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Santa Clara City Council members Tuesday "voted to create a stadium authority, vesting themselves with powers to make financial and legal decisions on the planned San Francisco 49ers football stadium near the Great America theme park," according to Lisa Fernandez of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The council also "took steps to make clear that its redevelopment agency has long been working on the stadium project in a concerted effort to stave off Gov. Jerry Brown's desire to dismantle redevelopment agencies and funnel that money instead to counties and schools." Santa Clara Acting Assistant City Manager Carol McCarthy said that the newly formed Santa Clara Stadium Authority later "met to conduct its first two orders of business: They certified an environmental impact report on the stadium, and they signed a 'cooperation agreement' to 'confirm these projects in writing to illustrate to the state our commitment and funding' for the project has been under way for four years." McCarthy said that the stadium authority is "not yet ready to send out bills to the team, but it is still accruing expenses that the 49ers are expected to pay." That sum is "roughly $650,000 for about 7,650 hours of work" since '08 (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/24).
In Ft. Worth, Drew Davison notes Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is undergoing a $17M renovation project, and the “biggest improvement is expanding the video board above the right-field porch to almost six times its original size.” The new board “will be 42 by 120 feet (5,040 square feet), or 40 yards long.” The project is “expected to be completed at least two weeks before Opening Day.” One of the “notable features of the new video board is the ability to have an animated screen while the line score appears to be manually operated” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 2/24).
HOOP DREAMS: In Washington, John McGrath noted former state Sen. and ICP Solar Technologies BOD member Larry Faulk “envisions an NBA team in the Tacoma Dome district.” Faulk in a letter to NBA Commissioner David Stern “outlined his plan of using $300 million in state bonds for the construction of a $200 million basketball arena, devoting the remaining funds to such projects as the LeMay car museum, a new Museum of Flight in Tacoma, and the renovations of the old city hall building and the Winthrop Hotel.” The NBA responded “with a letter from a lawyer noting that no team is for sale and, in any case, an arena built in the $200 million range doesn’t cut the mustard” (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 2/23).
OFF TO THE RACES: In San Antonio, Mike Haag noted days after Super Bowl XLV, Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials partnered with the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower and “offered displaced Super Bowl fans the chance to receive free tickets for the upcoming March 4-6 NASCAR Weekend in Las Vegas.” Officials said that “34 fans took advantage of the speedway’s offer and all of their names were placed in a random drawing to win airfare and three nights of accommodations at the Stratosphere as well” (MYSANANTONIO.com, 2/23).