DE-based Dover Downs Entertainment Inc. has acquired
Nashville Speedway USA with the intention of building a new
speedway in another location "in the near future," according
to Joe Caldwell of the NASHVILLE BANNER. Gaylord
Entertainment will become a minority partner in the project.
The new speedway initially will seat about 50,000, "with the
ability to expand that right from the start." Dover Downs
President & CEO Denis McGlynn said that no plans are set to
try to get a Winston Cup date. McGlynn: "We are going to
build a track that can handle any type of racing that is
available" (NASHVILLE BANNER, 11/7).
The Ohio State Univ. Board of Trustees approved a $150M
renovation plan for the university's stadium. The renovated
stadium will have about 98,000 seats, including spots for
3,000 wheelchair users. It will be paid for by proceeds
generated from the stadium, including the sale of leases for
76 new luxury suites (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 11/8)....The $102M-
renovated Oakland Coliseum Arena opened Saturday as a
sellout crowd of 19,283 attended the T-Wolves-Warriors game.
In San Jose, columnist Bud Geracie, on the renovated arena:
"There's not a bad seat in the house, just a bad team" (SAN
JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/9)....In L.A., California Planning and
Development Report Editor William Fulton wrote a commentary
urban benefits of the L.A. Coliseum: "All the things that
drive the NFL crazy about the Coliseum are all the things
that make it a great place for a football stadium. ... The
NFL notwithstanding ... it is possible to use football to
create the same kind of intimate urban experience that
baseball is thriving on these days. In fact, football is
still used this way all over the country"(L.A. TIMES, 11/9).
Magic President & CEO Bob Vander Weide "left little
doubt" on Friday that the team "expects a replacement" for
the Orlando Arena, "possibly within seven years," according
to Dan Tracy of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. The team's current
lease at the arena, under which they pay the city $446,500 a
year, ends after next season. While Vander Weide said that
the team "intends to honor" the agreement and "exercise an
additional five-year rental option," he "would not commit"
the Magic to the eight-year old facility "beyond" the 2004
season. While Vander Wiede "would not discuss who might
pay," for a new arena, Tracy wrote that Orlando and Orange
County officials have been "adamant in saying they will not
spend tax dollars" on such a project. The arena still has a
debt of "about" $40M, which will not be paid off fully until
2019. The team released a study showing that renovation
"would not bring in extra cash" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/8).
MN Gov. Arne Carlson said Friday that he believed
sentiment in the Legislature "is starting to turn toward
approval of state spending" on a new ballpark for the Twins,
according to Patrick Sweeney of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS.
Carlson: "I think we're in pretty good shape in the Senate.
I still think it's touch-and-go in the House." On Thursday,
legislators will return to a special session to consider a
complex ballpark proposal that calls for Twins Owner Carl
Pohlad to donate the team to a foundation and to guarantee
any operating losses the team might incur during the 3-5
years the foundation would hold it while looking for a new
owner (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/8). State Rep. Ron
Erhardt: "The calls tend to be a little more positive"
(Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/8). Today, the Twins will
send team Exec VP Kirby Puckett, former P Bert Blyleven and
team President Jerry Bell around the state to lobby for a
new ballpark (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/9).
NOTES: Ads supporting the Twins began appearing on
billboards and city buses over the weekend. The copy read:
"Publicity Fades. Debates End. Baseball is Forever. Call
Your Legislator. Keep the Twins in Minnesota" (STAR
TRIBUNE, 11/8)....A STAR TRIBUNE editorial on Pohlad's
"community ownership" proposal for the Twins: "That doesn't
make the stadium plan perfect. But it ought to make the
plan passable. ... If not, then prepare to kiss the Twins
goodbye" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/9).