SBD/Issue 24/Facilities & Venues

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  • Wang Denies Report That He Has Abandoned Lighthouse Plans

    Wang Denies Report That He Is Ending
    Efforts To Build Lighthouse Project
    Islanders Owner Charles Wang this morning "denounced a report" that he is "ending efforts to build the Lighthouse Project," according to Laikin & Marshall of NEWSDAY. Wang said, "There's no truth to the story. It's bogus. There are no plans to abandon the project." Sources also denied that Wang has "reorganized his staff, moving people off the Lighthouse." Wang today reiterated he is waiting for a "yes or no decision" from the Town of Hempstead as to whether the project will go forward, and added he is continuing to "look at all options" regarding the team's future. But he said, "My heart is still on Long Island. ... This is where the Islanders belong" (, 10/15). On Long Island, Michael Martino Jr. in the original report cited a source as saying that the Lighthouse "has already been abandoned internally" by Wang. The source indicated that "reorganization has already begun within Wang's company, reassigning some top-level executives who have been key members of the Lighthouse initiative to work on other unrelated projects." The source said that the "lack of financing for a project of this scale in this economic climate ... may be reason enough for Wang to pull the plug," and speculated that Wang's self-imposed October 3 deadline for approval "may have been a tactic to enable him to gracefully bow out of the controversial project" (, 10/14).

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  • Proposed Industry Stadium Receives Environmental Exemption

    Senate Sites Double-Digit Unemployment Rate
    In County As A Reason For Granting Exemption
    The California state Senate yesterday approved by a 21-14 vote a bill that exempts the proposed football stadium in City of Industry "from state environmental laws," according to Patrick McGreevy of the L.A. TIMES. The action was taken after Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg was "unsuccessful in negotiating an agreement that would have a citizens group drop its lawsuit seeking to block the 75,000-seat stadium." Steinberg cited the "double-digit unemployment rate in Los Angeles County as a reason for granting the exemption." Meanwhile, amid concern that stadium developer Majestic Realty Co. Chair & CEO Ed Roski "might persuade the San Diego Chargers to relocate to Industry," state Sen. Mark Wyland "tried unsuccessfully to change the bill to require that any team based at the new stadium come from out of state" (L.A. TIMES, 10/15). Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani last night said that San Diego politicians are "already working as hard as they can to keep the Chargers, so the developers' success in the City of Industry won't make them try harder." Fabiani: "For the Chargers, it does not really change our calculations. We want to try to get something done in the San Diego region" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/15). In California, James Wagner notes the approval "marks the furthest any developer has gone with a stadium plan in the Los Angeles area in years" (SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TRIBUNE, 10/15).

    ANOTHER EXEMPTION: In California, David Goll noted California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Sunday signed a bill into law that exempts the 49ers from "getting competitive bids on their proposed Santa Clara stadium," allowing the team to bypass Santa Clara's "requirement of a competitive bid requirement on construction projects." Santa Clara City Council members have "already given their blessing to" the 68,500-seat stadium, but it "must still be approved by a majority vote of Santa Clara residents" (, 10/13).

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  • Facility Notes

    In Miami, Jack Dolan reports Miami auto dealer Norman Braman's "struggle to stop local leaders" from using public funds to help build a new ballpark for the Marlins "might have gasped its last breath on Wednesday." The Florida Third District Court of Appeals "upheld a lower-court judge's decision last year that shot down all seven claims in Braman's suit." Braman "wanted to force a referendum on the proposal to finance" the $515M ballpark with $360M in public funds, and argued that Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria should "disclose the team's finances to prove he needed the public money." Any further delay on the ballpark "would have put the Marlins' hope of opening" the ballpark in time for the '12 MLB season "in jeopardy" (MIAMI HERALD, 10/15).

    HOST WITH THE MOST: In Dallas, Rainer Sabin reports Southland Conference Commissioner Tom Burnett, Hunt Sports Group and the city of Frisco, Texas, "submitted a proposal this week to the NCAA to host the title game" for the Football Championship Subdivision at Pizza Hut Park for the next three seasons. The NCAA's decision to "allow other cities to tender a bid for the game comes as Chattanooga's two-year contract is expiring and the tournament expands from 16 to 20 teams next season." Little Rock, Spokane, Missoula, Montana, and "other undisclosed cities have placed a bid" to host the game as well (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/15).

    BATTLE FOR THE BID: In Orlando, Mark Schlueb reported "at least three companies" -- Levy Restaurants, Centerplate and Aramark -- are "expected to bid" on the concessions contract at Amway Center, scheduled to open for the '10-11 NBA season. Current Amway Arena concessionaire Levy reportedly "booted Johnny Rivers' Smokehouse from the venue's concourse" two weeks ago. Orlando city Commissioner Daisy Lynum said that Rivers "told her he was evicted because he is going to put in his own bid on the new food-and-drink contract." Schlueb noted Rivers reportedly "is partnering" with Aramark on the bid. The competition "reflects how serious bidders are in going after the multiyear agreement." Orlando Venues Exec Dir Allen Johnson said that the city "will likely solicit bids before the holidays" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/13).

    MY KENTUCKY HOME: In Louisville, Marcus Green noted Louisville arena officials Tuesday said that the project is a "week to 10 days ahead of schedule, despite early setbacks that included a six-week delay because of unexpected problems beneath the construction site." The facility is "approaching one year from its expected completion date of Nov. 1, 2010" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/14).

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