In Edmonton, John MacKinnon reports Mayor Stephen Mandel last night developed a "multi-part motion to save the downtown arena project, at least for now." The motion "places a ceiling" of C$450 on the cost of the arena, which would house the Oilers, and "caps the city's contribution to it" at C$125M. It also insists that Oilers Owner Daryl Katz "sign a 30 year location agreement and much else." The motion "had to come as a great relief ... for supports of the arena project," as there is "time and a workable framework within which a deal at least seems possible." However, that relief "may be short-lived, because the passing of the motion provides no finality on the issue" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/7).
PARK PLACE: In Ft. Worth, Drew Davison notes Texas Motor Speedway yesterday opened the Tailgater Monthly Pit Stop Park, which “features 76 reserved tailgating spots 36 feet deep and 15 feet wide.” It also includes “security, picnic tables, daily trash pickup and areas for horseshoe pits and beanbag toss,” as well as a “concierge service, courtesy of Brookshire's.” TMS season-ticket holders “can get spots for a reduced rate,” and non-season-ticket holders pay “a one-time $1,000 fee and a $750 charge per season” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/7). TMS President Eddie Gossage said Pit Stop Park has "all the amenities you could ask for tailgating when you come to the races." Gossage: "You're only 100 yards from the gate. You got a reserve spot (with) trees and gas and restrooms, all kinds of things, white picket fence. It's the most luxurious place that you can have a tailgate at, and those are the kinds of things we have all over the grounds trying to take of our fans" ("NASCAR Now," ESPN2, 4/6).
KICKING BACK: In Chicago, Donna Vickroy noted the new Bacardi at the Park bar and restaurant inside U.S. Cellular Field’s Stadium Club is “accessible to ticketholders via a bridge from the park, and to non-ticketholders via the parking lot or 35th Street.” It offers “two-story indoor seating, as well as a shaded patio area” where fans can “sit out a rain delay or simply take a tasty break from the park without missing any of the action” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/7).
UP FOR DEBATE: In Minneapolis, Kaszuba & Roper report a Minnesota Senate committee yesterday “approved bills granting breweries permission to sell pints of beer on the premises" of the Univ. of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium, while also "allowing limited alcohol sales" at the facility. Minnesota state Sen. Geoff Michel argued that the “decision should be left to the school, not the Legislature.” Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton “has not indicated his position on the issue and the House, which opposed limited sales” previously, has “not yet debated the topic” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/7).