The city of Phoenix unveiled a plan to give America
West Arena a $12M upgrade, making it "one of the biggest
hockey arenas in the NHL," although the Coyotes may still
relocate to Scottsdale, according to Chris Fiscus of the
ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The renovation, which could be completed
"by the end of summer 2000," would give the arena 17,500
seats with "clear views for hockey and arena football." In
addition to the remaining 2,500 "or so 'obstructed-view'"
seats, America West's capacity would increase to over
20,000. The arena currently holds 16,210 for hockey --
though less than 12,000 offer unobstructed views -- and
19,023 for basketball, seating that would "remain
essentially the same." Also, the Coyotes would receive
access to all suites for their home games beginning in the
2000-01 season. Seven existing suites are currently
unavailable to the team. Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza said
that the $12M could be paid from existing arena funds,
although the use of those funds and the renovation plan must
still be approved by the Phoenix City Council. City
officials said the city would still go through with the
renovations despite the Coyotes' insistence on relocating to
a new facility in Scottsdale (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/12).
A day after the Nets unveiled their plans to build a
sports and entertainment complex in Newark, Devils Owner
John McMullen gave NJ Gov. Christie Whitman his proposal for
"the same kind" of complex at an historic train terminal in
Hoboken, according to Doug Most of the Bergen RECORD.
However, the Whitman administration responded by sending
letters to both teams "saying their proposals were
inadequate and asking for more details to help officials
make a decision." McMullen is pushing for a $350M "Hoboken
Station" that would be "anchored" by an 18,500-seat arena
and "complemented" by retail stores, restaurants and a movie
theater. The arena would include 100 luxury boxes, 3,000
club seats, theme restaurants and team shops. The Devils'
plan "relies on less public money than the Nets' plan," and
both come days before the NJ Sports & Exposition Authority
is to release a state-ordered five-month study on the future
of the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford. But
Whitman spokesperson Pete McDonough stressed one sports
complex: "I think the state will be expressing to the teams
that a dual-sports arena is the only thing that makes sense
to us right now. We will need to convince the teams to
stick together in one of three locations" (RECORD, 3/12).
McMullen will finance $200M of his project, with only $30M
coming in public funds (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 3/12).
The parent company of England's Wembley Stadium voted
to sell the facility to the English National Stadium
Development Company for $171M. SFX and British sports
entertainment group Enic had also been trying to buy the
stadium (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/12)....In Atlanta, Henry Unger
notes in a progress report on Philips Arena that about half
of the 1,800 club seat season-tickets at the arena have been
sold for either $8,000 or $9,500 each (CONSTITUTION, 3/12).
Donald Trump and ISC have "agreed to explore" building
a NASCAR race track on Long Island, according to Rick
Westhead of BLOOMBERG NEWS. The agreement will be announced
at a press conference today. Yesterday, shares in ISC rose
2 5/16 to a "record" 48 1/2 in trading of 184,000, "more
than twice their three-month daily average of about 66,000"
(BLOOMBERG, 3/11). Trump recently bid $55M for a site on
Long Island,where he has proposed building a NASCAR
speedway. Trump had been asked by local officials to "show
that he had a track partner before the town would begin
negotiations to sell the 2,900-acre site" (NEWSDAY, 3/12).