SBJ/May 23-29, 2011/Coast to Coast

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  • Coast to Coast: Sides talking in Thrashers sale

    ARLINGTON, TEXAS
    City seeks post-Super Bowl funds

    The city of Arlington is seeking $2.7 million from a special state fund to cover public safety, ice and snow removal and other costs related to Super Bowl XLV, according to sources cited in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram report. Nearly $1.3 million went to pay salaries and overtime for police and firefighters to secure the Arlington entertainment district.

    ATLANTA
    Sides talking in Thrashers sale

    Atlanta Spirit began negotiations with True North Sports & Entertainment on the sale of the Atlanta Thrashers, which would result in relocation to Winnipeg, according to a source cited in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report. A deal has not been completed, and it is not known how long the two sides have been negotiating.

    BRIDGEPORT, CONN.
    Harbor Yard takes over arena

    Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment will take over the everyday operations of the newly named Webster Bank Arena. The new partnership includes the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, which will assume responsibility for the management of the facility. Centerplate will continue as the hospitality provider.

    BUFFALO
    Sabres raising ticket prices

    The Buffalo Sabres will raise season-ticket prices 5 percent, or $1-$4 a seat, for the 2011-12 NHL season. The Sabres’ average season-ticket price will be $44.85, $16 cheaper than the league average and 23rd in the NHL.

    CHAMPAIGN, ILL.
    Illinois AD Guenther retiring

    University of Illinois Athletic Director Ron Guenther announced his retirement upon the completion of his contract June 30. Guenther has the longest tenure of any AD in the Big Ten, serving in the role for the past 19 years. He also has been a member of the BCS Football Committee since its inception.

    GETTY IMAGES
    Derrick Rose rose above Miami’s defense en route to a cable television high mark.
    CHICAGO
    Heat-Bulls Game 1 sets record

    TNT drew 11.1 million viewers for Game 1 of the Miami Heat-Chicago Bulls Eastern Conference Finals on May 15, making it the most-viewed NBA game in cable history. The previous high was 10.8 million viewers for the 2003 All-Star Game, Michael Jordan’s last in the NBA.

    CINCINNATI
    Bengals extend with radio partners

    The Cincinnati Bengals extended their radio broadcasting agreement for three more seasons. WCKY-AM and WEBN-FM will continue to serve as flagship stations for all Bengals games. WLW-AM will also carry the games when they don’t conflict with Cincinnati Reds games. All three stations are owned by Clear Channel Media.

    CLEVELAND
    Indians open new academy

    The Cleveland Indians opened a new baseball academy in the Dominican Republic that will house the franchise’s Dominican Summer League team and the club’s Latin American operations. The facility, in San Antonio de Guerra, includes two playing fields, an agility field, two hitting tunnels and four bullpen training mounds.

    COLUMBUS

    Commission adds corporate partners

    The Greater Columbus Sports Commission added AAA Ohio, Fox Sports Ohio, Anheuser-Busch, Cameron Mitchell and Donatos as corporate partners. The commission works to attract regional, national and international sporting events to Greater Columbus.

    MLS Crew planning Pride Cup

    The Columbus Crew and Outlook Media plan to hold the inaugural Pride Cup, presented by Innova Financial, on July 23 at Crew Stadium. A one-day adult GLBT and allied soccer tournament, the Pride Cup will feature up to eight 10-person teams playing in a 6 vs. 6 format.

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.
    Hall marks attendance milestone

    The Baseball Hall of Fame on May 13 welcomed its 15 millionth visitor since opening in 1939. Quebec resident Ken Gallinger was officially recognized as the 15 millionth visitor. Gallinger, who visits regularly for an annual trip, became part of the milestone occasion just days before the museum’s 72nd birthday.

    DENVER
    Tebow book tour planned

    HarperCollins has Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow scheduled to sign his book in four cities. Tebow will kick off his tour for “Through My Eyes” in Jacksonville, Fla., where he used to live, on May 30 before returning for two signings in Colorado.

    Cycling event donates title sponsorship
    The inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which will race through parts of Colorado in August, has donated the presenting title sponsorship to the nonprofit group Millennium Promise. The organization is dedicated to helping end extreme poverty. The race was originally to be called Quiznos Pro Challenge, but now it will be known as USA Pro Cycling Challenge for Millennium Promise.

    EL PASO, TEXAS

    IHRA adds El Paso Motorplex to roster

    The International Hot Rod Association welcomed El Paso Motorplex to its family of member tracks. El Paso Motorplex is the 12th track to sign with the IHRA in 2011. The signing also brings the IHRA one step closer to adding a new division in the Summit SuperSeries as early as next year.

    FORT WORTH, TEXAS

    TCU rolls out ad campaign

    TCU football unveiled its new ad campaign with seven billboards around Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Texas, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The ads feature the words “In This Kingdom Purple Reigns,” as well as the slogan “Join the Purple Revolution.”

    HOUSTON
    Crane buying Astros for $680M

    Drayton McLane is selling the Astros to Houston-area businessman Jim Crane for $680 million, according to multiple media reports. The deal is subject to approval from Major League Baseball owners, which is expected to come in 30 to 60 days.

    Dynamo, DPS reach long-term deal
    The Houston Dynamo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group reached a long-term sponsorship agreement. In addition to serving as the exclusive soft drink provider of the Houston Dynamo, Dr Pepper Snapple will also have pouring rights at and a founding partnership in the new Dynamo stadium, which will open in 2012.

    HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIF.
    USA Water Polo signs H2O Audio

    H2O Audio was named official supplier to Huntington Beach-based USA Water Polo. H2O Audio will supply products to the national teams and offer discounts to members of USA Water Polo.

    KANSAS CITY
    Farm Aid set for new MLS stadium

    Livestrong Sporting Park, now under construction, will host the 26th annual Farm Aid concert, according to a Kansas City Star report. The all-day show to benefit U.S. family farmers will be held Aug. 13 at Sporting KC’s new stadium, which has a capacity of 25,000.

    Royals auction benefits tornado relief
    The Kansas City Royals are holding a special online auction with all proceeds directed to Heart to Heart International. The emergency response organization will then use the funds to support the tornado relief effort across the southern U.S. Fans can bid on unique items by visiting www.royals.com/relief until June 3.

    LOS ANGELES
    Northern Trust extends with Tour event

    The PGA Tour and Northern Trust reached a four-year extension for the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club through 2016. The Chicago-based bank’s original five-year title sponsorship agreement was to expire after the 2012 tournament.

    MEMPHIS
    FedEx stays with St. Jude Classic

    FedEx is extending its title sponsorship of the PGA Tour’s St. Jude Classic through the 2014 tournament. The June tournament in Memphis had brought on FedEx as part of a one-year deal for this year’s event, and the extension will be for three more years.

    FLORIDA MARLINS
    Sun Life Stadium will welcome upper-deck dogs with rabies tags and good social skills.
    MIAMI

    Marlins ready for dog days

    The Florida Marlins are set to host the annual Bark at the Park event with two dates in 2011, the first on June 3 and again on Aug. 12. The canine event is held in partnership with the Humane Society of Greater Miami Adopt-A-Pet and the Humane Society of Broward County. Tickets for the event are $12 for adults, $6 for kids and $6 for dogs.

    MILWAUKEE
    Kohl to have more Bucks time

    Herb Kohl’s decision to leave the U.S. Senate in January 2013 after four terms in office will give him more time to pursue his other passion: the future of the Milwaukee Bucks, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report. Kohl bought the Bucks in 1985 and has kept a close watch over the team, both on the court and on the business side, according to the report.

    MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL
    Twins honor Killebrew with throwbacks

    Minnesota Twins players will wear cream-colored 1961 throwback uniforms for all remaining home games this season, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The move is a tribute to hall of famer Harmon Killebrew, who died Tuesday after a long battle with esophageal cancer.

    Fox enters 13th year with WNBA games
    Fox Sports North, beginning its 13th consecutive year of broadcasting Minnesota Lynx games, will televise locally a total of six games this summer, while KLCI-FM will carry all 34 games on radio. The schedule begins with WNBA No. 1 overall pick Maya Moore’s Target Center debut June 5.

    NEW YORK
    Election on arena funding to cost $1.8M

    A special election Aug. 1 on whether to allow Nassau County to borrow $400 million to build a hockey arena and minor league ballpark could cost as much as $1.8 million, a tab the New York Islanders say the team will reimburse if it gets the nod for a new Nassau Coliseum, according to a Newsday report. Islanders owner Charles Wang’s offer would kick in only if the measure passes.

    MSG Inc. changes name
    Madison Square Garden Inc. changed its name to The Madison Square Garden Co. The Madison Square Garden Co. comprises MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment.

    Garden seats selling as memorabilia
    The Madison Square Garden Co. and Steiner Sports Collectibles are partnering to offer collectors and fans the chance to own a piece of Madison Square Garden. The first items that will be available are authentic seats from the arena. The arena is undergoing a $975 million renovation.

    ORLANDO
    City will bid for gymnastics event

    USA Gymnastics selected Orlando as its candidate city for an official bid to host the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. The event would be held at the Amway Center and will serve as a qualifying event for the 2016 Olympic Games.

    PHILADELPHIA
    Phillies sign sponsor Yokohama Tire

    Yokohama Tire Corp. added the Philadelphia Phillies to its lineup of sports teams. The sponsorship agreement includes a combination of signs behind home plate and on the first- and third-base lines; pregame, postgame and in-game spots on the Phillies flagship radio station; and in-stadium displays and announcements.

    PITTSBURGH
    T.G.I. Friday’s opening at Consol

    The Pittsburgh Penguins will make their first attempt at retail development when a 7,500-square-foot T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant opens May 31 at Consol Energy Center, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Penguins COO Travis Williams said that team officials are also close to a lease with another restaurant.

    Dick’s to sponsor marathon through 2021
    Dick’s Sporting Goods and Pittsburgh Marathon officials agreed to a 10-year sponsorship deal that will keep the two names linked until 2021, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report. The retailer has been the race’s title sponsor since the marathon was revived in 2009 after a five-year hiatus.

    ROCHESTER, N.Y.
    MISL adds Lancers to league

    The Rochester Lancers will play in the Major Indoor Soccer League. The MISL is partnering with the United Soccer Leagues, which includes the Rochester Rhinos outdoor team. Seven other franchise cities — four existing, three expansion — are expected to field teams.

    RAY TAGGART / REAL SALT LAKE / PIXELS PHOTO
    RSL players and staff put shovels in the ground at the site of the practice facility.
    SALT LAKE CITY

    Field will mirror Rio Tinto surface

    Real Salt Lake held a ceremonial groundbreaking in Sandy, Utah, for America First Field, a practice facility that will be an exact replica of the playing surface at Rio Tinto Stadium, according to a Deseret News report. America First Credit Union owns the land, and is leasing it to Real Salt Lake for at least the next five years, according to the report.

    SEATTLE
    Stadium payoff tax effort revived

    A controversial attempt to extend taxes now being used to pay off Seattle’s sports stadiums to expand the city’s convention center and support arts programs has been revived during the state’s special legislative session, according to a Seattle Post-Intelligencer report.

    SONOMA, CALIF.
    STP title sponsoring drag racing programs

    Infineon Raceway and Armored AutoGroup, owner of STP and Armor All brands, entered into a multiyear relationship that will make the Danbury, Conn.-based company the title sponsor of the raceway’s grassroots drag racing programs. STP will become the title sponsor of the STP Wednesday Night Drags, as well as the raceway’s STP ET Bracket Drags programs.

    GETTY IMAGES
    The Cardinals were 4th in attendance last year. This season, they’ve fallen to 8th.
    ST. LOUIS

    Cardinals drawing fewer fans

    The St. Louis Cardinals’ average attendance of 36,769 through 19 home dates this season is down 5.5 percent from 2010 and the lowest at this point in any season at Busch Stadium, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. At the current pace, the Cardinals would not draw 3 million fans for the first time in Busch Stadium’s six-year history.

    Bellerive selected for tournaments
    The PGA of America selected Bellerive Country Club of St. Louis to host both the 2013 Senior PGA Championship and the 2018 PGA Championship. The 74th Senior PGA Championship will take place May 21-26, 2013, and the 2018 PGA at the club will be the historic 100th playing of the championship, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report.

    WASHINGTON, D.C.
    Mystics, Kay huddle up for summer

    The Washington Mystics and Kay Jewelers entered into a multiyear corporate partnership. Kay will be the presenting partner of the Mystics Youth Summer League, which is operated in collaboration with D.C. Parks and Recreation and the Greater Washington Sports Alliance. The league provides an outlet for girls ages 10-18 to play organized basketball in the summer.

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


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