SBD/Issue 93/Facilities & VenuesPrint All
Dolphins Hatch Plan To Raise Public
Dollars To Improve Sun Life Stadium
MAKING THE CASE: In a special to the MIAMI HERALD, South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee Chair Rodney Barreto wrote if the Super Bowl stops coming to South Florida, it will be "difficult to replace that kind of economic and community benefit." Barreto noted the NFL "says Sun Life Stadium needs to keep up with the new state-of-the-art stadiums being built around the country," though who is "going to pay for those improvements is still to be determined." Barreto: "Let's open it up for discussion and see where it leads us. Keep in mind, our stadium is only one of two in the NFL that is privately owned. ... The last thing we want to do is wake up 10 years from now and ask why we haven't had a Super Bowl here in the last decade" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/24).
York Wants 49ers To Play In Place
Easily Accessible To Team's Fans
MOVING FORWARD: In San Jose, Sandra Gonzales reports the Santa Clara City Council yesterday signaled it "would accept a pro-stadium group's initiative and move" the stadium issue to the June ballot. The council "unanimously voted to direct staff to draw up a resolution that would call for a special June 8 election" on the $937M stadium proposal. The council will "vote on the resolution" February 9. Gonzales notes the pro-stadium group "turned in more than 7,000 valid signatures, a third more than required to place it on the ballot" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 1/27).
Oilers, Northlands Appear To Be In A
Stalemate Over Proposed Downtown Arena
POWER PLAY: In Edmonton, David Staples reported Northlands is "hiring a leading U.S. sports consulting firm to help come up with its own plans for a made-in-Edmonton arena plan." Northlands said that Minneapolis-based CSL Int'l and Alberta-based Spotlight Strategies "will help the community group to focus on ensuring the broader interests of Edmontonians are met." In Northlands' announcement Monday, neither Katz nor the Oilers "were mentioned as partners or players in the arena project." Oilers President & CEO Patrick LaForge said that he "will wait to see what the Northlands announcement means." LaForge: "I'm trying to understand what it means. ... I don't have any comment until we have time to digest" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 1/26).
Texas Motor Speedway Billboards Promote
NASCAR's Relaxed On-Track Rules
MICHIGAN CUTTING TICKET PRICES: Michigan Int'l Speedway (MIS) President Roger Curtis yesterday said that ticket prices for the facility's two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races "have been lowered." Curtis: "This is something that should have been done years ago, but it really made sense with the economy being the way it is now. We wanted to find a way to offer prices that made sense to people." In Detroit, David Goricki notes general admission tickets "start at $25, down from $40 with the highest price reserved ticket ... going down from $110 to $105." Meanwhile, Curtis said ticket sales are "down slightly, single digits from the same time last year." Curtis: "We feel we'll be at the same 100,000 mark as last year and that would be a huge success story with today's economy." Curtis yesterday also "introduced Heluva Good as the new main sponsor" of the June 13 Sprint Cup Series race, while Carfax "returns to sponsor" the August 15 Sprint Cup Series race (DETROIT NEWS, 1/27).
TRACK POSITION: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing co-Owner Felix Sabates recently suggested that NASCAR cut back on the number of events it holds, including eliminating both Sprint Cup races at MIS. But SCENEDAILY.com's Bob Pockrass wrote Sabates' suggestion of "moving both races from Michigan just because the state is going through a tough time would be the worst public relations move ever." He added shortening the season to 30 races "would not be the way to go." Pockrass: "In these tough economic times, when sponsors need as much exposure as possible and the sport needs as much publicity as it can get, decreasing exposure to fans in the stands and on television is not the right move" (SCENEDAILY.com, 1/26).
In St. Petersburg, John Romano writes a report released by the ABC Coalition, which has studied the Rays' ballpark issue for 18 months, "pretty much accomplished everything the Rays could have wanted this off-season." The report "acknowledged Tropicana Field is an inferior facility," and that downtown St. Petersburg is an "inferior location." It also "put a voice to the warning that the team could eventually flee if the stadium situation isn't resolved." The "best part of all for the Rays" was that they "didn't have to say a single word." The Rays now "need only point to the conclusions found by an independent group of highly respected business and civic leaders for evidence" they need a new ballpark. The report "takes the onus off the Rays and puts it back on the community" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/27).
Twins Reportedly Will Spend Up To $10M On
Target Field Improvements In Next Two Months
FANTASTIC FOUR: In Pittsburgh, Rob Biertempfel reports the Pirates this summer will erect a statue of Baseball HOFer Bill Mazeroski "outside PNC Park." Final plans are "expected to be revealed Friday at the opening of PirateFest, with Mazeroski in attendance." The statue "will be the fourth Pirates monument outside PNC Park, joining tributes to Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell." Baseball HOFer Ralph Kiner and "several Negro League players are honored with smaller statues inside the park" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 1/27).
SHUTTLE SERVICE: In Milwaukee, Don Walker noted local bar owners have "until the end of the month to decide whether they want to pay a $300 yearly fee" to the Brewers "in order to provide a shuttle service to and from Miller Park." About 30 bars "offer some form of shuttle service." Brewers VP/Communications Tyler Barnes said that the $300 fee was "imposed because of safety concerns related to the intersection of W. Blue Mound Road and N. Story Parkway and the drop-off point near the home plate area." Those concerns "include pedestrian traffic and shuttle activity" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/26).
BEST OF WHAT'S AROUND: The Dave Matthews Band yesterday released its summer tour schedule and the itinerary includes three MLB ballparks. Shows are booked for PNC Park (July 10), Citi Field (July 16-17) and Nationals Park (July 23). In addition, DMB on June 22 will play Huntington Park, home to the Triple-A Int’l League Columbus Clippers (THE DAILY).
Predators Free To Search For New
Naming-Rights Sponsor For Sommet Center
NET GAIN: In N.Y., Erin Durkin reports N.Y. has "shelled out another" $31M to help Forest City Ratner Chair & CEO and Nets Owner Bruce Ratner "buy land" for his Atlantic Yards project. The $31M is "on top of $100[M] the city previously pledged." However, N.Y. officials said that the $31M "won't cost taxpayers more money" -- instead, it "will be subtracted from $105[M] previously pegged to pay for infrastructure improvements" around the site. The funding was "moved because the cash-strapped" Ratner "needed more money up front" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/27).
STRONG DEMAND: In L.A., Lance Pugmire noted more than 20,000 tickets have been sold for the March 13 Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey bout at Cowboys Stadium, and officials said that there "could be close to 60,000 in attendance on fight night." The Bedford Agency Owner Lester Bedford, who is assisting Top Rank and Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones in the fight promotion, said fight attendance "could go to 50,000, 60,000." Pugmire noted Jones "originally arranged a seating plan to accommodate 40,000" (LATIMES.com, 1/26).