SBD/June 17, 2013/FacilitiesPrint All
The A's and Mariners "had to shower together in the Raiders’ second-floor locker room" at O.co Coliseum after yesterday's game because "raw sewage backed up into both clubhouse shower areas, the umpires’ room and all bathrooms on the clubhouse level," according to Susan Slusser of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Sewage also was backed up in "both managers’ offices and the Mariners’ training room." The umpires "left without showering, as did much of the Mariners’ coaching staff and manager Eric Wedge." A's VP/Stadium Operations David Rinetti said that the team "deals with this issue on a regular basis because of the age of the building." But he added, "Never to this extent." Slusser noted the game drew a sellout crowd of 36,067, "which might have put additional strain on the aging plumbing, but leaking pipes and backed up drains are common even on days off because the facility was built in 1966." A's President Michael Crowley, when asked about the need for a new stadium, said, “It’s clear, right? This isn’t the first time this has happened.” Rinetti said, "We will deal with the facility to evaluate it. We will replace all carpeting in affected areas to make sure it’s safe for players and staff of all teams and for our own employees to work down there. That is a very high priority" (SFGATE.com, 6/16). A's P A.J. Griffin said, "Make sure everybody finds out about this sewage thing. We need to get a new stadium" (AP, 6/16). ESPN.com's Buster Olney writes under the header "A New Low For A's Ballpark" and notes, "The current situation, stench and all, is unsustainable." Olney: "The stalemate involved in the Athletics' efforts to move to San Jose has continued, and what's crazy about it is that eventually, it's going to happen. At some point, either some owner or some politician is going to break out the baseball version of a legal broadsword, because the Oakland franchise is rotting and San Jose wants a team that the Giants ... say they can't have" (ESPN.com, 6/17).
MENU MALAISE: In S.F., Scott Ostler writes, "The A's ancient ballpark has its funky charms, but food variety ain't one of 'em." No longer available at "lower-level concession stands this season: Chicken tacos, chicken strips and maybe other items." Ostler: "Maybe the thinking is: Fewer distracting menu options mean more time for fans to enjoy the game. Is that a tarp over my old favorite chicken-taco stand?" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/17).
The Heat have "begun talks to rework a deal for public subsidies at AmericanAirlines Arena in exchange for a longer lease and a significant upgrade of the 13-year-old facility," according to Douglas Hanks of the MIAMI HERALD. Heat execs said that they will "need more help from Miami-Dade to sustain the arena’s current top-notch quality into the middle of the century." They added that talks are "driven by the age of the county-owned arena, and not the current championship run." Private talks "are underway at County Hall," with the Heat "pushing for a quick decision in order to give them more leeway to plan the next 20 to 30 years in downtown Miami." Public dollars are "sure to be a sticking point in the talks." Miami-Dade pays the arena $6.4M a year "under a deal that runs through 2029." Heat Owner Micky Arison previously "negotiated an agreement that includes the yearly subsidy and a profit-sharing formula that has yet to deliver any money for Miami-Dade." Heat Attorney Jorge Luis Lopez said that to fund the team's planned upgrades, Miami-Dade may "need to increase its current subsidy" to as much as $17M a year in the "extended term that would begin in 2029." Miami-Dade's current subsidy payments could rise by $2M in '19 "if American Airlines drops its sponsorship of the arena." The county essentially "receives the naming-rights dollars." Heat execs said that they are "willing to consider reworking the current deal if Miami-Dade officials want to eliminate the risk of lost sponsorship money when the American deal expires" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/15).
The Bruins are "exploring plans to open a new practice facility at the massive sports complex being developed by New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. along the Massachusetts Turnpike in Brighton," according to sources cited by Casey Ross of the BOSTON GLOBE. No deal has "been signed, but the Bruins have expressed interest in moving to the property, where New Balance has won approval to build a regulation-size NHL rink." A commitment from the team "would be a major boost" for the $500M project. Construction is "expected to start on a new world headquarters for New Balance this year." The Bruins hold training sessions at Ristuccia Memorial Arena in Wilmington, Mass., but the facility "seems cramped and out of the way for one of the NHL’s best franchises in recent years." Bruins execs have been "shopping for a larger, more modern training facility for more than a year." Another option "may be a new complex being planned in Allston by The Skating Club of Boston." That facility, planned to "open in 2015, will include three rinks" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/15).
The four proposals to redevelop Nassau Coliseum "involve different paths, and there's no clear model to replicate," according to Robert Brodsky of NEWSDAY. Planners, sports and entertainment experts and local officials "agree that redevelopment of the 77-acre Coliseum site is essential to the region's future," but they "part company on whether the complex can succeed without a major-league sports franchise as its anchor -- or whether the restaurants, shows and other entertainment components are enough for the project to succeed." None of the proposals include "a full-time major-league team." Forest City Ratner's proposal includes "a minor-league hockey team and six regular or preseason Islanders games per season." Madison Square Garden Co.'s plan "calls for a renovated 14,500-seat arena with at least one of three teams: minor-league hockey, a developmental league basketball team or the WNBA Liberty." An entertainment complex "would feature restaurants and sports bars." Blumenfeld Development Group would "demolish the existing Coliseum and build a new arena with between 9,000 and 12,000 seats that would host minor-league hockey and concerts." New York Sports LLC would "renovate the interior and downsize the arena to 8,000 to 10,000 seats, bringing in college lacrosse and a minor-league hockey team." Nassau County Exec Edward Mangano said that he will "make a decision by July 15, after receiving an advisory recommendation from his 17-member business council" (NEWSDAY, 6/17). The N.Y. POST cited sources as saying that Forest City Ratner "believes Islanders fans will find it a lot more appealing to see live Islanders games at the arena instead of old hockey sticks on the wall of a sports bar." Sources said that Barclays Center and Nets CEO Brett Yormark is "delighted he has the Garden on defense." Appealing to Islanders fans has "become central in the battle to renovate" the Coliseum (N.Y. POST, 6/16).
The Falcons on Friday announced that 360 Architecture had selected three Atlanta-based firms -- Goode Van Slyke Architecture, Stanley Beaman & Sears, and tvsdesign -- as partners in designing the team's new stadium (Falcons). In Atlanta, Maria Saporta noted tvsdesign was "among the five finalists" to design the stadium and "the only team from Atlanta" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/14).
DADS' DAY OUT: In Jacksonville, Roger Bull reports Levy Restaurants, which "handles the food for the premium spots" at EverBank Field, put on a Father's Day brunch in the stadium's Terrace Suite. Levy Restaurants Sales Manager Ashley Stadt said that the brunch was "the first public event of its kind held at the Terrace Suite." Stadt added that there were "about 150 reservations" and that the company is "considering similar events for New Year’s Eve and next year’s Mother’s Day, though no decisions have been made" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 6/17).
VIKING TREASURE: In St. Paul, Mila Koumpilova reported the Univ. of Minnesota Board of Regents approved more than $110M in "capital projects for the coming school year." The projects include $6.6M in improvements to TCF Bank Stadium funded by the Vikings, as UM "gears up to host the team" for the '14 and '15 seasons (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/14).
DIFFERENT SITUATIONS: Charlotte-based WCNC-NBC's "Flashpoint" discussed the $10M endowment given to the Univ. of North Carolina-Charlotte for its upstart football program by Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson. WCNC's Dave Wagner said, "Some people have complained that if Jerry Richardson has $10 million to give away, why did he take millions from the city for renovations at the Panthers' stadium?" Charlotte City Council member Michael Barnes said UNCC "needs the money for the facility," but it "certainly creates an issue where people ask that very question." Barnes said Richardson "did a good thing for the school and the city, but I get why people would ask the question" ("Flashpoint," WCNC-NBC, 6/16).