More money, tech in preview centers Champions 2015: Tom Jernstedt New commish, expansion greet AFL season Youth lacrosse tourney inspired by LLWS Comcast stakes claim at SunTrust Park Will Cowherd be the new Maher? The NHL and the Canadian dollar IMG College deepens ties with NCAA Toyota, iHeartRadio play Rock ‘n’ Roll Univision to produce weekly NBA shows
SBJ/March 20 - 26, 2006/Coast To CoastPrint All
Best Buy kickin’ it with Silverbacks
Best Buy signed a two-year sponsorship deal with the Atlanta Silverbacks of the United Soccer Leagues. The consumer electronics retailer will sponsor a “Best Buy Game Day,” and its logo will appear on the soccer players’ cards and team posters. Other Silverbacks sponsors include Delta Air Lines Inc., Ciba Vision – Focus Dailies, Earthlink, PepsiCo, Holiday Inn, Cingular Wireless and Diadora America Inc.
Ballpark goes for seconds on barbecue
Turner Field will add a second Skip & Pete’s Hall of Fame Barbecue stand this season on the Lexus level concourse, joining the one that opened last season in the entry plaza, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.Fenway Sports Group got a spot on
Todd Bodine’s No. 30 entry at Daytona.
Red Sox ownership dabbles in racing
The Fenway Sports Group’s logo appeared on the No. 30 entry driven by Todd Bodine during last month’s Craftsman Truck GM Flex Fuel 250 at Daytona, a visible sign that the Red Sox ownership is serious about investing in NASCAR, according to a report in the Boston Globe. Red Sox owner John Henry founded iRacing.com Motorsports Simulations. Fenway negotiated iRacing.com’s truck sponsorship at Daytona, and as part of the deal, Fenway got its logo on the iRacing.com truck as well, according to the report.
BU game podcasts available free
Boston University has made video downloads of its athletic contests, game highlights and other video content available through the iTunes Music Store. Podcast downloads, averaging 3 1/2 minutes in length, will be available free of charge.
Toyota renews Bills sponsorship
The Buffalo Bills re-signed Toyota to a multiyear sponsorship deal. Toyota will receive category exclusivity, signs throughout the stadium, in-game promotions, hospitality on game days, advertising on www.buffalobills.com, rights to use team logos and marks and other benefits.
Reds buying Sox’s Sarasota club
The Cincinnati Reds signed a pact to buy the Class A Florida State League’s Sarasota franchise from the Boston Red Sox. The Reds operated the team last season, but they have now agreed to buy the team. The Reds’ spring training home is also in Sarasota.
Cavs have 1,400 seats at $10 each
The NBA Cavaliers announced their ticket pricing for the 2006-07 NBA season. Tickets available for single-game purchase will range from $10 to $69. More than 7,700 seats at Quicken Loans Arena will not increase in price. Most seats will increase only $4 or less. With 1,400 seats priced at $10, the Cavs exceed the minimum NBA requirement of 500 seats at that price.
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA.
ISC, Daytona district OK land lease
International Speedway Corp. and the Daytona Beach Racing & Recreational Facilities District reached a lease agreement under which ISC will pay an average annual rent of $750,000 for the land under Daytona International Speedway, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel. The lease will run 2007-2054, with payments beginning at $500,000 and increasing about 2 percent annually.
Comcast gets rights to Palace atrium
Comcast acquired naming rights to the new $25 million, 60,000-square-foot atrium being added to the Palace of Auburn Hills, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. The atrium will be called the Comcast Pavilion. It is expected that Comcast will pay about $1 million for rights to the addition, which opens next month.
Chiefs to obtain G3 loan with NFL
While promising to pay at least $100 million toward roofing and renovating Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs have planned to obtain a no-interest, no-payment loan for at least $34 million of the commitment from the NFL’s G3 loan program.
Dodgers put Spanish site online
The Los Angeles Dodgers launched a full-service Spanish-language Web site, www.losdodgers.com, which will provide fans with more current news and information than ever before, according to Dodgers executive vice president and COO Marty Greenspun. Losdodgers.com will feature original content from local and national columnists as well as translated stories from the club’s English-language Web site, dodgers.com.
Grizzlies lowering season-ticket prices
The NBA Grizzlies will reduce the cost of about 6,000 season tickets next year, mostly in the upper levels, where customers will save 40 percent to 47 percent, according to a report in the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. Also, 500 seats will be priced at a league-low $5 a game.Nassau Coliseum proposal includes new
facility for an Atlantic League ballclub.
New ballpark part of Wang’s Nassau plan
Islanders co-owner Charles Wang and his development partner, Scott Rechler, CEO of Reckson Associations Realty Corp., said that a state-of-the-art, 6,000-seat minor league stadium will house an Atlantic League baseball team if their proposal for the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is chosen, according to a report in Newsday. The ballpark would be a 30-minute drive from Central Islip, where the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks play.
Yanks get green light for ballpark bonds
The New York City Industrial Development Agency voted unanimously to grant the Yankees $866 million in tax-exempt and $64 million in taxable bonds to build a 53,000-seat ballpark in the Bronx, according to a Bloomberg News report. The agency also granted the Mets $527.6 million in tax-exempt and $104 million in taxable bonds to build a 44,100-seat ballpark.
Hornets ticket holders can lock in prices
The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets season-ticket holders who renew by March 24 will pay the same as this year, but after that pricing for nine of the team’s 18 seating sections will increase, according to a report in the Daily Oklahoman. Michael Thompson, the Hornets’ director of corporate communications, said that season-ticket prices will increase by an average of 6 percent.
Nextel offering appreciation tickets
The Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights and Nextel are teaming up for military appreciation night when the AHL Knights play the Peoria Rivermen on March 25 at the Omaha Civic Auditorium. Nextel will provide game tickets to military personnel and their families, Red Cross volunteers, Strategic Air and Space Museum members and Nextel customers.
Flyers offer collectible mini-pucks
The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled a new series of collectible items — the Flyers mini-puck set. The set features players on the Flyers’ 24-man roster and coach Ken Hitchcock. Fans in attendance at the Wachovia Center on March 11 received a full-color glossy album to hold the pucks as part of the team’s fan appreciation day. Mini-pucks will be available for purchase at select retail outlets for $2.99 each.
BlueClaws to have Daktronics board
The Lakewood (N.J.) BlueClaws, the Class A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, are replacing the video board that sits atop the enormous scoreboard at FirstEnergy Park in left-center field. A new, Daktronics-designed video board will be installed before the start of the season. The new board will measure 19 feet high and 23 feet wide and feature more animation, better video and sharper graphics.
Kings ticket prices steady for next season
Sacramento Kings season tickets won’t cost more in the 2006-07 season. Kings season ticket prices for the 2006-07 NBA season will be, per seat, $10, $25.50, $40.50, $68.50, $89.50, $115, $140 and $165. As of March 14, the Kings had sold out 302 consecutive home games.
Ballclub principals want new Kings arena
Two principals of the Class AAA Sacramento River Cats baseball club are working to get a new basketball arena in downtown Sacramento. Art Savage and Warren Smith told The Sacramento Bee that they will work with Sacramento county and city officials on the long-stalled effort to finance a new home for the Sacramento Kings. Savage, majority owner and chief executive officer, and Smith, executive vice president, hope to build a new complex by 2009, according to the report.
A’s looking for radio home in Sacramento
The Oakland Athletics are trying to find a Sacramento AM radio station to carry the ballclub’s games. The parent club of the Sacramento River Cats can’t be heard on the Sacramento dial, and fans are frustrated. Sacramentans used to listen on the A’s flagship station KFRC, a San Francisco station with a signal strong enough to reach the capital. Last year the station was sold and switched to a religious format that wasn’t interested in carrying the games.
A-B, Chargers team up for sponsorship
Anheuser-Busch Cos. signed a new five-year sponsorship deal with the San Diego Chargers that gives the brewery exclusive in-stadium sign rights for Budweiser and Bud Light and significant advertising presence during preseason broadcasts, weekly TV shows, English and Spanish radio game broadcasts and promotional events. A-B began its sponsorship relationship with the football team in 1996.
City discusses Qualcomm ticket surcharge
San Diego city officials have had preliminary talks about creating a stadium maintenance enterprise fund, possibly financed by a stadium ticket surcharge that would pay for the lagging infrastructure at Qualcomm Stadium, according to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune. San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre said that such a fund would improve the facility and give the city an improved negotiating position in its discussions with the Chargers about a proposed new stadium.
Slingbox to align with teams, athletes
Echo Sports Marketing will begin working with Sling Media Inc. to promote Slingbox, a device that lets people watch their home TV programming from wherever they are through an Internet-connected computer. Echo Sports of San Francisco said it will promote the Slingbox through deals with sports teams and sports personalities. In addition, Echo will work with San Mateo-based Sling Media on promotions at sporting venues and in stores.
ING Group to title popular May race
The U.S. arm of ING Group signed a three-year deal as title sponsor of the annual Bay to Breakers foot race. Terms of the deal were not released. The event, which covers almost 7.5 miles of hilly San Francisco terrain, attracted 40,000 registered runners last year. ING replaces Albertsons supermarket as title sponsor of the May 21 event.
SLU boosts naming-rights opportunities
Saint Louis University officials modified plans for a proposed $70 million on-campus arena to include athletic department offices and basketball and volleyball practice facilities. The move increases available naming opportunities for the offices, practice courts and related items. The Jesuit university has raised $27 million in private contributions so far and plans to break ground this fall.
Cardinals set ticket sales record
The St. Louis Cardinals set a one-day ticket sales record March 4 when the club sold 170,000 single-game tickets for the new Busch Stadium’s inaugural season. Six games — Opening Day and five dates against the Chicago Cubs — are sold out. Standing-room tickets are all that remain for another 44 games.
Cardinals broadcaster relocates restaurant
St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster and former player Mike Shannon relocated his family-owned restaurant into a renovated bank building closer to the new Busch Stadium. The new $4.5 million Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood features baseball memorabilia and will border the Ballpark Village mixed-use development planned for the area.
NHL team forecasts $8.8 million loss
The Tampa Bay Lightning estimates it will lose $8.8 million this season after posting its first profit in 2004, the year the team won the Stanley Cup. The loss would be despite projected record ticket sales of $32.5 million for 2005-06, up 50 percent from the previous season. Lightning executives told the St. Petersburg Times their payroll is one of the highest in the NHL, yet ticket prices at the St. Pete Times Forum rank 22nd out of 30 teams.Fans in ‘Dream Seats’ at the Verizon Center
will have a photographer’s perspective.
Work crews are replacing thousands of sun-faded seats this month inside Raymond James Stadium. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers complained that the original bright-red color of the plastic seats had turned to a pinkish hue after years of exposure to sun and rain. Hussey Seating Co., which installed the seats when the stadium opened in 1998, agreed to replace the faded seats at no cost to the Bucs or Tampa taxpayers.
Wizards capitalize on ‘Dream Seats’
The Wizards earlier this month debuted four courtside seats next to the players’ bench called “Dream Seats,” according to a report in the Washington Post. The seats cost $2,500 each a game, and AOL co-founder Steve Case bought up the four on the Wizards’ side for the season’s final 10 home games. The team added the seats after seeing the popularity of courtside premium seats in several NBA venues, according to the report.