SBJ/April 18-24, 2011/Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast: Astros light up 'El Grande'

ARLINGTON, TEXAS
Rangers bring radio rights in-house

The Texas Rangers and Skyview Networks formed a radio broadcast partnership. Skyview will provide its broadcast services to the Rangers in the wake of the team bringing its radio rights in-house this year. Local stations 103.3 FM ESPN and ESPN Deportes 1540 AM are the team’s English and the Spanish flagship stations, respectively.

Deadline set for Cowboys ticket holders
Dallas Cowboys season-ticket holders have until May 1 to pay for their seats, with or without a lockout, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The report quoted Brett Daniels, Cowboys director of corporate communications: “We’re going to continue to do all of our planning and preparation for the season.”

BALTIMORE
Caps take hockey show up the road

The Washington Capitals will host the Nashville Predators in the Baltimore Hockey Classic, an NHL preseason game on Sept. 20, according to a report in The Baltimore Sun. The game will be the first professional hockey game played in Baltimore since the Bandits of the American Hockey League left town for Cincinnati in 1997, according to the report.

BERKELEY, CALIF.
Cal baseball survives with fundraising

The University of California-Berkeley is keeping alive the school’s baseball program after a successful fundraising effort that raised $9 million. The funds raised are about 10 percent short of the initial $10 million goal, and donors and school administration have agreed that the team’s formal reinstatement will be announced once the target is met.

In this image from the commercial, two Bruins fans are definitely “not in the woods.”
BOSTON

New Bruins ad primes the playoffs

The Boston Bruins launched an ad intended to crank up the team’s fan base ahead of the Bruins’ playoff appearance, according to a report in The Boston Globe. The ad, tagged “Where Do Bears Go?” was created by Boston-based Mullen.

Poland Spring hydrates marathoners
For the third year in a row, Poland Spring was slated to provide marathoners with water, hydration tips and giveaways as the official bottled water sponsor of the Boston Marathon, scheduled for today. Poland Spring stations were expected to be at the Athletes’ Village in Hopkinton, Mass., before the race, and at mile 19 in Newton, Mass.

CHICAGO
Bricks and Ivy Ball raises $1.1 million

The inaugural Chicago Cubs Bricks and Ivy Ball on April 6 raised more than $1.1 million for Chicago Cubs Charities. The gala took place in Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom, where the team and coaching staff mingled with more than 750 guests. Chicago Cubs Charities will donate a portion of the net proceeds to charities supported by Chicago Cubs players.

BEN HALL / LAKE ERIE MONSTERS
The special night also attracted 12,407 humans, one of the best attended games of the season.
CLEVELAND

Monsters let in hundreds of dogs

The Lake Erie Monsters’ third annual Pucks & Paws Night welcomed more than 400 dogs to Quicken Loans Arena on April 1. The dogs sat in the stands with their owners, who purchased a “dog ticket” for $5, all of which went back to the Cleveland Animal Protective League. There were activities on the concourse for the dogs, including a pet photographer and pet masseuse.

COLUMBUS
Jackets foundation donates $500,000

The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation donated a record $500,000 to local charitable and youth hockey organizations for the 2010-11 grant cycle. Grants were awarded to several local nonprofit organizations that serve the foundation’s main pillars of giving: pediatric cancer, education, children’s health and safety, and the development of youth and amateur hockey.

Crew signs maintenance sponsors
The Columbus Crew signed a pair of corporate partners that are expected to enhance the club’s facilities maintenance and operations. Jani-King International agreed to a five-year deal that makes it the official cleaning provider of the team, while Environmental Pest Management will provide monthly services throughout Crew Stadium and at the Crew Training Center in Obetz, Ohio.

DENVER
Pro cycling event renamed

The Quiznos Pro Challenge bicycling event planned for Colorado this summer was renamed the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, but the Denver-based sandwich-shop franchiser remains a key sponsor. NBC plans to cover the Aug. 22-28 race.

ESPN Radio switching stations
ESPN Radio programming will leave FM radio station KKFN and sister AM station KEPN on Jan. 1 for stations operated by Front Range Sports Network, which has acquired the network’s broadcasting rights in Denver. ESPN Radio will move its programming to KXDP, which in turn will take a new frequency at 102.3 FM.

EDMONTON
City Council wants to make arena deal

The Edmonton City Council passed the puck on the downtown arena plan for the Edmonton Oilers, ordering city administrators to hammer out a deal with more than a dozen conditions, according to a report in the Edmonton Sun. Seventeen conditions were listed in a motion allowing the city to engage in financial negotiations with the Katz Group, including one that requires the Oilers to play at the planned new arena for the next 30 years.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS
TCU raises extra funds for stadium

TCU hopes to have a completely renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium ready by the start of the 2012 football season, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. After raising $127 million, $22 million more than was called for in the original plans, TCU quietly decided to try to raise an additional $10 million to $15 million to finish the entire stadium by the 2012 season, according to the report. The original renovation plans did not include the now-targeted east side grandstands.

GETTY IMAGES
Sponsors’ signs had to be repositioned
to make room for the massive display.
HOUSTON

‘El Grande’ debuts at Astros’ park

The Houston Astros debuted their new Minute Maid Park scoreboard with the start of the MLB season. The new board, dubbed El Grande, is 54 feet high by 124 feet wide, and the 6,696-square-foot scoreboard is augmented by a 40-by-24-foot auxiliary board on the upper deck. Daktronics built both boards, the larger now being MLB’s fourth-largest.

JACKSONVILLE
Jags’ ticket base falls short

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver said the team is 12,000 season tickets short of the base of 40,000 they would like to have before single-game tickets and other packages are sold, according to a report in The Florida Times-Union. The deadline for season-ticket renewals is April 29.

LOS ANGELES
GETTY IMAGES
Team owner Frank McCourt (left) joined LAPD Chief Charlie Beck in announcing new security measures.
Dodgers increasing police presence
Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt agreed to pay for an increase in the number of Los Angeles Police Department officers patrolling Dodger Stadium and its parking lots during and after games, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The Dodgers also agreed to revoke the passes of season-ticket holders if they or their guests misbehaved. The increase in police presence comes after a San Francisco Giants fan was attacked and beaten outside the stadium on Opening Day.

Dodgers sign more partners for season
In addition to partnerships with United Airlines, Univision Radio, Farmer John and Azul Tequila, the Dodgers closed several other partnership deals effective for the 2011 season. The deals are agreements with Sports Authority, as the official sporting goods retailer of the team; Mercury Insurance, returning for its fifth season as a Dodgers sponsor; Bally Total Fitness; Amtrak; and Paramount Farms.

Kings finish strong at Staples
The Los Angeles Kings’ final regular-season home game against Anaheim on April 9 marked he team’s 18th straight sellout and 35th of the season, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The Kings averaged a franchise-best 18,080 fans this season at Staples Center.

New Memorial Stadium display planned
Construction of a 6,000-square-foot video board at Memorial Stadium is scheduled to be completed during USC’s football season this year, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The screen, which will be at the west end of the stadium, will measure 150 feet wide and 40 feet tall.

MIAMI
Heat, Carnival start scholarship fund

The Miami Heat and Carnival Corp. partnered with the United Negro College Fund to establish a $50,000 scholarship fund. The Heat and Carnival presented representatives from the organization with a check during a pregame ceremony April 10. Scholarships are available to students who have completed a workplace mentoring program sponsored by Carnival and the Heat in conjunction with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL
Wild, Clear Channel sign new deal

The Minnesota Wild has a new, three-year partnership with Clear Channel Communications to broadcast all preseason, regular-season and postseason games on KFAN-AM 1130, beginning with the 2011-12 season. The partnership also calls for several Wild-related shows on KFAN.

NEW YORK
Yankees store opens in Times Square

Yankees Clubhouse Shops opened a location at 1501 Broadway in Times Square. Fans will be able to purchase tickets to New York Yankees home games at the Times Square Yankees Clubhouse site. The location is the sixth Yankees Clubhouse retail store in New York to offer fans access to authentic, licensed Yankees team merchandise.

Red Bulls dominate SoHo Adidas store
The New York Red Bulls are taking over part of the Adidas store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood for the remainder of the 2011 MLS season, according to a New York Post report. The partnership kicked off with the entire team appearing at the store April 5 to sign autographs for hundreds of fans.

The Mamacitas Carnitas is a pork sandwich with queso fresco, pico de gallo, sweet pickled jalapeno, and shredded lettuce on a ciabatta roll.
The Bacon and Jalapeno Meatloaf Sandwich includes sharp cheddar and crispy fried onions on a brioche bun.
OAKLAND

A’s seek sandwich input

The Oakland A’s and Aramark are asking fans to decide what new item belongs on the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum’s menu. Online voting continues through July 10 on two items: the Bacon Jalapeno Meatloaf Sandwich and the Mamacitas Carnitas. Fans can taste the finalists at the ballpark through July 6. The winning item will remain on the menu throughout the 2011 season.

OMAHA, NEB.
Newspaper, 247Sports.com team up

247Sports.com signed a content and sales partnership with the Omaha World-Herald, its fourth newspaper alliance, in which the World-Herald will become part of the startup’s network of team affinity sites. 247Sports.com and the World-Herald will combine resources on HuskersIllustrated.com.

GETTY IMAGES
The Union has no trouble keeping the stands full of enthusiastic supporters.
PHILADELPHIA

Union raises, reaches ticket cap

The Philadelphia Union surpassed the number of season tickets sold during its inaugural MLS season last year. The club sold out its allotment of full- and partial-season tickets in 2010, an amount that was capped at 12,000 seats. The cap was raised to 13,000 this season. The Union’s home stadium, PPL Park in Chester, Pa., seats 18,500.

Phillies, NovaCare sign 3-year deal
The Philadelphia Phillies named NovaCare Rehabilitation as the team’s preferred provider of physical therapy and athletic training services. Under the three-year partnership, NovaCare, of King of Prussia, Pa., will provide a full-time physical therapist/athletic trainer to work directly with Scott Sheridan, head athletic trainer for the Phillies, and his medical team.

Eagles give out 6,500 party tickets
The Philadelphia Eagles needed just four hours to give away all 6,500 tickets for the Eagles Draft Party, which will take place April 28 at Lincoln Financial Field. Eagles officials noted that this is the sixth year the team is hosting a draft party at the stadium, and they’ve sold out each event.

SAN ANTONIO
Cowboys to camp entirely in San Antonio

The Dallas Cowboys are planning to hold their training camp entirely in San Antonio this summer, according to Michael Sawaya, the city’s director of convention, sports and entertainment facilities. A San Antonio Express-News report quoted Sawaya: “If there is a season and there is a camp, they are going to be here for the whole camp.” Last summer, the Cowboys split camp between San Antonio and Oxnard, Calif.

SAN FRANCISCO
Giants keep Hispanic stations in lineup

The San Francisco Giants renewed their Spanish-language radio partnership with stations KIQI 1010 AM and KATD 990 AM. The stations will carry a total of 70 broadcasts, including every weeknight home game and all weekend home series. The games will be simulcast on both stations covering the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Stockton, Chico and Modesto.

SPARTA, KY.
Charity names Nationwide Series race

Oklahoma City-based charity Feed the Children signed a three-year deal to sponsor the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway. The organization replaces Meijer stores as the race’s title sponsor. The Feed the Children 300 is scheduled for July 8, one day before the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the speedway.

ST. LOUIS
Fox, AT&T spat threatens Cards games

A financial dispute between Fox Sports Midwest, AT&T U-Verse and others was threatening to keep up to 20 St. Louis Cardinals games off those TV programming outlets, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Fox Sports Midwest is in the first year of its deal with the Cardinals to be the sole provider of the team’s locally produced telecasts.

TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s extends bowl deal

Tampa-based restaurant chain Beef ‘O’ Brady’s signed a seven-figure naming-rights deal for another three years with the owners of the college bowl game played at Tropicana Field, according to a report in the St. Petersburg Times. Beef ‘O’ Brady’s has title sponsored the bowl, owned and aired by ESPN, for the last two seasons.

Rays alter plans after Manny fallout
The Tampa Bay Rays canceled a May 29 Manny Ramirez bobblehead giveaway and halted sales of merchandise with his name and number following the announcement that he was retiring after a failed drug test, according to a report in the St. Petersburg Times. The team was working on alternate plans for the May 29 promotion.

TUCSON, ARIZ.
Arizona AD starts volunteer fund drive

University of Arizona Athletic Director Greg Byrne launched a volunteer fund drive to increase membership in the Wildcat Club through small donations, according to a report in the Tucson Citizen. UA sent out a video to kick-start the fundraising effort using a database of 163,000 email addresses.

GETTY IMAGES
Units at the former athletes village are still for sale or rent as condominiums.
VANCOUVER

Olympic Village could be money loser

VANOC officials said the Olympic Village used during the 2010 Vancouver Games will have a shortfall of $40 million to $50 million (Canadian) after all the units are sold and the construction loan is paid off, according to a report in The Vancouver Sun.

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

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