SBD/Issue 238/Facilities & Venues

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  • NFL Rules Cowboys Video Board Does Not Have To Be Raised

    NFL Taking No Action This Season
    Regarding Cowboys Stadium's Video Board
    The NFL has "decided not to take any action for this season regarding the Cowboys' 90-foot high digital scoreboard that hangs over the field at their new stadium," according to Todd Archer of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. In a memo sent to every team Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that if a punt "hits the board -- or any guide wire, sky cam or any other object at the stadium -- the down will be replayed, just as the rule stated before" Titans P A.J. Trapasso hit the board during an August 21 preseason game. However, the issue "could be re-visited in the future." Goodell in a statement said, "We will continue to address the particular circumstances in Dallas, giving full consideration to the competitive, safety and fan experience issues involved." Archer notes the one concession the league made was to allow the replay assistant, who normally can "only stop play in the final two minutes of each half for a review," to "call for a review if the on-field officials did not see the ball hit the board." Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones "all along" has said that the board "did not need to be raised and that in a 'competitive game situation,' it would not be a factor" (DALLASNEWS.com, 8/28). In Dallas, Tim MacMahon writes Jones "got his way" (DALLASNEWS.com, 8/28). But ESPN's Adam Schefter said "these ongoing discussions between the league and the Cowboys can lead to some type of solution where perhaps the scoreboard might eventually be raised" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 8/28).

    TWITTER REAX: SI’s Peter King: “Jerry Jones wins staredown over videoboard. NFL now set up for Tropicana Field-like ground rules for new stadium. Bad decision.” SI’s Don Banks: “Disagree with P. King's assessment of Cowboys videoboard-gate. Thought it was the way NFL would go: 1 yr. assessment to see how much impact. … Could be that only 2-3 punts hit the board all year. One-year ground rule doesn't have to be treated like a threat to sanctity of the game.” SI's Arash Markazi: “The day that video board adversely effects the Cowboys on the field is the day that Jerry Jones will raise it.”

    FILLED TO CAPACITY: In Dallas, Jeff Mosier notes the NFL for Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in '11 is "projecting that it could have about 93,200 seated inside the stadium and another 10,000 outside in the plazas." Attendance for the game could "get close" to the Super Bowl-record 103,985 fans who attended Super Bowl XIV at the Rose Bowl. NFL Senior VP/Events Frank Supovitz said the league is "taking the stadium and going layer by layer to decide what each space will do." Meanwhile, the September 5 Oklahoma-BYU college football game at the stadium sold out, but new $25 tickets, or "Spirit Passes" that are "similar to the Cowboys' standing-room-only Party Pass," are now available (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/28).

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  • Oilers Owner Daryl Katz's Arena Project Looks To Revitalize Area

    Katz's Project Calls For New 18,000-20,000-
    Seat Rink For Oilers, Linked Practice Facility
    When Oilers Owner Daryl Katz’s real estate firm Katz Group Properties “finally lifts the lid on its long-proposed downtown arena project in a few weeks’ time, many are likely to be stunned by the scale of the ambitious” C$1B-plus redevelopment project, according to a front-page piece by Lamphier & Kent of the EDMONTON JOURNAL. If it “proceeds as planned, the multiuse project would utterly transform the northern quadrant of the city’s gritty downtown core.” A source said, “Everything is still fluid, and nothing is set in stone yet, but this is very much about revitalizing a district, not building a stand-alone arena.” Lamphier & Kent note besides a new 18,000-20,000-seat rink that “would serve as the Oilers’ new home, Katz’s audacious scheme calls for a linked second arena that would serve as the team’s practice facility.” Both buildings “would host a wide range of other events besides hockey, including concerts and shows.” A source said that the “dramatic makeover would turn” the site into an “entertainment mecca for sports, concerts and other events.” Katz Group Properties, a subsidiary of Katz Group, “holds an option to acquire the Baccarat Casino site from its current owner, Edmonton-based WAM Developments.” Katz spokesperson Josh Pekarsky said there is “still a lot of work to be done,” but added the company is “really pleased with the public support we have received so far, and hope to be in a position to say more in the fall” (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 8/28).

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  • Facility Notes

    Twins Want To Schedule Workout At
    Unfinished Target Field Next Month
    In St. Paul, Brian Murphy reported the Twins "want to schedule a workout at the unfinished" Target Field next month to "familiarize themselves with their new home before it officially opens" next season. The preview would allow players to "experience the sightlines from home plate and give the team a chance to correct any minor distractions before Opening Day." Twins President Dave St. Peter said that the "plan is to have players take batting practice during their Sept. 11-20 homestand" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 8/27).

    OLYMPIC TRIALS: The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin noted the proposed Capitals-Canadiens game at Montreal's Olympic Stadium was scrapped because the "sightlines for fans and TV were problematic in the vast shell of its interior." Trying to "install and position the rink would require up to a week at a time of the year when" the CFL Alouettes "might need the space." One TV source said that he is "just as glad" the idea was dropped. The source said of Olympic Stadium, "The place is just filthy. Really, it's not a pleasant place to go any more" (GLOBESPORTS.com, 8/26).

    Plans Reportedly In Progress To Make DEI's
    Shop Into "Graceland For NASCAR Fans"
    FANTASY LAND: In Greensboro, Dustin Long reports plans are in the works to make DEI's race shop "kind of a Graceland for NASCAR fans," and there "might even be a fantasy camp where Earnhardt devotees can hear stories about the man and experience parts of his life, including fishing in his pond." Fans could "tour the shops, listen to stories about Earnhardt from family members and maybe even get into a race car." DEI Exec VP & GM Jeff Steiner said a new theme for Earnhardt's legacy will be "The Legend Lives Here." Steiner added that there are "plans to convert some of the available room at DEI into a fan experience, such as seeing Earnhardt's original shop there." Steiner noted that Earnhardt's personal car collection "numbers more than 50 vehicles and few have been publicly displayed" (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 8/28).

    BEHIND THESE HAZEL EYES: In St. Paul, Charley Walters reports it "appears Hazeltine National achieved its projected" $2M profit from the PGA Championship, though final numbers are not yet available. Meanwhile, the Hazeltine BOD this week approved a $14M project that "will result in a new clubhouse, greens and fairways." The clubhouse "will be demolished near the end of September, and construction will begin on a replacement" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 8/28).

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