SBD/April 10, 2012/Facilities

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  • Ballpark Naming-Rights Deal Between Royals, U.S. Bank Falls Through

    At least two contractors had begun work related to rebranding Kauffman Stadium

    The Royals “struck out in recent weeks with plans to sell naming rights for Kauffman Stadium to U.S. Bank” before this summer’s All-Star Game, according to sources cited by Steve Vockrodt of the K.C. BUSINESS JOURNAL. The team, which also shot down rumors of a naming-rights deal in November, “considered making an announcement" last week, but it "was canceled when the parties could not reach terms.” It is “not clear what is holding up a deal or whether one still could be struck with a different sponsor.” At least “two contractors had begun work related to rebranding the stadium with U.S. Bank or were discussing working on the arrangement with the Royals.” U.S. Bank Regional President Mark Jorgenson said that the Royals “were among several who have discussed naming rights with the bank.” Jorgenson: “That’s always an ongoing discussion, but it really comes down to what fits with our budget and fits with where we want to go.” Vockrodt noted the team has “talked to Star Signs LLC about installing new signs in various areas, including the roof, above the main entrance and on the main scoreboard.” Star Signs discussed the “budget and timeline with the Royals, but the team recently notified the company that the naming rights deal had fallen through” (K.C. BUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/6 issue).

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  • Warriors Reject MLB Giants' Offer, Explore Own Plans For S.F. Waterfront Arena

    Warriors eyeing arena site that originally was going to be hub of the America's Cup race

    The Warriors have "shunned an offer from the San Francisco Giants to build an arena on land next to AT&T Park," and instead the team is "quietly exploring plans to go it alone with a spectacular waterfront arena at Piers 30-32," according to Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. There was "hardly a mention of the Warriors when Giants executives unveiled" their $1.6B plan to convert 27 acres "around AT&T Park into a new neighborhood of homes, offices, shops, restaurants and parks." A source said the Warriors "do not want the Giants to be their middleman." Currently, the Warriors are eyeing the 13 acres of "concrete and pilings that make up Piers 30-32, the area that at one point was to be the hub of the America's Cup race before regatta organizers ditched those plans." The city has agreed to put $8M into "shoring up the aging piers, but the site would need an additional" $50M or more in foundation work to "handle a major development." The site is "closer to downtown and public transportation than the property on the other side of McCovey Cove from AT&T Park." Matier & Ross write, "Toss in the prospect of luring conventions to an iconic-looking arena in the shadow of the Bay Bridge, and the site gives the Warriors plenty of reasons to dream big." The Warriors' lease at Oracle Arena in Oakland "expires at the end" of the '16-17 season (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/10).

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  • A's Refusing To Call Coliseum By O.Co Branding Due To Ongoing Legal Issues

    The A's venue “bears the brand name O.co” reflecting a naming-rights deal with Overstock.com, but in game notes after Friday night’s home opener against the Mariners, the team “referred to it as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum,” according to Angela Woodall of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The reference “prompted questions about whether the Coliseum would be looking for yet another corporate sponsor just one year into a six-year deal with online retailer." SMG General Manager Ron Little, whose company operates the venue, said that the O.co name “would be staying put.” He added that the A's “refuse to accept the O.co name.” Woodall noted it is “a sticky issue that the lawyers for both sides -- the A's and Coliseum -- are still trying to iron out.” The Coliseum and the Raiders “are supposed to split the earnings from the naming deal, worth about $1 million a year,” as the A's “were not part of the naming rights agreement.” O.co also “has to pay the A's and the Raiders separately for any other promotion of the company's name during games” (MERCURYNEWS.com, 4/7).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, Oakland Athletics
  • Red Sox Make Fenway Park High-Tech Without Compromising Venue's Historic Facade

    Most high-tech equipment at Fenway Park is stashed in inaccessible nooks and crannies

    Fans at Fenway Park get to "enjoy high-speed mobile access and the latest in spectacular video displays, all without spoiling the timeless appeal" of the ballpark, according to D.C. Denison of the BOSTON GLOBE. While the game still draws the crowd, there is "real demand for state-of-the-art technology inside Fenway." Delivering all that data "is a complicated job, especially because Fenway is listed on the National Register of Historic Places." Red Sox Dir of Information technology Steve Conley said, "That means no antennas on the brick exterior. Inside, no routers hanging off the columns." Much of the equipment "is stashed in inaccessible nooks and crannies, deftly tucked out of sight up high, or painted the color of the Green Monster left-field wall to blend in." The ballpark's most "recent and ambitious technology upgrade" was the distributed antenna system installed last year by Verizon "to handle the explosion of smartphone use by fans." It is "run from a control center" over the Lansdowne Pub across the street from the ballpark. The venue also offers "high-speed Internet access via Metro Ethernet, a service from cable provider Comcast Corp. that is designed for big-business use." Comcast usually delivers 100-megabits-per-second service, "not much more than a medium-size business demands, but it can expand Fenway’s bandwidth to 10 gigabits per second for big games." However, it is the "trio of high-definition outfield scoreboards installed before the 2011 season that is perhaps the most flashy technological extravagance at Fenway." Conley said, "Ideally, we’d have one central IT room, but that’s not what they were thinking about in 1912. So we take whatever space we can find" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/9).

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