SBD/March 10, 2011/FacilitiesPrint All
Plans for a C$23M expansion of Saputo Stadium and surrounding facilities "have been unveiled, and will see seating capacity increased from 13,034 to 20,341 by the time the Impact joins" MLS in '12, according to Randy Phillips of the Montreal GAZETTE. There will be a "roof over the upper rows of each grandstand surrounding the stadium covering about one-third of the seats." The number of corporate loges "will be increased to 40 from 16." The renovation also "will see the addition of more than 70 permanent and temporary concession stands (up from 27), two permanent boutiques and a third primary access to the stadium." Impact Exec VP Richard Legendre said that the stadium's new look "reflects what the fans were asking for." Legendre: "Fans told us the roof was important. In Europe, they play all winter long and they need a roof. When we saw it in the design, we said 'Oh, we want this. We need this.'" Impact President Joey Saputo said that the "additional seating would put the stadium within the league average for soccer-specific stadiums in North America." Saputo: "One of the things we didn't want to do was build a stadium that was too much for what we really needed. At 20,000, we're comfortable with that." Phillips notes the expansion project was developed by architects Provencher, Roy & Associates and engineers from Cima+. A "call for tenders will go out next month with renovations to begin in mid-May." The completion date is March '12, "in time for the start of the team's first season as the 19th franchise in MLS." The Impact yesterday also "revealed the basic pricing structure for season tickets in 2012 will range from" C$250-$1,250 (Montreal GAZETTE, 3/10).
Amway Center "could cost as much as $10 million more than its original $480 million price tag," according to Damron & Schlueb of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. The final tally on Orlando's "most expensive public building still isn't finished," but officials acknowledge that the Magic's new home is "over budget." Magic President Alex Martins said that the arena is "expected to cost $2 million to $10 million more than planned." City officials "aren't worried, though," because Magic officials have "agreed to cover any unexpected construction costs." As a result, "taxpayers aren't on the hook for the extra expenses." Team officials said that "standard construction revisions, such as efforts to make the facility more concert-friendly, would explain why the arena is expected to break its budget." Amway Center is "just the first of three community venues approved by city and county leaders" in '07 as part of a larger $1.1B venues plan. Supporters are "still struggling to find ways to build" a new $383M performing arts center and add $175M in Citrus Bowl upgrades. Cost "over-runs at the arena, where construction was widely viewed as well-managed, could make public officials even more skittish of the financing plans for the other two venues" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/9).
In Charlotte, Steve Harrison reports the NASCAR HOF "lost $187,983 in January," pushing its cumulative loss for FY '11 to $1.03M. Before the HOF opened in May, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority projected that it "would have a surplus of roughly $700,000 for its first year." But that budget "has since been revised, and the CRVA now forecasts a loss of $1.29 million for fiscal year 2011." The "good news for the CRVA is that the hall's financial performance is now matching the revised budget." In its revised budget, the CRVA "projected a loss of $1.07 million through January," which "means the hall is slightly ahead of its new budget" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/10).
PUT IT ON THE BALLOT: In Las Vegas, David McGrath Schwartz reports Caesars Entertainment is "giving up on trying to win legislators' support for a resort-corridor sales tax to finance its proposed arena on the Strip, and instead will hope for voters' approval in 2012." Caesars Entertainment VP/ Public Policy & Communications Marybel Batjer: "We know the reality of the political times we're living in. Taxes are a very difficult thing for a legislator, in many, many states right now to vote for. We're going right to a vote of the people. We're on the ballot in 2012." Under the Nevada Constitution, lawmakers "have 40 days to act on an initiative petition." Caesars "collected 200,000 signatures last year to qualify the proposed sales tax increase for an arena" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 3/10).
CLASSY MOVE: A K.C. STAR editorial states the naming-rights deal between MLS Sporting K.C. and the Livestrong cancer foundation for Livestrong Sporting Park is a "heartfelt effort befitting a team in the heartland." The editorial: "While the move isn't purely altruistic, it is unprecedented. Never before has a professional sports organization handed a trendily lucrative stadium name to a charity. Making a financial commitment beyond that is a classy move. ... This effort is a positive sign" (K.C. STAR, 3/10).
GETTING BACKING: In London, Simon Hart reported U.K. Athletics "has secured the backing of the Government and the Mayor of London's office to launch a bid to stage the 2017 World Championships in the Olympic Stadium." An "expression of interest" will be "submitted to the International Association of Athletics Federations this month which will emphasise that the bid has the full support of local and national government" (London TELEGRAPH, 3/9).