SBD/January 27, 2011/Facilities

Facility Notes

In L.A., Vincent Bonsignore reports the downtown NFL stadium plan being pushed by Tim Leiweke and AEG "expects to get a major boost Tuesday when it announces a naming rights deal that could reach $900 million over 30 years." Sources said that the rights fee is “expected to be $700 million over 30 years if one team plays at the proposed stadium and $900 million if it is two.” Farmers Insurance is reportedly the “primary candidate to strike a deal.” The announcement is set for 9:30am PT Tuesday at the L.A. Convention Center (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 1/27).

: In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman notes Univ. of Minnesota AD Joel Maturi is “confident the administration would allow” the Vikings to play at TCF Bank Stadium if the Metrodome's roof has not been repaired in time for the '11 NFL season. Maturi: “If indeed they can't play (at the Metrodome) and TCF Bank Stadium would be the only option for them, I'm pretty confident if necessary we could find a way for that to be done temporarily." Meanwhile, UM baseball coach John Anderson “continues to negotiate with Twins President Dave St. Peter about playing the team's entire conference schedule at Target Field if the Metrodome roof isn't fixed in time” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/27).

HOME IMPROVEMENTS: The Saints this week began an $85M renovation to the Superdome, and the AP's Mary Foster noted changes will include the “addition of 3,500 new seats on the ground level and construction of a new ‘club area,’ with 4,500 large leather seats with cup-holders -- including a private club for the use of those ticketholders.” The “upgrades are expected to boost the revenue” that Saints Owner Tom Benson is "able to generate in the Superdome and reduce the state's obligations to the club." Superdome officials said that renovation work is “scheduled to be completed by June 20 just before a major event, the Essence Musical Festival, is scheduled to be held at the venue starting July 1.” Foster noted the renovation is “expected to keep the Superdome competitive for future sporting events and comes as other aging arenas have eyed or are undertaking improvements” (AP, 1/26).

SEAT UPGRADES: Kansas Speedway President Pat Warren has “announced several changes to the track, including increasing the width of both stadium seats and bleacher seats by two inches throughout the grandstands.” As a result of the change, the seating capacity in the grandstands “will be reduced from 81,779 to between 76,000 and 77,000, depending on the seat manifest.” The stadium seats “will be new, while the benches -- which have chairbacks -- will remain intact but widened by remarking the numbers” (K.C. STAR, 1/27).
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