SBD/April 3, 2014/FacilitiesPrint All
The Rockies' new-look upper deck in right field at Coors Field, which "cost in the neighborhood" of $10M, is something the team "hopes will help them compete with the neighborhood" near the ballpark, according to Nick Groke of the DENVER POST. Rockies Owner Dick Monfort said, "Looking out our door (at lower downtown) and seeing all those rooftops filled with young adults, and with the demographics in Colorado and who comes to games, (we thought) let's take a chance on this." The Rockies "took about five months to lop off the little-used top portion of the right-field stands and build up a two-level, standing-room only bar area." Monfort said of Marlins Park, whre the Rockies opened on Monday, "In Miami on Monday night, the concourses were packed. People bought a ticket and then they were just hanging out. We wanted to make an area that was better than that" with views of the game. The Rockies are "quick to point out that the money used to build the party deck came from a capital construction fund and from a pool of funds" belonging to the team and the Denver Metropolitan Stadium District that came from Aramark and Regional Transportation District. Monfort said that that money "does not affect what the team spends on player payroll and on-field competition." Anybody "with a ticket can climb to the roof area," but the Rockies also will "sell $14 general admission tickets on most nights that will get you to any standing room-only area at Coors Field, including the Rooftop" (DENVER POST, 4/3).
SPRING CLEANING: MLB.com's Owen Perkins wrote, "Odd as it may seem to think of the Rockies' home ballpark as a relic among the games great cathedrals, Coors Field is actually the third-oldest National League ballpark behind Dodger Stadium (1962) and Wrigley Field (1914)." Two days after the '13 season ended, the club "began a six-month project to ensure Coors Field looks just as fresh for its 20th season as it did in its inaugural season" in '95. Monfort said, "Every 20 years, you've got to freshen the place up." He added of neighboring taverns, "Baseball draws a lot of fans, but they're missing out on a whole group." Monfort has "tried to bring the best ideas he's seen on the road home to Coors Field, borrowing from the likes" of the Orioles, Red Sox, Mariners and Nationals. The result is the "biggest fan deck in sports, a 38,000-square-foot area decked out with comfortable couches and chairs, a fire pit, drink railings, a CHUBurger restaurant and the Tavern Ballpark, complete with a 5,280-inch bar that has 52 taps serving 20 varities of mostly local beers." Monfort said, "I think it'll pizzazz the place up. ... People say it's not 'baseball tradition.' But a lot of people come to our games who aren't really interested in baseball." Monfort pointed out "other new-and-improved features around Coors Field that should add to the fan experience," including Rio on the Rocks, which has "replaced the old Carmina Loft on the mezzanine level in center field." In addition, "10,000 new seats have replaced some of the 20-year-old seats" (MLB.com, 4/2).
MOVE IT OR LOSE IT: In Denver, Ryan Parker reports independent push-cart food vendors who have "been operating in Lower Downtown around Coors Field for years have been abruptly ordered by the city to relocate." The bottom line is there will "be far fewer vendor food options for fans walking to Coors Field this season." Food truck operator Adam Kulikowski and other vendors speculate that the Rockies "had a say in the matter or that the city is unfairly punishing them for the crowds and violence that occur after the bars close" (DENVER POST, 4/3).
The Jaguars are using the renovation of EverBank Field "to create the five new seating options," with the highest-priced at "$350 a ticket, including food and beverage," according to Vito Stellino of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. The team is "installing 172 field seats," priced at $350 per game, and "taking out club seats and installing" 21 kickoff club tables, also $350. The Jaguars will "have 300 cabana seats with lounge furniture near the new wading pool in the north end zone" priced at $250 per game. Elsewhere, 14 party cabanas, "seating 20 people on the second level above the pool," will cost $175 per game, or $150 "if purchased on a season ticket basis." There also will be 120 north end zone barstools priced at $150 per game. Jaguars President Mark Lamping said, "The No. 1 thing we have to do to stabilize and create a sustainable franchise in Jacksonville is to grow our local revenue. ... In a very creative way over time, we have to increase our average ticket price." He added "now is not the time" to raise ticket prices across the board. Lamping said that season-ticket renewals are "tracking at the levels team officials were anticipating." He added, "We’re in a small market and that’s not going to change any time soon and we have a relatively transient population and that’s not going to change any time soon. This is not going to be fixed overnight. It took a lot of years to go from No. 2 (in local revenue) to 30th. The path it was on was a very unstable path. That’s why at every turn people were talking about blackouts. Everybody was talking about relocation to Los Angeles. People aren’t talking about that anymore. That’s progress" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 4/3).
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce has tentatively concluded that revamping BMO Harris Bradley Center at a cost of up to $300M would be "prohibitively expensive and fail to deliver a solution to Milwaukee’s long-term arena needs," according to Rich Kirchen of the MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL. The subcommittee is "preparing a recommendation on whether to build a new arena downtown" for the Bucks. While MMAC leaders "generally support building a new arena ... they also wanted to explore the possibility of a major remodeling at the existing 26-year-old BMO Harris Bradley Center." The MMAC subcommittee has "not made a final recommendation to nix the concept of remodeling the existing arena." However, President Tim Sheehy said that he "expects that will be the panel's conclusion." The high cost of remodeling the arena "results from, among other things, the need to reconfigure the lower seating bowl and the balcony." The facility was "designed for hockey and the sight lines for basketball are poor in many sections." Sheehy said, “You would have to take out all the concrete and re-do the seating bowl." Bradley Center Sports & Entertainment Corp. BOD Chair Marc Marotta said that the arena also would "need to be expanded" from 550,000-square feet to about 750,000-square feet to "meet the current size requirements of NBA arenas" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 4/2).
MARK MY WORDS: In Milwaukee, Don Walker noted Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio "raised eyebrows on Monday when he apparently said he wouldn't rule out providing financial support to build a new arena in Milwaukee." While Attanasio did "not say how much he might be willing to provide, his potential interest would provide a shot in the arm to efforts to get an arena built." Attanasio's apparent interest in providing financial support "also leads to speculation he may be interested in investing in the Bucks." Potential investors in pro sports franchises are "routinely asked to sign confidentiality agreements," which could "explain Attanasio's reluctance to say anything further about his possible interest in investing in a new arena or the Bucks, or both" (JSONLINE.com, 4/1).