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SBD/July 18, 2013/FacilitiesPrint All
Long Island developer Ed Blumenfeld, who "missed becoming a finalist to overhaul the Nassau Coliseum, has joined" Forest City Ratner Chair & CEO Bruce Ratner to "compete with the Madison Square Garden Co. for the multimillion-dollar project," according to Robert Brodsky of NEWSDAY. Ratner yesterday said that Blumenfeld would "help develop the project's retail and restaurant components." Ratner said that Blumenfeld has "decades of experience with Long Island development and would identify local tenants for the project and help navigate the community review process." Ratner: "Ed had a great proposal. We think we have a great proposal. But we think ours is the one we should come together on." Nets and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark has had "preliminary conversations with the Big Ten and the Pac-12 about bringing basketball games to the Coliseum in Uniondale and is also negotiating to bring a preseason Atlantic 10 basketball tournament to the reconfigured arena." Current Coliseum operator SMG, a partner on Blumenfeld's original bid, "will not play a role in Ratner's project" (NEWSDAY, 7/18).
KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said of the ongoing struggle to finish building American Dream Meadowlands, "I have personally spent days and days and days negotiating with these parties. At this point -- I've said this before publicly -- I think the [NFL Giants and Jets] are being unreasonable." Christie again acknowledged that the project "would not be fully completed in time for the Feb. 2, 2014 Super Bowl" at MetLife Stadium. Christie -- "rather than the developers themselves -- has stuck with a mantra of 'but some parts could be open'" (NORTHJERSEY.com, 7/17).
BORN TO LEED: In N.Y., Irina Ivanova noted Barclays Center received a "silver LEED rating in recognition of eco-friendly features, from the Cor-Ten steel framework shading its sides to the low-flow bathroom fixtures that help save 2 million gallons of water a year." Another green feature: "91% of all the wood in the building -- including the Nets' basketball court -- is certified sustainable" (CRAINSNEWYORK.com, 7/14).
BOK Center execs plans to build eight more suites and a "VIP lounge for new suites on the facility's top level," according to Zack Stoycoff of the TULSA WORLD. The construction would expand the arena's "luxury viewing options for the first time, increasing the number of suites to 45." The arena opened in '08 with 33 suites "it rents on mulityear contracts, mostly ranging from 12 to 15 seats, and four 'party suites' it rents for single events." The renovation will add six "leased suites with 12 to 24 seats -- dubbed 'Skylofts' because they are on the arena's top level -- two 20-seat party suites and a 1,500-square-foot food lounge with a bar, televisions and couch seating." The new suites will "replace two rows of regular ticketed seats at the bottom of the third level, bringing a slight net decrease of seats in those sections." The suites "will have direct access to the VIP lounge, which will be built in nearby concourse space used for temporary food vendors." Initial phases of the construction began this week, and BOK Center Dir of Business Development Evan Falat said that work is "optimistically expected to finish in stages in October and November." The project's cost is listed at just under $800,000, but Falat indicated that the figure "may change after the project's final bids are reviewed Friday" (TULSA WORLD, 7/18).
Some Seahawks fans are "aiming to purchase a commemorative brick" at the 49ers' new Levi's Stadium -- prompting "questions over whether the trash talk between two of the NFL's biggest rivals will make its way to the Niners' new home," according to Mike Rosenberg of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Seahawks fans "raised hundreds of dollars online to inscribe 'Go Hawks' or other anti-49ers messages outside the team's shiny new palace in Santa Clara after the bricks went on sale last week." The 49ers declined to comment and stadium officials would not say "whether they would block fans from opposing teams from buying bricks." The bricks are "intended to raise millions of dollars to chip away" at the $1.3B price tag for Levi's Stadium. The red and gold bricks "cost $195 to $545 and allow fans to write three to six lines of text" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 7/18). In Seattle, Nick Eaton noted the Levi's Stadium Foundation "can refuse bricks it does not deem fit for the plaza, so something blatantly pro-Seahawks could get rejected." Fans now are considering a "secret message, such as a phrase in which the first letters of each line spell out 'Go Hawks'" (SEATTLEPI.com, 7/17).
In Nashville, Michael Cass reported the Metropolitan Council on Tuesday voted without discussion to "build two new youth hockey rinks in Antioch, a decision that could carry a significant price tag for tax payers over the next 20 years." The council agreed unanimously "to issue up to" $15M in debt to pay for construction. Metro already had agreed to the deal "in principle when it renegotiated" the Predators' Bridgestone Arena lease last year. The hockey center will be "owned by Metro and run by the Predators under a 20-year lease." The Predators will pay Metro "$350,000 to $450,000 annually to lease the space." The lease payments "will be applied to paying off Metro's construction debt of approximately $985,000 a year" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 7/17).
PLANS PUT ON HOLD: In Florida, Dave Berman noted Nationals Principal Owner Mark Lerner on Monday pitched a plan to "move his team's spring training operations from Viera to Kissimmee." But the Osceola County Commission "balked at paying for the proposed" $98M stadium. Commissioners initially "voted down the plan, 3-2, but later unanimously agreed to reconsider at the Aug. 19 meeting." The commission action "brings into question where the Nationals will wind up for spring training if they move forward with plans to leave Viera after" the '14 or '15 season (FLORIDA TODAY, 7/16).
DAMAGED GOODS: In St. Paul, Mike Berardino noted the Twins "again find themselves worrying about the condition of the Target Field playing surface." The Kenny Chesney "No Shoes Nation" concert tour stop "drew 43,940 fans July 12." As a result, head groundskeeper Larry DiVito and his crew "laid new sod Tuesday." Twins President Dave St. Peter in an e-mail wrote that "the 'turf stress/damage' caused by this year's Chesney show is 'similar in scope' to the one held last July" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 7/17).
PHASING OUT: In Baltimore, Ryan Sharrow reported First Mariner Arena is "quietly transitioning to again be known as the Baltimore Arena." First Mariner’s 10-year, $750,000 naming-rights deal "officially expired Dec. 31," but signage and promotional material for the arena "continue to display the Baltimore bank’s name and logo." First Mariner Arena GM Frank Remesch said that the goal is "to have the name change intact by Sept. 1." That will include "removing exterior signs on the arena boasting the bank’s name." Legend Sales & Marketing, city officials and arena operator SMG "continue to talk with companies about a new naming-rights deal" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/17).