SBD/Issue 31/Facilities & Venues

Facility Notes

Preseason Game In Tampa Canceled
Due To Concerns Court Was Unsafe

In St. Petersburg, Antonya English reported fans 30 minutes before tipoff of Friday night's Heat-Magic preseason game at St. Pete Times Forum were "told via the public address announcer that the expected-sellout game was canceled because the playing surface of the basketball court had been deemed unsafe for play." More than 18,000 tickets were sold, and arena officials had "expected 20,000 fans." But "concern about the floor surfaced during the Magic's shootaround Friday morning," and Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said that the floor was "so slippery the team literally had to walk through workouts." Lightning and arena CEO Tod Leiweke: "It was simply the wrong (cleaning) solution used on the floor. It had an oil content, and it should not have been used." English noted refunds "will be made to all ticket buyers at point of purchase" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 10/23).

KEEPING HIS PISTONS FIRING: In Detroit, Tom Walsh reported Palace Sports & Entertainment Exec VP/Corporate Marketing Dan Hauser is "hustling to keep the turnstiles turning and revenue coming in at the Palace of Auburn Hills" as the future ownership of the Pistons "hangs in limbo." Hauser: "We can't take anything for granted, not a single sponsorship, not a season ticket renewal." Hauser last week "inked a one-year sponsorship renewal with Buick-GMC," and "promotions to drive more people directly into Buick-GMC showrooms" are a part of the deal. Meanwhile, the "94-feet-tall Palace marquee alongside I-75 was upgraded last month with twin super-bright color Daktronic Valo LED digital billboard displays," and Hauser said that all advertising space on the marquee is "sold out through September 2011" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 10/24).

BACK ON THE FRONTBURNER: In Edmonton, Gordon Kent noted the proposed Oilers arena in the city's downtown will "return to the spotlight next month when the city holds its first meetings seeking public opinion on the proposal." The results "will be part of a report going to city council in mid-January, when councillors are now scheduled to decide whether to direct tax money to the project and consider approving the suggested site." The project "has been flying below the radar" since Oilers Owner Daryl Katz met with city council July 21, vowing to spend $100M (all figures Canadian) "to help build the arena and invest an additional $100 million in surrounding construction." The arena is "expected to cost" $450M, and in addition to Katz' money, "potential funding sources include a community revitalization levy based on property taxes from new building in the area, ticket taxes and grants" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 10/23).

FREE SNEAK PEEK: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jim Carlton noted there is an "arched opening in the right-field wall at AT&T Park where 100 people can stroll up and watch, free of charge." The ballpark "officially calls this area the 'Viewing Portals,' and it enforces a few rules" including "no portable chairs; no drinking; no dogs." Carlton noted a security guard "uses a megaphone to herd each shift out every three innings," and a gate to the area lets guards keep the "population controlled" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/23).

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