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SBD/October 10, 2012/FacilitiesPrint All
The USTA “could prove the most intriguing and deep-pocketed opponent” of MLS’ proposal to "build a 25,000-seat stadium smack in the middle of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park,” according to Michael Powell of the N.Y. TIMES. Many local residents “look with suspicion on the USTA as it, too, plans to take another small bite out of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.” USTA officials “view a soccer stadium with concern.” A soccer stadium in the middle of the park, unlike Citi Field and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, would “sit a substantial distance from subways and trains” and would most likely “require more roads and parking, crossing close to the tennis center.” MLS officials have “spoken of using the stadium for concerts, all of which would make it a cacophonous neighbor for the tennis complex.” USTA Exec Dir & COO Gordon Smith said, “It raises a lot of concerns for us. We ought to be considered in a very different light, because we raise almost none of those complications.” Powell noted MLS has “commissioned an architect to draw up pretty and crowd-pleasing drawings for the stadium.” Meanwhile, the USTA “wants to build a new tennis facility and parking garages," but "often is a reasonable neighbor.” When the USTA “cut a deal" with the administration of former N.Y. Mayor David Dinkins to build a new facility in the early '90s, it "agreed to build dozens of tennis courts and let residents use them most weeks of the year.” USTA also “pays about $2.5 million a year to the city" (NYTIMES.com, 10/8).
The United Soccer League Pro club Orlando City yesterday "sought to rouse support for a new public-private soccer stadium" with the release of a study by consulting firm CSL Int'l showing that MLS would have a $1.2B economic impact on the region, according to Mark Schlueb of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. Orlando City Owner & President Phil Rawlins said that the team "has been all but promised a MLS franchise in Orlando -- if it gets a stadium of its own." Schlueb notes the stadium would cost about $96.5M, and team execs "hope Orlando and Orange County will help cover the cost." But beyond that, "no financial details have been discussed." The club currently plays at the Citrus Bowl, and MLS "would allow the team to continue in that venue, but only for so long." Rawlins said that to "earn an MLS franchise, the Lions must have a plan in place for their own facility." Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs "have each toured MLS stadiums with Orlando City Soccer executives -- most recently last weekend, when Jacobs toured PPL Park in Pennsylvania and met with the facility's architects and the Philadelphia Union's owners" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/10).
Knicks Owner James Dolan said “there’s room” in N.Y. for Barclays Center, but there is “no real replacement” for Madison Square Garden, according to Andrew Hampp of BILLBOARD. Calling Barclays Center a “good venue,” Dolan said, “I wish them well -- except for basketball -- but we’re just finishing a three-year transformation of Madison Square Garden and you won’t believe what the place looks like. It’s like a brand-new arena.” When asked if Barclays Center might compete with MSG for bookings, Dolan said, “My biggest problem right now is the (NHL) hockey strike, which could put a lot of holes in our calendar.” Dolan: “In this marketplace there’s room for other venues to do well and they seem to be. It’s a nice venue -- if it makes concert-going more appealing to the marketplace, great. That just makes the pie bigger.” Meanwhile, Dolan said of performing with his band JD & the Straight Shot, “I squeeze it in wherever I can. A lot of times I go from the office, change from a suit to the blue jeans, warm up and just hit the stage. I love music so much and it’s always been a big part of my life. It’s something I could never see not doing and it provides balance to me, too” (BILLBOARD, 10/13 issue).
In Edmonton, Angelique Rodrigues reports city officials are “considering giving Commonwealth Stadium a [C]$20-million facelift" in order for the city to host the '15 FIFA Women’s World Cup. But Mayor Stephen Mandel so far “doesn’t seem willing to open the city’s wallet.” Mandel said, “The price tag is just staggering.” He added, “The requirements that these organizations have are sometime onerous, because they don’t pay for it. They say ‘just pay for it,’ well, our taxpayers pay for it" (EDMONTON SUN, 10/10).
BOXING LOCKED IN: In Miami, Santos Perez reported promotional company Acquinity Sports “recently reached a deal” with BB&T Center officials to present a "combined nine-bout boxing card and 2 1/2-hour concert.” Acquinity Sports VP Henry Rivalta said, “With hockey in a lockout, it allowed us an opportunity to offer the event to the BB&T Center.” Rivalta said that the musical portion of the event "will feature hip-hop performer Flo Rida” (MIAMI HERALD, 10/9).
UNITED PLANS: DC Council member Jack Evans on Friday said that he “hopes to have the framework for a D.C. United soccer stadium at Buzzard Point in place by the end of the year.” A source said that the city has “assigned a project manager to the stadium plan and the sides are attempting to iron out land issues.” In DC, Steven Goff noted the stadium “would accommodate between 20,000 and 24,000 spectators” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 10/5).