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The Anaheim City Council yesterday adopted a deal that will delay the Angels' option to leave the city from '16 until '19, giving team Owner Arte Moreno "more time to negotiate a series of deals" aimed at keeping them in town through '57, according to Art Marroquin of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. City officials "will now work with the Angels on several changes, including whether the team should have exclusive control over its name, meaning it could drop 'Anaheim' from its official title." The Angels' current lease at the city-owned Angel Stadium of Anaheim expires in '29, and the team "hasn't openly threatened to leave." But former Padres President & COO Charles Black, who is working as a consultant for the city, said that Moreno "has said that he is willing to build a stadium elsewhere," possibly in downtown L.A., Irvine or the City of Industry. Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait yesterday represented the only vote against the deal, saying that the Angels "will now have the upper hand during the next round of lease negotiations." Along with the team's naming rights, city officials and the Angels will negotiate "whether the team should lease the city-owned parking lot for $1 annually for 66 years." The team in turn "would have the right to develop the property and ask the city for subsidies to help fund construction." Development profits "would be used to pay" for an estimated $150M worth of stadium upgrades over the next 20 years. Also under negotiation is "whether to reduce Anaheim’s share of home ticket sales." The city currently "receives $2 for each home ticket sold once attendance surpasses 2.6 million," but that "may change in 2021, when the proposed attendance threshold would jump to 3 million" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 9/4).
MORE THAN A FRESH COAT OF PAINT: In L.A., Bill Shaikin cites an Anaheim city report as indicating that the Angels' ballpark needs $130-150M in "capital improvements over the next 20 years." That estimate "accounts solely for infrastructure -- electrical maintenance and upgrades, concrete repairs, waterproofing and such -- at the stadium." The Angels would "pay all of that cost and would pay above and beyond for any improvements that would generate additional revenue for the team, for example, more luxury seating" (L.A. TIMES, 9/4).
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said that the "only way he and state legislators would consider a tax" for a new Bucks arena would be if Milwaukee residents "first were given a chance to vote on the matter," according to Rich Kirchen of the MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Walker said local residents would voice their opinions through a referendum or a "vote of some sort." But he acknowledged that "any discussion of a new tax is premature." Kirchen notes while no one has "proposed a tax or even a new arena," a sales tax has "been mentioned by some supporters of a new arena if the Milwaukee-area community decides to move forward with a project." Questions remain on which counties "would be included in a new tax proposal." Walker said that he "is not taking a position on an arena and possible public funding," and added that the concept "faces daunting challenges in winning voter support." He said that the first challenge is the BMO Harris Bradley Center is "very well maintained and has added new features in recent years to keep its amenities current." Walker added that the arena's condition is in "stark contrast to the situation when the Legislature considered approving a sales tax to support what is now Miller Park to replace outdated Milwaukee County Stadium." He said that the second challenge is the Bucks "have a smaller fan base" than the Brewers and "therefore less public support." Walker: "I don’t say that as a way of saying we shouldn't do something because I think it's important to have a team and make sure we don’t lose a team, but there are going to be some serious obstacles out there" (MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/30 issue).
The Univ. of Minnesota will host the '14 Hockey City Classic on Jan. 17 at TCF Bank Stadium. The college hockey doubleheader will kick off with the UM women's team taking on Minnesota State at 4:30pm CT, followed by the UM men's team hosting Ohio State at 8:00pm (UM). In Minneapolis, Jason Gonzalez notes the event will be the city's "first Division I college or professional outdoor hockey game in the modern era." Tickets will "go on sale to the general public Oct. 22 and start at $15." Beer and wine "will be available at the games." Rumors of such an event "have been swirling around" the UM athletic department since school President Eric Kaler, AD Norwood Teague and other staff "visited Chicago for the men’s outdoor matchup against Wisconsin" on Feb. 17. UM "planned to play Notre Dame at TCF Bank Stadium in 2011, but the risk of bad weather creating massive unexpected costs nixed the idea." Chicago-based Intersport "will coordinate this season’s event." The company's experience of "successfully holding such events and its willingness to be responsible for more than half of the funding convinced Kaler this relationship was the right fit." Intersport estimated the Hockey City Classic "will be a seven-figure expense." UM's investment "should be around $400,000 to $500,000" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/4).