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A two-person team from the NBA is expected in Milwaukee tomorrow to "determine why" the Bucks' new basketball floor at the BMO Harris Bradley Center "became too slippery to play on Friday night," according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Bucks Exec VP/Business Operations John Steinmiller on Saturday said that officials will "look into possible causes and make a recommendation to the team." One option could be "going back to the team's old floor." Referee Danny Crawford and his crew on Friday "halted the annual MACC Fund Game in the first quarter" after Bucks and Raptors players "were slipping on the new hardwood court." The floor was "inspired by the franchise's 1977 MECCA Floor, designed by artist Robert Indiana." It was "created by Action Floor Systems of Mercer and assembled, sanded and painted on-site at the Bradley Center by ProStar Surfaces, a Mequon company that has worked with the Bucks for more than 20 years." Steinmiller said that the NBA had "approved the new design of the floor." Asked if he had concerns the floor may be unusable, Steinmiller said that it was "too early to tell." Steinmiller: "We want to find a solution. This may not be an ongoing problem" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/27).
SLIP SLIDIN' AWAY: In Toronto, Ryan Wolstat noted the entire Raptors coaching staff "had been complaining about the floor since well before the game started and the players were in full agreeance about the cancellation." Raptors G DeMar DeRozan said, "It was really bad. No exaggeration at all. I couldn't even cut to get open. It wasn't grip. When you tried to take off or cut, it would just give way. It was terrible. I was really scared." Raptors coach Dwane Casey: "It just was too dangerous. Our guys were slipping and falling, the last thing we need is to have a guy injured by slipping on a floor in a pre-season game" (TORONTO SUN, 10/26).
TASK AT HAND: The JOURNAL SENTINEL's Walker reported the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce on Friday announced the "makeup and mission" of a new 48-member task force "with a focus on" the Bradley Center. Assisting in the effort "will be a group of MMAC directors and Milwaukee financial power brokers headed by" MMAC Chair Ted Kellner. He will be "assisted in leading the MMAC group" by former Bucyrus Int'l CEO Tim Sullivan and Johnson Controls President & CEO Alex Molinaroli (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/26).
Two plans that would "transform an area" near Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara "into a massive retail, entertainment and office complex came into focus Friday when developers for the first time unveiled renderings and details," according to John Woolfolk of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The developers "pulled back the curtain on their vision in advance" of a Santa Clara City Council session on Wednesday. Pro Football HOFer Joe Montana's Montana Property Group "teamed up with Lowe Enterprises" to propose a $400M "Centennial Gateway" luxury hotel, office and entertainment project on 9.5 city-owned acres across the street from Levi's Stadium. Santa Clara officials said that they will "work out the terms" of a lease with the Montana group after Wednesday's meeting. Montana and his partners said that they are "now planning" to have their project ready for Super Bowl L in '16 at Levi's Stadium. Related California also detailed plans for a $1.5B "City Place Santa Clara" retail, entertainment, residential, hotel and office project "on 215 acres of city-owned land." City officials said that those lease details "also are pending." The officials, along with developers, stressed that "both projects are in early phases and that there likely will be changes to accommodate public comment, council feedback and environmental studies" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/26).
LEFT HIS HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO: Montana on Friday spoke at a fan forum in London, and addressed the 49ers moving from S.F. to Santa Clara, saying, "I don't think there was really any -- without naming anybody -- an effort by the people in power to try to keep the team there. To me, they made a terrible effort to try to keep them in San Francisco." But Montana added of Levi's Stadium, "Once the fans see and taste that experience, they're going to be happy they're out in Santa Clara. Candlestick is just very, very outdated. Not only that for the home team, for the teams coming in, it's just not very fun. Once the stadium is up, everyone will be happy and won't care where it's located" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/26).
I'M GONNA SOAK UP THE SUN: In S.F., David Baker noted "solar panels -- many of them installed early this month -- will supply a portion" of Levi's Stadium's electricity. With "a peak output of 375 kilowatts, the 1,150 panels will provide just a fraction of the power needed" on the 49ers' gamedays. But over the course of a year, the panels will "generate about as much electricity as the 68,500-seat stadium will consume during its 10 home games." The installation, designed by NRG Energy with panels supplied by San Jose-based SunPower Corp., will "serve as an illustration of what solar power can do." NRG would not reveal how much electricity Levi's Stadium is expected to need during a game, but the S.F. Public Utilities Commission said that Candlestick Park "can top 3.4 megawatts on game day" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/26).
EPL club Tottenham Hotspur is "working on secret plans for a new 65,000-seat multi-purpose stadium" that would allow the club to "share with a London-based NFL franchise," according to Alex Miller of the London DAILY MAIL. Tottenham earlier this year "dumped" original designs for a 56,000-seat stadium costing US$646.6M. The team has appointed Populous to "design a bigger ground allowing an easy switch" from soccer to the NFL. It is "understood that plans being drawn up for the Premier League outfit may include a sliding pitch to protect the playing surface" for when it is used for NFL games. The sliding pitch would "cost a substantial amount and suggests that, behind the scenes," Tottenham officials are "confident they can lure NFL games from Wembley or even attract a London NFL franchise." The "revelation also adds weight to the likelihood of an increasing NFL presence in London over the next few years." Wembley Stadium "could not realistically bid to become the permanent home of an NFL team needing to play eight home games per season and use the stadium as a base from summer to January" (London DAILY MAIL, 10/27). A Tottenham spokesperson "refused to rule out the club working with an NFL franchise and insisted" the facility would be a "multi-purpose arena" (METRO.co.uk, 10/27).
In San Diego, Kevin Acee reported Padres Exec Chair Ron Fowler last week spoke to local business and sports leaders and "implored them to be part of an effort to make sure a football stadium gets built" in the city. Fowler said of Chargers Chair & President Dean Spanos' quest to land a new stadium, "If I’d have been in Dean’s position, I would have left." Acee wrote, That is "some kind of resounding statement." Fowler added, "It will be too big a blow to the city to lose (the Chargers). Having a major-league franchise at the highest level -- basketball, football, baseball -- adds to the prestige of the city. To lose it would be extremely bad for the city. ... If we wait until Dean comes to us with an offer from another city, in my mind, they’re gone" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/27).
FALCONS' LAIR: In Atlanta, Tim Tucker cited architectural plans for the Falcons' new stadium, which showed that there are "several features not previously reported, including suites at field level behind both end zones." Designs call for 71,041 seats, plus "several other areas where seating can be added for mega-events such as the Super Bowl." The plan as expected "includes specifications that suggest" an MLS team is in the city’s future (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 10/26). Meanwhile, CSN Bay Area's Kate Longworth said of the design for the stadium, "You almost need a protractor to go through these angular designs. We've heard of a retractable roof, normally that roof just goes over the field. Not so much here." She added, "I'm not sure who's behind the designs for this … but perhaps they got a little confused and were thinking the Falcons weren't a football team and he thought they were real-life falcons in there and he wanted to let them be free." CSN Bay Area's Brodie Brazil said, "It looks like the Atlanta Museum of Modern Art. This does not look like a football stadium" ("Yahoo Sports Talk Live," CSN Bay Area, 10/25).
ALTERING THE HALL: In Green Bay, Richard Ryman reported the Packers' HOF "will close next month to make way for construction." The facility "will be moved to make way for a new Packers Pro Shop, on what will become the atrium’s new ground floor when part of the plaza north of the atrium is cut away." The $140.5M project, "paid for by the Packers without public money, began in March and is scheduled to be completed" in June '15. The atrium "will remain open for events throughout construction, with the Oneida Nation Gate being used for the main entrance." The Packers HOF "will lend some of its items to the Neville Public Museum until it reopens" in April '15 (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 10/26).
NBC's "Nightly News" last night examined the cost of sending a child to the IMG Academy, with NBC's Lester Holt introducing the report by noting with the World Series currently underway, "many kids and their parents must be thinking of what it would be like to get a shot at the big leagues." Holt added, "It turns out that some are working hard and spending major money to increase the chances of making that fantasy come true." The taped report from NBC's Craig Melvin noted the IMG Academy is an "elite boarding school and athletic training compound," costing $48,000 for baseball tuition, $18,000 for school tuition and $10,000 for travel and a summer league, for a total of $76,000 to send one child. Academics, while important, "take a backseat." Melvin: "All that money doesn't just buy you private coaching or strength and agility training. You also get access to cutting-edge sports-performance technology." Melvin said the program is "designed to gives kids an edge at an early age. Some here are as young as eight." But Melvin said child experts "warn some parents push their kids to chase their dreams with little guarantee" ("Nightly News," NBC, 10/27).