SBD/November 3, 2011/Facilities

MLB Facility Notes: Chicago Mayor Opposes Using Tax Money For Wrigley

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel yesterday said that he “won’t change his mind about a taxpayer-financed plan to renovate Wrigley Field.” In Chicago, Fran Spielman notes Emanuel wants to “find a way to save Wrigley without forfeiting 35 years’ worth of amusement-tax growth.” The mayor has called that plan a “non-starter.” Emanuel asked, “Do you think that by choosing a guy called Theo Epstein that this mayor, Rahm Israel Emanuel, would be more sensitive to their needs? Is that what you’re asking?” He added, “I’m excited that the Cubs have made the decision and wish him the best. But I am not changing my perspective from the taxpayers just because people are excited” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/3).

PARKING LOT PARTY: In Chicago, Dave Hoekstra reports Red Bull Fuel + Fury, “a freestyle snowmobiling competition, makes its ballpark debut Saturday in a Wrigley Field parking lot … that has been turned into a track space.” The event has “never taken place at or near a sports stadium.” The event “is free, but tickets are required.” The city expects “a couple thousand people to attend the event, which is co-produced by Red Bull and Jam Productions” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/3).

IMPORTING RUGBY: Rugby club London Irish said that they “are considering playing a match overseas in the next few years,” with Boston mentioned “as a potential venue.” BBC Sports notes they would “be the first club to take a fixture to America.” London Irish CEO Andy Martin said, “You can imagine the scene. Fenway Park in Boston full of Irish people, hopefully with some of the fans from here going across to watch us playing an Italian side in the Heineken Cup” (BBC.co.uk, 11/1). In Boston, Peter Abraham writes in the rugby world, “this would be a very big deal.” Fenway has hosted “hockey games and a soccer match in recent years, so why not rugby?” (BOSTON.com, 10/2).

WELCOME TO MIAMI: In Miami, Clark Spencer reports yesterday the Marlins “unveiled four new street names bordering their gleaming new ballpark in Little Havana.” The street names include Marlins Way, Orange Bowl Way, Felo Ramirez Drive for the Marlins’ HOF Spanish-language broadcaster and Bobby Maduro Drive “in honor of the late baseball aficionado from Cuba whose name came to be recognized with the sport in Miami.” Marlins President David Samson said of Maduro, “We did some homework and realized he was critical in bringing Hispanics and baseball together in Miami” (MIAMI HERALD, 11/3).

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