SBJ/Aug. 26-Sept. 1, 2013/Coast to Coast

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  • Coast to Coast

    ANAHEIM
    Pucker up for pro football

    The Arena Football League awarded an expansion team to a group that includes Kiss band members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. The team will be called the L.A. Kiss and will begin play at the Honda Center next March. Season tickets start at $99, and all season-ticket holders will be invited to a free Kiss concert at the arena in 2014.
     
    ARLINGTON, TEXAS
    Rangers add upgrades feature to app

    The Texas Rangers partnered with fan experience technology company Experience to deliver seat upgrade technology for fans as part of MLB.com’s At the Ballpark free app. Fans will be able to access seat upgrades for a specific game when ballpark gates open, which is normally two hours before the first pitch.
     
    ATLANTA
    Church at stadium site revises price

    Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said that Mount Vernon Baptist Church, located on the site south of the Georgia Dome for the proposed Atlanta Falcons stadium, would sell its property for $15.5 million instead of the $20.3 million that it has been asking, according to an Atlanta Business Chronicle report. However, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority has said that the most it could offer, because of state law regarding the acquisition of property, is $6.2 million.
     
    BATON ROUGE, LA.
    LSU ties season-ticket sales record

    Louisiana State University sold out its football season tickets for the 10th consecutive season and tied the record for season-ticket sales with 68,772, according to a (New Orleans) Times-Picayune report. LSU next year will open a new addition in the south end zone that will include 66 suites, 3,000 club-level tickets and 1,500 general public seats that will expand the capacity of Tiger Stadium to nearly 100,000.
     
    DAYTON, OHIO
    Some believe the First Four should rotate among cities. Bids on sites for 2016, 2017 and 2018 will happen later this year.
    Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
    First Four no slam dunk past 2015
    The NCAA confirmed that it will wait until at least next year to select sites for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament’s First Four in 2016 and beyond, according to a Dayton Business Journal report. The event will again be held at University of Dayton Arena in 2014 and 2015, and local officials had been lobbying the NCAA to secure an earlier commitment for the First Four for as much as a decade.

    DYERSVILLE, IOWA
    Northern League team planned

    An independent professional baseball team will play at the planned Dyersville, Iowa-based
    All-Star Ballpark Heaven in the relaunched Northern League, according to a (Dubuque) Telegraph Herald report. Officials said that stadium and team ownership plans are pending, but players could take the field as early as 2014. Dyersville is home to the “Field of Dreams” movie site.

    EDMONTON
    New seats go in at Commonwealth

    Crews at Commonwealth Stadium finished installing 56,000 new green and gold seats at the venue, replacing the red seats that dated to when the stadium opened 35 years ago, according to an Edmonton Journal report. The seats cost $11.5 million, with $3.9 million provided by Edmonton and the balance to be raised through a 5 percent ticket surcharge introduced last year for all events at the stadium, including CFL Edmonton Eskimos games. The venue also will host the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
     
    HARTFORD, CONN.
    UConn, XL Center agree on games

    The University of Connecticut athletic department reached a tentative agreement with XL Center manager Global Spectrum to play select men’s and women’s basketball games as well as UConn’s holiday hockey tournament in Hartford next season, according to a Hartford Courant report. Financial terms had not been completed.
     
    JOLIET, ILL.
    Speedway back on board with Metra

    Chicagoland Speedway reintroduced its Train-to-Track program, providing Chicago-area race fans a direct route to the track Sept. 15 for the Geico 400. The service will provide shuttle transportation to fans arriving at Joliet Union Station from the Metra Rock Island Line departing Chicago’s LaSalle Street Station, and stations along the route.
     
    LOUISVILLE, KY.
    Batmaker secures $40M credit line

    Louisville Slugger parent company Hillerich & Bradsby said that it obtained a roughly $40 million credit facility from Wells Fargo on Aug. 2 after running into problems with its existing lender, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Hillerich & Bradsby COO and CFO Lawrence Writer said that the cash will be used for day-to-day operations, and also may be used for acquisitions and other future growth projects, according to the report
     
    MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL
    Roof repurposed as duffel bags
    Outdoor gear maker Duluth Pack is selling duffel and shell bags made out of material used in the roof of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The duffel bag is listed at $485 and the shell bag at $160. Minnesota Twins announcer Jim Cunningham and Tim O’Phelan paid $4,000 for the inner layer of the dome’s roof after a snowstorm led to the roof’s collapse in December 2010.
     
    MONTGOMERY, ALA.
    New bowl game kicks off next year

    ESPN announced the creation of the Camellia Bowl, a postseason matchup between teams from the Sun Belt and MAC beginning December 2014 in Montgomery, Ala., at the 25,000-seat Cramton Bowl. The game, named for a type of flower, will be played before Christmas each year.
     
    NEWARK, DEL.
    D-League team does promotions

    The Delaware 87ers, the new NBA D-League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, hosted a series of public events, pep rallies, giveaways and promotions in Wilmington and Newark earlier this month to introduce the team. The 87ers also held social media contests through the team’s website, Twitter account and Facebook page.
     
    NEW ORLEANS
    Pelicans approaching sales record

    The New Orleans Pelicans are on pace to achieve their highest season-ticket total since the franchise moved to New Orleans, according to a (New Orleans) Times-Picayune report. The team has reportedly sold more than 11,000 packages. The team’s sales record for season tickets came in 2008-09 when it sold 11,800 the season after the team won a franchise-record 56 games.
     
    NEW YORK
    Knicks improve on high renewal rate

    The New York Knicks’ season-ticket renewal rate has risen from last year’s 95 percent to more than 97 percent, the highest renewal rate for the club in more than 10 years, according to a New York Post report. The New York Rangers also saw gains with a season-ticket renewal rate of more than 92 percent, their highest in five years.
     
    PHILADELPHIA
    Almost 200 fans showed up at Wells Fargo Center for a world record attempt.
    Photo by: COMCAST-SPECTACOR
    Flyers fans watch paint dry
    The Philadelphia Flyers attempted a Guinness world record last week for most people to simultaneously watch paint dry. The team invited fans to watch as the lines and logos were painted into the ice at Wells Fargo Center. While there is no category for the record, Comcast-Spectacor, owner of both the Flyers and Wells Fargo Center, is submitting the total (195 watchers) to the Guinness Book of World Records for consideration.
     
    WASHINGTON, D.C.
    StubHub gains rights at FedEx Field

    StubHub expanded its relationship with the Washington Redskins by signing a five-year deal covering naming rights to the club level at FedEx Field. The agreement, effective through 2018, officially kicked off at last week’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. StubHub has been a Redskins partner dating to 2006 and has been the stadium’s official secondary ticket services provider since 2011.
     
    WEST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, N.J.
    KPMG signs Special Olympics deal

    KPMG signed on as a sponsor of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey. KPMG’s deal is at the Founding Partner level, and the company also will be the presenting sponsor of the games’ golf competition at Mercer Oaks.



          COAST TO COAST — BEYOND THE COASTS


    BARCELONA
    Train service extended for Supercopa

    The Barcelona City Council and FC Barcelona reached an agreement to guarantee that there will be metro service after the Supercopa of Spain match against Atlético Madrid at Camp Nou stadium on Wednesday, according to an El Pais report. The game starts at 11 p.m. local time. Barcelona will pay $40,260 for the cost of extending the metro schedule.

    FRANKFURT
    Team extends deal with insurer

    Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt extended its partnership with insurance company DFV Deutsche Familienversicherung AG for another three years. The company will receive in-stadium ad space on boards in camera view and in the club’s media publications for the next three seasons.
     

    HONG KONG
    Audi to title sponsor offshore race

    Audi will be the title sponsor of the 2013 Hong Kong to Vietnam Race organized by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, according to a Sail World report. The 656-nautical-mile Category One offshore race will start in Victoria Harbour on Oct. 17.
     
    KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
    National teams play in soccer friendly

    Afghanistan last Tuesday held its first international soccer game in a decade, a match against Pakistan. The game was the first between the Pakistan and Afghanistan national teams since the mid-1970s. It took place at the recently built Afghanistan Football Federation stadium in Kabul. Afghanistan won 3-0.
     
    More EPL clubs

    poised to offer aid

    to traveling fans


       
    English Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore said that more Premier League clubs are poised to follow Chelsea and Stoke City in offering free and subsidized travel to their fans for away games, according to a (London) Daily Mail report. Scudamore said that Chelsea and Stoke City have agreed to put aside $6.3 million a season specifically to help fans travel away from home because the EPL fears that declining away support is jeopardizing the unique atmosphere that makes the competition so attractive.
       
    Scudamore: “In the past five years, we’ve seen a 10 percent decline in away attendance. Even though attendances are up to record highs and the occupancy rates of stadia are up to 95.3 percent, away attendances are down. In the past six months we’ve put a lot of effort into what can be done for away attendance. One of our unique selling points is the away attendance because it creates the tension, the passion, the show. … By the end of September, we’ll have a list of what all 20 clubs are doing. … I’m absolutely sure that among the 20 there will be others who go with the same initiative.”
    LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY
    Bayer Leverkusen extends partnerships

    Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen extended its partnership with Coca-Cola for another three years. The company will continue to provide nonalcoholic beverages at BayArena until 2016. The team also extended its partnership with insurance company DEVK for another two seasons, until June 2015, and with oil and gas company Total for another season, until June 2014.
     
    LONDON
    Crystal Palace partners with 12BET

    Crystal Palace FC signed a one-year deal with 12BET, making it the Premier League team’s new stadium sponsor and official betting partner. The deal marks the first time a betting/gaming company has signed a stadium sponsorship deal in the U.K.
     
    LUDWIGSBURG
    Team signs with Porsche subsidiary

    Basketball Bundesliga club Riesen Ludwigsburg signed a three-year naming-rights deal with MHP, a subsidiary of Porsche Co. The basketball club will compete as MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg for the next three seasons.
     
    MANCHESTER
    Man City, BT reach three-year deal

    Manchester City and broadcaster BT Sport reached a three-year partnership that includes BT Sport broadcasting weekly interviews with players and members of the coaching staff as well as access to behind-the-scenes content. Man City’s prematch entertainment area will be renamed BT City Square.
     
    NUREMBERG, GERMANY
    Stadium for youth teams planned

    Bundesliga club FC Nuremberg is planning to build a 3,000-seat stadium for its youth teams, according to a Nordbayern report. The stadium will be the home grounds for the club’s U-23 team that competes in the Regionalliga, Germany’s fouth-tier league.
     
    PRAGUE
    European Tour returns next summer

    The European Tour will visit Prague for the first time since 1997 when the inaugural D+D Real Czech Masters takes place at Prague’s Albatross Golf Resort next August. The tournament will carry a $1.3 million prize fund in 2014 and will be held for at least the next five years.

    SANYA, CHINA
    IMG unit hired for ‘World’s Strongest’

    IMG Productions was commissioned to produce versions of The Commerce World’s Strongest Man 2013 in Sanya. Last week’s event, now in its 36th year, started in Sanya at the Grand Soluxe Hotel & Resort with additional venues in and around the city. MET-Rx was the presenting sponsor.

    For more international news, visit www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/global.

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