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SBD/Issue 124/Facilities & VenuesPrint All
IMG Will Focus On Booking Top College
Basketball Games At Barclays Center
IMG has signed a deal with the Nets to "lure major collegiate sports into the planned Barclays Center as the team looks to boost the number of events" in the $800M arena, according to John Lombardo of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The deal "calls for IMG College to focus on booking top college basketball games into the facility, which is scheduled to open in Brooklyn by late 2012." Nets President & CEO Brett Yormark: "We are looking at 25-plus major college matches while developing a collegiate franchise." Yormark is "promising more than 200 events in the new arena and hopes that IMG College will be able to convince top basketball schools to play neutral site games in Brooklyn." IMG College "would also likely broker title sponsorships for any college events it brings to the facility" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/8 issue).
GARDEN VARIETY: In N.Y., Holly Sanders Ware notes men's college basketball is an area that Madison Square Garden "has long dominated." MSG "will host 46 college games this season," including this week's Big East men's basketball tournament. But IMG College Senior VP & Managing Dir Tom Stultz "maintains that the appetite for college basketball is big enough to support more games in Brooklyn." Barclays Center is "also looking at boxing -- another Garden fixture -- as well as tennis matches, concerts and family shows." MSG "isn't worried about losing its place to Brooklyn," as the arena is currently "working on a $500[M]-plus overhaul." Sanders Ware: "No one expects the Garden to lose top-tier acts -- indeed many artists dream of playing Manhattan -- but event promoters can play venues against each other to get a better deal or spread their dates over more locations" (N.Y. POST, 3/11).
Task Force Expected To Tell City Council The
Downtown Site Is Best Bet For Kings' Arena
A task force appointed by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is expected to tell the City Council today that the "complicated land-swap plan" that would put an arena for the NBA Kings at the downtown railyard is the city's "best bet for a facility to replace Arco Arena," according to Bizjak & Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. The task force "has spent two months interviewing proponents of seven arena proposals," and a source said that the group "will identify three or four of the proposals as worth city study." The source added that task force leaders "will say they believe the city's best chance of success appears to be a plan involving privatizing the Cal Expo site, moving the state fairgrounds to the Arco site in Natomas and building an arena on city-owned land next to the I Street train depot in the downtown railyard." That proposal is from local developers Gerry Kamilos and David Taylor, and is "backed by" the NBA and Kings. The city "plans to build a major transit center" at the site, and Task force officials are "expected to recommend the arena be physically connected to the transit center in some fashion." NBA officials this week reaffirmed that they and the Kings "want to know whether there is a feasible option by the end of this month." The Kamilos financing proposal "includes two major private investment companies and a $300[M]-plus financial commitment from the Kings over the next 30 years." The plan "comes with a stamp of approval from the NBA, which has been struggling for three years to find a way to build an arena in Sacramento without a tax increase." But the proposal is "complicated" and "would require quick cooperation from numerous entities, including state legislators, the governor, Cal Expo officials, the Sacramento Kings, and city and county officials" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 3/11).
Pacquiao-Clottey Fight At Cowboys Stadium
Saturday Could Set Precedent For Big Fight Sites
Top Rank Chair Bob Arum yesterday said that the "future of boxing was in big fights in big stadiums," such as Saturday's Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey fight at Cowboys Stadium, according to Bill Dwyre of the L.A. TIMES. Arum also "mentioned Yankee Stadium," which will host the June 5 Yuri Foreman-Miguel Cotto fight, and the new Giants/Jets Meadowlands stadium "as his prototypes, as well as more in Dallas." Arum: "If boxing is to be big league -- and it's not now -- we have to put on these kinds of big events around the world. We can't be big league by putting on the same old casino fights. I look at these Vegas fights and I look ringside and all I see is people from Hong Kong. Nothing but guys from China. You aren't going to grow boxing's brand like that. The casinos don't give a damn about anything other than their customers, and it becomes a circus act." Arum "directed cracks at the Las Vegas casinos, with whom he has been doing business for years, and at the Floyd Mayweather Jr. camp." Arum "implied that he was pretty much out of business with the MGM Grand," saying Golden Boy Promotions is "in bed with MGM." When asked if he worried about upsetting Golden Boy with his comments, Arum, "surrounded by about 10 writers, said, '... Golden Boy.' Fill in your own profanity." Dwyre writes it is "possible that Arum was merely setting the table for the next round of talks, post Pacquiao-Clottey and Mayweather-Mosley fights, for the boxing granddaddy of them all: Pacquiao-Mayweather" (L.A. TIMES, 3/11).
PLANNING AHEAD: In Dallas, Barry Horn reports plans are "in the works to have Cowboys Stadium host its second fight card" this fall during the Cowboys' bye week. Arum said that the card "could include undefeated middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. ... and Kelly Pavlik, whose only loss has been to Bernard Hopkins" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/11). Meanwhile, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones yesterday said he wants "all events" at Cowboys Stadium, "any events that will fill seats." Jones: "The Dallas Cowboys only play a set amount of games, but boxing you can do many, many times, and I'm interested in putting as many fights as possible in here. How many? I can't yet say. But we are interested" (LASVEGASSUN.com, 3/10).
WORKING TOGETHER: In Ft. Worth, Tobias Xavier Lopez notes Arum yesterday "thanked UFC president Dana White for throwing his support behind" Pacquiao-Clottey. Arum noted that White "will be in attendance." Arum: "I am of a generation where mixed martial arts is strange to me. I don't particularly care for it, but that's personal taste. I know that they've done a wonderful job promoting it and they're nice people. I think it's good that we're going to help each other" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/11).
In Detroit, Tom Walsh reports Andreas Apostolopoulos, the "improbable new owner of the Pontiac Silverdome, vows to revive the stadium as a big-event venue by investing millions of dollars in a place he bought for a meager $583,000." He has been "spending 75% of his time in and around Pontiac to make that happen, hiring contractors to paint, do electrical work, flush every toilet and turn on every faucet to get the building ready for crowds." Apostolopoulos: "We're gonna spend a lot of money here, create a lot of jobs, meet a lot of new people. It's not for sale, and it's never gonna be for sale." Apostolopoulos today is "expected to announce upcoming event plans and the hiring of a general manager" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/11).
Three Banks Put In Proposals To Handle
Financing Of New Florida Atlantic Univ. Stadium
END OF AN ERA: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir cites officials as saying that the city is "spending about $25[M] to demolish" the old Yankee Stadium, and the city "expects to finish in June and start building a community park with three ball fields." City officials giving a press tour of the demolition yesterday said that they have "no intention of saving Gate 2, as preservation-minded advocates want, because keeping it would interfere with the location of the fields" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/11).
CLEARING A HURDLE: Florida Atlantic Univ. AD Craig Angelos Tuesday said that "three banks had put in proposals to handle financing" on the school's new football stadium, and that there is a "meeting Monday to go over the specifics of each proposal." In Ft. Lauderdale, Ted Hutton wrote, "What this means is the stadium has, at least for now, cleared another hurdle. If no bank had been interested, or only one, things would have gotten sticky" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 3/10).