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The Cubs have "filed initial paperwork that would open the door to Wrigley Field winning a coveted spot in the National Register of Historic Places" now that their $500M renovation plan is in place, according to a front-page piece by Ameet Sachdev of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Being listed puts team Owner the Ricketts family "in line for a significant financial reward: federal income tax credits on the work done to refurbish Wrigley Field." The government help would "basically reimburse the family for some of the $300 million it plans to spend on the stadium." The historic-preservation tax credit is "equal to 20 percent of qualified rehabilitation costs." It is "unknown how much of the Wrigley work would qualify for the tax break." The Red Sox "spent about $285 million to upgrade their stadium, a 10-year project that was completed" in '11. Reports estimated that the team was "eligible for $40 million in tax credits." Cubs VP/Communications & Community Affairs Julian Green said that the team "plans to seek tax incentives for historic preservation if the Cubs win city approval for their proposal to upgrade Wrigley and develop adjacent property." It is "unclear whether the proposed renovations could run afoul of the requirements of the historic-preservation tax credits." Fenway Park is the "most high-profile example of the benefits of the tax credit" in the sports world. The federal landmark designation is, "for the most part, honorary and is independent of the Chicago landmark status conferred on Wrigley in 2004" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/18).
HEALTHY DOSE OF SKEPTICISM: In Chicago, Rick Morrissey writes any success the Cubs have is "not going to be tied" to the new video board that will be installed at Wrigley as part of the renovation. It is "going to come down to" what President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein does, and "more likely than not, it won’t matter how much money he’s holding in his hand as a lure" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/18). In Illinois, Mike Imrem wrote of Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts' claim the team will win the World Series if the renovation deal goes through, "Sorry, but I just can't believe Ricketts on this one. I already must accept too many of life's mysterious treasures on faith, among them girls, golf and God" (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 4/17).
49ers CEO Jed York said is "very confident" the team's new stadium in Santa Clara will have a naming-rights partner by the time it opens in August '14. Appearing on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's "Chronicle Live" on Tuesday night, York said, "I wouldn't say that we are close to putting it to bed right now, but there are a lot of people that are interested. ... The key is finding the right partner." He said there was not "necessarily a timeline" to get a deal done and implement it, "but we've got about a year-and-a-half until the stadium opens." York said it has to "be the right fit because this is going to be a partnership that lasts for a long, long time. So you don't want to force something on the front end that might hurt you over the next 20 or 30 years." York said of S.F.'s Super Bowl bid, "We are going to have a very unique approach to a Super Bowl to make sure we really leave a lasting legacy in the Bay Area and it's going to be something that's going to be a tough vote for the owners looking at somebody like Miami who's had a Super Bowl a bunch of times in the past, versus San Francisco that we haven't hosted in the Bay Area since 1985." York said the bid means "we represent a region" and there is "no question that everybody is ready to work together and go after it and hopefully win the bid" ("Chronicle Live," CSN Bay Area, 4/16).
SEARCHING FOR A PURPOSE: In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde noted Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross’ Related Group has "signed on to develop around" the new 49ers' stadium. This move is a "reminder that the undeveloped land around Sun Life Stadium that Ross owns presents an economic opportunity for him -- if something can be figured to do with it." Hyde: "You can bet Related’s best minds have tried to unlock what development should go on the land Ross owns [near] Sun Life. Nothing simple comes to my mind beyond office buildings. Nothing evidently has come to them, either" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 4/17).
MGM Resorts will spend $100M in Las Vegas to “transform land along the Strip and surrounding the New York New York and Monte Carlo resorts into an outdoor plaza and pedestrian mall with trendy shops, restaurants and a public park,” with the plaza serving "as a gateway into a 20,000-seat sports arena, which the company will build behind the two resorts with national arena developer AEG,” according to a front-page piece by Howard Stutz of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. Some initial construction “has begun, and the company expects the retail and restaurant complex to open” by early ‘14. The arena budget is “separate and not part of the plaza development.” MGM Resorts and AEG are “requesting proposals for an architect for the arena, which will include designs and budgeting.” MGM Resorts Chair & CEO Jim Murren said that the development will “take part in phases ... with the park and arena as the final pieces with a 2016 completion date.” The arena will “allow MGM Resorts to offer more events, including professional and college basketball and hockey games, that sometimes have to be turned away from the company’s two other Strip venues: the 17,000-seat MGM Grand Garden and the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center.” Murren: “We will be able to accommodate more acts and sporting events than ever before” (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 4/18). Murren said, “We turn away literally dozens of concerts (and) entertainment events every year here in Las Vegas. We literally cannot accommodate the demand. We own two arenas already ... so we believe if we build a larger state-of-the-art arena … with the powerhouse of AEG, we’ll be able to bring more events, more people and that of course will help the home team and we have most of the resorts here” (“Squawk on the Street,” CNBC, 4/18).
SIDELINED PLAYER: In Las Vegas, Alan Snel wrote Silverton Casino President and Majestic Realty point man Craig Cavileer “can’t understand why UNLV dumped Majestic on March 26 as its private partner” for the proposed $900M, 60,000-seat UNLV Now stadium project. Cavileer said, “Somewhere along the line someone disagreed with (the project). I don’t know where it came from.” Although UNLV “terminated the stadium partnership with Majestic, the development company still has a toe in the project because the university is required to offer it the right of first refusal for two years if UNLV wants to build with another private partner.” Cavileer said that Murren “suggested the stadium be open-air, not domed.” He also said that Las Vegas Sands Chair & CEO Sheldon Adelson, Station Casinos co-Owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta and Wynn Resorts Chair & CEO Steve Wynn “all liked the stadium project” (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 4/17).
The Univ. of Kansas yesterday announced that basketball inventor James Naismith's original two-page rulebook will be "displayed at a new three-story center to be connected to the northeast corner of Allen Fieldhouse," according to Blair Kerkhoff of the K.C. STAR. Construction of the $18M building is "expected to start later this year." The bulk of the funding will "come in a gift from Kansas alums Paul and Katherine DeBruce." The 31,000-square-foot building will be "known as the DeBruce Center" (K.C. STAR, 4/18). In Kansas, Erickson & Rothschild in a front-page piece report plans are for the KU Endowment Association to "construct the building entirely with private funds, then hand over ownership to KU after it’s complete." Endowment Association President Dale Seuferling "declined to predict when the center might open." He added that Naismith's rules likely will be "located on its second floor, where the building will connect to the second-floor concourse" of the fieldhouse. He said that "surrounding the rules, and lining the walls of the walkway into the Fieldhouse, will be other exhibit materials celebrating the history and tradition of KU basketball" (LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD, 4/18).
In Indianapolis, Anthony Schoettle noted pricing for two new luxury boxes in the upper suite level at the south end of Lucas Oil Stadium "hasn’t been set yet." Colts COO Pete Ward said that current suites are "leased for between $40,000 and $250,000 annually." The two new suites are "mid-range in terms of capacity, and the price likely will follow suit." Colts officials have a "waiting list for suites and don’t think they will have trouble selling the two new ones." One will "seat 21 and the other 20." Both will be "complete in November" (IBJ.com, 4/16).
VIKING QUEST: In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman reports Vikings Owner the Wilf family has "bought a building" from Twins Owner the Pohlad family for an expanded training base. The building is "next to Winter Park, the Vikings’ training facility in Eden Prairie." The Vikings paid $10M for the building, which "could be torn down and used for a new or expanded training site." Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley said that the Vikings "presently don’t have any plans for the building" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/18).
SUBMIT YOUR BIDS: Nassau County officials said that they received "four proposals to redevelop the Nassau Coliseum as a deadline passed Monday for requests." On Long Island, Cassese & Marshall noted the bidders "include Syosset developer Ed Blumenfeld, who said he submitted a plan to build a scaled-down arena to replace the current 16,000-seat Coliseum, and the Madison Square Garden Company." Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner and "another unidentified developer also submitted proposals." Blumenfeld said that he is "partnering with SMG." He added that his plan "includes additional development at the site, such as shopping, and other entertainment and residential space" (NEWSDAY.com, 4/15).
CLOUD NINE: St. Cloud State Univ. yesterday announced that it has "renamed its hockey arena the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center." The ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS noted the late Brooks "coached St. Cloud State to third place" in the '87 NCAA Division III Tournament. Brooks also "helped secure funds for the National Hockey and Event Center, which opened in 1989." The arena is "undergoing a $14.7 million renovation and expansion that is expected to be completed in June" (TWINCITIES.com, 4/17).