SBD/March 25, 2011/Facilities

Facility Notes

The naming-rights deal for Qwest Field runs through '14
CenturyLink Manager of Market Development Tony Timmons, whose company recently reached an agreement to merge with Qwest Communications, said, “Each Qwest-named venue will be evaluated to determine the appropriate re-branding implementation." In Seattle, Danny O’Neil noted the Seahawks “have not been notified of any plans regarding a change to the name of Qwest Field.” Qwest bought the naming rights to the Seahawks' stadium in ‘04, and the deal runs through ’14 (SEATTLETIMES.com, 3/24). In Tacoma, John McGrath writes fans should “all just say no” to a name change of Qwest Field. McGrath: “If the taxpayers of Washington were able to build a palace for the Seahawks and Sounders by contributing $300 million to the stadium’s $430 million construction budget, the taxpayers of Washington should have a voice in what to call it. … If CenturyLink’s acquisition of Qwest means a renaming of all Qwest properties, let’s not acknowledge the renaming of the taxpayer-built property in Seattle” (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 3/25).

VIKING QUEST CONTINUES: In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman writes “don't be surprised if there is talk of a hotel and car rental tax in the Legislature in the next few days to help finance a new Vikings stadium.” There also “still is a possibility that Hennepin County, with income from the sales tax paying for Target Field going well, would get involved in helping the Vikings, too.” Meanwhile, Hartman notes “there are rumors that while Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and the city council won't offer future Convention Center tax income to a Vikings stadium, they might use some of that income once the Convention Center is paid off to remodel Target Center” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/25).

THE GREEN LIGHT: In Tampa, Jodie Tillman reports a $35M makeover of the Univ. of South Florida's Sun Dome “got the go-ahead Thursday from the Board of Governors.” The university's foundation “must set aside $20 million -- a quarter of its investment pool -- as a backup guarantee for the $26 million loan that is financing most of the project.” Board members “came up with that proposal after expressing concerns that USF's proposal to use a combination of revenue streams -- including concessions, ticket sales, parking and naming rights -- would not be enough to cover the debt payments.” Tillman writes USF “had expected the foundation would need to step up for the first few years given the revenue projections,” but officials “had not anticipated setting aside” $20M (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/25).

BRONX BOMBERS: In N.Y., Daniel Beekman notes Bronx Parking Development, the company that runs the Yankee Stadium parking system, is “bleeding money despite financial aid from the city and state, because its garages and lots are underused.” The company “owes the city more than $10.6 million in back rent.” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said that the solution “is building a fancy hotel above one of the garages that could save the firm and boost the local economy at the same time” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/25).
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