SBD/Issue 60/Facilities & Venues

Facility Notes

In Las Vegas, Cy Ryan reported a "proposal to build an arena on the Las Vegas Strip might be headed for the 2011 Nevada Legislature, but first it will face a legal challenge." Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller's office said that it "has verified more than enough voter signatures to move the initiative petition along." Deputy Secretary of State for elections Matt Griffin yesterday said that "opponents have seven days to file suit." Ryan noted an "effort to stop the initiative was made in district court, but failed," though that "could be appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court." The arena concept is "backed by Caesars Entertainment Corp. but opposed by MGM Resorts International" (, 12/6).

Public Funding For New Rays Ballpark Could
Face Hurdles With Anti-Tax Climate In Florida

TOUGH SELL: In Florida, Robert Napper reported the "current anti-tax climate" in the Tampa Bay area may make securing public funding for a new Rays ballpark "a tough sell." A Pinellas County Commission meeting last week "shed some light on the battle the team may face in seeking any public funding for a new stadium in the coming years." Commissioners voted to extend a $0.05 "tourism tax in Pinellas set to sunset in 2015, but the board split on extending the tax indefinitely." Instead, a "portion of the tax will cease in 2021, and many of those pennies would have held possible funding for a baseball stadium." Pinellas Commissioner Norm Roche: "I think any kind of funding for a new stadium will have to be decided on by the voters, in the form of a referendum" (, 12/6).

RIDING SHOTGUN: In Charlotte, Erik Spanberg reports Charlotte-based ai Design Group is "back on track" with SMI. The architectural firm is "leading the way on a renovation" of Kentucky Speedway estimated at $40M. ai Design Group Principal Wes Jones and the firm first worked for SMI at the company's Texas Motor Speedway track, and since then "has worked on everything from gift shops and grandstands to offices and drag strips" at SMI's "far-flung properties in California, Tennessee and New Hampshire, among others" (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/3 issue).

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