In London, Tim Rich reports EPL club Manchester City has "secured permission to sell the naming rights" to City of Manchester Stadium. No talks "with any sponsor are yet under way" (London INDEPENDENT, 3/15). In Manchester, Mike Keegan wrote it is likely that the club's shirt sponsor, Etihad, "will be frontrunners" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 3/14).
ELECTION BEAT: In St. Petersburg, Richard Danielson reports Tampa mayoral candidates Bob Buckhorn and Rose Ferlita yesterday discussed "Tampa taxpayer involvement if the Rays end their play in St. Petersburg and look for a new home." Buckhorn noted that new ballparks recently "have included a combination of money from team owners, plus private equity, plus cities potentially doing infrastructure work around the new stadiums." Buckhorn: "There are all kinds of creative ways to do it." He said that he "would like to see a new stadium go downtown, because of its potential to fuel urban economic development." Buckhorn: "We need to find a way to keep them." Ferlita took a "harder line." Ferlita: "We cannot plan on spending any public dollars." Ferlita added that she "would love to see the Rays play in Tampa, but 'people are strapped now'" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/15). Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, Delen Goldberg reported "none of the leading candidates for Las Vegas mayor think public money should be used to build a sports arena." All of the candidates "agreed that an arena should be a private enterprise" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 3/14).
MOVING FORWARD: In Milwaukee, Mark Kass reported the Packers are "moving ahead with plans for new scoreboards at Lambeau Field" despite the uncertainty of the '11 NFL season. Packers VP/Administration & General Counsel Jason Wied Saturday said that the team "would move ahead with a $14 million plan to upgrade the two scoreboards at Lambeau Field, along with its sound system." Wied: "We always try to look at investments in a long-term horizon. We are not going to sit on our hands and wait for this to play out. We are committed to making this a better place to come to" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/12).