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Coast to Coast

Rangers keep most ticket prices flat
Texas Rangers ticket prices will remain the same in all sections except for the lower infield seats, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Lower infield tickets will increase $5 to $65. All-you-can-eat seats will be available every home game and include seats in the upper home run porch.

Attendance on Jan. 23, which
included women’s skiing super-
pipe finals, was 12,900.

X Games attendance down
Winter X Games 13 in Aspen/Snowmass, Colo., drew a four-day total attendance of 68,100, marking the lowest in the last five years, according to a report in the Aspen Daily News. ESPN officials said they were “very pleased” by the totals, according to the report. The event drew its biggest crowd, 26,700 attendees, on Jan. 24.

Celtics bring Staples on for supplies
Staples has become the official office supplier of the Boston Celtics. The Celtics will be using Staples to run a more environmentally friendly business through use of the Staples Environmental Catalog.

Riversharks schedule ‘Dollar Mondays’
The Camden Riversharks of the independent Atlantic League will feature “Dollar Mondays” this season. The promotion will feature $1 hot dogs, sodas, chips, ice cream, and merchandise. The Riversharks will host seven Monday night games at Campbell’s Field beginning May 5. The team has put together a package in which fans can purchase tickets to all seven “Dollar Monday” games for $65 a seat

Cubs suing Under Armour
The Chicago Cubs filed a federal lawsuit against Under Armour for allegedly reneging on a $10.8 million partnership contract, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times. The three-year deal began in 2007 and gave Under Armour rights to signage on the doors of the Wrigley Field outfield walls.

Bearcats OK media deal with IMG College
The University of Cincinnati athletic department agreed to a 12-year media rights partnership with IMG College. The deal, effective July 1, includes more than $30 million in guaranteed payments to the school.

Valentine’s dinner returns to ball field
The Cleveland Indians are promoting their annual Valentine’s Day dinner in the Terrace Club of Progressive Field. The Feb. 14 event includes a five-course meal prepared by Progressive Field chefs, a bottle of wine paired with dinner and musical accompaniment by jazz singer and pianist Mike Petrone.

The Fan sports radio extends to FM dial
Columbus’ all-sports radio station is expanding to the FM airwaves. The Fan, heard only on 1460 AM since its 1995 debut, began simulcasting on 97.1 FM last week. The station, owned by Dispatch Broadcast Group affiliate Radiohio Inc., previously played adult contemporary music. Before the switch, 97.1 was the FM home to Ohio State football and men’s basketball games.

Broncos hold steady on ticket prices
The Denver Broncos will freeze all ticket prices for the 2009 season, according to a report in the Rocky Mountain News. Broncos COO Joe Ellis said that some club seat premiums might be increased for seats in which contracts run out this year, but ticket prices will remain the same, according to the report.

Oilers to buy GBL Cracker-Cats
The Edmonton Oilers reached an agreement to buy the Golden Baseball League Edmonton Cracker-Cats for $326,000, according to a report in the Edmonton Journal. Sources indicated that the deal is conditional upon the Oilers negotiating a new long-term lease with Edmonton for the use of Telus Field, according to the report.

Blind or deaf visitors can still stand
in the huddle and get instructions
from Tom Brady.

Northwestern extends WGN deal
WGN Radio and Northwestern University extended their sports broadcast agreement for four years. Wildcats fans will be able to hear Northwestern football and men’s basketball on 720 AM through the 2012-13 season.

Patriot Place adds audio, visual aids
The Hall at Patriot Place, the Kraft Group’s Patriots football hall of fame next to Gillette Stadium, added a listening and closed-captioning system, according to a report in The Boston Globe. The system tracks visitors as they move about, triggering audio descriptions for the blind and closed captioning or enhanced audio for those with hearing problems, according to the report.

Gators upgrading video boards
The University of Florida is replacing the 11-year-old video boards at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field with high-tech JumboTrons, according to a report in the Gainesville Sun. UF is still negotiating the deal, but the money for the giant boards will come mostly from the rights deal the school signed with Fox-owned RSN Sun Sports in 2008, according to the report.

Red Bull Arena delayed again
The opening of the MLS Red Bulls’ new stadium has been delayed again, according to a report in the North Jersey Herald News. The stadium had been slated to open during the 2009 MLS season, but a source said that the Red Bulls were locked in lengthy bureaucratic battles with Harrison Township over planning board amendments and the surrounding infrastructure, according to the report.

Astros, KTRH agree on four-year deal
The Houston Astros and Clear Channel Radio Houston came to a four-year agreement, including a two-year mutual option, that will keep Astros games on KTRH-AM through at least the 2012 season. The deal ensures that all 162 regular-season games will be broadcast on KTRH, and 36 spring training games will be aired on either KTRH or sister station KBME.

Clearing begins for mixed-use project
Excavators started taking down the former Jones Store building at Bannister Mall to make way for a $949 million mixed-used complex, according to a report in The Kansas City Star. A development called The Trails would be anchored by an 18,500-seat professional soccer stadium that would house the MLS Wizards, according to the report.

The PGA Tour event has a long history,
starting in 1940 as the Milwaukee Open.

A-Sun teams have new training option
The Atlantic Sun Conference and Rights Marketing Group formed a partnership with All-Star Sports Training, a training complex along the border of the Ocala National Forest in Florida. The training complex blends scientific analysis and nutrition and features a full-size football field. A-Sun schools in Florida and teams visiting those schools can visit the facility for customized, multiday sessions. The Macon, Ga.-based conference has 11 schools in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

U.S. Bank ending ties with tournament
Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank is ending its sponsorship of the PGA Tour U.S. Bank Championship at Brown Deer Park. The tournament sponsorship expires this year. The tournament has been hurt by competing directly with the British Open and the absence of network television coverage.

Delta sponsoring Twins season
Delta Air Lines will be the presenting sponsor for the Minnesota Twins’ final season in the Metrodome. The theme for the season will be “Farewell to the Metrodome,” though the team will also honor late owner Carl Pohlad by wearing a patch on its uniforms.

Vikings hit the snow for charity
More than 20 players, coaches and alumni of the Minnesota Vikings will participate in the 14th annual Minnesota Vikings Arctic Blast Snowmobile Rally at Lake Mille Lacs Feb. 7-8. The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Arctic Cat and Miller Lite are sponsoring the event, which raises money for the Minnesota Vikings Children’s Fund.

JD Motorsports opens new office
Marketing communications agency JD Motorsports, headquartered in Greenville, S.C., opened an office in Mooresville, N.C. The new office is in the same motorsports complex that houses Red Bull Racing and Roush/Fenway Racing.

GameDay to hold inaugural seminar
The Mission Inn Resort and Spa northwest of Orlando will be the site of the inaugural GameDay Institute, a professional training seminar and workshop for guest service professionals in the sports industry, March 6-7. The institute, developed by Brian Crow at GameDay Consulting, will focus on the recruitment, training, and motivation of front-line game-day personnel, and is open to guest service personnel and event managers at sports venues nationwide.

Tour event aligns with Mercedes
Mercedes-Benz was named official car sponsor of the PGA Tour Northern Trust Open. Under terms of the two-year agreement, Mercedes-Benz will provide a hole-in-one vehicle at the 14th hole each year and provide Mercedes-Benz courtesy cars for every player during the tournament. The event is Feb. 16-22.

Jersey designer en route to Phoenix
Baruch College student Tim Ahmed won the EA Sports Jersey Creator Contest, according to a report in The New York Times. More than 12,000 participants were asked to produce a computer-generated design of a jersey to be worn by first- and second-year NBA players during the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge during All-Star Weekend in Phoenix. Ahmed received a free trip to Phoenix for the All-Star Weekend festivities, according to the report.

The mayor of Phoenix joined Suns staff
and the Gorilla in showing off the trains.

Trains sport All-Star branding
Metro light rail trains were wrapped with NBA All-Star themes last week. A design highlighting the images of six 2009 NBA All-Stars will be featured on two trains from the new mass transit system through Feb. 16. The Metro board of directors, which has a “no advertising” policy, voted to allow the NBA to wrap the trains as a pilot project. The NBA used digital printing technology from HP.

D-Backs cut Spanish telecasts
The Arizona Diamondbacks last week cut their Spanish-language TV broadcast from KPHE, which had aired 50 games each of the last two seasons, according to a report in The Arizona Republic. KPHE has been unable to get its channel onto Cox cable, making it hard for the team to gauge the station’s ratings and sell advertising, according to the report.

Bobcats games get broader distribution
Time Warner Cable will distribute Charlotte Bobcats games televised on SportSouth to digital customers in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Fayetteville, N.C. Coverage begins on Feb. 8. Bobcats games televised on SportSouth are available to more than 330,000 households with Time Warner digital service in those cities. SportSouth is not available in the Raleigh area.

Spurs freeze season-ticket prices
Spurs Sports & Entertainment is freezing prices on Spurs season tickets for the 2009-10 NBA season. Additionally, if the Spurs advance to the Western Conference finals or to the NBA’s championship round, season-ticket holders will pay the same price for tickets to those games as they did in 2008.

Chargers hire WMG for L.A. effort
The San Diego Chargers hired Wasserman Media Group to market the team in Los Angeles and Orange County, where individuals and companies account for about 30 percent of the team’s luxury suites and club seats, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani asserted that the partnership has nothing to do with team relocation, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune report.

Joint stadium discussed for Bay Area
The NFL is urging the San Francisco 49ers to explore sharing a new stadium with the Oakland Raiders, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News. Greg Aiello, NFL senior vice president of public relations, said that Commissioner Roger Goodell in recent weeks has had discussions with both the Raiders and 49ers asking the Bay Area teams to consider a joint project, according to the report.

Cards, Cordish cleared for revised plan
The St. Louis Cardinals and Cordish Co. got preliminary approval for a revised Ballpark Village plan that would give them three years to sell bonds to start construction and more time to use taxes generated by the project to cover the bonds, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Cardinals have agreements from tenants for about 80 percent of the project’s first phase, according to the report.

Region hailed for Olympics readiness
Patrick Ryan, the head of Chicago’s bid to host the summer Olympics in 2016, courted St. Louis business leaders and suggested the region could host preliminary Olympic soccer games and athletes in training. With its proximity to Chicago, suitable facilities, fan base and potential corporate sponsors, St. Louis would fit the bill, Ryan said.

Venue splits beverage rights
BankAtlantic Center struck an unusual beverage contract that splits the category between Coca-Cola and Florida-based National Beverage Corp., maker of Everfresh, Rip It and LaCroix, according to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. National Beverage will have several brands in the arena and signs around the arena and the ice, according to the report.

With a 9-7 season behind them and
a rookie coach, the Bucs are
keeping prices steady.

Bucs holding ticket prices even
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are freezing season-ticket prices for the upcoming season, applying to both general and club seating. Season seats at Raymond James Stadium range from $42 to $99 a game. With the Buccaneers slated to play the New England Patriots in London this year, season-ticket packages will consist of nine games instead of the normal 10 games.

MLSE buying into GolTV Canada
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. will purchase Insight Sports Ltd.’s ownership in GolTV Canada. The purchase will see the sports and entertainment organization acquire an 80.1 percent stake in the 24-hour soccer network. GolTV Canada will have exclusive coverage of qualifying Italian, Spanish and South American matches leading up to the 2010 World Cup.

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