SBJ/June 9 - 15, 2003/Coast To Coast

Coast to Coast

CHARLOTTE

Sorenstam a boon for Bank of America

Annika Sorenstam and Bank of America’s Dockery Clark
Annika (Sorenstam) Week has come and gone, and Dockery Clark says the experience was electric. Clark, who heads Bank of America's sports and event sponsorships, said the Bank of America Colonial won unprecedented attention for the bank while Sorenstam made history by participating in a PGA Tour event. "Personally and professionally, it was just an incredible experience," Clark said. Bank of America's title sponsorship began this year and runs through 2006.

CINCINNATI

City collecting 'jock tax'
The Mobile Skatepark Series winners left town last week with 2.1 percent less prize money than they expected, thanks to the city's "jock tax." Organizers of the annual event said they had never heard of the jock tax until city tax collectors came calling. Because the tournament offered $80,000 in prize money, the city expected to collect $1,680. And with the New York Yankees in the city for a series last week, Derek Jeter alone would owe the city $6,066. City officials estimate they'll collect less than $1 million a year from the tax.

COLUMBUS

Crew shifts game date for Buckeyes
The MLS' Columbus Crew is changing the date of a home game against Kansas City to avoid a head-to-head conflict with Ohio State's football season opener against Washington on Aug. 30 at Ohio Stadium. Originally slated as a day game, the OSU contest was recently shifted to an 8 p.m. kickoff to accommodate ABC-TV's programming schedule. That would have placed the Buckeyes in direct competition with the Crew, whose home game against Kansas City was scheduled to start at 7:30. Recognizing the impact that would have on the gate, Crew officials decided to move their match to the next day, 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 31.

DALLAS-FORT WORTH

Adams Golf plans 2 Redline ads
Adams Golf Inc. will do a network ad campaign in June for its Redline product line. The Plano golf-equipment maker will run two 30-second ads in June and July featuring Tom Watson, Larry Nelson and Bruce Lietzke. The Dallas Morning News reported that the campaign will include two other 15-second ads. All spots were produced by Irving-based Temerlin McClain, the Morning News said.

Commemorative clubs to mark 50th
The Ben Hogan Co. is selling 1,953 sets of commemorative irons that were originally designed by the Fort Worth company's namesake. Based on one of three prototypes that Hogan created in the early '70s and that were found in an office coffee table, the sets sell for $1,600 apiece and mark the company's 50th anniversary, according to The Dallas Morning News.

DENVER

Kroenke buys Canadian ranch
Stanley Kroenke, owner of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and Denver's Pepsi Center, has bought the Douglas Lake Ranch in British Columbia for $68.5 million. The largest private ranch in Canada was formerly owned by embattled WorldCom Inc. CEO Bernard Ebbers. WorldCom, now called MCI, took control of the property this year.

City, KSE hope to lure NBA All-Star Game
The city of Denver and Kroenke Sports Enterprises, which owns the NBA's Denver Nuggets and Pepsi Center, are contributing more than $1 million in an effort to attract the NBA All-Star Game in 2005, 2006 or 2007. The Mayor's Office of Economic Development and International Trade will chip in $400,000 toward expenses associated with luring the game to Denver; Kroenke Sports Enterprises will put up the rest of the money.

DETROIT

Yankees game sets ratings record
The Detroit Tigers-New York Yankees 17-inning marathon June 1 set a ratings record for Fox Sports Net Detroit. Buoyed by Roger Clemens' attempt at his 300th win and a coincidental one-day return to the broadcast booth by Hall-of-Fame announcer Ernie Harwell, the game achieved a record overall 6.7 rating with a peak of 9.6 as it went into extra innings.

Sears to title-sponsor truck race
Sears, a long-time supporter of NASCAR, and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title sponsor since the inception of the series in 1995, will be the title sponsor of the Sears 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

EVERETT, WASH.

Dasherboards were recently installed at the new Everett Regional Special Events Center, which is expected to open in October.

Center gets dasherboards
Dasherboards were recently installed in Everett Regional Special Events Center as work continues on the Global Spectrum-managed facility, which will open in October. The facility will serve as the new home of a Western Hockey League franchise. The multipurpose arena, expected to cost $71.5 million, features an 8,200-seat ice arena and a total capacity of 10,000. Owned by the Everett Public Facilities District, the center will include 20 luxury suites and 750 club seats, with the opportunity for expansion to an additional 20 suites.

HOUSTON

Proposals sought for redevelopment
The Harris County Sports & Convention Corp. put out a request for proposals June 2 for redevelopment of the Reliant Astrodome. Officials are open to any redevelopment idea from the private sector that will maintain the facility's world-class status by creating a multiuse destination that complements the other facilities within Reliant Park, including Reliant Stadium and Reliant Center.

INDIANAPOLIS

Losing Firebirds boost their attendance
Despite posting a franchise-worst 6-10 record, the Arena Football League's Indiana Firebirds saw attendance increase 15.2 percent to 11,623 this season, its third in Indianapolis. The AFL got a major boost from its television contract with NBC, but the Firebirds even outpaced the 12.2 percent league average attendance growth.

The second phase of work on the Indianapolis Raceway Park is expected to be completed in time for the Aug. 27-Sept. 1 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.

Track construction in second phase
Phase two of a multimillion-dollar three-phase plan to upgrade the drag strip complex of Indianapolis Raceway Park is under way, track officials said. Eight luxury VIP boxes will be built atop the West Side Grandstands. The East Side Grandstands, located on the pit side of the track, will be moved 30 feet closer to the drag strip. Phase two is expected to be completed in time for the Aug. 27-Sept. 1 running of the 49th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the world's largest drag racing event. Smith-Roberts & Associates of Indianapolis and Paxton Waters of Carmel, Ind., are the architects; United Construction Enterprises Inc. is the construction manager.

MIAMI

DHL weighs naming of Pro Player
DHL Worldwide Express is the latest company to consider a naming-rights deal at Pro Player Stadium. If the deal works out, DHL could run into some issues with arch competitor Federal Express Corp., which owns rights to the FedEx Orange Bowl, said a Miami Herald report.

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL

Legislature adjourns with no Racino action
The Minnesota Legislature adjourned its special session May 29 without taking action on the proposed Canterbury "Racino." Since it was not voted on in the Senate Tax Committee, the bill — which would have allowed slot machines and led to a hotel and convention center development in Shakopee, Minn. — will be heard by that committee when the Legislature reconvenes next February. Canterbury Park Holdings Corp. President Randy Sampson said he was encouraged by the progress the bill made in 2003. It passed the House of Representatives convincingly. If lawmakers don't take action on the bill, Sampson said another option is pursuing legalization of slot machines via an amendment to the state constitution.

Moss filing: Officer to blame for injuries
Amy Zaccardi could have avoided being knocked down by the car of Minnesota Vikings receiver Randy Moss during a traffic altercation between the two, according to court papers filed by Moss May 27 in response to a civil suit. The filing said any injuries she received were due to her own negligence. Moss pleaded guilty in December to careless driving and obstructing traffic in a Sept. 24 incident in downtown Minneapolis and was fined $1,200. Zaccardi, a traffic officer, was knocked down by Moss' car when she tried to stop him from making an illegal turn on a downtown street. She and her husband, Nicholas, have sued Moss, seeking more than $50,000 each for assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and two counts of negligence.

PHILADELPHIA

Campbell Soup signs football stars, moms
Campbell Soup Co. of Camden, N.J., signed three football stars — and their moms — to an advertising campaign it will launch this fall. Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan and Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety John Lynch will be featured. The TV spots are part of the "Mama's Boys" campaign for Campbell's Chunky Soup line. McNabb and his mother were features in Campbell's ads last year. Creative work for the new campaign is being handled by ad agency Young & Rubicam in New York.

RALEIGH-DURHAM

PlayStation added to sponsor list
Sony PlayStation is the newest sponsor of the Adidas Outdoor Track & Field Championships, set for Friday and Saturday at Derr Track on the campus of N.C. State University in Raleigh. The event, widely considered the unofficial high school national championship, brings more than 2,000 of the nation's top athletes to Raleigh. PlayStation plans to set up a game room at the meet's headquarters hotel, the Sheraton Capital Center, and a "game tent" at Derr Track. The Adidas Outdoor is presented by the National Scholastic Sports Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Chapel Hill.

SACRAMENTO

City to host NCAA track championship
Sacramento will host the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championship with 1,200 athletes Wednesday through Saturday at California State University Sacramento. The track and field championship hasn't been held in Northern California since 1968. It's never been held in Sacramento.

City allows study on race track proposal
The Dixon City Council in Solano County has OK'd an agreement that will allow a study to commence on Magna Entertainment Corp.'s proposal to bring a race track, training center and retail complex to Dixon, the Davis Enterprise reported. The city leaders accepted Magna's plan to reimburse the city for the costs of studying the project for at least a year.

SAN DIEGO

City weighs future of aging arena
With the Padres moving into their downtown ballpark next April and the Chargers in discussions about a possible new stadium, the City Council is looking at the future of the San Diego Sports Arena. Opened in 1966 and former home of the NBA's Rockets and Clippers and the WHA's Mariners, the aging structure may give way to redevelopment. The council discussed the issue in a closed-door session last week and the North Bay Redevelopment Project Area Committee was scheduled to vote on a five-year plan that would likely call for the demolition of the arena. Two companies are in negotiations to develop 95 acres of city-owned and adjacent property, with the area targeted for a variety of residential, commercial and retail uses. With no plans in the works for a new arena, the Major Indoor Soccer League Sockers, the West Coast Hockey League Gulls (who are joining an expanded ECHL next season) and the Arena Football 2 Riptide would need to find a new home if the arena is razed.

SAN FRANCISCO

Hunters Point in lead for stadium
The leading site for a new San Francisco 49ers stadium appears to be the Hunters Point Shipyard, an area of land about one mile north of the existing facility at Candlestick Point. The 49ers have wanted a new stadium for several years and current ownership has toyed with several scenarios, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. A new stadium would cost at least $500 million, the paper said. The team is profitable, but the 49ers need a new stadium to generate more revenue in order to better compete with other NFL teams, many of which are playing in new stadiums that have luxury boxes and pricey club seating, said John York, team director.

Lelands to auction Bonds ball

Patrick Hayashi (left) and Alex Popov (right) shake over Barry Bonds' 73rd home run ball, flanking Joshua Leland.
Acting on orders from Superior Court Judge Kevin McCarthy, former litigants Patrick Hayashi and Alex Popov have chosen Lelands (lelands.com) to auction off Barry Bonds' 73rd home run ball to settle their long-running dispute over ownership. The ball could go for $1 million to $2 million. The auction will be held June 25 in New York and will be televised live on ESPN's 6 p.m. "SportsCenter."

Sand Gnats employees (in purple) with shoelace handouts for the game

SAVANNAH, GA.

Sand Gnats hold shoelace promotion
Although the Savannah Sand Gnats' colors are red and green, the team wore red, white and blue on Memorial Day Weekend. Sof Sole, a footwear accessory brand, provided each Sand Gnats player with patriotic shoelaces for their Memorial Day showdown with the Charleston River Dogs at Grayson Stadium. Sof Sole also gave a free pair of laces to the first 1,300 children 12 and younger who entered the stadium.

ST. LOUIS

Dome authority to refinance bonds
The public authority that manages the Edward Jones Dome plans to refinance $188 million in bonds issued by the state of Missouri and St. Louis County for construction of the $300 million dome. The refinancing is expected to save the state, which is facing a budget deficit, up to $15 million and save the county about $7.7 million. The Edward Jones Dome will also receive $1.5 million in revenue from the refinancing, which will be used for improvements to the 8-year-old facility. The dome has been home to the Rams since shortly after they moved to St. Louis in 1995.

TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG

Tampa Bay to practice at Wide World
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will hold their training camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando again this summer. The Bucs are tentatively scheduled to report July 18, with workouts starting the following day. This is the second year the Bucs have held training camp at Disney. They were displaced from their previous site by construction at the University of Tampa campus.

Bucs stick with WQYK
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced a broadcasting rights extension with Infinity Broadcasting Corp. that allows WQYK in Tampa to remain the radio flagship of the Super Bowl champions for the 13th consecutive season. Bucs games will continue to be simulcast on WQYK 99.5 FM and 1010 AM, with Gene Deckerhoff, Scot Brantley and Ronnie Lane returning as the broadcast team.

TORONTO

Sports fans get three-fer deal
Because of concern over SARS, the deals for the Toronto sports fan have never been better. World Wrestling Entertainment, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Toronto Indy are teaming to offer a discount package aimed at attracting tourists to the city. For $69 Canadian (about $50 U.S.), a person can get into the July 8 WWE SmackDown at Air Canada Centre, a Jays game against Boston July 9 or 10 and general admission entry into the Molson Indy July 11-13. The promotion's motto is "Steal a Base, See a Race and Experience WWE SmackDown In Your Face." Organizers hope to sell about 10,000 Together for Toronto packages, which are available through Ticketmaster.

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