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SBD/March 21, 2014/FacilitiesPrint All
The Bobcats and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority have submitted a $41.9M "list of improvements to the city of Charlotte" in order to keep Time Warner Cable Arena "among the NBA’s most modern buildings," according to a front-page piece by Steve Harrison of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The request includes "suite improvements, restaurant renovations and moving the ticket office at the 8 1/2-year-old facility." When the city and Bobcats signed a 25-year arena lease, a provision called for the Bobcats and the CRVA, which "together manage the city-owned facility, to conduct a review" of the $260M arena’s needs seven years after its opening. The CRVA said that the arena needs $7.8M in "work over the next five years." The Bobcats’ list adds $34.1M in "improvements over the next four years." But Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble said that there will "likely be negotiations between the team and the city as to what is needed and what isn’t, and what the city is obligated to pay for." For the coming fiscal year, the projects request by the Bobcats include $1.27M "for 'event-level' restaurant refurbishment," $1.42M to "move the ticket office" and $2.5M for floor repairs. For FY '16, the team's requests include $1.6M to "improve hospitality space," $5.9M to improve suites and $2.3M to "remake the Founders Level restaurant." For '17 and '18, the team’s list includes $7.7M for "scoring and video equipment update," $1.3M for HD broadcast infrastructure, $2.5M for "a youth activity area in the upper concourse" and $3.5M for "exterior digital equipment" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/21).
The Trail Blazers on Thursday announced that they will begin the first phase of a $16M upgrade for the Moda Center and its training facility during the upcoming offseason. The team will refurbish 1,800 club level seats and renovate 20 of the arena's 66 suites in Moda Center, with the remaining 46 suites to be renovated over a two-year period. The Blazers for the first time also will build 12 "studio suites," each of which will seat four people. The team also will eliminate its "chef's table" club-level product and will refurbish Moda Center's Rose Room into a private club. The team additionally will build a new glass enclosed bar in the Moda Center's 300 level along with new retail kiosks and upgrade the arena's WiFi system (John Lombardo, Staff Writer). In Portland, Jason Quick notes it is the "largest single investment in capital improvements" since Owner Paul Allen bought the team in '88. Construction of four projects "will begin this summer and many of them are expected to be done" in time for the '14-15 season. The renovation of the suites "figures to take up to two years." Meanwhile, the team's practice facility, which had a $3.8M upgrade last year, "will continue to expand this summer" (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/21).
West Virginia Univ.'s athletic department Thursday released the framework for its $106M proposal for "renovations throughout the athletic campus, including upgrades to Milan Puskar Stadium and WVU Coliseum," according to Stephen Nesbitt of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. The athletic facilities master plan, which was "already approved by the University Planning Committee, now moves to the Board of Governors finance committee, which will discuss the proposal at its March 28 meeting." The "linchpin of the plan" is an $85M bond package, about $75M of which "would be earmarked for athletic facilities improvements." In addition, the plan draws $25M from "private Mountaineer Athletic Club funding efforts" and $6M from its multimedia rights contract with IMG. Big 12 member schools "received a payout" of $26M in '13. In contrast, WVU's "annual payout from the Big East" in '12, its final year in the conference, was approximately $8M (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 3/21). In Charleston, Hickman & Mays note the project would "mean the renovation and expansion of Mountaineer Field's concourses, restrooms, entrance gates and concession stands." The team room at the Puskar Center would "be renovated, and as many as four LED information boards would be added to the stadium." Construction on the stadium "would begin at the end of next football season." The only non-football project in the "initial phase would be a marquee in front of WVU's Coliseum" (CHARLESTON GAZETTE, 3/21). Also in Charleston, Mike Casazza notes an extra $20M bond is "already in place for the tax-increment financing district to cover the new baseball stadium in Granville" (CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL, 3/21).
TAKING INVENTORY: In Charleston, Whitney Burdette noted WVU posted an RFP Tuesday in the search for a "ticket sales company to sell excess inventory." That company would "have control of unsold tickets for games and directly contact potential buyers, such as individuals or groups, to make sales." This approach is "more commonly found among professional sports organizations, and few companies specialize in excess ticket sales at the college level." Two such companies, IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions and The Aspire Group, "each count more than 20 collegiate athletic programs among their clients" (CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL, 3/20).
MLB Rangers concessionaire Delaware North Sportservice has renovated the main team store at Globe Life Park to feature a new Oakley-branded kiosk, where fans can buy sunglasses and customize them with the team’s logo on the lens. The store upgrades, a $500,000 investment paid for by Sportservice as part of its partnership with the Rangers, extends to new lines of merchandise and apparel that include Oakley backpacks and hoodies, Under Armour sweatshirts and tank tops, Tiger Woods Collection polo shirts co-branded with the Rangers’ logo, Alex Woo necklaces and Pandora bracelet charms branded with the Rangers’ marks. Oakley, an MLB licensee, has a “store within a store” space on the west wall of the team shop in centerfield that includes an engraving machine to put logos in the corner of the lenses, said Sportservice on-site GM Shawn Mattox. The customization includes the color, fit and noseguard piece. The Oakley sunglasses sell for $75-250, the same price as other retail locations, Mattox said. The Tiger Woods polos, produced by Nike Golf, sell for $115. The necklaces cost $200 for sterling silver up to $1,200 for 14-karat white gold with diamonds. As part of the improvements, Sportservice will activate Microsoft tablets to run cashless transactions at the team store to expedite service, Mattox said. The vendor remodeled the 6,000-square-foot space from top to bottom including a new paint job, new flooring, graphics and pictures and more points of sale. The renovation should be completed by Thursday, the date of the Rangers’ exhibition against Tigres de Quintana Roo, a Mexican League club.
Barclays Center's new meditation room "counts essentially as an asterisk in the long list of promises that Forest City Ratner" made to the borough of Brooklyn "after years of tense negotiations and bitter disputes," according to a front-page piece by Andrew Keh of the N.Y. TIMES. The room is a "locked, windowless, cinder-block room tucked near the arena’s first aid office and a sushi stand" on the Barclays Center main concourse. The space "appears to sometimes double as a storage room; several pieces of luggage sat in the corner on a recent night." It has been "mostly ignored since its official opening last week, but a few fans have stopped to puzzle over it." Brooklyn residents "can visit the new meditation room -- provided they buy a Nets ticket and come on a game day, and visit the guest services office to request that the room be unlocked." The room was the brainchild of the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, "a Brooklyn pastor who has long been one of Atlantic Yards’ most ardent supporters." Daughtry at one point "had dreamed of constructing an atrium for a chapel inside the stadium." Instead, the "vision was scaled back to this modest room," in which "inspirational quotations line the walls, and a decorative water fountain recently sat unplugged." Not a "single fan entered the room during the hour and a half before a recent game" against the Suns (N.Y. TIMES, 3/21).
In Sacramento, Kasler & Lillis in a front-page piece report Sacramento Superior Court judge Raymond Cadei on Thursday "awarded possession of the former Macy’s men’s store, at the southeast corner of Downtown Plaza, to the city," helping further clear the way for the NBA Kings' proposed $448M arena. The decision "enables the city to use the eminent domain law to wrest control of the vacant building from its owners." While the purchase price for the building "won’t be resolved for months, Cadei’s ruling keeps the arena project on schedule" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 3/21).
BIZARRE DECISION: In Minneapolis, Nick Halter reported Travel Channel show "Bizarre Foods" host Andrew Zimmern "has signed a deal with Aramark to bring his AZ Canteen concept to TCF Bank Stadium" and the Vikings' new stadium. Zimmern, who lives in Edina, Minn., said that he also is "working with Aramark to develop a 'whole slew of concepts in Minnesota and outside of the state as well.'" Aramark won the Vikings stadium food and beverage concession contract in July (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/20).
IN THE ZONE: The White Sox on Thursday announced that they have expanded their partnership with Comcast and will open Xfinity Zone at U.S. Cellular Field. The new, 2,200-square-foot bar and restaurant -- with digitally advanced video technology -- is located on the 100-level of the ballpark near the right-field corner of the facility and is set to open March 31 for the team's first game this season (White Sox).