SBJ/20090126/Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast

ARLINGTON, TEXAS
Seat bonds reach maturity
Seat option bonds bought by Texas Rangers fans 15 years ago reached maturity and can be redeemed, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. About 3,000 people or companies bought seat option bonds in 1993 to buy season tickets. David Balsamo, Arlington’s interim treasury manager, said that people who have responded to the city have said their bonds are worth between $500 and $70,000, according to the report.

ATLANTA
Pregame snacks priced at $1
The Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers began offering special $1 pregame prices on hot dogs, popcorn and fountain drinks last week at Philips Arena. The offers will run through Feb. 10 for the Hawks and Feb. 11 for the Thrashers.

BUFFALO
Bills keep ticket prices in line
The Buffalo Bills will keep all ticket prices for 2009 the same as last season. The average per game price for a Buffalo Bills season ticket will remain $51.24 for nine home games at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills will play one regular-season game in Toronto.

CHICAGO
Olympic bid pin honors inauguration
Chicago 2016 issued a limited edition pin to commemorate Barack Obama’s inauguration, according to an Around the Rings report. Five thousand were made for distribution at inauguration events in Washington and Chicago.

DALLAS
Stars start fresh with KTCK
The Dallas Stars and KTCK-AM reached a five-year agreement to make the station the club’s exclusive radio home through the 2013-14 season, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The deal ends the Stars’ 15-year affiliation with WBAP-AM, according to the report.

DENVER
Motorsports resort planned
Developer Claus Wagner hired OZ Architecture of Boulder and Denver to be the master planner for the proposed 2,600-acre Motor Sport Country Club of Colorado in Agate, 60 miles east of Denver. The Ring of the Rockies resort will offer motorsports lovers the chance to live in country-club-style homes near the tracks.

DETROIT
Conservancy clears hurdle
The Detroit Economic Development Corporation gave preliminary approval to the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy’s plan and budget to preserve and redevelop what’s left of Tiger Stadium. The decision on behalf of the city of Detroit allows the group to proceed with its project and fundraising efforts. Detroit’s city council is scheduled to look over the plan and vote on it in March.

Ignition partners with Volkswagen
The Detroit Ignition entered a partnership with The Detroit Area Volkswagen Dealers. The dealer group will receive presenting sponsor status for the Xtreme Soccer League team’s 2009 summer soccer camp program along with various marketing benefits.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.
Nets to walk in sponsors’ shoes
New Jersey Nets employees are seeking to learn more about the team’s sponsors by spending “A Day in the Life” with Nets corporate partners. Starting this month, members of the Nets partnership marketing department will be spending a day with partners such as Aflac, Vonage, LG, Canon, Goya, and Anheuser-Busch in order to immerse themselves in all aspects of the companies’ businesses.

FORT MYERS, FLA.
Orioles could move across state
The Baltimore Orioles and Lee County are nearing a long-term deal for the team to move its spring training home from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., into City of Palms Park, according to a report in the Fort Myers News-Press. Lee County Deputy Manager Bill Hammond said the deal would be for at least 15 years, according to the report.

“Orange” fans can explore and interact.

GREEN BAY
NFL approves USS Green Bay caps
Putting the Green Bay Packers helmet logo on the caps of every crewmember on the USS Green Bay had to be approved by the NFL first, according to a report in the Green Bay Press-Gazette. The NFL gave permission after being told it would be predominantly members of the USS Green Bay that would be buying the hats, the report said.

HOUSTON
Dynamo starts social network
The Houston Dynamo became the first Major League Soccer team to launch an official fan social network with the debut of MyDynamo.net. The new site will host the Dynamo’s Forever Orange blog and various player, fan and staff blogs.

Texans boost ticket, parking prices
The Houston Texans will increase ticket prices to an average of $67.37 next season, up almost 4 percent from 2008, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle. The Texans will also increase parking prices by $3 for each car, but will not increase prices on 5,500 of their least expensive seats, according to the report.

Less practice time could result
in fewer track incidents that
require costly repairs.

INDIANAPOLIS
Economy forces fewer IndyCar practices
Two practice days have been trimmed from the Indianapolis 500’s May schedule, and most of the other IndyCar Series races will be reduced to two days of track activity, according to a report in The Indianapolis Star. The report quoted John Griffin, IRL vice president of public relations: “It’s clearly a response to the economic times we’re facing.” The Indy 500’s four-day, two-weekend qualifying format will remain, according to the report.

LOS ANGELES
Voters approve stadium-related bonds
Voters in Industry, Calif., approved the sale of up to $500 million in bonds for infrastructure improvements, including some that would support a planned $800 million NFL stadium, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The bond money would go toward building roads, bridges, sewers, lighting and other infrastructure, according to a San Gabriel Valley Tribune report.

MIAMI
Marlins stadium effort delayed
A package of votes by city of Miami and Miami-Dade County commissioners that could lead to a new baseball stadium for the Florida Marlins has been delayed until February, according to a report in The Miami Herald. The city and county must finalize key managerial, construction and other contracts before the project can begin, according to the report.

MILWAUKEE
Brewers hit 1 million mark
The Milwaukee Brewers reached 1 million tickets sold for the 2009 season, beating last year’s race to the milestone by a full two weeks. This marks the earliest date in team history that the team has reached 1 million sold. The previous record was last year, Feb. 2. The Brewers set an all-time franchise attendance mark of more than 3 million fans in 2008.

Temps in the teens are likely
at game time.

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL
U.S. military face off for hockey day
A floor hockey game from Iraq, between the 148th Fighter Wing from Duluth, Minn., and the 834th Aviation Support Battalion from St. Paul kicked off Fox Sports North’s 20-plus hours of hockey coverage of the third annual Hockey Day Minnesota on Jan. 17. The entire day’s events, which were sponsored by Minnesota Burger King Restaurants in conjunction with the Minnesota Wild, included 20-plus hours of hockey programming.

Saints staging winter ballgame
The St. Paul Saints announced plans for a Feb. 28 baseball game at Midway Stadium. The Crispin Iceball Adventure Series will pit a team of past and present Saints players against a team of celebrities. The five-inning game will benefit Second Harvest Heartland. It will include all of the same promotions, appearances, tailgating and other entertainment that a summer ballgame offers.

Target Field aligns with U.S. Bank
The Minnesota Twins and U.S. Bancorp signed a long-term sponsorship agreement that will make the bank one of the founding partners for Target Field. The deal includes the naming of the U.S. Bank Home Run Porch  and enhanced community involvement with the Twins Community Fund.

Fans can customize their Wolves intake.

Wolves introduce Gametime tool
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Jacked Inc. launched an interactive tool called Timberwolves Gametime at timberwolves.com. The program uses Search Casting technology and a dashboard of customizable widgets that can be dragged and dropped on the screen, including a scoreboard, a box score, play-by-play and player profiles.

NEW YORK
Yankees’, Mets’ bonds approved
New York’s Industrial Development Agency approved $370.9 million in tax-exempt bonds to finish construction of Yankee Stadium, according to a report in The New York Times. The agency also unanimously approved the Mets’ request for $82.3 million in tax-exempt bonds to complete construction on Citi Field.

OAKLAND
Every A’s game in Spanish next season
The Oakland Athletics and the Spanish Beisbol Network agreed to terms on a five-year contract to broadcast all 162 regular-season games in Spanish on KDIA and KDYA radio stations. It marks the first time the A’s have featured Spanish broadcasts for every regular-season game. 

OKLAHOMA CITY
Thunder sign health partner
The Oklahoma City Thunder entered a multiyear partnership with Integris Health to become the team’s official medical provider, according to a report in The Oklahoman. The deal also gives Integris naming rights of the team’s temporary practice facility. A separate report in The Oklahoman stated that the Thunder will break ground on a $20 million permanent facility this year.

OMAHA, NEB.
CWS ballpark breaks ground
The city of Omaha and NCAA officials held a groundbreaking last week for a 24,000-seat ballpark that will play host to the College World Series, according to a report in the Omaha World-Herald. Workers are scheduled to start on the stadium concourse and suite seating in August.

PHILADELPHIA
MLS Philadelphia’s bonds approved
The Delaware County Council signed off on $28.6 million in bonds that will be used to help pay for MLS Philadelphia’s new $115 million stadium, according to a report in the Delaware County Times. Documents indicated that the calculated debt service remains fairly constant at $1.77 million annually throughout the 30-year life of the bonds.

Fans can vote on MLS team name
Major League Soccer Philadelphia 2010 launched a campaign to let fans vote on the name of the new MLS team that will begin play in Chester, Pa., in 2010. Voting will take place through Feb. 6 on these four options: AC, SC, City and Union. The campaign is being conducted by Keystone Sports & Entertainment.

RALEIGH
Pepsi producing ’Canes cans
The Carolina Hurricanes began a partnership campaign with Pepsi called “Pepsi — Win A Taste of the ’Canes.” Pepsi will produce six Hurricanes-inspired cans for sale in North Carolina. The campaign also features a sweepstakes, with the grand-prize winners receiving Hurricanes-themed vending machines.

SAN DIEGO
City suing Chargers over rent
The city of San Diego filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the San Diego Chargers, claiming the team owes the city more than $170,000 for use of Qualcomm Stadium in 2004, according to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune. City attorney Jan Goldsmith said the four-year statute of limitations on the case was about to expire, making a lawsuit necessary to preserve the city’s right to make a claim, according to the report.

SAN FRANCISCO
Giants bring fans ‘Inside’
The San Francisco Giants launched Inside the Clubhouse, an initiative dedicated to providing fans with an insider’s view of the organization. Inside the Clubhouse features a series of programs on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and blogs on the team Web site aimed at bringing fans closer to the organization and to keep them informed throughout the offseason.

ST. LOUIS
Lee Enterprises sold Cardinals stake
Lee Enterprises, the parent company of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis, sold its minority stake in the St. Louis Cardinals last summer for an estimated $14 million to $25 million. The newspaper will maintain its luxury suite, outfield scoreboard sign and its name on the infield tarp cover, said Dan Farrell, Cardinals senior vice president of sales and marketing.

A near-complete set of full Super Bowl
tickets could go for more than $20,000.
The game-worn Unitas (left) and Van
Brocklin helmets are in original
condition and retain all interior
padding and straps.

SUNRISE, FLA.
Panthers hold steady on ticket prices
The Florida Panthers are freezing prices for the 2009-10 season and offering more flexible payment options, according to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fans who renew by Feb. 21 get extra benefits, including the chance to attend parties hosted by players.

TAMPA
Auction to be held at Super Bowl site
Hunt Auctions will hold the live auction at the NFL Experience on Saturday afternoon. More than 300 lots of football-related memorabilia will be featured. Highlights include a Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts helmet and a Norm Van Brocklin Los Angeles Rams helmet, both expected to fetch more than $20,000. Hunt Auctions will also hold an appraisal fair through Friday for fans curious about the value of their own memorabilia collections.

TORONTO
CBC cites economy for Jays decision
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. cited the slowing global economy as the main reason why it ended its two-year run telecasting Toronto Blue Jays games. The CBC paid the Blue Jays a reported $2.9 million to carry 24 games last season.

VANCOUVER
Games sign cold-remedies supplier
Cold-fX signed a four-year deal with VANOC to become an official supplier of the 2010 Vancouver Games in the cold and flu remedies category.

Send your Coast to Coast news to: CoastToCoast@sportsbusinessjournal.com
or phone (704) 973-1436.
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