SBD/Issue 28/Facilities & Venues

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  • Schwarzenegger Allays Concerns Calif. Team Could Move To LA

    Schwarzenegger Downplays Concerns Stadium
    Would Take Team From Another California City
    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday "downplayed concerns" that developer Majestic Realty Co. "may take an NFL team from another California city" to play in its proposed NFL stadium in City of Industry, according to Patrick McGreevy of the L.A. TIMES. Schwarzenegger: "The team doesn't have to necessarily come from California. It could come from someplace else. I don't think anyone right now has in mind there to take a team and steal it from some California city." McGreevy noted a proposed amendment to the environmental exemption bill for the stadium "would have prevented" Majestic Realty Chair & CEO Ed Roski from going after the Chargers, 49ers or Raiders, but that amendment "was killed." Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger said that the stadium will "create jobs and provide a new venue of entertainment in Southern California." Schwarzenegger: "We have been trying in Los Angeles to get a football team for a long time, for many, many years" (LATIMES.com, 10/20).

    WIN FOR THE AREA: In L.A., Tim Rutten writes under the header, "One-Of-A-Kind NFL Stadium." Majestic Realty "intends to build the National Football League's first certified LEED stadium." Also, L.A. County has a "jobs crisis that is creating widespread misery," and the stadium project "will hire 12,000 construction workers and, when finished, employ more than 6,000 permanent workers -- all earning union wages with union benefits." Rutten: "In other words, this is a project that not only has complied with the letter and spirit of the Environmental Quality Act but promises a greener outcome than anything else on the table. And it directly addresses our area's most pressing social and economic need -- jobs" (L.A. TIMES, 10/21).

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  • Group Wants To Build Mini Replica MLB Fields For Youth Facility

    Chicago Group Wants To Build Youth Baseball
    Facility Made Up Of Scaled-Down Ballparks
    A group of Chicago execs wants to "build Replica Fields, a youth baseball facility made up of scaled-down versions of Wrigley Field, U.S. Cellular Field, Fenway Park Yankee Stadium and Minute Maid Park on about 20 acres" in Romeoville, Illinois, according to Karen Sorensen of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. ML&B, which includes White Sox and Bulls investor Larry Gould, U.S. Cellular Field head groundskeeper Roger Bossard and former Chicago White Sox Academy GM Mike Moyzis, envisions "teams from across the country coming in summers for weekend and weeklong tournaments, with each player and coach paying $750 a day." ML&B "proposes building the facility in partnership with the Village of Romeoville and Lewis University in Romeoville." Village Manager Steve Gulden said that in order to build Replica Fields, Romeoville "would sell $4[M] in bonds and retain ownership." ML&B "would make $320,000 lease payments annually for 25 years." Gulden said that Replica Fields "could open in fall 2010 at the soonest, but more likely in spring 2011." Sorensen notes there is "also the possibility the complex could be expanded to include a Chicago Bears preseason training camp facility." Romeoville Mayor John Noak said that he has "met with Bears officials but declined to disclose what has been discussed" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/21).

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  • Facility Notes

    In Boston, Ian Rapoport notes people "couldn't forget the field conditions at Wembley Stadium" two years ago when the NFL hosted its first game in London. But as the Patriots and Buccaneers "prepare to play in London on Sunday, NFL officials are convinced the problem has been solved." NFL U.K. Managing Dir Alistair Kirkwood said that the "stadium and turf were new" in '07, and noted that the game "followed the second-wettest day of the year." Since then, the NFL and "local turf management experts have worked with Wembley officials to make it right" (BOSTON HERALD, 10/21).

    Orioles Bidding Out Concessions Contract At
    Oriole Park For First Time In 17-Year History
    BIRD FEEDER: In Baltimore, Ryan Sharrow reports the Orioles are "bidding out the food and beverage concessions contract at Oriole Park at Camden Yards for the [first] time in the ballpark's 17-year history." Aramark's 15-year deal with the Orioles ended in '07 and the two sides have since "worked on a year-by-year contract." But Orioles Dir of Communications Greg Bader said that the team is "now taking bids to see what other options are out there." K.C.-based Bigelow Cos. President Chris Bigelow, who is working on behalf of the team, said that the Orioles have "received interest from the industry's biggest players, including Aramark, Delaware North, Centerplate, Levy Restaurants, Ovations and Legends Hospitality Management" (BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/16 issue).

    BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME? SI.com's Michael Farber wrote while an NHL team in Quebec City is "still a long shot," the league "won't discourage Quebec from getting taxpayers to foot the bill for an arena." If "nothing else," the NHL "can use a building in Quebec as a stalking horse for recalcitrant cities that don't want to build new homes for pampered hockey players." As long as arenas exist in K.C. and Quebec, an owner who is "annoyed with his lease or the number of luxury suites in his building always will have a potential threat in his hip pocket" (SI.com, 10/20).

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