SBD/July 9, 2014/FacilitiesPrint All
The Raiders are in talks to tear down O.co Coliseum "next year to make way for a new home" despite the fact the A's are "trying to negotiate a deal to stay" at the facility for another 10 years, according to a front-page piece by Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The talks, revealed in a memo to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan from planners of the city-backed Coliseum City sports-retail project, "stunned officials of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority." Coliseum City reps said that they "expect to reach a deal with the Raiders by the end of the summer that would lead to the opening of a new football stadium on the existing site" by '18. Coliseum City attorney Zach Wasserman in the memo wrote the Raiders are "making arrangements to play elsewhere." But Wasserman "doesn't say ... where that might be." Matier & Ross report where the A's would play under this scenario "isn't clear, either." If the City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors "ratify the deal reached between the A's and the Coliseum Authority, the baseball team would get two years' notice before any construction that would force them out of the ballpark." That would "keep them in the Coliseum" through at least the '16 season. Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, who serves as the Coliseum Authority Chair, called the idea of tearing down the Coliseum "totally preposterous." Oakland City Council member and Coliseum Authority Board member Larry Reid "called the teardown idea 'crazy, absolutely insane'" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/9). In Oakland, Matthew Artz in a front-page piece reports while Oakland City Council members and the Coliseum City development team both indicated that they "want to keep both the A's and Raiders in Oakland, Wasserman's letter underscores the challenge in satisfying both teams." The Raiders have "pinned their hopes to building a new stadium by partnering with developers on the Coliseum City project." But A's co-Owner Lew Wolff has said that if his team "decides to build a ballpark at the site, it would want to be in charge of the development" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 7/9).
The Bruins yesterday announced that they will "build a practice facility for the team in Brighton, relocating from the aging and outdated Ristuccia Arena" in Wilmington, Mass., with construction "slated to begin next spring and be completed" in fall '16, according to Benjamin & Reidy of the BOSTON GLOBE. The Bruins have held their preseason camp and practiced in Wilmington since the '87-88 season, and the rink has been "surpassed by practice facilities around the league." It was something that "frustrated players and could eventually have become a factor in free agent signings." The new practice facility will "have a pro shop"and give the Bruins "more opportunities to take advantage of corporate sponsorships." Bruins President Cam Neely said that because TD Garden is "getting busier," it has "gotten 'more challenging' to host corporate events there." He added that a "modern facility in the city will give the team more flexibility in booking such events" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/9). In Boston, Donna Goodison notes a first-class training facility "has been a goal" of Neely since he joined the front office in '07. He said, “There’s so much more need for space than what we had up in Wilmington with regards to being able to train and treat players better and differently.” Goodison notes the Boston Landing rink is still under design but will "include about 600 seats and 25,000 square feet of dedicated Bruins locker room, training and office space." The pending switch currently leaves the Bruins "without a training facility" for the '15-16 season, as its Ristuccia lease ends in '15. But Neely said, “We’ll be able to figure out where we’re going to practice” (BOSTON HERALD, 7/9).
THE HUB OF ACTIVITY: In Boston, Thomas Grillo reported Massachusetts-based Elkus Manfredi Architects has been "hired to complete the design" of the practice arena and John Moriarty & Associates will "handle the construction." HYM Investment Group Founder Thomas O'Brien, who is co-developing the project, said, “The most interesting part of this is that the Bruins have never had a practice facility in the city of Boston, they play at the TD Garden and practice in Wilmington." O'Brien added that the rink will be "available for area schools" when it is "not used by the Bruins" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/8).
Texas Dow Employees Credit Union will pay $15M "over 10 years to rebrand" the Univ. of Houston's new 40,000-seat on-campus football stadium TDECU Stadium, according to Joseph Duarte of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. The $1.5M annual value of the deal "is the most" for an FBS school. UH AD Mack Rhoades said, "We certainly had a goal in mind that we looked at market value and what was happening across the country, what we really thought our value was worth not just in athletics but the university as a whole." Rhoades said that he "had 'serious discussions' with a half dozen companies about putting their name" on the new stadium. TDECU President & CEO Stephanie Sherrodd said that this will be the "first major corporate sponsorship of a sports venue" for the company. Rhoades said that TDECU as part of the agreement will "receive prominent signage on the exterior of the stadium, on the video board and on the artificial playing surface, strategically placed 'to maximize TV exposure.'" Duarte notes TDECU also will "receive a suite located on the 50-yard line, along with ticket discounts for employees and members." UH and TDECU have a "mutual option of extending the deal for another five years for an addition" $7.5M (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/9). TDECU as part of the deal will "sponsor the Cougar 100," a new initiative from the school's Alumni Association that "recognizes the world's fastest-growing businesses owned or led by UH alumni" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/9). There were no agencies involved on either side in brokering the deal. The university's internal group was spearheaded by Rhoades and Senior Associate AD/External Relations Jeramiah Dickey, while the credit union's group was led by Sherrodd and VP/Community Relations & Business Development Lucilla Henderson (THE DAILY).
Purdue Univ. yesterday released plans for a "gated patio" to temporarily fill the space vacated after "nearly 6,100 bleacher seats were removed from the south end zone" of Ross-Ade Stadium last month, according to the Lafayette JOURNAL & COURIER. The patio area will be open to season-ticket holders and students "who have purchased VIP cards." The space will feature a 3,200-square-foot "high-peak tent," several pergolas and an "array of patio-style furniture, including tables with umbrellas." A "perk for the season ticket and VIP card holders will be the availability of tailgate food and beverage, including beer and wine." Six 46-inch TVs will be "mounted throughout the patio area." It will "open 90 minutes before kickoff and close at the end of the game." A maximum of 1,500 fans will be allowed in the area at any one time (Lafayette JOURNAL & COURIER, 7/9). ESPN.com's Brian Bennett noted the patio area is a "temporary solution while the school continues to plan for a major renovation for the south end zone." Meanwhile, Purdue now joins Minnesota as the "only Big Ten schools to serve alcohol at games" (ESPN.com, 7/8).
In Durham, Steve Wiseman reports workers during the past month have "installed 6,346 blue, chair back seats" at Duke's Wallace Wade Stadium, the "initial steps in the massive overhaul of the facility that will take place over the next two years." The seats are in seven sections "on the stadium's east side" and replace bleachers that have "surrounded the playing field for decades." There is "extensive work" scheduled for the west side of the stadium after the '14 season. Due to the construction schedule, Duke Deputy AD/Operations Mike Cragg said that it "wasn't prudent to install the blue seats on that side at this time" (Durham HERALD-SUN, 7/9).
UPGRADED SERVICE: ESPN BOSTON's Jack McCluskey reported Boston College is installing new video boards this summer at Alumni Stadium, replacing the old ones that were "clearly outdated." Work currently is underway on "steel supports and electrical wiring for the new boards." When the project is finished in early August, BC will have "new end-zone boards and new ribbon boards along the stadium fascia in the end zones and along the sidelines." Each end-zone board "boasts 1,036 square feet of video space" (ESPNBOSTON.com, 7/8).
LIGHT SHOW: In Colorado, Madeline Novey reported planners for Colorado State Univ's proposed on-campus football stadium have designed it in such a way that "neighborhoods are shielded -- as best as possible -- from associated noise and light." Experts from Texas-based design firm WJHW "used software and a 3D architectural model to predict the impact of sound coming from the 36,000-seat stadium CSU has proposed to build on the southwest side of its main campus" (Ft. Collins COLORADOAN, 7/8).