SBJ/June 11-17, 2012/Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast

ARLINGTON, TEXAS
Rangers welcome Japanese youth

A Japanese youth baseball team this summer will attend a Texas Rangers game and tour the field and dugout at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, according to a Dallas Morning News report. The late August trip is part of the 2012 Japan-America Grassroots Summit. The trip is funded by the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish and Japanese mobile gaming company Gloops.

Regions worked with property engineers to change light bulb sleeves in the building.
Photo by: TODD HORNSBY / FILAMENT ARTISTS
BALTIMORE
Hardy is fans’ bobble star

Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy was selected as the AT&T Fans’ Choice Bobblehead winner. Hardy’s bobblehead is scheduled to be distributed during Fan Appreciation Weekend on Sept. 30 to the first 20,000 fans ages 15 and older. Voting began in April, and fans voted through unlimited mobile voting, online and on the Orioles’ Facebook page.

BIRMINGHAM, ALA.
Skyline golfer lights up for tourney

Regions Financial, title sponsor of the Regions Tradition on the Champions Tour, lit up the Regions Center in Birmingham with the image of a golfer from May 21 through Sunday, the tournament’s closing day this year. The lighting display encompassed more than 1,100 lights on the east and west sides of the building, from the ninth to the 29th floors.

BUFFALO
JW Danforth sponsors Bills’ jerseys

JW Danforth Co. will become the Buffalo Bills’ official HVAC and plumbing provider this season in a deal that places a JW Danforth patch on practice jerseys. The Bills’ practice jerseys had previously been sponsored by Sanyo.

The XL Center’s Steedman will bike more than 700 miles on behalf of the PMC and The Jimmy Fund/Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
Photo by: LISA STEEDMAN
Arena GM pedals mega miles
Chuck Steedman, senior vice president and general manager of Hartford’s XL Center, is taking to the road with his #CHUCK512 Cycling for Cancer Research Tour. The campaign will begin July 28 south of Buffalo, and Steedman will ride 512 miles to Sturbridge, Mass., in time for the beginning of his 10th consecutive Pan-Mass Challenge. That 192-mile bike ride is billed as the largest athletic fundraising event in the United States, raising more than $35 million for cancer research last year.

CHARLOTTE
Bobcats offer 2-for-1 season tickets

The Charlotte Bobcats are offering a season-ticket plan in which fans can get two seasons for the price of one. A selection of upper-level seats at Time Warner Cable Arena is available at two price points: $537.50 and $752.50. That translates to $6.25 or $8.75 per game across 86 total preseason and regular-season games the next two years.

Panthers not bothering with DNC
The Carolina Panthers will leave town when the Democratic National Convention comes to Charlotte Sept. 3-6 and plan to practice at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., according to a Charlotte Observer report. The Panthers open their regular season at Tampa Bay on Sept. 9. President Barack Obama is scheduled to give his acceptance speech the evening of Sept. 6 at Bank of America Stadium.

CHICAGO
Sox fans getting outfield tents ready

Chicago White Sox fans are being invited to spend the night of June 29 on the outfield grass at U.S. Cellular Field for the White Sox Campout presented by the Outdoor Channel and Xfinity. The Sox’s game in New York that night against the Yankees will be shown on the ballpark’s video boards. Attendees also will receive a goodie bag and have the opportunity to win raffle prizes. Tickets are $200 for adults and $125 for fans ages 13 and under.

CLEVELAND
‘Snow Days’ ends two-year run

The Cleveland Indians are scrapping the Snow Days concept at Progressive Field after a disappointing year, according to a Cleveland Plain Dealer report. The offseason Snow Days event ran for the last two years, offering paying customers snow tubing, ice skating and hockey games.

Indians welcome lunchtime walkers
The Indians and Cleveland Clinic are bringing back “Let’s Move It! Mondays,” a lunchtime walking program. Starting today and continuing on other non-game-day Mondays, Progressive Field is being opened to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for fans to walk the warning track. Walkers can earn points to be entered to win prizes, including game tickets.

COLUMBIA, S.C.
Gamecocks roll out ‘Great’ effort
The University of South Carolina debuted a new video in the school’s “It’s Great To Be A Gamecock” marketing campaign. The video launched last month on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest. It also is slated to air on local network TV affiliates during news broadcasts. Print, radio and outdoor elements are planned as well.

HOOVER, ALA.
Daktronics boosts SEC tourney

Daktronics provided DakStats software in the control room for this year’s SEC baseball tournament at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala., home to the Class AA Birmingham Barons. The software allowed for additional statistical data and graphics, such as automated scorecards, a strikeout meter, defensive positions, steal threats, and season and day pitcher stats.

HOUSTON
Dynamo goals help charity

PricewaterhouseCoopers is donating $750 for every Houston Dynamo goal scored at home during the 2012 MLS season. The donation will be made by PwC’s Houston office through Dynamo Charities to Houston’s Ronald McDonald House.

O’Neil played a major role in establishing the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
Photo by: KANSAS CITY ROYALS
KANSAS CITY

Royals, RSN honor Buck O’Neil
As part of an ongoing effort to pay tribute to the legacy of Negro Leagues legend Buck O’Neil, the Kansas City Royals and Fox Sports Kansas City debuted a promotional spot for the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat program. Since 2007, the club has paid tribute to O’Neil by filling “Buck’s seat” with a member of the community who embodies his vibrant spirit.

MIAMI
Marlins partner with MetroPCS

MetroPCS has opened a storefront at Marlins Park as part of a long-term retail and promotional partnership with the MLB Marlins. Other retail shops at the ballpark include La Baguette, Holiday Bakery and YoBlendz.

Audit criticizes Heat oversight
A Miami-Dade inspector general’s audit of the AmericanAirlines Arena operating agreement with the Miami Heat criticizes the county for poor administrative oversight and paying little attention to the Heat’s annual budget, according to a Miami Herald report. The document faults the county for having “little idea” about whether the team has met financial benchmarks that would trigger profit-sharing.

MONTREAL
MLS stadium ready for its close-up

The Montreal Impact’s renovated Saputo Stadium is set to reopen Saturday on time and on budget when the MLS club hosts Seattle, according to a Montreal Gazette report. The stadium will be 99 percent complete, with only a portion of grandstand seating for approximately 900 fans on the east side of the venue unfinished, according to the report.

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J.
NFL broadcast camp next week

The sixth annual NFL Broadcast Boot Camp will be held June 18-21 at NFL Films in Mount Laurel, N.J. The program this year will offer the opportunity for participants to earn a guest hosting spot on SiriusXM NFL Radio and one of the league’s U.K. broadcasting partners during the 2012 season.

NEW YORK
Madoff trustee to drop lawsuit

Under the terms of a settlement approved by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, trustee Irving Picard agreed to drop his $303 million lawsuit against New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, team President Saul Katz and their partners in exchange for their paying back $162 million in profits received though Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, according to a Newsday report.

ONTARIO, CALIF.
Kraft, Schwarz form venture, buy mills

The Kraft Group and Schwarz Partners LP entered into an agreement with International Paper Corp. to purchase two containerboard mills in California. The Kraft Group is the holding company for the Kraft family businesses, which include the New England Patriots but also substantial interests in paper and packaging. A joint venture called New-Indy Containerboard has been created for the ownership of the assets in Ontario and Port Hueneme, Calif. J.P. Morgan underwrote the financing.

PHILADELPHIA
Navy holds a 2-1 edge over Army in CRC games, but Dartmouth won the 2012 title.
Photo by: JACK MEGAW
Rugby finals staying through 2014
Collegiate Rugby Championship officials agreed to a multiyear deal to keep the annual tournament at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., through 2014. PPL Park, home of the MLS Union, has hosted the event the past two years after the inaugural event was held at Crew Stadium in Columbus.

Phillies holding blood drive
The Philadelphia Phillies Blood Drive, held in honor of World Donor Day and in partnership with the American Red Cross, returns on Friday at Citizens Bank Park. All presenting blood donors will receive a special edition Red Rally Towel, and one donor will be randomly selected to throw a ceremonial first pitch at a future home game.
 
Real Madrid, Celtic coming to the Linc
Lincoln Financial Field will host a match this summer between two of the world’s most decorated soccer clubs: Spain’s La Liga champion Real Madrid and Scottish Premier League title holder Celtic. The clubs will compete as part of the 2012 World Football Challenge in a match Aug. 11 at the NFL Eagles’ home stadium.

PHOENIX
Suns grant will aid hospital project

Starlight Children’s Foundation is this year’s recipient of the annual $100,000 Playmaker Award grant from Phoenix Suns Charities. The grant will assist in funding the construction of a Starlight Care Room at St. Joseph’s Hospital, set to open this year.

Parra wins bobble honor
Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Gerardo Parra was selected as the winner of the club’s Fan Vote Bobblehead contest. The D-Backs will give away 20,000 Parra bobbleheads, presented by freecreditscore.com, on Aug. 11 at the team’s game against Washington.

PITTSBURGH
IC Light gets Pirates treatment
Pittsburgh Brewing Co. unveiled new Pittsburgh Pirates-branded IC Light cans and bottles. The products are part of Pittsburgh Brewing’s ongoing partnership with the Pirates, a deal that also includes sponsorship of the team’s scheduled Fan Jam this past weekend featuring Boyz II Men, and two SkyBlast dates: Aug. 11 featuring Styx, and Sept. 29 featuring Lifehouse.

Big East transfers Pitt lawsuit
The Big East Conference transferred a lawsuit filed against it by the University of Pittsburgh from Allegheny County Common Pleas Court to U.S. District Court, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report. Pitt seeks damages for several transactions it has had to make in its effort to leave the conference for the ACC.

PUEBLO, COLO.
PBR books HotelPlanner.com

HotelPlanner.com has become the official booking source for Pueblo, Colo.-based Professional Bull Riders. The partnership includes advertising and signage for HotelPlanner.com at PBR Built Ford Tough Series events. HotelPlanner.com also will provide the PBR with group-booking services.

SACRAMENTO
Arena signature effort falls short

The campaign to force a public vote on a downtown arena for the Sacramento Kings is dead — for now, according to a Sacramento Bee report. Campaign organizers failed to get the 21,000 valid signatures they needed for a November ballot measure asking voters whether they approved of public assistance for an arena in the city’s downtown railyard.

Kings documentary wins award
“Small Market, Big Heart,” a documentary about Sacramento’s efforts to obtain and keep its NBA franchise, received an Award of Excellence and won Best Editing in the “Documentary Feature” category at the Los Angeles Movie Awards. The film about the NBA club premiered in January at The Crest Theatre in downtown Sacramento.

River Cats get over-the-air TV coverage
The Sacramento River Cats will have some of their games broadcast on local TV this year for the first time since 2006. MoreTV, which is local station KCRA’s digital channel 3.2, will broadcast six games of the Class AAA club this season. The first aired late last month.

SONOMA, CALIF.
Yokohama extends raceway deal

The raceway in Sonoma signed a five-year extension with Yokohama Tire Corp. for the company to continue as the official tire manufacturer of the track through 2016. The agreement includes hospitality, signage and other assets during major event weekends at the facility.

Zimmerman poses with his parents on the
red carpet at last year’s “A Night at the Park.”
Photo by: WASHINGTON NATIONALS
WASHINGTON
Nats’ Zimmerman back for ‘Night’

Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will host this year’s “A Night at the Park” event on Thursday at Nationals Park. The third annual event will feature a performance by the band Guster as well as silent and live auctions. Proceeds from the event will benefit the ziMS Foundation, which is dedicated to the treatment and cure of multiple sclerosis.

Study details MLS stadium cost
Data from a study commissioned by the Greater Washington Sports Alliance shows a new stadium for D.C. United would cost at least $157 million to build but could generate up to $7.3 million a year in tax revenue for the District, according to a Washington Post report. The study — compiled by CSL International — envisions a 24,000-seat stadium on Buzzard Point in southwest Washington.

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

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