SBD/April 2, 2013/MLB Season Preview

MLB Facility Notes: White Sox Say CTA Renovations Won't Affect Fans' Commute

White Sox PR Manager Marty Maloney said while nearly 20% of fans utilized the Chicago Transportation Authority to commute to games last year, "We do not expect Red Line renovations to impact our attendance." The White Sox and the CTA said that they were “prepared for reducing the challenges fans may face" in getting to U.S. Cellular Field. CTA Communications & Media Relations Dir Tammy Chase said that the CTA on White Sox home game days “sees an additional 3,000-3,500 riders at the 35th Street Red Line stop” (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 3/31).

SPRING FOR THE SUITE: In Phoenix, Gary Nelson reported the Cubs’ new Spring Training complex in Mesa, Ariz., "already has landed its first major commercial development.” Mesa-based Sunridge Properties has “agreed to build a 100-room Marriott SpringHill Suites hotel on the edge of a city park that will serve as the eastern gateway to the $99 million baseball complex” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/1).

NOT YOUR FATHER'S BALLPARK FOOD: In Tampa, Laura Reiley notes Fetzer and Zipz at Tropicana Field “debuted the first single-serve wine product to be served” at MLB stadiums. Offered in “Crimson red blend and Quartz white blend at $8 each, it's 187 ml in a glass-shaped receptacle that even fits snugly in your seat's cupholder.” Concessionaire Centerplate also unveiled a natural food stand that offers a “vegan veggie tray.” Known as "The Dirt List," it sells for $79, "serves 16 and comes with skinny roasted carrots, multicolored roasted cauliflower and grilled broccolini" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 4/2).

GONE WITH THE WIND: In Cleveland, Karen Farkas notes, "The distinctive, plastic-corkscrew wind turbine mounted atop the southeast corner of Progressive Field was removed last Thursday, one year after it was installed.” The Indians had “agreed to host the new turbine as part of its commitment to sustainability, including adding solar panels to the stadium.” The turbine was “lighted within by colored LED lights and was clearly seen by those at the ballpark and those traveling on Interstate 90.” But Cleveland State Univ. “took it down much earlier than planned because it was damaged -- ironically from the wind.” CSU Strategic Communications Dir Joe Mosbrook said that the university decided to remove the turbine “before the start of baseball season because plastic pieces could have broken off and injured fans" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 4/2).

PARKING WARS: In N.Y., Juan Gonzalez reports Bronx Parking Development, which operates the Yankee Stadium garage system, "failed to make" a $6.9M payment due April 1 on more than $237M in "tax-exempt bonds" arranged in '07 by N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. The group, which "is not connected to the Yankees, thus fell into one of the biggest defaults of a New York City-sponsored bond in decades” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/2).
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