The Gateway Economic Development Corp., the body in charge of the Gund Arena and Jacobs Field in Cleveland, must borrow $12M to payoff cost overruns of around $30M in the construction of the new arena. The new $148M home of the Cavs cost 25% more to build than expected because the arena was built on a "fast-track" before architectural plans were completed, leaving many costs unanticipated. Gateway Chair Thomas Chema said the bill will be paid through sporting and special events at Gund and neighboring Jacobs Field: "We said we weren't going back [to the public], and we're not." The rest of the overrun will be covered by a $10M capital fund provided by the Cavs, and part of the $14M earned from the Gund family for naming rights to the new arena. Total construction costs for Gateway were $401M (Steven Koff, Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 12/14). BROWNS NEXT IN LINE? As Cleveland Mayor Michael White campaigns for a taxpayer-funded renovations at Cleveland Stadium for the Browns, PLAIN DEALER columnist Dick Feagler says taxpayers are "sick of the whole stadium subsidation issue. And that the neighborhood playgrounds ought to start getting some attention instead of the Yuppie playgrounds." Feagler: "Sooner or later, all the big-league cities get a ransom note. 'If you want to keep on enjoying your beloved playmates, ... leave a couple of hundred million bucks in stadium renovations and a big piece of the take from the food concessions in the hollow tree. No cops'" (Dick Feagler, CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER, 12/14). For our profile of Cleveland Stadium.
Patriots Owner Robert Kraft may ask the state of MA to buy Foxboro Stadium from him and then lease it back to the team, according to Phil Primack of the BOSTON HERALD. Kraft has reportedly met with state officials and made a proposal that the state "would make major stadium investments that Kraft says are needed for the Patriots to be financially competitive." A source to MA Gov. William Weld said the stadium costs and improvements would be about $100M or more, but "a lot less than building a new open-air stadium from scratch." There is "little support" from state leaders to provide financial aid for the stadium because they are "reluctant to publicly subsidize a private business." But, by turning the stadium into a state-owned facility, Kraft could "counter that criticism" (BOSTON HERALD, 12/15). PATRIOTS GAMES? An editorial in this morning's HARTFORD COURANT argues that the state of CT should not be used as "bargaining lever" by Kraft to get a better stadium deal in MA. If Kraft brings the team to CT, "he will receive a welcome and a stadium the likes of which it has never known in Massachusetts. But no more Patriots games" (HARTFORD COURANT, 12/15).
A preliminary plan for renovating Yankees Stadium was unveiled to Bronx borough officials on Tuesday. The proposal, designed by the sports architectural firm, HOK of Kansas City, calls for "widening the structure by 40 feet and adding luxury boxes." The plan also calls for building 90 luxury boxes, 12,000 parking spots, and a picnic area in the left field bleacher area. HOK, widely known for its design of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, also plans to have an "exact replica of the original facade of the stadium as a new outer wall for the ballpark." To make the facility more accessible, the subway station would be improved, and easier on/off exits from the George Washington Bridge (Matthew Purdy, N.Y. TIMES, 12/14). The cost of the stadium renovation is estimated at $125M and total neighborhood renovation at $380M. Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner has threatened to move the team out of the Bronx when his lease expires in 2002 (Polner & Lin, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 12/14).
Members of Blockbuster Park's management team who recently signed a "three-year job agreement were told to start looking for other work." Those working without contracts were let go. This comes as a result of Viacom's decision last week to cancel the $2B Blockbuster Park Sports and Entertainment Complex. Company execs declined to comment on the cuts (Don Finefrock, MIAMI HEARLD, 12/14).
Cleveland Stadium, Cleveland, OH
|AGE:||Built in 1931|
|CAPACITY:||Capacity is over 75,000 7th highest in NFL.|
|LUXURY SEATS:||104 "loges," owned and operated by the Stadium Corporation.|
|OWNERSHIP:||Owned by the City of Cleveland.|
|MANAGEMENT:||Cleveland Stadium Corporation.|
|COST:||Facility cost $2.9M paid by public bonds|
|CONCESSIONS:||Service America. Team does gets undisclosed percentage of revenue.|
|ADVERTISING:||Team sells stadium advertising. Revenue breakdown between team and Stadium Corp. is undisclosed.|
|PARKING:||4,000 spots $7. Revenue goes to Stadium Corp.|
|RENT:||$742,000 7th lowest in the NFL.|
|LEASE:||Expires in '98.|
(Source: Eddie Uhas/Cleveland Stadium; rent and public subsidy figure from Florida Times-Union article on July 24, 1994)
A Los Angeles group attempting to buy the CFL Las Vegas Posse has met with representatives of the L.A. Coliseum about possible use of the facility. Las Vegas Major League Sports Inc., which owns the team, announced an agreement in principal Wednesday to sell the team to the L.A. group, pending debt problems and CFL approval. Coliseum General Manager Pat Lynch said he has met twice with representatives of the group, but talks have been "preliminary in nature." Potential problems include the current configuration of the Coliseum floor, not currently wide enough for a CFL field, and the possibility that scheduled construction of a new press box could hinder stadium use (Tim Brown, L.A. DAILY NEWS, 12/15).
The Port of Seattle told a committee charged with studying the possibilities of a new stadium for the Mariners that it "wants little to do with paying for a ballpark." The Port said it has budgeted every available dollar for the next five years and has "a lengthy wish list should more money become available." Port Commission President Pat Davis said baseball is not on that list: "It would be a hard stretch to find where a new stadium would fit into our mission statement." The committee will hold a final meeting January 11 before King County Executive Gary Locke reviews its findings. Expected to be in the report -- 35-45% private financing with the public paying the remaining costs, but no agreement on a domed, retractable dome or open-air ballpark (Larry LaRue, Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 12/13).