SBJ/January 16-22, 2012/Coast to Coast

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  • CTC: Austin's EA staff grows to 600

    AUSTIN, TEXAS
    EA staff grows with new office

    Electronic Arts unveiled new offices in Austin, Texas, and company officials said that their local staff has grown to 600 people, according to an Austin American-Statesman report. The new location opened less than six months after EA announced that it would expand its Austin presence to include the EA Sports division.

    BOISE, IDAHO
    Dallas Stars to open training camp

    The Dallas Stars reached an agreement to open training camp next September in Boise, Idaho, according to a Dallas Morning News report. The deal helps strengthen the Stars’ working agreement with the ECHL Idaho Steelheads.

    BUFFALO
    Thousands head to arena after blackout

    More than 5,000 fans attended a free viewing party at First Niagara Center for a Buffalo Sabres-Carolina Hurricanes game Jan. 6. The party was designed for those affected by the MSG-Time Warner Cable blackout. MSG, the network with the exclusive rights to telecast the Sabres, was removed from Time Warner on Jan. 1 after its contract expired. Representatives from Verizon FiOS and DirecTV attended the event.

    Sabres plan annual corporate challenge
    The Sabres will host the eighth annual Corporate Hockey Challenge on March 1 at First Niagara Center. The event is a 16-team, 3-on-3 hockey tournament that, after a player draft, pairs Sabres alumni with members of participating companies to raise money for the Buffalo Sabres Foundation.

    CHARLOTTE
    Bobcats will don Cougars jerseys

    The Charlotte Bobcats will celebrate the region’s ABA history by wearing retro Carolina Cougars jerseys for five games this season. The promo is tied to a leaguewide campaign in which teams will honor the local ABA heritage over the course of the regular season. Adidas, the NBA’s official apparel supplier, will produce the retro jerseys.

    CLEVELAND
    Indians renew Columbus affiliate

    The Cleveland Indians reached an agreement with WBNS-AM to return as the Columbus affiliate on the Indians Radio Network for the 2012 season. The station, an ESPN Radio affiliate, will broadcast the majority of the Tribe’s games this season when there isn’t a conflict with Ohio State athletics.

    DENVER
    Avs signature license plates on sale

    Colorado residents who make a $45 donation to Kroenke Sports Charities will be eligible to buy Colorado Avalanche signature license plates. Funds from sales of the plates will be used to help fund nonprofit programs and services in Colorado.

    DETROIT
    Tigers, Disney station plan kids event

    The Detroit Tigers and Radio Disney affiliate WFDF-AM are teaming up on stage at the historic Fox Theatre on Saturday for the first Detroit Tigers Kids Convention. Tickets are $5 for kids 14 and under and $10 for adults.

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.
    City wants back taxes for practice facility

    The city of East Rutherford is claiming that the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, the landlord of New York Giants practice facility Timex Performance Center, owes the municipality $2.5 million plus interest, according to a Bergen Record report. At issue is whether the municipality can tax a place that has been exempt from local levies because the state owns the land and buildings.

    FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.
    Concussion debate part of MLS symposium

    Major League Soccer on Jan. 7 hosted its Medical Symposium. The event, sponsored by Hospital for Special Surgery, featured team doctors and trainers from both inside and outside the sport discussing the best protocol for handling concussions, according to an Associated Press report.

    FRISCO, TEXAS
    Texas Legends guard Chris Roberts sports the new Choctaw jersey this season.
    Photo by: TRUDY BARRIOS
    Legends wearing casino sponsor

    The NBA D-League Texas Legends signed Choctaw Casino and Resort as a jersey sponsor. The partnership includes other activation, signs, media and promotional opportunities. The team will wear the jerseys for both home and away games.

    INDIANAPOLIS
    Indy CVA wants pre-Super Bowl visits

    The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association early this month launched a 25-day, $100,000 advertising campaign to lure regional visitors to the city the weekend before the Super Bowl, according to an Indianapolis Business Journal report. The campaign includes banner ads on ESPN.com and 30-second ads on Sirius XM radio and local sports-talk radio stations in Chicago, Cincinnati and Louisville, Ky.

    KAPALUA, HAWAII
    Viewers tuned in for first-round action with Dan Hicks, Johnny Miller and Nick Faldo.
    Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
    Higher numbers for Golf Channel

    Golf Channel averaged 705,000 viewers for combined live and replay coverage of the first round of the PGA Tour Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Jan. 6, marking the most viewed opening round for the event since the network began covering it in 2007.

    LOS ANGELES
    Arena making up for lost NBA games

    Staples Center owner AEG said that in the first four months of this year, the arena will make up for most of the events lost during the fall as a result of the NBA lockout, according to a Los Angeles Times report. Staples Center general manager Lee Zeidman said that from a financial standpoint, the arena has a good chance of hitting its original budget.

    MIAMI
    Still no name for Marlins’ stadium

    The Miami Marlins’ new stadium, for now, remains nameless. Marlins President David Samson said the team had spoken with several companies — and was close with at least one — but decided to reassess, according to a Miami Herald report.

    NEWARK, N.J.
    Devils work on New Jersey mosaic

    The New Jersey Devils teamed up with the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism on a fan-driven photographic mosaic called “Now That’s New Jersey!” The collage will feature iconic New Jersey destinations and people, including the Jersey Shore, Steel Pier, Six Flags Great Adventure & Wild Safari and Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur.

    NEW ORLEANS
    Wireless reception improves at Dome

    AT&T completed a $10 million distributed antenna system at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in time for the Jan. 7 Detroit Lions-New Orleans Saints playoff game, according to a (New Orleans) Times-Picayune report. The new antenna system is the equivalent of 200 traditional cell towers, according to the report.

    NEW YORK
    ABC carried live national broadcasts of the New York City Marathon from 1981 to 1993.
    Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
    Live TV coverage for marathon

    The ING New York City Marathon will be shown on live national television for the first time in almost 20 years as part of a new five-year partnership with ABC and ESPN. Beginning this year, the marathon will be shown live on ESPN2 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET and in New York on ABC from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. ET. The deal reunites the marathon with ABC, which carried live national broadcasts of the race from 1981-93.

    Nets sign Brooklyn office space lease
    The New Jersey Nets signed a long-term lease for office space at 15 MetroTech Center in Brooklyn to serve as the team’s corporate headquarters. The 11th floor of the 19-story building will be the home office for 150 employees on the business side of Nets Basketball and Barclays Center. Staff will begin the relocation process from its current offices in East Rutherford, N.J., next month.

    MSG, Duracell form partnership
    The Madison Square Garden Co. and Duracell Powermat agreed to a marketing partnership making Duracell Powermat the official wireless charging partner of Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and New York Liberty. The partnership will place Duracell Powermat wireless charging systems throughout the facility.

    Mets hire CRG Partners
    The New York Mets hired CRG Partners, a firm known as a turnaround specialist and bankruptcy consultant, to provide services in connection with financial reporting and budgeting processes. The financially challenged club said it was not hiring the firm to navigate a bankruptcy strategy.

    ORLANDO
    Explosives approved for arena site

    Developers of the site where Amway Arena sits revised their demolition plans and now say they’ll use explosive charges to bring down the entire building in March, according to an Orlando Sentinel report. Officials in Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s administration previously said that destroying the arena with explosives could damage a 9-foot stormwater drainage pipe under the site. The arena is the former home of the NBA Magic.

    PHILADELPHIA
    Sixers sign Cricket as official sponsor

    The Philadelphia 76ers entered into a multiplatform sponsorship deal with wireless provider Cricket Communications. Cricket becomes the team’s official wireless service provider and will sponsor the Sixers Dream Team dance squad.

    Iron Claw producing 76ers videos
    The 76ers retained the services of Los Angeles-based production company Iron Claw to produce and create introduction videos for the Sixers that will be played this season. Iron Claw specializes in design and visual effects for the film, television and video game industries.

    Record crowd for AHL Classic
    An AHL-record crowd of 45,653 attended the Adirondack Phantoms-Hershey Bears AHL Winter Classic game at Citizens Bank Park on Jan. 6. The crowd was more than twice as big as the previous record of 21,673 set last year for an outdoor event at Rentschler Field near Hartford, Conn.

    Final Phillies decided for mural
    The fan vote to select the final player to be included in an eight-story mural created by artist David McShane and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program was too close to call, so the organization decided to include two additional players instead of one. Catcher Carlos Ruiz and former left fielder Greg Luzinski received the most votes from the nearly 10,000 fans who cast votes.

    PROVIDENCE, R.I.
    Red Sox Foundation expands scholarships

    Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee teamed with Boston Red Sox principal owner John Henry and his wife, Linda Pizzuti Henry, to announce a Rhode Island Red Sox Scholarship program for public high school students. The Red Sox Foundation will award scholarships to 10 Rhode Island public high school seniors who have shown a commitment to community service.

    SACRAMENTO
    River Cats put seasonal job fair online

    The Sacramento River Cats are going online this year to fill more than 200 seasonal jobs. Instead of holding their usual job fair, the River Cats told prospective applicants that they must apply through the team’s website. The River Cats are the Class AAA affiliate of the Oakland A’s.

    SAN DIEGO
    The city and the team said they will continue to work toward building a new stadium.
    Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
    Chargers staying put

    The San Diego Chargers are staying in San Diego for another year, as the team and city issued a joint statement stating the club will not exercise an out clause in its Qualcomm Stadium lease for 2012. The two sides said they will keep collaborating on ways to build a new stadium in San Diego.

    SANTA CLARA, CALIF.
    Legends launches seat-license effort

    The Santa Clara Stadium Authority and Legends Sales & Marketing launched their club-seat and Stadium Builders License sales for the planned new stadium for the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara. The launch began with a seat-allocation process for current lower-bowl Candlestick Park season-ticket holders. The licenses for the majority of the 9,000 club seats are priced at $20,000 and $30,000.

    TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG
    Outfielder Sam Fuld will provide instruction.
    Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
    Arena changes name with newspaper

    The St. Pete Times Forum transitioned to its new name, the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The renaming of the venue coincided with the decision of the St. Petersburg Times, which bought the naming rights in 2002, to change its name to the Tampa Bay Times.

    Rays’ Fuld teaching at diabetes camp
    Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Sam Fuld — working in partnership with the Rays, the University of South Florida Diabetes Center and USF Athletics, and Florida Diabetes Camps — will host the inaugural Sam Fuld Diabetes Sports Camp at USF Feb. 3-4. Fuld, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10, will be one of the camp’s nine instructors. Instruction will be provided in baseball and softball, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, and cheerleading. The camp is open to all type 1 diabetes patients from ages eight to 18.

    TUSCALOOSA, ALA.
    Taking fan loyalty to the bank

    The 2011 Crimson Tide National Championship Fan Pack is available through Regions Bank and features a check card and checks emblazoned in crimson and white with the official 2011 national champions logo. The new check cards and checks were available starting last week and can be used with all Regions Bank consumer checking accounts.

    WASHINGTON, D.C.
    Redskins trademarks trial to begin

    A years-long effort to cancel six Washington Redskins federal trademarks is scheduled for trial next month before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, according to a Washington Times report. The petition, Blackhorse vs. Pro-Football Inc., asserts that the team’s name and logo are offensive.

    CareFirst back for more 3-pointers
    CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is returning as the sponsor of the Washington Wizards’ Community 3’s program. For every three-point shot made by a Wizards player, CareFirst will make a contribution of $100 to City Year Washington, D.C.’s Whole School, Whole Child program.

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



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