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Thursday's U.S. Open fourth-round Andy Roddick-David Ferrer match "had to be halted and relocated from Louis Armstrong Stadium" to the much-smaller Court 13 because of "water that was squirting up through a fissure behind the baseline," according to Wayne Coffee of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Roddick and Ferrer completed two games before Roddick "noticed that a small patch of water had gurgled through a crack." After more than an hour, the players returned and "found the problem uncorrected," at which point an "exasperated Roddick threw up his hands and the players walked off again." Roddick: "We play for 15 seconds and then water comes up" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 9/8). Roddick said to Tournament Referee Brian Earley, "I told you it’s going to keep coming up, it's from underneath. Now I’m really starting to get pissed off. I was perfect the first time we handled this. I come out here, I told you not to dab at it every 30 seconds. How hard is it not to see water? Jesus! ... You said you would clean it up with a towel, it’s going to look dry, Brian. You just stepped right there and it came up. Why are we out here right now? I mean, you’re killing these people and you’re killing us. What are you doing? I’m baffled right now, absolutely baffled. You knew what I was going to do when I came out here” (ESPN2, 9/8). Ferrer said, "The court was no good. Andy’s reaction was normal. If I didn’t have the same reaction it’s because I don’t speak good English" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/9).
AN UNUSUAL DAY IN FLUSHING MEADOWS: The Roddick-Ferrer match moved from the 10,103-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium to the 584-seat Court 13 at Roddick's request, and SI.com's S.L. Price writes, "It was the usual scene at a Grand Slam fourth-round match: Reporters getting chased off the court between points, a crowd so tiny that the sound of shrieking ... from across the U.S. Tennis Center stopped play, Andy Roddick holding up Ferrer in mid-serve when he spied someone scaling the chain-link behind him" (SI.com, 9/9). SI.com's Jon Wertheim wrote, "I think Roddick was well within his rights to become concerned and upset, especially coming as this did on the heels of [Wednesday's] controversy. He and the other players were risking injury" (SI.com, 9/8). TENNIS.com's Steve Tignor wrote if Thursday "was the revolt, was this the new order, one in which the inmates had taken over the asylum?" Tignor: "It was pretty clear who was in charge" (TENNIS.com, 9/8). This all comes as the USTA Thursday announced that the men's final will be played Monday afternoon due to the rain earlier in the week, while the women's final has been pushed back to Sunday (THE DAILY).
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's arena task force Thursday "offered up a smorgasbord of funding options" for a new NBA Kings facility that "includes ticket surcharges, private investment, the sale of city-owned land and -- perhaps most important -- a quasi-privatization of city parking," according to a front page piece by Kasler, Bizjak & Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Hotels and restaurants near the proposed arena "will likely be asked to tax themselves." Naming rights and luxury suite revenue "would be earmarked for construction costs." There also is the "possibility of drawing in foreign investors under a U.S. government program that offers green cards to those who put money in." But "almost all the details remain to be fleshed out -- from the level of surcharges on arena hot dogs to the amount of rent to be paid" by the Kings. The Sacramento City Council -- and "possibly other area governmental bodies -- will likely be asked to guarantee the bonds that would be sold to fund the project." In addition, it is "not clear what would happen with the $65 million the Kings already owe the city." Johnson said, "We are nowhere near the finish line." But he vowed to have "what we think is the final plan" ready by January, with the arena expected to open in '15. The city's staff is "expected to ask the City Council on Tuesday for a green light to start negotiating a deal that would install" developer David Taylor and ICON Venue Group as "master developers of the arena." Global arena operator AEG is "also in the mix" and could be "called on for an upfront investment in return for the rights to manage the new arena" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 9/9). In Sacramento, Kelly Johnson noted the NBA and the Kings have "given the city until March to come up with a plan for paying for a new arena to replace the outdated Power Balance Pavilion" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/8). The Kings in a statement Thursday "praised the report and said the team looks forward to continuing to work with the city and other interested parties" (ESPN.com, 9/8).
GIVE IT A SHOT: A SACRAMENTO BEE editorial is written under the header "Cynics Should Give Arena Plan An Honest Look." The editorial: "Whatever the final plan, it will not be an easy sell. When basic services are being slashed, it's understandable that some residents would ask why city money should go into an arena. Yet throughout our history, U.S. cities have invested during the bad times to position themselves to flourish when better times return. The response to the arena proposal shouldn't be: 'Don't do anything, anytime, during a bad economy.' The question should be: Is this a fair deal for all involved?" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 9/9).
In Chicago, Fran Spielman writes Cubs fans would "prefer to be watching their beloved team going deep into the playoffs," but team officials are "hoping to offer them the next best thing: a baseball movie in the park." During a Thursday City Council meeting, Alderman Tom Tunney "introduced an Oct. 1 exception to the ordinance that puts a 30-game ceiling on the number of night games at Wrigley to allow for the first-ever movie night" at Wrigley. Cubs General Counsel & Exec VP/Community Affairs Mike Lufrano said, "We're thinking about ways to help keep Wrigley Field alive. ... This would be a chance to come to an evening on the field, probably with free popcorn, and experience Wrigley Field in a different way." He added that the Cubs "have not yet chosen the movie, nor have they determined how much to charge or where to position multiple movie screens." But Lufrano said that the fee "would be 'small' and that the real money would come from attracting a corporate sponsor" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 9/9).
REIN IT IN: In London, Matthew Beard reports LOCOG officials have been "told to cut capacity by 25,000 at an equestrian event or risk transport chaos." Transport for London has "warned of queues of more than two hours for spectators travelling by rail to Greenwich Park for the cross-country horse riding event," scheduled for July 30 during the '12 Games. LOCOG "faces losing more than £1 million in ticket revenues if it has to comply with TfL's advice to cut the official capacity from 75,000 to 50,000" (THISISLONDON.co.uk, 9/9).
WIDE OPEN SPACES: In Louisville, Kyle Tucker reported Lexington city leaders, Univ. of Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart and architect Gary Bates, who is designing a downtown entertainment district for the city, "had the same message Wednesday about the future of Rupp Arena: 'All options are still on the table.'" Bates said that he will "have a clearer picture of the plan in 1-2 months and hopes to have an initial design completed by the end of January." Until then, it remains "unclear whether Rupp Arena will be renovated or a new arena will replace it" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 9/8).
FAN FAVORITE: The Ravens and Aramark, the team's concessionaire, are asking fans to select one of two new sandwiches to feature on M&T Bank Stadium's menu this season. The first finalist, "Baltimore Dip," offers shaved prime rib with aged cheddar cheese, roasted pepper relish, horseradish sauce and crab dip au jus. The "Pigskin" sandwich includes slow roasted pork in a mango and jalapeno glaze, topped with red cabbage slaw, roasted garlic mojo and manchego cheese. Fans can vote for their favorite at www.RavensSandwich.com, and the winner -- determined by total sandwiches sold and online votes -- will be announced prior to the Ravens' Nov. 24 game against the 49ers (Ravens).