SBD/Issue 236/Facilities & Venues

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  • Decision On Cowboys Video Board Expected Before Saturday's Game

    NFL Competition Committee Has Forwarded
    Video Board Recommendations To Goodell
    A decision or statement from the NFL on whether to raise the video board at the new Cowboys Stadium is "likely to be rendered" before Saturday's 49ers-Cowboys game, according to David Moore of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. An NFL spokesperson confirmed that the NFL Competition Committee "forwarded its recommendations to NFL staff on how to address the issue," and those recommendations "have been passed along" to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell "does not have to run his resolution by" the league's BOG. Meanwhile, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones in an interview on KRLD-FM compared Titans P A.J. Trapasso's punt that hit the board during Friday's preseason game "to the swing that baseball players take in the home run derby during All-Star festivities" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/26). Jones in the interview said, "In a competitive situation, we'll be fine. I'm not saying the ball won't hit sometimes up there, but it should be fine." Jones added of the benefits of the video board, "We have an opportunity, and it's recognized league wide, there's never been a center-hung board like this going right down the middle of the field. And so if you just back off and use logic as to what would occur, you've got to put it in position to be seen, you've got to put it in position where it is high enough to take care of most of the activity that goes on. But most people who have ever kicked, could go out there and try to kick it and kick it" (DALLASNEWS.com, 8/25).

    NEVER TESTED BY COWBOYS' PUNTER: ESPN's Ed Werder reported while Jones "says that the team carefully researched the issue in advance, Dallas punter Mat McBriar told me he was never taken to the stadium and asked to punt to determine how high the scoreboard needed to be, as the Colts did a year earlier with punter Hunter Smith while building their new facility." McBriar estimated that he could "hit the video board on half his punts if he were trying" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 8/25). Titans coach and NFL Competition Committee co-Chair Jeff Fisher said, "The ball is going to continue to strike, to hit, the structure, so what do we do about it? It is not a one-time occurrence" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/26).

    SHOULD RAISE BE MANDATED? In Ft. Worth, Randy Galloway writes Jones is "totally in the right with this issue." Galloway: "Jerry doesn't want to raise his baby. Period. It will stay at 90 feet unless Goodell orders otherwise. ... I don't see Jerry raising JumboJerry for anyone except Goodell, and you can bet Roger will tread carefully with this" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/26). In DC, Gene Wang writes, "Lay this flap at the feet of the league." If the NFL "mandates Jones raise it, then it should provide for the cost of the project" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 8/26). But in L.A., Sam Farmer writes, "Why is this even an issue?" Jones needs to "raise the boards, just as he's doing" for the October 12 U2 concert at the stadium. The game "shouldn't have to change for him." The Hartford Courant's Mike Anthony writes as soon as Trapasso's punt hit the screen, Jones and Cowboys officials "should have started on a new blueprint for placement of that monstrosity." The Baltimore Sun's Ken Murray writes the fact Jones has not been ordered to adjust the board yet "shows how powerful" he is, as Bengals President Mike Brown "already would be on the clock." But just because Jones "builds the Taj Mahal of stadiums doesn't mean he can build it to his own specifications" (L.A. TIMES, 8/26). ESPN's Skip Bayless said, "I still have to blame Jerry a little bit here because you spent $1.5(B) on this stadium and you couldn’t do your own homework?" ("ESPN First Take," ESPN2, 8/26). In Philadelphia, Bill Conlin writes, "No matter how your punter is trained to angle kicks away from returners, punting a football is not a precise art and the NFL's 85-foot height guideline for objects that overhang the playing field is not only archaic, it was not designed with a monolith overspreading a 60-yard midsection of turn in mind" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 8/26).

    MEDIA FRENZY: SI.com's Peter King wrote, "What's amazing to me, and a sign of the media times, is the amount of coverage this thing has gotten." The N.Y. Times and USA Today both had stories yesterday "all about the height of a videoboard that clearly is going to be fixed before the start of the regular season." King: "It says one thing to me: The NFL is king, and nothing is close for second place" (SI.com, 8/25).

    Jones Says He Wants Cowboys Stadium
    To Have Architectural Significance
    SHINING STAR: Cowboys Stadium was a topic on the debut episode of Versus’ “The Sports Take" yesterday, where host Horrow Sports Ventures CEO Rick Horrow talked to both Jones and HKS Sports & Entertainment Principal Architect Brian Trubey about the facility. Trubey, who designed Cowboys Stadium, said after touring stadiums and important cultural buildings around the world, both HKS and Jones "realized we need to create a building here that was an international-quality destination building that was very important to our culture now in this time, not just a stadium. So that moved us from a $650(M) budget to $1.1(B). But the benefits of that are going to play out over a 50-year period." Jones: “We want this building to be more than a stadium. We want it to really have some architectural significance. We want this building to say media and technology." Jones added he hopes the stadium, “in its own little way, is a little engine of some kind of stimulus program" for the economy ("The Sports Take," Versus, 8/25). In Ft. Worth, Mitchell Schnurman writes Cowboys Stadium "has become a hit overnight," and Arlington's profile will "never be the same." The stadium is "bringing in big crowds and revenue and a surprising number of top-shelf events," and it is "giving a new sense of place and pride to a city that needed both." Schnurman: "Any questions now about why the public shelled out for the Cowboys?" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/26).

    SEEKING DAMAGES: In Dallas, Brooks Egerton reports Cowboys scouting assistant Rich Behm and special teams coach Joe DeCamillis filed separate lawsuits yesterday in Dallas County courts against several companies involved in building the team's indoor practice facility, which collapsed on May 2. The accident paralyzed Behm and broke DeCamillis' neck. Both the Cowboys and the city of Irving are "not named as defendants in the suits," which seek unspecified damages (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/26).

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  • Petco Park Sees Best Year In Terms Of Non-Baseball Revenue

    USA Sevens Rugby Tournament At Petco Park
    Brought In More Than 100,000 Fans
    Petco Park had its "best year in terms of non-baseball revenue in the 12 months that ended in June," according to Brent Schrotenboer of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. Helping to boost revenue were a Madonna concert, a USA Sevens Rugby Tournament and a police chiefs convention held at the ballpark, as those three events provided more than 90% of the city's $1.4M in non-baseball revenue. The rugby tournament "alone brought in more than 100,000 fans, helping increase city coffers by nearly" $1.4M over three years. But the rugby tournament last month announced it was "leaving San Diego for Las Vegas." San Diego Ballpark Administrator Tim Moore said that he "couldn't elaborate on possible new events because contracts have yet to be signed." The goal is to "increase and diversify the events portfolio at Petco Park throughout the year." Since the ballpark opened in '04, the city's special events revenue "has been driven by six big events." The problem is that "such events can't be counted on every year." The "scramble for events is critical because the city budgeted" $1M in special-event revenue from Petco Park through next June -- "assuming the rugby tournament would be back." Moore said that the park has "hosted about 40 to 50 [non-baseball] events a year with no pattern of an increase in number." Moore: "We're really trying to foster a relationship with Live Nation. More concert business at Petco is something we'd really like to see increased on a regular basis" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/26).

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  • Facility Notes

    Renovation Of Famous "A" Expected To Be
    Completed By End Of September
    In L.A., Doug Padilla reports Angel Stadium's "famous 'Big A' on the west side of the 57 freeway in the stadium's parking lot is in the early phases of an upgrade that is being paid for entirely with the team's money." The old one-color video board, which "hasn't been operational most of this year, will be replaced by a full-color high-definition video board." Angels Owner Arte Moreno is putting up more than $1M of his "own money to renovate the landmark." The team said that the project is "expected to be completed by the end of September" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 8/26).

    BIG CROWD EXPECTED: In K.C., Pete Grathoff notes Mexican soccer clubs Chivas de Guadalajara and Club America will play each other September 16 at Arrowhead Stadium, and SUM President Doug Quinn "thinks this game may break the record for the largest soccer crowd in Kansas City history." The current record is 37,319 for an '01 U.S. men's national team match against Costa Rica (K.C. STAR, 8/26).

    BUILDING BLOCKS: Magic and Orlando officials indicated that 35% of the Amway Center construction contracts awarded so far "have gone to businesses owned by minorities or women -- an apparent nationwide record." Magic COO Alex Martins: "We are setting new benchmarks for professional sports facilities that have never been reached before." In Orlando, Mark Schlueb notes with "three-quarters of the contracts awarded," 9.8% have gone to Hispanic firms, 9.2% have gone to African-American companies, while another 7% have "been awarded to companies owned by women" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/26).

    ROOF REPAIRS: In Vancouver, Austin & Mercer report B.C.'s "budget-deficit problems may delay" the re-roofing of B.C. Place Stadium. B.C. officials "promised a retractable roof as part of" a C$365M upgrade that Tourism Minister Kevin Krueger yesterday indicated is "behind schedule." The "promise of an open-air stadium played a strong part in the Whitecaps' aim to land a new franchise in MLS" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 8/26).

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