SBD/Issue 163/Facilities & Venues

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  • MSG Renovation Will Force Summer Shutdowns Starting In '11

    Renovation Project To Modernize Madison
    Square Garden Expected To Cost $775-850M

    A renovation project designed to modernize 42-year-old Madison Square Garden "will move into high gear next year with the first of three summer shutdowns," and "each year, construction will start with the end of the Knicks' season or the Rangers', whichever comes later," according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. Turner Construction is renovating the arena and "needs about 20 consecutive weeks from the end of play." The renovation will cost $775-850M, "much higher than the $500[M] estimate made by Garden officials when they first unveiled plans" in April '08. MSG President & CEO Hank Ratner said that the lower figure was "based on a design concept that had not been fully fleshed out." The current estimate is "based on elaborate drawings of every element of the construction plan." MSG spent $60M to "start the renovation in areas not visible to the public through the end of 2009," and Ratner "declined to say how much has been spent since or how much the Garden, which hosts about 300 events a year, is giving up in revenue for events that cannot be booked during the closures."

    CLOSED FOR BUSINESS: Sandomir notes the WNBA Liberty "will have to play home games elsewhere beginning in 2011," and a "possibility" is Prudential Center in Newark. After the NBA Draft on June 24, the Theater at MSG "will be closed to support the work that is needed to support the construction of the upper floors," though the Theater itself "does not need renovation and is expected to reopen in the fall." In October '11, MSG "plans to reopen with its lower bowl seats refurbished and the 20 event-level suites ... ready to be occupied at rents of about" $1M each. Meanwhile, about 1,500 seats in the upper bowl "will be covered at the start of the 2011-12 season," but Ratner said that they "should be finished early in the season." Most of those seats are "not committed to season-ticket holders, but those who have seats will be temporarily relocated." Opening in October '12 will be a "partly finished upper-level concourse, a party deck and the Super Club, an area the size of 10 suites." The Delta Club, which "will serve patrons of the elite event-level suites, will also open." In October '13, the "final phase -- the open-air, two-level Seventh Avenue lobby -- will open with large projection screens and a television studio." Ratner: "This isn't a renovation. This is a new building within the familiar exterior of the Garden" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/6).

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  • Vikings Stadium Proposal Suffers Setbacks, Undergoes Changes

    Senate Committee Has Substituted A Plan Under
    Which Season-Ticker Holders Could Buy PSLs

    Since a bill to build a new Vikings stadium using public money was introduced Monday, it "has been hammered into an untested idea to sell personal seat licenses -- and survives only" in the Minnesota state Senate, according to Jason Hoppin of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. The bill "hit a wall" early yesterday, when it was "defeated on a 10-9 vote" by a Minnesota House of Representatives committee. A companion committee in the Senate later "gutted another proposal and substituted a plan" under which Vikings season-ticket holders could buy PSLs. Hoppin notes "more obstacles emerged" yesterday for a new stadium "in the form of a potentially far-reaching Minnesota Supreme Court budget ruling that could occupy lawmakers' time when the Vikings need as much of it as they can get." Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty suggested that the ruling "edged the team's chances of a bill from slim toward none" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 5/6). Minnesota state Rep. Loren Solberg, the chief House author of the Vikings stadium bill, said that he has "not decided whether to try to resurrect the proposal." State Rep. Morrie Lanning, "another supporter of the plan," said that after the House committee hearing the stadium proposal "now had less than a 5[%] chance of passing before legislators adjourn on May 17." In Minneapolis, Kaszuba & Doyle note under the Senate proposal, which was put forward by state Sen. Rick Olseen and passed a Senate committee by a 9-3 vote, Vikings fans "would pay an average of $8,000 for permanent rights to seats, with some choice spots costing $20,000." However, state Sen. Tom Bakk, "a major stadium supporter, was skeptical afterward that the seat-license plan would generate enough money" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/6).

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  • UCLA's Pauley Pavilion Renovation $50M Cheaper Than Estimate

    UCLA Will Host A Pauley Pavilion
    Groundbreaking Celebration Tuesday

    UCLA on Tuesday will host a Pauley Pavilion groundbreaking celebration, and UCLA AD Dan Guerrero said that the economic downturn resulted in construction costs in the bidding process coming in "much lower" than originally estimated, dropping the cost of the renovation from $185M to $136M. He said despite trimming nearly $50M from the original estimate, the renovation plan "remains 100 percent intact." Guerrero said the arena "absolutely" would still need work without a Pauley Pavilion transformation project. Guerrero: "The University would still have to replace the infrastructure -- a cost estimated to be at least $50 million of the total budget -- even if there were no transformation project. With state resources being virtually non-existent for this purpose, the campus could have been facing a real dilemma." Meanwhile, Guerrero said UCLA has made "impressive progress" toward its $100M Campaign of Champions fundraising goal, noting "more than 600 donors have already rallied around this legendary structure with gifts and pledges totaling more than" $65M. Guerrero: "Our goal is to reach the $100 million mark as quickly as possible. Now that construction has started and the clock is counting down until the doors re-open on the transformed Pauley Pavilion, we anticipate that we will see a wave of loyal Bruins participate in the Campaign of Champions" (UCLABRUINS.com, 5/5).

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