SBD/Issue 62/Facilities & Venues

Facility Notes

NASCAR HOF Posts Profit Of Just Under
$40,000 For Month Of October

In Charlotte, Steve Harrison reports the NASCAR HOF “posted a profit of just under $40,000 in October, shrinking its cumulative loss to $408,000.” The hall drew 27,555 visitors in October, and “hosted 25 special events that also boosted revenue.” But the HOF is “still struggling to meet expectations: The original budget projected an operating profit of $255,391 for the month and a profit of $1.1 million for the first four months of the fiscal year that began in July.” HOF officials have said that they “need to attract roughly 350,000" fans this fiscal year to break even. Harrison notes it is “unlikely the hall will hit that mark” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/9).

ALL BETS ARE OFF -- FOR NOW: In New Jersey, Ginger Gibson reports New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie yesterday “vetoed the racing schedules for Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands, citing the need for more time to review a report that recommended scrapping racing at one park and reducing days at another.” The New Jersey Racing Commission met last month and “established a full racing schedule that would have included 141 races at each park.” A week after the schedule was approved, a special state panel “called for the end to live racing at the Meadowlands Racetrack, consolidating those operations with the Monmouth Park track in Oceanport and selling both tracks to private interests” (Bergen RECORD, 12/9).

IS THE GRASS GREENER? NFL players have said that the “playing surface at Soldier Field is the worst in the league.” Bears QB Jay Cutler: “We probably have one of the worst fields in the league at this point. We did last year, as well.” The field has been resodded since the Bears’ last home game, but “nobody is expecting changes at Soldier Field any time soon.” Bears President & CEO Ted Phillips has said that he is “awaiting ongoing studies on player safety before making any decisions.” The Chicago Park District “maintains the stadium as a multipurpose venue, and other events require grass fields” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 12/9).

BRICK BY BRICK: In Chicago, Ed Sherman noted with the “on-going discussion about what to do with Wrigley and who is going to foot the bill, it seems the new ballpark alternative should be at least thrown on the table.” Sherman: “Does it make sense to pump in another $200 million for a facility that is going to turn 100 in 2014? From the little we've seen of the plans, it still looks like a cut-and-paste job to me. … Nostalgia is great, but going forward, will the renovations allow Wrigley Field to keep up with what's in store for the 21st century?” With a new ballpark, the Cubs “would have a better chance to adjust to what could be an incredible century of innovation in stadiums” (, 12/6).

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