SBD/March 9, 2011/Facilities

Facility Notes

Univ. of South Florida approves renovation plan for Sun Dome
In St. Petersburg, Greg Auman reported the Univ. of South Florida has "approved its plan and financing" for the $35M renovation of the Sun Dome. There will be $8.5M "paid with cash reserves, with the remainder financed over 20 years -- with the hopes of extending the arena for 'an additional 30 years.'" What remains is approval March 24 at a Tallahassee meeting of the  BOG. Auman noted the renovations "include reconfiguring the 10,000-seat arena to add a center scoreboard, concessions and restrooms in a new concourse level and opportunities for club-level viewing" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/8). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Don Muret reports the Sun Dome renovation "includes building an event-level club for students only on the facility’s west end, a design element USF officials think is unique in college hoops." USF Senior Associate AD Bill McGillis said that the 2,500-square-foot space "would be open for pregame, halftime and postgame and most likely be alcohol-free" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/7 issue).

TAXING SOLUTION
: In St. Paul, Charley Walters cites sources as saying that a "tiny seven-county tax is among serious considerations to finance a new Vikings stadium," a new ballpark for the Independent league St. Paul Saints, "renovate the Timberwolves' Target Center and forgive debt on the Wild's Xcel Energy Center." Also included "would be a $15 million annual fund for upkeep on the local sports venues." The "umbrella proposal that is expected to become public soon would require public approval, and there is reason to believe it will be approved" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 3/9).

FINAL COUNTDOWN: In Las Vegas, Ed Vogel reports Nevada state legislators "appear likely to ignore an initiative petition that would levy a sales tax in Clark County and allow construction of a $500 million sports arena near the Strip." If the legislators "fail to act by next week's deadline, the proposal will be placed before voters in 2012" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 3/9).
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