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Miami city officials “recently learned that the Marlins have been storing pallets of supplies in one of the four city-owned garages next to” Marlins Park, and city officials now want the team “to pay more than $30,000 in additional monthly rent for using the Center Field garage south of the stadium as storage,” according to Rabin & Hiaasen of the MIAMI HERALD. The city said that the team is “using about 18,000 square feet of space on the garage’s first floor.” It is unclear “how long the team has been storing the materials in the garage.” City of Miami Public Facilities Dir Henry Torre in an e-mail said that the Marlins “still owe the city $24,000 in back rent for the use of parking spaces during the baseball season last year.” The Marlins “rent about 5,700 parking spaces at $10 a space during the baseball season, but the team does not have any right to use the garages for storage.” Torre said that the team “deducted the $24,000 from the rent payment last year because flooding in a parking lot made some spaces unusable.” He said that in “lieu of rent for the storage, the city would be willing to take back some of the parking spaces to be used for the storefront restaurant-and-retail space the city installed in the garages, which opened last year.” But so far, “no businesses have opened in the garages” (MIAMI HERALD, 3/9).
Northwestern Univ. has "promised" Evanston, Ill., it will "keep six football games a year at Ryan Field under a recent agreement to play more at Wrigley Field," according to Patrick Svitek of NU student newspaper the DAILY NORTHWESTERN. Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl on Friday "announced there's a 'new twist' in the NU pact" with the Cubs to hold as many as five football games at Wrigley over the next five years. Tisdahl said, "If Wrigley is reconstructed and can accommodate a football game, that's a big if. Then [University President Morton] Schapiro assured me that Evanston will keep six home games a year at Ryan Field. Only when there is a seventh home game will one be played at Wrigley, and it will not be against a marquee team that sells out." Svitek noted it remains unclear if NU's games at Wrigley will not be the "blockbuster match-ups" that Tisdahl mentioned. NU AD Jim Phillips said the school's opponents at Wrigley "won't be any school that we're just going to write in that we play them every year at a place." He added, "When we're going to start, it will really depend on the Cubs' schedule, Northwestern's schedule, and most importantly, the construction schedule. So we don't have a definite date. It won't be in '13. We'll work closely with the Cubs to find out when that'll be" (DAILYNORTHWESTERN.com, 3/10). In Chicago, Bob Seidenberg wrote, "Some in the Evanston business community did not react well to the announcement -- which also caught city officials unaware." Tisdahl "used Friday’s address to assure business leaders that the Wildcats are not abandoning Evanston" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/9).
PGA Tour events have organized and promoted “daylong parties” around certain holes “hoping to attract corporate clients and expand their fan bases beyond rabid followers of golf," according to Karen Crouse of the N.Y. TIMES. The 15th hole of TPC Blue Monster at Trump Doral is where course owner Donald Trump envisions "the winds of change blowing through PGA Tour events will be most evident.” Trump “sees gold in a cozy par-3 watering hole with a lake running along one side and well-heeled patrons ensconced in sky boxes lining the other.” Golfer Geoff Ogilvy said, “It’s a bit more like the tournaments are setting up or contriving to create raucous atmospheres.” Ogilvy added, “The tournament directors and the people who set up tournaments conspire to get everyone into the same place. ‘Let’s go for a walk today and watch a few holes, but please go to 17 towards the end and start making noise.’ That’s kind of what they want.” Crouse wrote the “librarylike setting of golf tournaments is gradually disappearing.” Ogilvy said, “If it gets more people to go, I think it’s a good thing.” He added, “I know most guys kind of enjoy 16 at Phoenix and 17 last week, for the most part. I think every now and then you get late in the day, you get a few people getting a little bit loud at the wrong moment. But as long as it all happens after golf shots and between golf shots, and not while someone is actually hitting a shot, I mean, fair play, they should be allowed to do whatever they want.” Golfer Justin Rose said, “If you want to play for all the money we are playing for, you have to find ways in this economy to also give more and more to the fans and the sponsors, and I think that’s what’s happening” (N.Y. TIMES, 3/10).
FITS THE EYE: GOLF WORLD MONDAY’s Ryan Herrington writes of the Doral changes under the guidance of course architect Gil Hanse, “The end product tee-to-green is likely to appeal to players.” More “refreshing, the new routing and proposed treatment outside the ropes -- particularly the amphitheater setting at the ninth/18th -- has the potential to be a hit with fans and TV executives alike” (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 3/11 issue).
PLAYING WITH DYNAMITE: Golf course renovations were the topic of GOLF.com's weekly roundtable discussion, with writers addressing the question, "What PGA Tour course would you most like to blow up and start over on?" SI's Gary Van Sickle wrote, “I think the Bear Trap at PGA National would blow up nicely. ... Even the pros think it’s too gimmicky.” Golf.com Senior Producer Ryan Reiterman wrote, “I’ll go with Torrey Pines. For a course that’s right on the ocean, it’s a pretty bland course with very few memorable holes.” Golf Magazine's Cameron Morfit wrote, “I’d blow up Whistling Straits, which I think is a mess and quite possibly the most dangerous place ever built to watch a golf tournament.” Golf.com Managing Editor Eamon Lynch wrote, “Let’s start with any course whose name starts with TPC” (GOLF.com, 3/10).