SBD/Issue 93/Facilities & Venues

MLB Facility Notes: Report A Boon To Rays' Ballpark Plans

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
TARGETED SPENDING: In St. Paul, Charley Walters writes, "Look for the Twins, who privately spent $55[M] for enhancements to Target Field, to spend up to $10[M] more within the next two months to improve the ballpark." The team "will host a players-only reception Friday night to showcase their new" ballpark. Meanwhile, the club this weekend will host TwinsFest at the Metrodome and attendance "could surpass 30,000" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/27).

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).

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