SBD/March 22, 2013/Facilities

Facility Notes

In Milwaukee, Don Walker notes the BMO Harris Bradley Center brought fans in "for a focus group to learn what their impressions were" of the facility. Arena President & CEO Steve Costello was "surprised" to find that fans have noticed that the venue and concessionaire Levy Restaurants "offer a wide variety of food and beverage choices in the building." Costello said, "They know we have different options, even a gluten-free offering." Fans also have "noticed the new gate signs inside and outside." But some fans "did raise some concerns" about long concession lines and cramped seating (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 3/22).

FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH: In Baltimore, Sarah Meehan reported as Preakness Stakes mascot Kegasus "gallops into the sunset," the event is "getting a classier addition to its festivities." The Maryland Jockey Club will host "what it deems the world’s largest farm-to-table dining experience" at the May 18 race. DC-based chef Mike Isabella, who previously competed on Bravo's "Top Chef," created the menu for the event. The Jockey Club "hopes to make the farm-to-table option a preakness tradition" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/20).

HICCUP IN THE PLANS: In South Carolina, Adam Beam notes Darlington Raceway “could exempt itself from its own tax exemption.” Track President Chris Browning said that the track “has plans to widen its seats, currently 18 inches wide, in order to make the race more comfortable for its fans.” But if it does that, Darlington’s capacity “would fall below 60,000 seats -- the threshold required to qualify for an exemption to the state admissions tax.” A state Senate subcommittee on Thursday “advanced a bill that would rewrite that exemption to apply to any ‘motorsports entertainment complex’ that ‘is a NASCAR sanctioned motor speedway or racetrack that hosts at least one race each year featuring the preeminent NASCAR cup series.’” Southern Strategy Group Owner DeWitt Zemp, whose firm lobbies for the track, said, “We accidentally defined ourselves into a box” (Columbia STATE, 3/22).
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