SBJ/20100329/Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast

ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Michigan plans first night game
The University of Michigan football team will hold the first night game in school history at Michigan Stadium against Notre Dame on Sept. 10, 2011, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. The report quoted Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon: “It’d be a terrific tradition to start.”

ARLINGTON, VA.
Marathon contest returns
Comcast SportsNet Washington and the Marine Corps Marathon are bringing back the “Start the Marine Corps Marathon at Your House” contest. On April 6, CSN and marathon personnel will visit the contest winner at their residence to celebrate the official beginning of the registration period, which opens the following day. The winner’s prize package includes two entries to the Oct. 31 race. Contest entries are accepted until Thursday at CSNWashington.com.

BALTIMORE
O’s continue Eutaw Street promotion
The Baltimore Orioles are bringing back the popular 2110 Eutaw Street promotion, presented by Home Savings of America and Southwest Airlines, for its second season in 2010. The promotion highlights the uniform numbers of outfielders Nick Markakis and Adam Jones. On five 2110 Eutaw Street dates, fans can purchase a Eutaw Street Bleacher seat and a limited edition 2110 Eutaw Street T-shirt for $21.

The top 10 picks will be announced at the
season-ticket-holder draft-day party April 22.

BUFFALO
Bills fans can rank draft picks
The Buffalo Bills introduced a fan microsite on buffalobills.com that lets fans vote in a poll called the Buffalo Bills All-Time Draft Picks presented by Bud Light. The microsite features an interactive draft board for fans to place their top 10 picks and rank them in order of value.

CHICAGO
Races help launch fitness initiative
Bank of America will match funds generated through its Chicago-based running events — the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle and Bank of America Chicago Marathon — to launch a local youth fitness initiative in its support of after-school programs. A total donation of $324,000 will be split among four local organizations: ChicagoRun, Girls on the Run, MGR Foundation and Special Children’s Charities/Special Olympics Chicago.

CLEVELAND
Ballpark tours start April 13
Tours of Progressive Field for the 2010 MLB season are now on sale to the general public. The behind-the-scenes tours, presented by Panera Bread, run from April 13 through September, with all proceeds benefiting Cleveland Indians Charities. Tickets are $7.50 for adults and $5.50 for senior citizens and children. Since Progressive Field opened in 1994, more than 270,000 fans have toured the park, generating more than $700,000 for the charitable group.

COLUMBUS
Jackets add corporate partners
The Columbus Blue Jackets added Sport Clips and Ohio Mulch to the its roster of corporate partners, while Environmental Pest Management renewed its agreement with the team. Sport Clips receives various in-arena messaging elements. Ohio Mulch’s program is highlighted by electronic messaging and signage in the arena.

The academy wants to develop
outstanding high school players
and Division I prospects.

DENVER
Billups starts youth academy
Denver Nuggets guard and Colorado native Chauncey Billups has launched the Chauncey Billups Elite Basketball Academy. The academy will be a youth basketball program for boys in Colorado and will feature elite and developmental teams to accommodate various skill levels. The elite teams will comprise the top youth players in the region and will compete nationally. Initial tryouts for teams on the fifth-, sixth- and eighth-grade levels were conducted March 20-21.

DETROIT
Tigers marking Chinese New Year
The Detroit Tigers, through a partnership with the Chinese Association of Greater Detroit, will celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Tiger, on April 10 in an afternoon game against Cleveland. As part of Opening Weekend at Comerica Park, the event will feature a pregame parade, traditional lion dance performances, drum and gong performers, musical acts, and other cultural elements.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.
Nets sign team-only Brooklyn deal
The New Jersey Nets signed a deal with PNY Technologies, their first team-only sponsorship for when the team relocates to Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2012. PNY will provide integrated signage and branding for Nets ad inventory, including TV-visible courtside signage, Web ads, exterior marquee LED signage and a presenting sponsorship of the team’s mascot.

KANSAS CITY
Royals’ partners name seating areas
The Kansas City Royals are rolling out newly named seating options at Kauffman Stadium for the 2010 season. The featured areas will be sponsored by corporate partners Hy-Vee, Sonic Drive-In and State Farm Insurance. The Royals and Hy-Vee are celebrating their 10-year partnership this season, with Hy-Vee continuing as the exclusive ticket outlet of the Royals.

LAREDO, TEXAS
New stadium operator selected
The Laredo City Council selected Ventura Sports Group to be the operator for the new minor league stadium scheduled to open for the 2012 season. After voters passed an initiative in November 2008, the city hired HKS as the architect and undertook a formal RFP process to select an operator. The 5,500-seat stadium will be a multipurpose facility.

LOS ANGELES
Dodgers add Express bus service
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Metro will offer Dodger Stadium Express bus service from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to the ballpark beginning Thursday for a Dodgers preseason game and throughout the 2010 regular season. A grant of $300,000 awarded to Metro by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee was made in support of clean fuel transit service to link Union Station and Dodger Stadium.

MIAMI
Dolphins select marketing partner
The Miami Dolphins selected ClickSquared as their cross-channel marketing solution partner. ClickSquared’s marketing platform, Click 3G, will allow the Dolphins to create targeted and personalized fan communications, as well as execute marketing programs to increase fan engagement, engender fan loyalty and drive increased ticket, merchandise and sponsorship revenue.

All three sessions of games at the Bradley
Center this month were close to sellouts.

MILWAUKEE
Arena seeks 2014 NCAA games
Marquette University officials will be working with Bradley Center staff to put together a bid to host the first two rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 2014, along with trying to land regional level games. Milwaukee has never hosted those third- and fourth-round games. More than 53,000 fans attended the three sessions of NCAA first- and second-round games this month at the arena.

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL
Senate hears proposal to lift ban
The Minnesota Senate last week heard a proposal that would repeal language in state law that led the University of Minnesota to ban liquor sales at TCF Bank Stadium. The legislation is being pushed by a group of fans that feel the university should have the chance to recoup losses stemming from the alcohol ban, according to a report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Commission OKs dome projects
The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission approved a $1.3 million joint project with the Minnesota Vikings to replace the Metrodome’s six-year-old artificial FieldTurf and remake the Minnesota Twins’ old ticket office into a Vikings ticket office and hospitality suite, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Both projects are scheduled to be finished by August, according to the report.

Twins plan lavish tours
Two days before the first regular-season game at Target Field, Minnesota Twins fans will have the chance to take a behind-the-scenes look at the new ballpark, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The Target Field World Premiere on April 10 will include exclusive guided tours, fine dining, appearances by former Twins players and live music. Tickets cost $225 and $750.

More than half of season-ticket holders
will see increases of $10 or less per seat,
per game.

Wolves sell out seats in campaign
The success of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ “Run with the Pack” campaign now extends to the team’s premium-seating options. For the first time, the Wolves have sold out the team’s 40 loge box seats. Also, for the second consecutive season, the team has sold out its Club Cambria area (120 seats) and has established a waiting list for the club. Fueled by a reduced-price purchase offer, the team already has sold more new lower-level full-season tickets through three weeks of the “Pack” campaign than all of last year.

NEW ORLEANS
Saints boosting ticket prices
The New Orleans Saints sent out season-ticket renewal notices for the upcoming NFL season that will include the first price increase since after the 2007 campaign, according to a report in The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune. In 2009, a 10-game package in club seats between the 20-yard lines cost $2,400; in 2010, that same package will cost $2,980, according to the report.

Seating capacity is 7,347 at the Mets’ spring training
digs in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

NEW YORK
Digital Domain naming Mets’ facility
The New York Mets and Digital Domain Holdings Corp. — parent company of visual effects studio Digital Domain — formed a multiyear marketing partnership that includes naming rights to Digital Domain Park, the spring training home of the Mets and its minor-league affiliates in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Additionally, Digital will have programming on CitiVision and interactive kiosks around Citi Field.

Coke pouring more at MSG venues
Madison Square Garden struck a deal with Coca-Cola that expands their long-running partnership and gives the beverage giant an even bigger presence at the arena, according to a report in the New York Post. Coca-Cola will now also have pouring rights at all of MSG’s New York venues, including the Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre.

MSG helps promote Italian products
Madison Square Garden formed an integrated marketing partnership with Buonitalia SpA centered on the New York Knicks. Buonitalia SpA is the Rome-based governmental agency responsible for promoting and safeguarding Italian agricultural products. Buonitalia SpA will have a branded display at MSG where it will educate consumers on authentic Italian product lines showcased at both the arena and local retail stores.

ORLANDO
City gauging interest in Centroplex
The city of Orlando last week solicited proposals from developers interested in the Centroplex, according to a report in The Orlando Sentinel. The Centroplex represents the 68 acres of land home to entertainment facilities that include Amway Arena, which the NBA Magic is leaving at the end of the current season for new Amway Center. The city believes it can sell the land for at least $90 million, according to the report.

This piece of infield grass is
where the 2008 World Series
championship party started.

PHILADELPHIA
Phillies grass becomes collectible
Authentic, game-used sod that represents the original playing field at Citizens Bank Park is being made available to fans as a collectible. The ballpark’s sod was removed after the 2009 postseason. The grass has been sectioned into 3-by-3-inch pieces, freeze dried, preserved and displayed in glass cases. Each collectible includes a tamper-proof, hologram sticker from MLB’s authentication program. Prices range from $79.99 to $119.99.

Phillies capping season-ticket sales
The Philadelphia Phillies said they are capping season-ticket sales at 28,750 this season. The team has already sold a franchise-high 28,500 tickets for the coming season. The overall number of tickets sold for 2010 has passed 3 million.

Union to halt season sales at 12,000
MLS expansion Philadelphia Union CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz said that approximately 10,100 season tickets have been sold and that the team is cutting off season-ticket sales at 12,000, according to a report in The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Union’s first two home games will be played at Lincoln Financial Field while construction at PPL Park is completed.

PHOENIX
House passes bill to help teams
The Arizona House passed a bill to help the Chicago Cubs and other teams build and upgrade training facilities, according to a report in The Arizona Republic. To get the bill passed, House Majority Leader John McComish eliminated a proposed $1 fee on car rentals in Maricopa County, according to the report.

PITTSBURGH
Dollar tickets, dollar eats for Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates are partnering with Pepsi for “Buc Night” on April 7 when the Pirates take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. This longtime Pirates tradition was brought back last season and garnered positive reaction. Fans will be able to purchase a limited number of $1 tickets to the game in select sections, $1 hot dogs, $1 popcorn and $1 regular Pepsi products at PNC Park concession stands.

SACRAMENTO
River Cats offer early ticket incentives
The Class AAA Sacramento River Cats offered an incentive package for fans buying tickets online during the first week of ticket sales for the 2010 season. Fans could purchase undated ticket vouchers for use at any game and in any combination, with a minimum of 20 vouchers purchased. Offers also included $1 in Cat Cash, for use with on-site purchases, for each voucher purchased; a chance to watch River Cats batting practice from the dugout; and an opportunity to win a nightly suite or throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a game.

Thousands of young
fans will get a 7-ply
keepsake, a souvenir
with form and function.

Council studying arena proposal
The Sacramento City Council agreed to begin analyzing a downtown arena proposal recommended by the mayor’s task force that would involve a complex three-way land swap. The task force determined that the land swap involving the downtown railyards, Cal Expo and Arco Arena has the best chance of success, based on financing sources. The targeted arena would be the new home for the NBA Kings.

SAN FRANCISCO
Giants offering skateboard decks
The San Francisco Giants will provide 7,500 full-size skateboard decks to fans age 14 and younger at their May 30 game against Arizona. The decks, presented by Full Throttle Energy Drinks, feature full-color graphics top and bottom with a unique non-slip surface. The product was created by Alexander Global of Bellevue, Wash.

SAN JOSE
Quakes hire SA-5 for marketing
The San Jose Earthquakes hired SA-5 as their marketing agency of record. The MLS team worked with SA-5 to create the club’s recently launched “Did you feel that?” campaign. SA-5 also collaborated with the team to create two TV spots, “Cement” and “Coffee,” that are currently running throughout the Bay Area.

SPOKANE, WASH.
Stadium looks to sun, sky for power
Avista Stadium, home of the Spokane Indians, will be powered entirely by renewable energy for the 2010 season through the Avista Buck-A-Block program. While most of the energy will be generated from wind, biomass and solar generation will also contribute to the power supply. The Indians are the short-season Class A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.

ST. LOUIS
Cards roll out new TV spots
The St. Louis Cardinals debuted 11 TV spots this month under the team’s ongoing “Play Like A Cardinal” campaign, via locally based Waylon Advertising. The campaign focuses on team characteristics of intensity, commitment, teamwork and fun. All 11 ads were filmed in February during Cardinals spring training in Jupiter, Fla.

Send your Coast to Coast news to: CoastToCoast@sportsbusinessjournal.com
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