SBJ/April 14-20, 2014/Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast

ATLANTA
Falcons start list for new venue

The Atlanta Falcons started a season-ticket wait list program for their planned new stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2017. Fans who are not currently season-ticket holders at the Georgia Dome can sign up by placing a $100 refundable deposit to secure their priority.

BALTIMORE
O’s renew passport program
The Baltimore Orioles are continuing their Birdland Passport program this year. Fans who visit five of the six participating Orioles-affiliated ballparks and have their “passport” marked will receive a limited edition Birdland Passport T-shirt. Those who visit all six ballparks — Oriole Park at Camden Yards and five minor-league venues — will be entered to win a trip for two to spring training in Sarasota, Fla., in 2015.

BOSTON
Garden set for $70M renovation

TD Garden this summer will undergo a privately funded $70 million renovation that is expected to be finished within two years. The development aims to improve fan experiences at the venue, home of the NBA Celtics and NHL Bruins, and expand the arena’s retail and office space.

Tasty Burger gets official status
Tasty Burger signed a three-year deal to be the official burger of the Boston Red Sox, according to a Boston Herald report. The stand in the recently renovated third-base deck will sell burgers, fries, milkshakes and Tasty Burger tater tots made exclusively for Fenway Park.

Schools compete for most runners
The Boston-area college or university that records the most student and alumni registrants for the inaugural Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half and Festival (June 6-8 in Newton, Mass.) will receive $1,000 for its intramural sports program, courtesy of festival sponsor Geneia, a health care innovations company.

BUFFALO
HarborCenter rises in downtown Buffalo adjacent to First Niagara Center.
Photo by: BILL WIPPERT
HarborCenter booking events
Buffalo’s new $172 million HarborCenter hockey complex has booked 20 youth events for the 2014-15 season. The twin-rink project, built by Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula, is slated to open in September. The facility includes seating for 1,800 spectators at its main rink, nine locker rooms, a training facility and a theater for video study.

Unique Tim Hortons planned at complex
Officials from HarborCenter and the Tim Hortons restaurant chain revealed plans for what they say will be a one-of-a-kind Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop inside the hockey complex. The restaurant will pay tribute to the life and career of Tim Horton, a longtime NHL defenseman who died in a car crash in 1974 while a member of the Sabres.

FRESNO, CALIF.
Grizzlies partner with Farm Credit

The Fresno Grizzlies, the Class AAA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, agreed to a new partnership with Farm Credit, the nationwide network of banks and lending associations. Through the 2016 season, Farm Credit will sponsor the Grizzlies’ Farm Grown Friday home games and participate in both the club’s Farm Grown magazine and Grizzlies Community Fund initiatives.

JACKSONVILLE
New deal for TaxSlayer Bowl

The TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl will become the TaxSlayer Bowl in 2015 under a new six-year sponsorship agreement. Beginning in 2015, the game will be televised on ESPN and will feature an SEC team playing either a Big Ten or ACC school.

KANSAS CITY
Royals offer social media center

The Kansas City Royals reached a partnership with Alexander Open Systems to create the AOS Technology HotSpot, which will serve as the technology and social media headquarters at Kauffman Stadium during games. Fans will be able to follow social media conversations about the Royals in real time, contribute to the conversations, and interact with MLB applications.

Stadium opens women-centric store
Royals Boutique, featuring women’s clothing and accessories, is among the additions to Kauffman Stadium for the 2014 MLB season. The team store is designed exclusively for female fans. Featured brands include Touch by Alyssa Milano; Fifth and Ocean; Nike; Under Armour; Majestic; Rawlings; OPI; ’47 Brand; New Era; and Cuce Boots and Heels.

LOS ANGELES
SoCal Honda Dealers add Angels

Following its partnerships with the Los Angeles Dodgers, LA Galaxy, UCLA athletics and USC athletics, Southern California Honda Dealers are extending support of its home teams to include the Los Angeles Angels this year. Helpful Honda’s Random Acts of Helpfulness program will include free parking for 100 Honda drivers at all Friday home games. Scout Sports & Entertainment handled the partnerships and Secret Weapon Marketing is the agency of record for the SoCal Honda Dealers.

Network does Dodgers in Korean
SportsNet LA is offering Korean-language secondary audio programming for all live Dodgers games on its air this season. The Dodgers partnered with Radio Korea to provide the service. Radio Korea broadcasters Richard Choi and Chong Ho Yim will call the games.

Dodger Stadium gets field-level sponsor
Retirement firm Security Benefit will become a presenting sponsor of Dodger Stadium’s field level under terms of a recent deal. As an official partner of the Dodgers, Security Benefit will receive exposure on MLB’s digital platforms, an instant replay feature, pregame commercials on DodgerVision, and placement on the Dodgers’ radio broadcasts in English and Spanish.

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL
Firms respond to Target Center RFP

Nine groups responded to the city of Minneapolis’ RFP for architecture and engineering services in the $97 million renovation of Target Center. The selection of the winning firm is slated for early May.

NEW ORLEANS
Tulane picks Daktronics for new stadium

Tulane University is adding a video display system to its planned new stadium that will be designed, manufactured and installed by Daktronics. The main video display, which will be located in the south end zone of Yulman Stadium, will feature a 15HD pixel layout and measure approximately 20 feet high by 95 feet wide. The stadium is under construction and is slated to be ready for the Green Wave’s football home opener in September.

ORLANDO
Team offers Portuguese play-by-play

Orlando City SC will provide live Web broadcasts in English and Portuguese this year, making the USL Pro club the first pro sports team in the United States to offer online coverage in those two languages.

Magic trying Google Glass at games
The Orlando Magic has started using Google Glass technology at Amway Center. The Google Glass in-game experience, in partnership with the software platform CrowdOptic, aims to capture new perspectives of the in-game experience in real time and instantly share these views for fans via video screens.

PITTSBURGH
The Steelers join the Lions, Patriots, Bills, Seahawks and Dolphins as NFL teams that have implemented variable ticket pricing.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Steelers add variable pricing
The Pittsburgh Steelers are raising ticket prices across the board by an average of 3.5 percent for next season and introducing variable pricing, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report. Preseason tickets will be reduced by 20 percent or more, and there will be two price tiers for the same seats for games in the regular season: one called “black” and the other “gold.”

Pirates partner with 84 Lumber
The Pittsburgh Pirates reached a multiyear partnership with Pennsylvania-based 84 Lumber Co. 84 Lumber will be the title sponsor of postgame fireworks July 19 at the ballpark. The agreement also provides 84 Lumber with signage displayed throughout PNC Park during the 2014 season, including on the top of the visiting bullpen roof.



      COAST TO COAST — BEYOND THE COASTS



GLASGOW, SCOTLAND
Demolition plan meets resistance
A groundswell of opposition is building in Glasgow against plans to showcase the live demolition of a skyscraper housing block during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games this summer, according to a (London) Guardian report. It has been decried as “offensive” to those who lived and died in the flats.

LEEDS, ENGLAND
Cellino gets OK for Leeds purchase
CELLINO
Italian businessman Massimo Cellino was given approval to complete the purchase of League Championship club Leeds United after an independent Queen’s Council overturned the league’s initial decision to block him, according to a Reuters report. Cellino agreed in February to buy a 75 percent stake in Leeds.

LONDON
Spurs could play all ‘away’ games
Tottenham Hotspur is considering radical plans to play its home matches at multiple venues for an entire season in order to build a new stadium at White Hart Lane, according to a (London) Independent report.

MADRID
Group suing Real Madrid
With a stated objective of returning democracy to Real Madrid, a group of 15 members is suing the club, according to an El Confidencial report. The origin of the lawsuit is the increase in the necessary requisites to run for president of Real Madrid. The requirements were increased on two fronts: The first said that one has to have been a member of the club for 20 years instead of 10; and, the tenure requirement to run for vice president also increased from five to 15 years.

MANCHESTER
Man City bulking up on technology
Manchester City has become the first Premier League club to introduce free Wi-Fi throughout its stadium, according to a (London) Daily Mail report. The high-density broadband upgrade at Etihad Stadium is part of an ongoing digital initiative at the club that includes apps aimed at visiting fans to help them navigate the area.

Man U logo on food labels in South Korea
Manchester United agreed to a multiyear deal with Korean food company Ottogi to become an official partner in South Korea. Man U’s crest and logo will appear on Ottogi products in South Korea.

MILAN
AC Milan seeks investors
AC Milan co-CEO Barbara Berlusconi called the report of a majority stake in the  team being for sale “baseless.”
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
AC Milan is for sale, according to an AS report. AC Milan co-CEO Barbara Berlusconi refuted talk of a majority sale but did say last week that the club is seeking a partner to acqiure a 30 percent stake. Singapore businessman Peter Lim has offered $412 million to acquire a 51 percent stake in the club, according to the report.

RIO DE JANEIRO
Army occupies shantytowns
The Brazilian military occupied a massive compound of slums north of Rio de Janeiro early on April 5, securing a focal point of violent crime two months ahead of the FIFA World Cup, according to a Reuters report. Wresting control of the area from drug gangs was a priority for authorities because it surrounds the expressway to the Galeão International Airport.

SOCHI, RUSSIA
$140M Olympic profit reported
The organizing committee for the 2014 Sochi Olympics and Paralympics posted a profit of around $140 million, according to an R-Sport report. The Russian organizing committee made money from merchandising but also received funds from the host nation’s government.

SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND
Women’s Open signs official club
Lynx was named the official golf club of the Women’s British Open for the next three years, beginning with this year’s event July 10-13 at The Royal Birkdale Golf Club. Lynx receives with its deal an exhibition stand, a hitting bay on the practice range and on-course branding.

TOKYO
Police launch anti-terror unit
Tokyo police launched a counterterrorism unit to deal with potential attacks at Tokyo International Airport, according to a Jiji report. The airport expanded its international flights by about 50 percent last month to about 90,000 per year. That’s expected to rise further before the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.

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

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