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The Reds in the offseason spent $2M in renovations to Great American Ball Park to "boost revenue and appeal to a broader segment of fans," according to Steve Watkins of the CINCINNATI BUSINESS COURIER. The team is "giving its Machine Room restaurant a facelift, upgrading many of its suites, renovating its gift shop and building a plaza for concerts and other events." But the "most obvious addition" is the Budweiser Bow Tie Bar, located above the visitors' bullpen in right field. The 90-seat bar, featuring a 30-foot sign, is "part of a new multiyear sponsorship deal" with Budweiser as the team's official beer. Budweiser also "gets a 45-foot long, seven-foot high new sign in right field." The Reds have "added a tier above the bullpen that will include a patio," which will be sold "to groups game-by-game." The team also is "converting half of the outdoor patio seating for the Machine Room in left field to make it available for group sales," and "remaking the restaurant's wall facing the field into one that can be completely opened ups." The gift shop "will have an entrance that will face the bars and restaurants at the Banks riverfront development, improving visibility, particularly on nongame days." The Reds "spent big on amenities" in part because "many suite-holders' leases are up for renewal," and GABP will host the '15 MLB All-Star Game. Twenty-seven of 54 Reds suites "will be renovated this year." Reds COO Phil Castellini said that those changes are "mostly cosmetic" and involve "updated decor and painting." The team will "redo the rest next year" (CINCINNATI BUSINESS COURIER, 3/8 issue).
JOE SOMEBODY: In Cincinnati, C. Trent Rosecrans noted Baseball HOFer Joe Morgan was on hand last night at the Reds HOF & Museum for the "unveiling of the Joe Morgan exhibit." The Reds on Sept. 6 will be honoring Morgan with a statue created by artist Tom Tsuchiya. The statue will be the "second of the five statues from the Big Red Machine Reds." Morgan’s '76 Gold Glove Award, his Babe Ruth Crown Award and his '72 All-Star Game MVP trophy "stand among several jerseys and bats" on display. Morgan said that his most "prized possession" on display was his '64 Texas League MVP Trophy (CINCINNATI.com, 3/11).
WELL-OILED MACHINE: FS Ohio GM Francois McGillicuddy said that ad space for Reds games "is going quickly," and the net is "on track" to sell out 90% of Reds games inventory by Opening Day. He added that advertising demand has been "so strong" that FS Ohio has been able to "increase ad rates" by an average of 20% from last season (BIZJOURNALS.COM, 3/6).
The ACC will debut its first branded restaurant in the Raleigh-Durham Int’l Airport early next year through an agreement with HMSHost. The new restaurant will be called the ACC American Café and its walls will be covered with historic photos, player-of-the-week features, real-time scoreboards and live games on the ACC Network. The menu will offer a broad selection with salads, sandwiches, North Carolina barbecue, tilapia with Georgia peach relish and jalapeno-glazed half chicken. The ACC and HMSHost will use a portion of the proceeds to sponsor scholarships as part of the ACC Postgraduate Scholarship program. The scholarships are awarded annually to select student-athletes who intend to pursue a graduate degree following completion of their undergrad requirements. HMSHost also has committed to offer internship opportunities to students from ACC schools.
In Jacksonville, Ron Littlepage wrote Jaguars President Mark Lamping made "a compelling case" for why the team wants to add two new scoreboards to EverBank Field at a cost of $50M. What the Jaguars are proposing “would be the talk of the football world -- the biggest scoreboards in the country that would be about 52 feet high and 348 feet wide." Lamping said that one of the “keys to success for the Jaguars, besides putting a good team on the field, is fan experience" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 3/10).
REPAVING TOBACCO ROAD: In North Carolina, Owen Covington reported Greensboro Coliseum as part of an $8.5M first phase of renovations has 9,000 "wider, cushioned seats with more leg room.” The upgrade is part of an overall $24M package of "upgrades and expansions at the complex" slated to be completed by '16. Coliseum Managing Dir Matt Brown said that the work “was completed on time” for the start of the ACC’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/11).
MAKE A LITTLE BIRDHOUSE: In Atlanta, Greg Bluestein wrote Falcons Owner Arthur Blank should “count himself lucky he’s on the verge of getting any public funding" for a new $1B stadium. The team’s “tentative agreement" with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed for $200M in public funds "comes amid growing public backlash for using taxpayer support to finance pro football facilities.” It “wasn’t so long ago that the public picked up the entire tab on many stadiums," as the Georgia Dome was 100% "publicly funded" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 3/11).