SBJ/September 3 - 9, 2001/Coast To Coast

COAST TO COAST

ANNAPOLIS, MD.

 Sodexho wins concessions contract

Sodexho has been awarded a five-year contract to provide concessions for facilities at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. The contract will include concessions at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Alumni Hall, Bishop Stadium and the Glen Warner Memorial. Sodexho, the wholly owned North American subsidiary of Sodexho Alliance, is the leading provider of food and facilities management in the United States and Canada, with $4.7 billion in annual sales.

BALTIMORE

 Orioles reach 3 million in ticket sales

The Baltimore Orioles have reached the mark of 3 million tickets sold for the seventh straight season. The team's average attendance has remained about 10 percent lower than it was during the 2000 season, but the pending retirement of star Cal Ripken Jr. has contributed to a recent spike in sales, team officials say.

 Ravens weighing new camp deal

The Baltimore Ravens are looking for a new summer training camp contract. They're giving Western Maryland College — their summer camp home since 1997 — first ups, but Frostburg State University is on deck. The Ravens' brass met with officials of Western Maryland last week to begin talking about a new, more lucrative deal for the Super Bowl champs. The franchise's initial five-year deal with the Westminster, Md., college ends this summer.

BATON ROUGE, LA.

 Bank to give away LSU bobbleheads

Bank One customers in Baton Rouge who open a new Value One checking account or Basic Business checking account through Sept. 30 will receive a limited-edition set of four Louisiana State University bobblehead dolls. The dolls are in the likenesses of LSU athletic director Skip Bertman, football coach Nick Saban, basketball great Pete Maravich and school mascot Mike the Tiger.

CHARLOTTE

 New schools join classic

The Carolinas Football Classic has been revamped, pitting local school Johnson C. Smith University against N.C. Central University at Ericsson Stadium Nov. 4. The college football game, benefiting 100 Black Men of America's scholarship fund, paired N.C. A&T University and S.C. State University in past years. Scheduling conflicts at the stadium eliminated the possibility of the two teams playing in Charlotte this year. Organizers hope to attract 20,000 fans at the 73,250-seat stadium.

CINCINNATI

 Bearcats' Purdue game sold out

The University of Cincinnati posted an advance sellout for the football team's game last weekend against Purdue, leaving school officials to expect the largest crowd in Nippert Stadium's almost century-long history. It marks the first time UC has sold out a home game in advance of game day.

DALLAS-FORT WORTH

 Naming-rights marketer hired

The Southwest Sports Group selected Clear Channel Entertainment to market naming rights to The Ballpark in Arlington and the nearby real-estate development, according to The Associated Press. Financial details weren't released. Southwest Sports Group owns the Texas Rangers and has been trying to sell the ballpark's naming rights since acquiring the team three years ago. Rangers owner Tom Hicks is a director of Clear Channel Communications.

DENVER

  Stadium district returning Eagles fans’ money

The Metropolitan Football Stadium District will give some money back. The district, which oversees Invesco Field at Mile High, will refund as much as $100,000 to fans at the Aug. 11 Eagles concert. Fans sitting in upper sections of the new stadium complained the music couldn’t be heard. The Eagles concert was the debut of the facility, the new home of the Denver Broncos. The Eagles and the concert’s promoter will refund another $200,000 to about 8,800 unhappy fans.

 State hall of fame opens

The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum opened last week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Invesco Field.

 Women’s football coming next spring

Women’s football is getting another chance. After the failure last year of the 12-team Women’s Professional Football League, another league is in the works. Jennifer Hill, a graduate of the University of Denver, has created the United Women’s Football League. Hill was the volunteer marketing manager of the Colorado Valkyries WPFL team. The UWFL will play in the spring with an initial lineup of eight teams in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.

 Kids Golf sues Golf Channel

Kids Golf of nearby Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., has sued Orlando-based network The Golf Channel in federal court alleging its intellectual property rights have been violated. In a release, Kids Golf founder and CEO Jim Mallamo said he was invited by The Golf Channel to discuss "Drive, Pitch & Putt," the children's golf competition that he created and organized five years earlier. But shortly after being courted by the cable station, Mallamo learned that The Golf Channel had launched its own national competition, "Drive, Chip & Putt," in 1999 — a competition almost identical to the one described in his proposal, he said. Golf Channel spokesman Dan Higgins said the network makes it a practice not to talk about pending litigation.

INDIANAPOLIS

 F1 race may be blacked out locally

Local station WRTV Channel 6 is part of the ABC network that is close to securing the American rights to show this month's Formula One race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but right now, the Indianapolis station lacks the time slot. IMS officials prefer the second annual U.S. Grand Prix be shown via tape delay because there are still tickets available, but ABC officials don't want WRTV interrupting the new fall TV lineup with a tape-delayed auto race. If both sides hold their ground, WRTV may be forced to black out the race locally, said Don Lundy, WRTV general manager.

 More money comes to IU after Knight firing

An executive of the Indiana University Foundation, which has raised more than $100 million annually for the university, said donations have risen since longtime basketball coach Bob Knight was fired last September. Barbara Coffman, executive director of strategic planning and communications for the foundation, said official numbers for the fiscal year ended June 30 won't be released until late September, but she did confirm donations will exceed last year's record $109.1 million in private gift contributions to IU.

KANSAS CITY

 NAIA men's tourney back in town

The NAIA's Division I men's basketball tournament will return to Kansas City in March. Dates haven't been set for the 32-team event at Municipal Auditorium, where the tourney was played from 1937 to 1974 before moving to then-new Kemper Arena in Kansas City. The NAIA's headquarters left for Tulsa, Okla., in 1993 but relocated this summer to Olathe, Kan., in suburban Kansas City. The NAIA event will take place next year from March 13-19. The dates are part of a five-year agreement the NAIA announced recently to play the tourney at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City through 2006.

MANCHESTER, N.H.

 University gets new logos

The Southern New Hampshire University, formerly New Hampshire College, unveiled a series of new logos. The new marks were created by The Silverman Group Inc. of New Haven, Conn., which has recently redesigned athletic logos for Saint Michael's College, the University of New Haven and Southern Connecticut State University. Athletic administrators at SNHU felt the change was needed and coincided with the name change. The primary logo features a classic revolutionary war character charging forward holding an American flag. The flagstaff is in the form of a pen, in reference to SNHU's nickname — the Penmen.

MIAMI

 Orange Bowl ticket packages customized

The 2002 FedEx Orange Bowl said five custom ticket packages are being offered, depending on the size of a group. Each includes game tickets, tailgate party tickets, parking and a souvenir patch. Also, ticket buyers are automatically registered to win a luxury suite for 12 for the game at Pro Player Stadium. Premier patron packages start at $230, but prices go as high as The Bomb Package for $4,335 — which includes 40 game tickets, 40 tailgate party tickets, 10 parking passes, scoreboard recognition, listing in programs and ads.

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL

 Vikings hold rally same day as Klan’s

In response to a Ku Klux Klan rally at the state Capitol in St. Paul Aug. 25, the Minnesota Vikings rescheduled their “Vikings Family Barbecue and Unity Rally” for the same day. The annual event for Vikings’ players, coaches, staff and families had been scheduled for Aug. 28. “In light of what was taking place in St. Paul, we thought it would be great to move our event to Saturday,” said coach Dennis Green. “I think we represent America more than anybody. I think we have more diversity, more people from different backgrounds … I think the National Football League is a shining example of what is great about America.”

NASHVILLE

 Predators’ tour gets under way

The Nashville Predators’ Express Tour began last Tuesday with visits to nearby Hendersonville and Gallatin, Tenn. The tour, sponsored by Chevrolet and presented by Fox Sports Net, features stops in mid-South markets by several players and team officials, previewing the upcoming NHL season. This is the fourth year for the tour, which hits 17 cites in nine days. The appearances include autograph sessions, youth hockey clinics, interactive games, contests and giveaways. Chevrolet has been a marketing partner since the tour’s inception. This season, Fox Sports Net will air 55 Predators games throughout the team’s television territory, which includes Tennessee, northern Alabama, Mississippi and southern Kentucky.

NEW YORK

 Broadway 5K set for next week

The second annual Continental Airlines Broadway on Broadway 5K (3.1 miles) run is scheduled for Sunday. There are plenty of extra attractions for participants in the New York Road Runners event, which begins in Central Park and finishes in the heart of Times Square. Two round-trip tickets good for travel anywhere in the United States from Continental Airlines will be awarded to the winner of the “dress as your favorite Broadway character” costume contest prior to the race. The cast of the hit Broadway show “42nd Street” will perform live at the post-race awards ceremony. Continental Airlines is a principal sponsor of the 2001 New York City Marathon.

OAKLAND

 Santa Clara suspends talks with A’s

The Santa Clara City Council voted Aug. 21 to suspend talks with the Oakland A’s after team co-owner Steve Schott reportedly tried to sell the team. The San Jose Mercury News reported that council member Aldyth Parle reversed her support of talks aimed at luring the A’s from Oakland with construction of a $274.5 million ballpark.

ORLANDO

 Lapchick to lead new graduate program

Richard Lapchick is moving his sports-business operation to central Florida. The founder of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Boston’s Northeastern University and the Consortium for Academics and Sports will be the head of a new sports-business graduate degree program at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He will be moving the staffs and headquarters of his two organizations to Orlando as well. The university is planning to start the new program, dubbed DeVos Sport Business Management Program, next year. It was started with a $2.5 million grant from Rich DeVos, owner of the Orlando Magic and WNBA Miracle. Lapchick is a contributing columnist for SportsBusiness Journal.

PHILADELPHIA

 Coach bans some media, then unbans them

Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid banned three local television stations and the Philadelphia Daily News from the team’s morning practice on Aug. 21 after the media members broadcast video and published photos from a closed practice the previous day. The practice was held at Veterans Stadium to allow players to try different shoes on the new NeXturf surface installed earlier this year. Problems with the conversion of the turf from baseball to football caused the Eagles to cancel their first home preseason game several weeks ago. The television stations and newspapers used images taken from helicopters that flew over the stadium during the practice. Because of the turf controversy, media members wanted to cover the practice and asked Reid to allow a pool reporter. Reid declined. He lifted the ban later in the afternoon.

 Villanova reviewing turf replacement bids

Villanova University in suburban Philadelphia is reviewing four bids to replace the AstroTurf surface at its stadium, which is also used by the WUSA Philadelphia Charge. The $800,000 cost will be shared by the college and Comcast Corp., which owns the Charge.

 X Games set attendance record

A record 234,950 people attended the 2001 X Games in Philadelphia, a 10-day event that generated an estimated $40 million in revenue for the city and region. The previous record of 201,000 was set last year, when the event was in San Francisco. Philadelphia also set a single-day attendance record of 48,900 on Aug. 18. The 2002 X Games will also be held in Philadelphia.

RENO, NEV.

 Open says it can’t go on without sponsor

Reno-Tahoe Open tournament officials say the PGA Tour event, which concluded its 2001 tournament Aug. 26, cannot continue without a title sponsor. The tournament, which had a $3 million purse this year, needs a sponsor willing to pay at least $3 million. The Open hasn’t had a title sponsor since greens.com left last year.

RICHMOND, VA.

 Belk name goes on track field

In recognition of a $900,000 gift from North Carolina businessman Irwin Belk, Sports Backers Stadium will name its track and soccer field portion for him: the Irwin Belk Athletic Center. A fund-raising campaign for the stadium met its goal, finishing with more than $6 million. The stadium features an eight-lane international-caliber track, an infield area that includes a soccer field, and seating for 3,250. It will be used by Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Union University track and field programs and VCU’s men’s and women’s soccer teams.

SACRAMENTO

 USOC panelists visit Bay Area

Four site-selection representatives of the U.S. Olympic Committee and members of the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee came to Sacramento Aug. 22 as part of an examination of the San Francisco Bay Area as a possible site for the 2012 Olympics. They toured Raley Field, which would be used for preliminary rounds of baseball; Mather Regional Park, which would hold archery and cycling events; and Lake Natoma, which would host rowing, canoeing and kayaking. If the Bay Area is selected for the Games, the 2012 event would take place in a region stretching from Sacramento to San Jose to San Francisco. The region is competing against Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Tampa and Washington, D.C., with the international host city to be named in 2005.

SAN DIEGO

 Drapeau takes Callaway chairmanship

Callaway Golf Co. President and CEO Ronald Drapeau assumed the additional title of chairman of the company, filling the vacancy left by the July death of founder Ely Callaway.

SAN FRANCISCO

 Bay Area sports not exempt from blackouts

Pacific Bell Park, Network Associates Coliseum, 3Com Park and the Oakland Arena were left off a final list of 405 businesses that are exempt from rolling blackouts. The California Public Utilities Commission’s draft list of exemptions — consisting mainly of medical and transportation-related facilities — was released Aug. 17. The commission will formally vote on the list, which originally included 10,000 applicants, on Wednesday. The decision could force delay, postponement or cancellation of games for the San Francisco Giants, Oakland A’s and Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Golden State Warriors.

ST. LOUIS

 Golf event may add $35M to economy

The economic impact of the upcoming 2001 American Express World Golf Championship on the St. Louis metropolitan area is estimated at between $35 million and $38 million. The Sept. 11-16 event will be held at Bellerive Country Club. In addition to its top five sponsors, the 2001 American Express Championship has sold all 22 of its Ambassador Plaza sponsorships and 10 Envoy sites to local companies.

TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG

 Tampa wants to host Army-Navy game

Tampa is bidding to host the 2004 Army-Navy football game. The Tampa Bay Sports Commission is compiling information to attract the game to Raymond James Stadium, where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the University of South Florida play. The Army-Navy game traditionally has been played in Philadelphia, but has been played at other stadiums in recent years.

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