SBD/Issue 43/Facilities & Venues

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  • Escondido Officials Suspend Pursuit Of Chargers Stadium Deal

    Escondido Mayor Says City Does Not
    Want To Compete Against San Diego
    New competition from the city of San Diego "has prompted Escondido officials to suspend their pursuit of a stadium deal that could have brought the Chargers to inland North County," according to David Garrick of the NORTH COUNTY TIMES. Escondido Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler yesterday said that the "perceived viability of a newly proposed stadium site just east of Petco Park in downtown San Diego has persuaded Escondido officials to end several months of negotiations with Chargers officials and private developers who could help finance a stadium." However, she added that the city "would resume its campaign for a stadium ... if significant problems arise with the site near Petco." Pfeiler said that the decision to "end negotiations was based primarily on two concerns: a strong desire not to compete against San Diego, and concerns about wasting time and money on a proposal that might go nowhere." Pfeiler: "We don't want to be adversarial in any way. ... And we also don't want to be spinning our wheels and hiring consultants." Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani said that he was "neither pleased nor disappointed by Escondido's decision, and that he understood the city's concerns." Fabiani said that the site near Petco is "appealing to the Chargers because the team could use parking structures built for Petco and because virtually all the necessary infrastructure is in place." Garrick notes a stadium in Escondido "would require building several parking garages and might require significant upgrades to roads and freeway ramps" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 11/11).

    WELCOME NEWS: A SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE editorial states, "We heartily welcome the resumption of conversations between San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and Chargers President Dean Spanos about building a new National Football League stadium downtown near Petco Park." Majestic Realty reps "have made it clear that if a stadium is built" in City of Industry, the Chargers "will be among the NFL franchises they will woo." The editorial: "It would be a painful loss if the team ultimately accepted the promise of greater revenue from a 21st-century stadium in L.A. or elsewhere" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 11/11).

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  • Magic's New Amway Center Will Boast Largest Scoreboard In NBA

    New Amway Center Scoreboard Will Contain
    9 Million LEDS, Weigh About 40 Tons
    The Magic's Amway Center, set to open next season, "will boast the largest video screen scoreboard in the NBA," according to Mark Schlueb of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. The "center-hung scoreboard will actually consist of 18 separate video displays." The four main HD "light-emitting diode screens will each measure 17 feet by 24 feet, more than four times the size of the current ones" at Amway Arena. Another eight displays "will feature more video, scores and statistics." All together, the scoreboard "will measure 42 feet by 41 feet, contain 9 million LEDs and weigh about 40 tons." All of the screens "will be capable of displaying high-resolution images." Magic COO Alex Martins said that "some may be used to show video from dedicated cameras not available to those watching the game at home," such as a "Dwight Cam" focused on C Dwight Howard. The scoreboard is "part of a larger" $10.5M contract with Daktronics. Including the scoreboard, Daktronics "will install 50 video displays inside and outside" the new arena. Magic execs have said that they "wanted the arena to have the most-advanced technology of any in the NBA." But the video displays also "bring an added benefit for the team: money," as the screens "will display advertising from team sponsors" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/11). Daktronics Major League Sports Sales Manager Jay Parker: “It’s a way to be able to populate a large area of a building utilizing LED technology. You can see through it from the back side, and from the front side you can create a visual image, and from far enough away, it looks like a video board” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/9 issue).

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  • Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Dates, Purses To Remain Flat Next Year

    MRC Officials Say Possible Slots Revenue Could
    Result In Increased Purses In Latter Half Of '10
    The Maryland Racing Commission (MRC) yesterday "approved the same number of live racing dates and purses for next year that they had in 2009 at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course," but MRC officials said that "possible slots revenue could result in increased purses during the latter half of 2010," according to Sandra McKee of the Baltimore SUN. Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (MTHA) Exec Secretary Wayne Wright: "We're racing four days a week with no cuts in stakes and no purse reductions. We expect to get through the first six months and at that point start to see the slot revenue trickle in. At that point we'll reassess." McKee notes Maryland tracks "will host 150 racing dates this year" with purses averaging about $160,000 a day. The MTHA "for much of the past five years ... has seen dates cut from its racing program in an effort to save the industry in the state" (Baltimore SUN, 11/11).

    COURT REPORT: In Baltimore, Hanah Cho reports former Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course co-Owner Joseph De Francis is "fighting to keep intact a profit-sharing agreement that would split any potential slots proceeds with the racetracks' bankrupt owner, Magna Entertainment Corp." Attorneys for De Francis last week "initiated an adversary proceeding, or the bankruptcy court equivalent of a civil lawsuit, asking a federal bankruptcy judge to reject Magna's request to terminate the profit-sharing deal with De Francis and other former owners" (Baltimore SUN, 11/11).

    DREAMING BIG: In Albany, Tim Wilkin reported Gulfstream Park President & GM Ken Dunn "would like to see" Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta "run against each other" at the track, which is located in Hallandale Beach, Florida, in the February 6 Donn Handicap. The race "would be run a day before the Super Bowl" at Dolphin Stadium. Dunn: "Can you imagine the coverage that this event, and this sport, would receive, with the world's sporting media in town for the next day's Super Bowl only 10 miles down the road?" (, 11/10).

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  • Facility Notes

    Sales-Tax Collections For Miller Park
    Stadium Expected To Stay Flat In '10
    In Milwaukee, Don Walker reports Miller Park stadium district board financial advisers "expect sales-tax collections to stay flat in 2010 after collections so far this year came in 10% less than expected." The district for '09 expects $26.6M in "sales-tax revenue from the 0.1% sales tax collected in Waukesha, Milwaukee, Racine, Washington and Ozaukee counties." Board members yesterday approved a $1.28M operations budget for '10, "just under this year's budget." Debt service in '10 will total $17.4M (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 11/11).

    MONEY MATTERS: In Indianapolis, Scott Olson reported it is "still unclear" whether the city's Capital Improvement Board (CIB) will absorb $15M next year in Conseco Fieldhouse operating costs. A "provision that allows the Pacers to renegotiate their lease after 10 years could trigger the additional cost, in order to keep the team in the city." CIB VP Pat Early said that an agreement has "yet to be reached, although CIB officials continue to negotiate with the team." Early: "One way or another, that may require money we don't have in the budget" (, 11/9).

    RAISE THE ROOF: London's Olympic Delivery Authority Chair John Armitt confirmed that the "stingray-shaped roof of the 2012 Olympics aquatics centre was set in place" today. The 160-meter aquatics center roof "will form part of the entrance to London's Olympic Park." It is "expected that the centre, which will cost around" US$416M, "will be completed in the summer of 2011, leaving a year for testing and trial events" (, 11/11).

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