SBD/Issue 73/Facilities & Venues

Facility Notes

In St. Petersburg, Stephen Nohlgren noted a recent telephone survey “showed that two-thirds of Tampa Bay area residents oppose paying taxes” for a new Rays' ballpark -- even “if that means the team would leave the area.” Only a "quarter of the residents would open their wallets to keep the Rays in town.” Half of the residents polled said that they “would be opposed to committing public money to a stadium even if their individual taxes did not rise -- such as the city of St. Petersburg supporting a new stadium by renewing Tropicana Field’s bonds after they expire” in ’15. Seventy-seven percent of Pinellas County residents said that they “have attended at least one Rays game, as well as" 62% of Hillsborough County residents. The “main reason people cited for not going is that they aren’t baseball fans,” while the "next most common reason given by Hillsborough residents was the Trop’s location” (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 12/24).

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD: In Chicago, Mitchell & Kaplan report the Cubs allegedly “are quietly working to amend their proposal to renovate Wrigley Field.” The team would “match its previous tax payments to the city -- $16 million in 2009 -- while keeping any tax revenue above the base for park renovations and perhaps construction of the long-planned triangle building.” The Cubs contend that the "additional business will increase taxes collected,” once the team “has what it plans built” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/28).

New Meadowlands Stadium Faced Its Share
Of Obstacles During Opening NFL Season

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR? In New Jersey, John Brennan noted a “lightning delay, an in-game power failure, several monsoons and some frigid weather” have made the first year of New Meadowlands Stadium “a challenging one at times for fans and stadium officials.” New Meadowlands Stadium Co. President & CEO Mark Lamping said, “We’d be thrilled to have a repeat of this type of year, yet we also think it can be a typical one.” Fan complaints have included the "lack of solid walls, which allow frigid winds to blast through the mezzanine; restrooms with no clear entrances and exits; sporadic problems with dropped cellphone calls and being forced to ride several different escalators to get to upper-level seats.” Lamping: “Once we’re done with the football season, we’ll sit down with the teams and see if things like the bathrooms can be addressed” (Bergen RECORD, 12/26).

EXPRESS DELIVERY: In DC, Tenorio & Goff cited sources as saying that “an agreement has been reached in principle” to bring FC Barcelona and Manchester United to FedExField. FC Barcelona Thursday announced on its website that it will play ManU July 30 in Landover, Md. Sources confirmed that while the “deal is not yet official,” an agreement has been reached for FedExField to "host the friendly -- one of three in Barcelona’s summer tour” of the U.S. Barcelona also will play AC Milan in Miami on Aug. 3 and Club America in Dallas on Aug. 6 (WASHINGTON POST, 12/24).

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