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Volume 24 No. 113


49ers Chief Sales Officer John Vidalin yesterday confirmed that CAA Sports will be handling sales of naming rights for the team’s proposed stadium in Santa Clara. The news was first reported in the April 4 issue of SportsBusiness Journal. Vidalin said the review was among four agencies and took several months. “The vision is for the stadium to be one of the most environmentally friendly, combining sustainability, technology and a world-class fan experience,” Vidalin said, adding the asking price for the stadium name was not yet finalized. “CAA are proven market makers and they have done some impressive work in recent years.” It is the first naming-rights assignment for CAA Sports, though the unit has sold marquee facilities like the new Yankee Stadium and the current MSG renovation. The planned stadium is a 68,500-seat facility, scheduled to open for the ‘15 NFL season. Vidalin said the proposed venue will cost around $937M. It is not fully funded, but Vidalin noted “the city of Santa Clara is on board and we are on the way there.”

The Mets have "failed to occupy more than 20,000 square feet of retail space as the team begins its third season in its $800 million Citi Field stadium, the primary reason the Queens stadium has failed to receive a final sign-off from the city," according to Michael Howard Saul of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. An N.Y. official yesterday confirmed that the Mets “have yet to receive a final certificate of occupancy for the stadium because a significant portion of the facility is empty.” A Mets official said that team execs have been "actively trying to fill the space but have been hampered by the fact that the property faces ‘the auto repair and junk yards across the street.’" The Yankees also have “failed to receive a final certificate of occupancy for the team's new $1.5 billion stadium in the Bronx, but for entirely different reasons.” City Hall officials said that the Yankees “neither sought nor received final approval from the Public Design Commission.” The Department of Buildings said that there are “23 issues that are preventing Yankees Stadium from receiving its final certificate of occupancy.” Those include “minor electrical and plumbing issues and some problems with signs, as well as the team's failure to get approval from the Design Commission.” Yankees spokesperson Alice McGillion said, "There were minor signage issues that we are planning to clear up." She added the team expects the panel's "final approval will be forthcoming when that is done." Both teams have been “getting temporary certificates of occupancy from the Department of Buildings” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/27).

The Bradley Center is "no longer working on plans with Indianapolis-based developer Lauth Group to create shops and restaurants north of the downtown sports and entertainment arena," according to Tom Daykin of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Lauth in May '08 released "conceptual plans that included over 500,000 square feet of retail on 12 acres adjacent to the Bradley Center." But the recession "hurt demand for additional retail space downtown" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/27).

PASS PLAY: In Portland, Anna Griffin noted the Trail Blazers and Portland Development Commission last week announced that the team "will allow its development rights over a chunk of the 40-acre" Rose Quarter complex to expire. The "only logical conclusion" is that Blazers Owner Paul Allen "has not seen anything to convince him that development of the Rose Quarter is worth his time or attention." Though its location "can't be beat, the Rose Quarter sits on a slope that poses logistical challenges to any developer" (, 4/26).

International Shriners officials will announce this morning that the East-West Shrine Game has moved to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., across the bay from the group’s national HQs in Tampa. The Shriners signed a two-year deal with a two-year option with Sunburst Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of the Rays, the stadium’s primary tenant. The 87th edition of the annual game is set for Jan. 21 and will be broadcast on NFL Network. The longest-running college all-star football game moves from the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, where it had been held the past two years. Proceeds from the game benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children. The Shriners operate a hospital for kids in Tampa, and there are 2,600 jobs in the region tied to its HQs and the healthcare facility. “It makes sense to have the game in an area where you are part of the community,” said Shrine Game Exec Dir Harold Richardson. “The last few years, it hasn’t done as well as it has in the past and we’re trying to build it back up. We want to make this (market) our home. A lot of things have changed over the years both in the game of football and the economy. With the addition of all the bowl games, all-star games don’t have the luster they once did.” St. Petersburg is the fifth city to play host to the game, Richardson said. For the first 81 years, the East-West Shrine Game was played in the Bay Area at stadiums in S.F. and Palo Alto. The event then moved to San Antonio, followed by Houston and Orlando. Game revenue has helped provide free treatment for 960,000 kids at the 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children, including five burn centers. Most tickets for the '12 game will cost $15, with a small portion of premium seats priced at $50, Richardson said. This will be the third football game booked at Tropicana Field. The two others are the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl and the Under Armour All America Football game. Sunburst is also involved in marketing the college bowl game and high school all-star game.