SBD/Issue 238/Facilities & Venues

Facility Notes

Full Throttle Hoping To Generate $5M Per Year
From Renting F1 Track Out To Others

In Austin, Eric Dexheimer cited public documents as indicating that Full Throttle Productions, the owners of a proposed F1 race track near the city, anticipates "selling the naming rights to various parts of the facility" for $7M. The documents also indicated that Full Throttle "hopes to net $12 million annually from non-F1 races such as NASCAR, IndyCar and drag racing, plus an additional $5 million a year from renting the facility for other uses such as moviemaking, automotive testing and concerts." Full Throttle attorney Richard Suttle Jr. said that "preliminary plans for the project will be submitted to city and county planners soon, possibly this week" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 8/24).

GET IT RIGHT: A SACRAMENTO BEE editorial states the "push for a new arena in Sacramento is off the fast track." The "latest delay" came when California state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg "sent a letter Monday to Cal Expo and Mayor Kevin Johnson outlining questions he wants addressed before the legislation is taken up, possibly late this year." But the delay is "not such a bad thing," as Steinberg "raises many of the right issues." The editorial: "Given the history of false starts and failed efforts, this may be the last chance to build a new arena anytime soon. It has to be done right" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 8/25).

CIVIC PRIDE: In Pittsburgh, Mark Belko reported "no clear victor emerged" after the Penguins, "preservationists, CEOs, labor officials, Hill District leaders and others waged a pitched battle over the future of the Civic Arena" Monday. The 49 people who testified before the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority "seemed to be evenly divided over whether the silver domed landmark should get a makeover or a death sentence." The Penguins want to "see the arena demolished to make way for a mixed use development," and Penguins President David Morehouse was "booed when he suggested the arena's retractable roof 'never opened because it never worked.'" Morehouse added after his testimony that he "had yet to see a viable reuse plan from those seeking to save the arena" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/24).

BLAZING A NEW TRAIL: Sources indicated that Univ. of Alabama-Birmingham officials have "ramped up discussion to build a football stadium on campus, and an announcement could come in the next six months." A source said that trustees have "met with UAB leaders at the university's football offices in recent weeks and likely discussed building a stadium at two potential sites." A source added that the two sites are "near Interstate 65," and that the stadium "would hold up to 40,000 fans." The school's lease at Legion Field reportedly "ends after the 2013 season" (BIRMINGHAM BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/20 issue).

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