SBD/April 5, 2012/MLB Season Preview

MLB Facility Notes: Cubs Introduce Two Sponsored Seating Areas

Wrigley Field's Budweiser Patio will include 75-foot Panasonic LED board
The Cubs yesterday announced a series of corporate sponsorships at Wrigley Field for the '12 season, including two branded seating areas. The Audi Legends Suite will be located on the first-base side of the Nuveen Investments Suite Level with room for 14; the Budweiser Patio in the right field bleacher section will include a 75-foot Panasonic LED board. Additional signage from Target, Tervis Tumbler, the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, CDW and Under Armour will appear in the ballpark (Cubs). Cubs 1B Jeff Baker said that he asked Exec VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Wally Hayward “what would happen if someone from the patio section falls several feet into the basket while trying to retrieve a home run ball.” Baker said, “That's going to be nightmare, people trying to jump over and 'Curious George' it down in the basket. It looks like a cool place to watch the game though" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/5).

THINKING AHEAD
: In Baltimore, Kevin Cowherd writes the Orioles "sure do stadium renovations well.” Orioles VP/Planning & Development Janet Marie Smith said, "When Camden Yards was built, we were thinking of the hard-core fan as a guy with a No. 2 pencil and a scorecard in a fixed-slat chair. And today, our hard-core fans have an iPhone or BlackBerry in their pocket and 14 games are coming in at once and they're trying to stay on top of a lot more than just the game in front of them." She added, “We're trying to do a lot of things in real time. And so this notion of staying in a fixed seat for nine innings doesn't appeal to everyone.” Cowherd notes the new roof deck in center field “figured to be enormously popular.” It will “have a bar up there … and deck seating with a nice view of downtown” (Baltimore SUN, 4/5).

SMOKERS NOT WELCOME: In Minneapolis, Paul Walsh writes for the Twins' first two seasons at Target Field, smokers were “relegated to a corral outside left field on the promenade.” That “final nicotine outpost will no longer exist at Monday's home opener, after the Minnesota Ballpark Authority came to the team with the idea to make Target Field smoke-free.” The ban includes “not only inside the stadium but all of Target Plaza” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/5).

CALLING TRAVIS FRY-MAN: Sportservice GM Tom Olson yesterday said that there “will be a ‘fry bar’ on the field level near Section 106 at Miller Park this year.” Olson said that he “saw the success the State Fair has with deep-fried food and thought he'd try out a few items to entice fans” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/5).
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