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Volume 24 No. 157


The Univ. of Washington's $250M renovation of 90-year-old Husky Stadium will result in "new seating options, including approximately 25 suites, 25 loge boxes and 2,500 premium covered seats on the south side of the stadium," according to Katherine Long of the SEATTLE TIMES. Construction will begin in November, and plans call for the "entire lower bowl and south-side upper deck to be demolished and reconstructed." About 4,000 premium seats "will be built on the south side." UW Senior Associate AD for Development Jennifer Cohen said that approximately 6% of the stadium's seating "will be made up of premium seats, a percentage that's lower than the 10 percent figure at most other schools." But the premium seats "will account for $6 million annually in new revenue -- in effect, paying for a significant chunk of the $15 million the school must raise each year to pay off the stadium bonds that will be sold to finance the project." Long noted the school will "nearly double the amount of revenue it receives from ticket sales -- from $23 million in 2010 to a projected" $41M in '13. Premium seats "likely will come with a season price of about $3,000, and holders of those tickets may be allowed to purchase alcohol for the first time in Husky Stadium." A suite, "which would seat as many as 25 people, would be the most expensive option, costing between $35,000 and $75,000 per year and requiring a five- to 10-year commitment" (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/21).

The Minnesota Ballpark Authority Friday reported that Target Field in its inaugural season last year "generated more than three times the sales and use-tax revenue than what the Metrodome returned" during the '09 season, according to Kevin Duchschere of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Target Field "brought in $18.6 million in sales and use taxes" in '10, and the "biggest winners were Minnesota and Minneapolis." The state took in $11.6M from Target Field, $6.6M more than it got from the Metrodome in '09, while the city took $6.3M from Target Field, up from $900,000 in '09. The Twins reported that the team "contributed $632,000 in 2010 for youth activities," which is $175,000 "more than called for under the terms of the Twins' ballpark lease." Meanwhile, Duchschere reported the Twins for the upcoming season are "replacing the distracting black spruce trees beyond center field with a honeycombed aluminum panel that's punctuated with small holes" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/19).

: The Univ. of Minnesota baseball team "will play all of its Big Ten home games in the 2011 season at Target Field." The team was "originally supposed to play 31 home games in the Metrodome this season before the roof collapsed" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/19).

In San Diego, Matthew Hall noted Mayor Jerry Sanders and Chargers President & CEO Dean Spanos “rarely meet to discuss the team's desire for a new stadium,” but Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani said that a “private meeting is in the works for the next two weeks.” It would be the pair's “fifth meeting in five years,” and it comes as talks in L.A. are “getting fast-tracked to consider building a stadium there.” Fabiani downplayed the upcoming meeting as “a general update meeting, nothing momentous.” Fabiani: "This is an opportune time for a meeting, given the pending California redevelopment and NFL CBA issues that could in many ways determine the future of a potential new stadium" (, 2/21). In California, Scott Bair notes such meetings are “exceedingly rare” (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 2/22).

VIKING QUEST: In Minneapolis, Kaszuba & Olson reported two Minnesota state legislators Friday said that Ramsey County officials “have privately asked their opinion of a half-cent countywide sales-tax increase that would generate $300 million for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium.” The legislators added that Ramsey County is “aggressively exploring possible public-subsidy plans for a new stadium in Arden Hills.” County Commissioner Jan Parker denied that she “floated a specific proposal, let alone suggested that a half-cent sales tax increase would provide $300 million” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/21).

LIGHT UP THE NIGHT: In North Carolina, Lukas Johnson noted the “world's largest high-definition video board is scheduled to make its debut during Charlotte Motor Speedway's May race events.” North Carolina-based Galvan Industries is “galvanizing the 250 tons of structural steel needed to mount the nearly 16,000-square-foot screen.” Galvan Technical Dir David Prior said that the design “consists of six vertical trusses that will stand 135 feet tall.” Horizontal beams, platforms and diagonal bracing will "add support so the screen can withstand gusts up to 100 miles per hour." The screen “will be illuminated by more than nine million LED lamps” (, 2/21).

THE REAL DEAL: In Salt Lake City, Jared Page notes city leaders and the Real Salt Lake ownership group in ’07 proposed the development of the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex, but now “those plans have changed, or at the very least have stalled, and city officials say they are moving forward” with the project without the MLS team as a partner. A group of local residents has filed “four lawsuits against the city and another against the U.S. Army Corps or Engineers in hopes of stopping construction of the soccer complex and forcing the city to build elsewhere.” RSL Senior Dir of Marketing Trey Fitz-Gerald said that club officials “have not had any recent discussions about locating a soccer academy at or near the sports complex, and such an academy is not in the team’s immediate plans” (DESERET NEWS, 2/22).