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SBD/March 2, 2011/FacilitiesPrint All
Sports wristband company Power Balance yesterday said that it "is 'revisiting' its recently inked business deal" with the NBA Kings to "put the Power Balance name" on Arco Arena, according to Tony Bizjak of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Kings officials said that the facility's name was "formally changed Tuesday from Arco Arena to Power Balance Pavilion," and the Power Balance name is "going up in spots around the building." But Power Balance officials said that they are "delaying installing a Power Balance sign over the front door pending resolution of the talks that could send the Kings packing to the Honda Center in Anaheim after just 11 more games in Sacramento." Power Balance spokesperson Adam Selwyn said that the company "knew when it negotiated with the Kings a move might happen, but officials were surprised at the speed of the process." Selwyn: "They went into this with eyes open. But I don't believe they were aware of the specifics. The sort of expedited process has been a little surprising." Selwyn added that the company "remains committed to a long-term marketing partnership with the Kings, which includes promotions at" team Owner the Maloof family's Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas "and other Maloof ventures." Power Balance in a statement said, "The arena naming rights was but one element of an innovative and broad partnership. There is every expectation that the partnership will continue even if the Kings were to relocate."
GIVEN GIFT OF MORE TIME: Bizjak reports the NBA yesterday announced that it will "extend a March 1 deadline" for the Kings to file for relocation "by six weeks to give the Kings more time to talk with Anaheim about moving the team south next season." Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said that he and other community leaders are "nonetheless laying plans to fight to keep the team." Johnson: "The likelihood of them leaving is probably greater than them staying, but it's not a done deal. There is still time on the clock." Johnson said that he "expects to have a phone conversation today with NBA Commissioner David Stern, and a face-to-face meeting later this week with members of the Maloof family" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 3/2). Johnson added, "It's clear (the Kings) are looking to try to strike or create a deal with Anaheim. ... If they don't get a deal, they'll choose Sacramento. I don't think Sacramento has a whole lot of say right now." In L.A., Lance Pugmire reports there have "already been internal arena discussions in Anaheim about the need to change the Kings' name because the NHL's Kings are the leading rival of the Honda Center's original occupant, the Ducks" (L.A. TIMES, 3/2). Johnson said of Anaheim, "I'm wishing them ill will, let me be clear. We're wishing them ill will. I told that to the Anaheim mayor in a delicate way last week. I am rooting against him" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 3/2).
PROS AND CONS: In Sacramento, Dale Kasler writes if the "hearts-on-their-sleeves Maloofs are looking for a community to embrace the Kings like Sacramento has, they might want to think twice about moving." The Kings "would compete against numerous entertainment options" in Anaheim, and it "could be years before the Kings truly capture Orange County's hearts and minds." The Maloofs' request for more time to decide on relocation was "front-page news" in Sacramento "but was buried in the Orange County Register's sports section." Experts said that the Lakers and Clippers "likely would try to persuade fellow owners, who must OK the relocation by majority vote, to say no." The teams also "could demand hefty 'territorial rights' fees before allowing the Kings into Southern California." But there are "plenty of other temptations" for the Maloofs to relocate the franchise, including that nearby Costa Mesa, Calif., is a "venue for their skateboarding competition, the Maloof Money Cup." The demographics are "inviting too -- a market of 5 million people in Orange, Riverside and northern San Diego counties, more than twice the population of greater Sacramento." Also, the "media money could be huge" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 3/2).
FOOTING THE BILL: In N.Y., Andrew Adam Newman notes "pro bono advertising campaigns" such as the recently launched "Sac Deflated" initiative "arise from a groundswell of citizens that persuades an agency to volunteer its services, but in this case a Sacramento firm, the Glass Agency, is heading the effort." The Glass Agency estimated that the value of the campaign, "which consists of four billboards and eight digital billboards," is "as much as $200,000." A Facebook page was also launched as part of the campaign, and it has "about 5,000" fans. Glass Agency President Amber Williams said that the outdoor ads, "which began Feb. 22 for a 30-day run, were bought at a discounted rate from billboard owners who were sympathetic." Williams added that if the Kings were to leave, Sacramento "will lose cachet and that could hurt Glass when bidding against agencies from Madison Avenue and elsewhere." Williams: "For us, being from a city that has that legitimacy of a professional sports team is so critical to being taken seriously when we enter a room. The Kings leaving could be detrimental for how Sacramento is received, and ultimately for how we are received as an agency" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/2).
Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume yesterday announced a partnership with Quebecor to "invest in the city's proposed" C$400M NHL-ready arena, according to Marianne White of the MONTREAL GAZETTE. The deal gives the media company "management and naming rights to the city's future arena for a 25-year period." Quebecor will invest between C$110-200M in the project, "depending on whether the city lands an NHL franchise." In the "absence of a professional team, the company will contribute" C$33M million for the naming rights, while the amount will rise to C$63.5M "if an NHL franchise signs on." Quebecor also will pay the city between C$3.15-5M annually for the "right to manage the building." The company will give the city 10 or 15% of profits from the facility, "depending again on the NHL scenario." Labeaume last month announced that the city and the province of Quebec "will split the cost of building" the 18,000-seat arena by '15. He reiterated yesterday that he "wants the federal government to get on board and said he will send detailed information to Ottawa now that the city has a private partner." The current Colisée "was built in 1949 and was home to the Quebec Nordiques before the team left for Denver in 1995." Quebecor Media President & CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau yesterday said that his "goal remains to bring back an NHL team to Quebec City." Labeaume spoke to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman ahead of the announcement, but both he and Péladeau insisted that the NHL "has offered no guarantee" (MONTREAL GAZETTE, 3/2).
PRIVATE PARTNER: Labeaume said that he will be "sending the business plan documents" for the new arena to Josée Verner, the federal minister responsible for Quebec City. In Toronto, Andrew Chung notes the Conservative government in Ottawa "has been asking for such a plan that includes the private sector before committing financing to the project." Labeaume emphasized that the private money from Quebecor "would reimburse the city’s construction costs," currently planned at C$187M. The province also has committed C$200M and a group of citizens C$13M "for seats in the future arena." However, Verner yesterday said that the plan "doesn’t include enough private cash since Quebecor isn’t participating in the arena’s construction" (TORONTO STAR, 3/2).
DIFFERENT APPROACHES: The GLOBE & MAIL's Seguin & Gordon write under the header, "Quebec City, Regina Take Different Paths On Sports Facilities." The City of Regina is "pulling the plug" on its plan to build a C$430M domed stadium for the CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders if the federal government "fails to deliver." Without federal cash, the project is "certain to die." Meanwhile, Quebec is "telling Ottawa that if it wants to drag its feet on the construction of a multipurpose arena then it can sit on the sidelines while the project moves forward." More than a "half dozen federal seats in the Quebec City region may be at stake for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives if they fail to deliver any money for the arena" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/2).
The unveiling yesterday of the renovated Ed Smith Stadium, which “capped the Orioles' two-decade search for a long-term spring training home, was a rousing success, from a sellout crowd of 7,497 to long lines at the park's expanded concession offerings to a dominant performance by the home team,” according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore SUN. After 14 years at an “outdated and undersized facility in Fort Lauderdale, the Orioles signed a 30-year agreement with Sarasota before the start of last spring.” The pregame ceremony before yesterday's Rays-Orioles game “featured Sarasota city and county officials, members of the Orioles' brass and so many others responsible" for the $31.2M overhaul of the 22-year-old ballpark. Orioles VP/Planning & Development Janet Marie Smith, the “driving force behind the design and construction of Camden Yards who was brought back to the organization to lead the Ed Smith project, spent most of the afternoon walking around the stadium getting feedback from fans.” As fans passed through the entrance gate and “walked under a baseball bat chandelier from which the organization's championship pennants hung, they were handed a tropical flower called Bird of Paradise.” About 45 minutes before the first pitch, a “line at Cafe 54, named for the year the Orioles returned to Baltimore, extended to the door.” There also was “substantial traffic in the team store.” Orioles Owner Peter Angelos, who “hadn't attended a home spring training game in about three years, has been in Sarasota since Sunday.” He “spent considerable time Tuesday chatting with fans, taking pictures and signing autographs” (Baltimore SUN, 3/2). Angelos said, “I am delighted with the way the project has turned out. We had great expectations and I believe those expectations were lived up to.” He added, “We have a lovely ballpark in Baltimore, which is hailed as one of the top baseball parks in the country, and it looks like we might have a winner here also” (BRADENTON HERALD, 3/2). Orioles RF Nick Markakis: "The facility is pretty unbelievable, and we still have a lot to go with the locker room and everything else around it" (MLB.com, 3/1).
HERE TO STAY: Angelos “didn't play it coy when he was asked to predict the future” of Orioles President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail, whose contract is set to expire at the end of this season. Angelos: "I think it's obvious. He's not going anywhere." In Baltimore, Peter Schmuck notes the setting of Ed Smith Stadium is “symbolic of what has happened throughout the organization during the painful rebuilding program that MacPhail instituted when he took over the baseball operation” in '07. The Orioles “used to have the worst spring training situation in the major leagues.” Now, the combination of the Ed Smith complex and “the dramatically upgraded minor league facility at Twin Lakes Park are as aesthetically pleasing and functional as any in baseball.” MacPhail “isn't directly responsible for that, but the organizational transformation that has occurred on his watch is analogous to the architectural renaissance that has taken place in Sarasota over the past year” (Baltimore SUN, 3/2).
In Houston, Sam Khan Jr. notes the Univ. of Houston since last fall “has been busy trying to raise the funds needed for construction” of a new football stadium and renovation of Hofheinz Pavilion. UH AD Mack Rhoades said, "Right now we're at the $40 million mark." Rhoades said that the “goal, depending on the scope of the project, is to raise” $75-80M for the football stadium (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/2).
GIVING THE GREEN LIGHT: Ramsey County (Minn.) officials said that they are “serious about bringing a Vikings stadium to Arden Hills and hope to have a concrete deal complete within the next week and a half.” Minnesota state lawmakers said that “plans are on schedule and a bill should be out soon.” Ramsey County Commissioners said that “they are ready to make a deal” with Vikings officials (MYFOXTWINCITIES.com, 3/1).
THIS MONEY’S NOT FOR YOU: In San Diego, Roger Showley noted the San Diego City Council on Monday “approved $4.1 billion in redevelopment projects.” The list of projects expected to receive the money "does not include the proposed $800 million Chargers stadium in East Village," but the council did "earmark $150 million for acquiring the city block at 14th and K where the stadium might go and cleaning up toxic wastes left from its current use as the city bus yard" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/1).
TICKET TROUBLE: In Denver, Chris Dempsey reports Ticketmaster and the NCAA are "working to fix a problem with approximately 4,000" all-session tickets to the second and third rounds of the NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center. The tickets were "printed by Ticketmaster without session numbers on them,” and fans who bought tickets for the three sessions “couldn't tell which was for which day” (DENVER POST, 3/2).