" (NEWSDAY, 6/6). In N.Y., Calder & Seifman wrote now that Gehry is not involved with the project, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is "flip-flopping and claiming it's for the best." Markowitz, a longtime supporter of Gehry's design, said that he "now believes Gehry's glass-and-steel design was 'too ultramodern.'" Markowitz: "I think the new design is actually better for Brooklyn" (N.Y. POST, 6/6).

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  • Marlins Schedule July 18 Groundbreaking For New Ballpark

    Marlins President Says There Will Be Activities
    For Fans During Groundbreaking Ceremony
    The Marlins have scheduled a July 18 groundbreaking ceremony for their 37,000-seat retractable-roof ballpark at the Orange Bowl site. The venue is scheduled to open in '12 (Marlins). In Ft. Lauderdale, Sarah Talalay notes construction is contingent on financing being secured, but "so far officials are optimistic given the ratings the bonds received so far from the rating agencies." Miami-Dade County officials are expected to begin selling the bonds tomorrow and Wednesday (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 6/8). Marlins President David Samson said of the groundbreaking, "There is going to be a ceremony. There will be activities for fans to do. There will be dirt dug. It is an official beginning to the construction" (MLB.com, 6/8).

    DOWN BY THE BAY: Former MLB Giants Enterprises President Pat Gallagher yesterday appeared on CSN Bay Area's "Chronicle Live" to discuss the A's quest to build a new ballpark. Gallagher: "The A’s deserve a new facility at some point and they’ll figure it out at some point. But who knows where it’s going to be? It may have to be a crisis situation. Who ever would have believed that the Giants could build a new ballpark in San Francisco? Nobody. Nobody would have taken that bet, and it happened, and it happened because it was a desperate situation” ("Chronicle Live," CSN Bay Area, 6/9).

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  • Eagles, Philadelphia Close To Settlement Over Dual Lawsuits

    The Eagles are "close to scoring a settlement with the city in a long-running financial dispute that turned into a public fiasco earlier this year," according to Chris Brennan of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. A ruling "anticipated next week in Common Pleas Court will likely mean that the team owes the city between zero and $3[M] after both sides claimed they were owed" $8M. Common Pleas Senior Judge Albert Sheppard Jr. yesterday "handed down the first half of a two-part ruling, finding that the Eagles owe the city $8[M] from skybox revenue" for the '00 and '01 seasons at Veterans Stadium. Sheppard also is "expected to rule next week on the team's counterclaim for $8[M] from a preseason game canceled in 2001 due to problems with the city-maintained playing surface." Eagles attorney Mathieu Shapiro said that he "expects Sheppard to award the Eagles between" $5-8M. Sheppard in August '05 ruled that the Eagles "owed the city revenue from the skyboxes and that the team was owed money for the missed preseason game" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 6/9). The Eagles said that they would comply with Sheppard's order for the team to "immediately pay" the $8M from skybox revenue (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/9).

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  • Facility Notes

    Corzine Says Prohibition On Sports
    Betting In Some States Is Unfair
    New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine said that he "will seek to join" state Sen. Ray Lesniak's "legal battle to allow sports betting in New Jersey." Corzine in a statement said, "The federal government's prohibition on sports betting for some but not all states is fundamentally unfair. There should be uniformity in the application of federal law. If one state is allowed to legalize betting on sports events, all states should be allowed the same opportunity." More Corzine: "Delaware's entry into sports wagering and table games is a serious threat to both the casino and horse racing industries in New Jersey. We simply cannot afford to sit back and let neighboring states press an unfair advantage against us anytime, and certainly not in the midst of this global economic crisis." In Newark, Mary Fuchs noted both Lesniak and Corzine have said that as much as $100M "could be generated annually from sports bets" through the state's 8% tax on gaming revenue (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 6/6).

    OPEN FOR BUSINESS: GOAL.com's Peter Pedroncelli reported Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in South Africa's Eastern Cape Province "became the first newly-built venue to be officially opened for the 2010 FIFA World Cup." South Africa 2010 World Cup CEO Dr. Danny Jordaan: "This brings to five the number of 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums now complete a year to go to the event." Pedroncelli noted "eight games, including a third- and fourth-place playoff and a quarter-final, will take place at the 48,000-capacity" stadium during next year's tournament" (GOAL.com, 6/8).

    SPANISH GOLD: In Toronto, Daniel Girard notes Toronto FC (TFC) for its match against Real Madrid on August 7 at BMO Field will charge $140-215 per ticket, compared to a range of $23-180 per ticket for regular season MLS games. But TFC season-ticket holders "will be able to buy tickets at discounted prices, starting at $125." TFC also is "spending nearly $250,000 to put down temporary grass over the stadium's Field Turf" for the game (TORONTO STAR, 6/9).

    ARLINGTON ROAD: A FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM editorial states Saturday's opening of Cowboys Stadium "went very well." But why did "some of the entertainers welcome the 60,000-member audience to Dallas? Why did the announcer welcome them to Texas Stadium, the home the Cowboys left, which is in Irving?" Arlington residents "should get that marketing boost for their city." People, including entertainers, who come to the stadium "should be reminded where they are." Whoever is in "charge of the details must make sure of that." Dallas "shunned the project," while Arlington "welcomed it." Arlington "deserves the credit" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 6/9).

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