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Twins Looking At Ways To Reduce
Glare, Shadows At Target Field
Hitters at times have had "real trouble seeing through the combination of shadows and glare" at Target Field, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Twins hitting coach Joe Vavra said, "There's a lot of light that reflects off that wall (beyond center field), maybe because of all the glass. It has been borderline dangerous at some points. You can see some of the catchers having trouble catching the ball, and if the catcher can't catch it, I don't think you're going to be able to hit it." Twins President Dave St. Peter "has asked the players to list any and all suggestions" about the ballpark, "just as the front office has asked every other department." Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that one suggestion to reduce the glare is to "paint some of the ballpark's silver railings green." Meanwhile, the 46-foot sign with the original Twins logo above the center-field wall is mostly white, and Vavra said, "When the light reflects off that sign, it looks like the sun." The sign is "one of the ballpark's signature elements," but Gardenhire said that there is "hope that it can be tilted or perhaps covered with transparent, glare-reducing netting" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/8).
Fenway Park To Host Int'l Friendly
For First Time In 42 Years
Fenway Park, the Red Sox and Fenway Sports Group will host an international soccer match on July 21 between Celtic of the Scottish Premier League and Sporting Clube de Portugal of the Liga Sagres. The first-ever "Fenway Football Challenge" marks the first soccer match to be held at the 98-year-old ballpark since '68, and 19th overall. FSG has signed Bank of America, Budweiser, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Gulf Oil, Lumber Liquidators and Nike as initial match sponsors, and sister company NESN will broadcast the match live. Tickets will go on sale June 22. "Having top-flight international soccer right on the heels of the World Cup was a concept that made a ton of sense for us," said FSG President and Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy. "We're obviously very optimistic about ticket sales, we have a plan, and we're going to be very aggressive in the marketplace. But to an extent, we really don't know how the market is going to react. We haven't had soccer here in more than 40 years." FSG pursued numerous international soccer teams to play in Fenway during late July after the World Cup's conclusion, as the Red Sox have only nine home games during the month. The Celtic-Sporting matchup ultimately was developed with the aid of CAA Sports. FSG also has a partnership with EPL club Fulham FC and would like to stage a match at the ballpark with that club, but Kennedy said its future international travel schedule remains uncertain (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). Kennedy said, "It's been part of our strategy to bring high-profile, blue-chip events to Fenway as we come up to the 100th anniversary in 2012. We’ve been discussing different events that would make sense to bring to Fenway." The field will extend from "in front of the third base dugout toward the right field bullpen" (BOSTON HERALD, 6/8).
In Edmonton, Andrew Hanon reports the Oilers have "abruptly changed course in their drive to build a downtown arena." The Katz Group Exec VP/Sports & Entertainment Bob Black yesterday announced that the Oilers "will postpone the public hearing on their project until they could figure out how it will be paid for -- or more specifically, how much public money they want." The public hearing -- "required by law for every application to rezone land -- was scheduled for June 28." Black now "hopes to have it sometime in the fall, but couldn't say if they'd have it done and ready for public scrutiny before or after November's civic election." The Katz Group "will use the extra time to work out its financing plan" (EDMONTON SUN, 6/8).
TCU Closing In On $105M Needed To
Begin Renovations At Amon G. Carter Stadium
HOME IMPROVEMENTS: In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel cites sources as saying that TCU is 80% "complete toward reaching the required $105 million to begin the remaking" of Amon G. Carter Stadium. TCU officials "expect to have the necessary funding by June 30." The school then will "likely officially unveil the drawings for the ambitious update of the 80-year-old stadium that will include more suites, a reduction in seating capacity and more modern amenities." The football stadium "currently features a total of six suites." The "initial goal for the new stadium was 34 suites, but that figure has been reduced to 25." The school is calling the renovation the "single biggest project in the history of TCU athletics." The renovation process is "projected to begin immediately after the completion of the 2010 season" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 6/8).
SNEAK PEEK: In New Jersey, DiTrani & Pelzman report Giants and Jets fans "can get their first look at New Meadowlands Stadium next week," when the teams hold minicamp practices. Fans are "welcome to attend the Giants' afternoon minicamp practice next Tuesday," and they "must sign up for a free ticket at giants.com." Jets fans "will be able to tour the new stadium before practice begins" next Wednesday; gates "will open at 9:30 a.m." Tickets "will not be needed for that event" (Bergen RECORD, 6/8).
BOUNCE PASS: In Orlando, Sandra Pedicini notes businesses on West Church Street for the last two years have had to "endure living in a construction zone for the new Amway Center." Business has "plummeted, but the owners have hung on because they think the payoff will be great." The city and the Magic have "paid $50,000 for a consultant to work with the business owners to help some of them plan new ventures for their shops that might blend better with the arena" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/8).