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Volume 24 No. 155

Facilities Venues

          At press time, sources said that D'Backs Managing
     General Partner Jerry Colangelo and a fan picked randomly
     from the stands will throw out the first pitch tonight for
     the D'Backs' inaugural opener (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/31).
          BIG BUCKS AT THE BOB: With the construction of Bank One
     Ballpark (BOB), Colangelo "has put together the most
     lucrative marketing package in sports history," according to
     Ken Western of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC.  He is the architect of
     a multiyear, $430M advertising partnership "with some 60
     companies that are banking on the ballpark to boost their
     bottom line."  BOB was designed to showcase its sponsors
     through ways such as calling the main concourse Fox Sports
     Arizona Diamondtown.  Ellerbe Becket VP & Project Manager
     Mike Wright: "As much as anything, baseball is a game of
     dollars as it is a sport.  We tried to get as much potential
     for revenue in the building."  Such "heavy hitters" as
     America West, APS, Miller Brewing, 76/Circle K, Nissan and
     US West are spending up to $3.5M a year for the next 10-15
     years for promotional packages.  As "building partners,"
     each of these companies gets a 60-by-60-foot swinging panel
     in center field, among other signage.  Outfield wall
     advertising consists of Office Max, Fry's, Fox Sports and
     Sun Pool & Spa Products.  Other team partners, including
     PepsiCo, McDonald's and Auto Zone, are spending up to $1M in
     stadium advertising (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/31).
          WHAT'S IN A NAME? FREE PARKING: KSLX-FM's morning team
     is sponsoring a promo where fans attending the D'Backs
     opener can get free parking one block from the stadium if
     their first name is the same or any derivation of BOB -- ie.
     Roberta, Bobby, Robbie, Bobette, etc (AZ REPUBLIC, 3/31).  

          In reopening Edison Int'l Field following Disney's
     $117M renovation of Anaheim Stadium, the Angels "would like
     nothing more than to exorcise its ghosts," according to Bill
     Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES.  Anaheim Sports President Tony
     Tavares: "Re-marketing the Angels from a public perspective
     is one of the toughest things we face.  While I think we've
     done a good job of putting a quality product on the field,
     convincing the marketplace we're for real -- overcoming 30
     years of skepticism -- is not easy."  Tavares: "It's not
     like Disney can come in and sprinkle a little pixie dust and
     wave a magic wand and, all of a sudden, 2.5 million people
     appear."  Since the team was bought in '96, the Angels have
     "been immune" to Disney's marketing "magic."  But this year, 
     Disney "is sparing no expense or expertise."  Its "stadium
     marketing blitz," valued by one source at $3M-4M, includes
     direct mail, billboards, bus signs and shelters and radio/
     TV spots in English and Spanish.  Disney also furnished a
     "Grand Slam Van" -- an advertisement on wheels, with games,
     exhibits and a ticket window.  Angels VP/Sales & Marketing
     Ken Wachter: "[I]n some ways, the ballpark will sell itself
     if we can get people in here" (L.A. TIMES, 3/31).   

          MLB FACILITY NOTES: NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that
     there "is no deadline" for Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner
     to make a decision on a location for a new ballpark.  He
     added that the city "would be agreeable" to a lease
     extension if the Yankees needed more time to make their
     decision (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/31)....The Devil Rays have
     teamed with Tulsa-based Williams ChoiceSeat to provide
     nearly 200 ChoiceSeat units to be installed at Tropicana
     Field.  One-hundred of the units will be located in seats
     behind home plate, with others placed in the stadium's
     300,000 square foot mall-like addition known as Center Field
     Street (Williams ChoiceSeat)....The Richard E. Jacobs Group
     plans to build a 14-story, $29M Courtyard by Marriott next
     to  Jacobs Field.  The Indians and the Cavs paid $2.5M to
     Gateway for the parcel (CRAIN'S CLEVELAND, 3/23 issue).
          HOME OF THE WILD: MN state and city officials are
     "considering" a plan which would reduce the cost to the
     state of a St. Paul hockey arena for the Wild and increase
     it for the city.  Under the latest plan, St. Paul would
     cover up to $95M of the arena cost (Minneapolis STAR
     TRIBUNE, 3/31).  Meanwhile, public records show that MN's
     Human Rights Dept. "tried for a year" to get M.A. Mortenson,
     which is overseeing construction of the new arena, to make a
     "'good faith effort' to hire disadvantaged workers."
     Mortenson's President Thomas McCune has denied that the
     company "discriminated against anyone and said its failure
     to meet the city's goals for unskilled minorities and female
     workers was an anomaly (PIONEER PRESS, 3/31).