SBD/April 24, 2013/Facilities

Facility Notes

Stadium upgrades were debated by the Panthers and Charlotte for seven months
In Charlotte, Steve Harrison reports as the Charlotte City Council "debated in February whether to give" the NFL Panthers money for stadium renovations, City Attorney Bob Hagemann "believed the team might be sold and moved if members turned the team down." Transcripts of closed meetings released yesterday "also show the city and team tangled over the Panthers’ tax burden, the length of a contractual agreement to keep the Panthers in Charlotte, and even over a proposal that the city build the team a parking deck." Documents show the city and the team "went back and forth for seven months over how much the public should pay -- and what the Panthers should give in return" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/24).

MY KIND OF TOWN: In Chicago, Fran Spielman notes Southport Neighbors Association President Jill Peters last night "demanded ... that the Cubs scale back their request for more night games and signage at a renovated Wrigley Field, nix plans to enlarge the stadium’s footprint and reduce the height of a hotel they plan to build across the street." After a Monday night meeting between the Cubs and Southport Neighbors, Peters is "demanding no more than 37 'night events'-per-season, including concerts, 3:05 p.m. game starts and regular night games." Peters also asked for "50 more post-game security personnel outside the ballpark, up from the Cubs’ plan for 30" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/24).

AT THE EPICENTER: In West Palm Beach, Emily Roach reports a deal "appears to be in the works to build a second two-team stadium in the north county area for" the Astros and Blue Jays. It could "make Palm Beach County the epicenter of Florida East Coast spring training," as the Marlins and Cardinals "both play their spring training games at ... Roger Dean Stadium." Palm Beach Gardens Council member David Levy voiced "cautious optimism," but said that "traffic, zoning and environmental issues must be considered" (PALM BEACH POST, 4/24).

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: In Hartford, Mike Anthony reported UConn, which will "play all Hockey East games at the XL Center for a few years, has an agreement with Hockey East for a campus facility plan to be in place by February 2016." UConn "remains in the exploratory phase, having hired architectural firms to conduct feasibility studies," but fans can "picture Gampel Pavilion, already in need of an overhaul, with its dome flattened, luxury suites added, a sheet of ice among the major renovations needed to make it a dual facility." AD Warde Manuel said, "We're looking at all the options. Nothing is imminent, but I would say in the next year or so we'll have more solid plans" (HARTFORD COURANT, 4/23).
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