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SBD/Issue 100/Facilities & VenuesPrint All
MLB Properties And AstroTurf Ink
Three-Year Licensing Deal
STRIP SEARCH: AstroTurf's rolling strips, held together with Velcro seams, will replace a five-year-old FieldTurf pallet system in Toronto. The Jays had issues with installing and removing the 1,398 trays of turf during field conversions, said Rogers Centre VP/Building Services Kelly Keyes. The new setup also cuts the conversion time in half. "Most of the other multipurpose buildings have gone away and there are obviously not too many people [using artificial turf]," she said. "MLB came to us and said they had the perfect solution for us to get a new field. Otherwise, it wouldn't have happened so fast." The Jays do have some out-of-pocket costs. They have to buy new equipment to install the artificial surface for baseball and remove it for motorsports, ice shows, U2 and Bon Jovi concerts in July, and two other summer concerts that have not been announced, Keyes said. The club also has to buy a separate AstroTurf surface for football. There are a few common panels used for both sports, but three-quarters of the field are unique to the football setup, Keyes said. This year, Rogers Centre plays host to 10 CFL Argonauts games and two Bills games.
Amway Center Officials Plan To Issue Ticketing
Proposal Next Week; AEG Interested In Bidding
GETTING IN THE GAME: Whether AEG decides to form a joint venture with MLBAM's Tickets.com or Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert's Veritix, both of whom it has reportedly talked to, AEG is contacting big league teams and facilities where it has existing relationships. "All the independent buildings now have three very viable ticketing solutions," said Rich Krezwick, President of Devils Arena Entertainment, the management firm at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. "I like what Peter Luukko's doing at Comcast-Spectacor, it gives AEG an entree into ticketing immediately and Ticketmaster remains the 800-pound gorilla," Krezwick said. Comcast-Spectacor signed a letter of intent to buy ticketing firm Paciolan from Ticketmaster and has 60 days to close the deal. Comcast-Spectacor has its own ticketing agency, New Era Tickets, and the plan is to keep those 50 accounts separate from Paciolan's 200 deals, Luukko said. The firm bought a piece of Paciolan in '04 before Ticketmaster bought Paciolan in '07. There have been no talks between Comcast-Spectacor and AEG about combining forces for ticketing, a Comcast-Spectacor official said.
GROWING THEIR PRESENCE: In Orlando, AEG signed a two-year booking agreement with the city in '09 to book shows at Amway Arena, the Magic's current home and a Ticketmaster client. The city of Orlando, a partner in the building project, has an equal voice in determining who gets the contract, said Amway Arena Exec Dir Allen Johnson, who will assume the same role at the new facility. Besides Orlando, AEG operates three big league arenas and one MLS stadium, The Home Depot Center, and it has separate booking and marketing agreements at seven NBA and NHL arenas. In South Florida, AEG employs a full-time consultant to book special events at AmericanAirlines Arena, a Ticketmaster account that expires in '12. The Heat talked with AEG and Ticketmaster last week after the merger was approved, but it's still too early to get a sense of which direction AEG is headed, said Heat President of Business Operations Eric Woolworth. "I believe what is happening is that AEG bought itself five years to figure out what to do," Woolworth said.
Vikings Say They Would Be Willing To
Consider 40-Year Lease At New Stadium
NAME CHANGE: In N.Y., Epstein & Yaniv reported the Single-A New York-Penn League Brooklyn Cyclones have signed an 11-year naming-rights deal with Municipal Credit Union to rename their ballpark MCU Park. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Naming rights for the ballpark in '01 were sold to KeySpan through 2020, but the company was sold to National Grid in '07 and "its name was gone with that deal" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 2/4).
SLOT POSITION: In N.Y., Dicker & Campanile report Aqueduct Entertainment Group, which was "awarded the contract to install and manage 450 video slots terminals at Aqueduct Racetrack has been deemed 'not qualified' by the state." The revelation came as New York Gov. David Paterson Thursday "staunchly defended the selection of the consortium." But sources "raised questions about where" the group will find $300M -- the "upfront licensing fee it must pay to move ahead with the project." Aqueduct Entertainment Thursday said that Deutsche Bank "will provide additional financing." The group also is "expected to roll out a full list of investors that sources say will include hip-hop mogul Jay-Z and other notables" (N.Y. POST, 2/5).