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Volume 24 No. 112


The Cowboys are “hopeful they can hold at least part of training camp at the Alamodome,” according to a source cited by Tom Orsborn of the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. The Cowboys booked the Alamodome for July 25-Aug. 13, but “plans to hold the entire camp during that period in San Antonio are no longer feasible because of the lengthy NFL lockout.” Cowboys VP/PR & Communications Rich Dalrymple in an e-mail said, “We are in the process of looking at all of the options and putting a plan together that is good for the team and our fans.” San Antonio Dir of Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Mike Sawaya in an e-mail said that the Alamodome “is prepared to host the team well into August.” Another event “isn't planned for the building until Aug. 24.” Sawaya: “As soon as details are finalized, we will be ready to go.” Orsborn notes the Cowboys are in “the fifth and final year of a rent-free contract with the Alamodome, which has a strong relationship with the club” (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 7/19).

ON-TIME ARRIVAL? In K.C., Adam Teicher reports Missouri Western Univ. officials “are planning for an on-time Chiefs arrival … despite the continuing NFL labor uncertainty that threatens to at least delay next week’s scheduled start to training camp.” MWU interim AD Dan Nicoson said, “The Chiefs have been very positive about wanting to have camp at Western again this year. If it’s at all possible, that’s what the plan will be.” Teicher notes “no matter when camp begins, the Chiefs would have to vacate Missouri Western by Aug. 18, the day before” the scheduled Chiefs-Ravens preseason game. Should camp “overlap with the first day of school for Missouri Western students, the conclusion of camp might take place at the team’s facilities” in K.C. (K.C. STAR, 7/19).

DELAY OF GAME: In Minneapolis, Judd Zulgad notes the Vikings and Minnesota State Univ.-Mankato “have delayed the decision on whether the team will hold training camp in Mankato this summer.” The Vikings had set yesterday as the “deadline to inform the school whether they would return for a 46th year in Mankato or pull the plug because of the lockout,” but the “progress made on the CBA caused that decision to be pushed back.” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier in June said that “if the lockout ended in a timely fashion the team would report to camp July 31” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/19).

Barclays Center is set to open next September "after eight years of delays," but the Brooklyn arena is the only building part of Atlantic Yards "with a definite debut date," according to Liz Robbins of the N.Y. TIMES. Barclays Center is the "first building out of 17" planned for Atlantic Yards. The development is "suffering from a lack of financing," and the "fights that have surrounded the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project from the beginning are far from over, with the rising colossus (and what is yet unseen) giving opponents fresh reason to complain." The arena's construction "spills over onto the main thoroughfares of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, snarling traffic and sending rats scurrying onto sidewalks." At least one Brooklyn bar "has received a liquor license in anticipation of the arena’s opening, and neighbors are already fearing the late-night noise and clientele" on nights when the Nets play. Forest City Ratner Chair & CEO Bruce Ratner said, "Forest City will get the project done one way or another." But already, the design for Barclays Center "is smaller and simpler than the Frank Gehry design that was scrapped because of the cost." The arena "no longer has room" for an NHL team. Robbins notes an office tower "planned for the area in front of the arena is on indefinite delay, because the company has been unable to secure a lead tenant." Nonetheless, Nets CEO Brett Yormark "has been aggressively selling sponsorships, suites and 4,400 premium season-ticket packages, while booking nonbasketball events like the Moscow Circus" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/19).

BROOKLYN BROOKLYN, TAKE ME IN: Yormark indicated that Barclays Center is "having no trouble meeting its preliminary goals," despite competition from nearby arenas like Prudential Center and MSG. The arena "has 163 events booked for the first year, including 44 Nets games," and Yormark said that he "aims to have more than 220 events in total." Yormark contends that "sales of the 4,400 premium season tickets, which top out at $1,500 a game, have 'exceeded' expectations." He noted that 41% of the "all-access tickets have gone to residents and businesses" in Brooklyn. Yormark: "Both in tickets sales and dollars, Brooklyn is voting yes" (CRAIN'S N.Y. BUSINESS, 7/18 issue).

Prudential Center and Izod Center this summer are "seeing an increase in concerts as artists seek replacement dates" while MSG is closed for renovations, according to Peggy McGlone of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Prudential Center also is hosting the WNBA Liberty, and arena operator Devils Arena Entertainment President Rich Krezwick said that the combination is "making for a bustling summer in Newark." In addition to the Liberty's 18 home dates, Prudential Center is hosting Taylor Swift "for four nights this month -- the longest stand since Bon Jovi opened the Newark arena in 2007." The arena also hosted last month's NBA Draft, "another event that had to move from the theater at the Garden, where it was held for nearly the past decade." Krezwick: "It's definitely busier than in recent years and we can certainly attribute a portion of that to Madison Square Garden being closed." Similarly, Izod Center officials said that the arena's schedule "includes a few more shows in June and July as well as nine rehearsal dates for Paul McCartney, who is prepping for his upcoming stadium tour." Both Krezwick and Izod Center operator NJSEA Exec VP/Facilities James Minish contend that MSG's closure is "only one factor" behind the increase. More shows are "touring this year than last year, and Prudential's train link to Manhattan has helped it get some of the Garden's leftovers" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 7/18).

Northlands said that it “intends to keep hosting concerts” at Edmonton's Rexall Place, “even if that means competing with a new downtown arena,” according to a City Council report cited by Elise Stolte of the EDMONTON JOURNAL. Several consultants’ reports in the past have said that Edmonton “is too small to support two large entertainment venues.” Northlands also has told the council that it “doesn’t believe the city can support two large concert venues, but insists it’s not the organization’s job to stop operating, even if that puts the viability of a new downtown arena and entertainment complex at risk.” Northlands President & CEO Richard Andersen said, “We have a contract that goes to 2034.” Negotiations "are ongoing" between Oilers Owner The Katz Group, which wants a new arena for the team by ‘14, and city administration. The Katz Group has said that Northlands “would not be involved in a new arena project," and also that it “will need a ‘non-compete’ clause in the contract to ensure a new arena is financially viable.” City Council member Ed Gibbons, who represents the city on the Northlands’ BOD, said that Northlands gets up to C$5M from the City of Edmonton "annually in grant money, but the organization can continue to operate without that money and the city has no way to stop it.” Northlands has said in the past that it “intends to continue to operate as an events centre," and Edmonton CFO Lorna Rosen said that yesterday’s report “reflects that it hasn’t altered that position.” Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel said that the city “can’t force Northlands to sign a non-competition clause.” But he added, “We would hope and expect Northlands would be a co-operative partner” (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 7/19).

Tulane AD Rick Dickson has spent 16 "consecutive weeks on the road armed with visions" of building a $60M, 25,000- to 30,000-seat on-campus football stadium, according to Tammy Nunez of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. Dickson believes that "too much money has been raised so far for this to be a fruitless endeavor." The initial goal "is to get to go $35 million -- the threshold for green-lighting the project." Dickson said that "getting the naming rights gift of $20 million will get Tulane there." A naming-rights partner is the "only thing keeping" Tulane from bringing football back to campus for the first time since the '70s. Dickson: "It ain't going to be easy. I know that. But I'm absolutely compelled that it will happen." Nunez noted the concept of an on-campus football stadium “has been the hot-button issue of the past 30 years for Tulane athletics.” Tulane’s football team plays primarily at the Superdome, and “even in the glory days of the program Tulane fans struggled to fill a third of its approximately 73,000 seats.” In January, basic renderings of a stadium “were developed for presentations.” The Tulane athletic department “vetted a list of potential donors for the project and set a schedule to make pitches to them.” But the first shovel “won’t crack dirt on Tulane’s campus without significant money in hand.” The university “relies on private donations and won’t proceed without at least 90 percent of the funding secured.” Still, Dickson “remains confident he can garner support, in a monetary sense, for a football stadium on campus.” He said, “In the last three years, two major facilities have been completed. ... So I’m confident that we’ll also complete the third one” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 7/16).

WORK IN PROGRESS: Univ. of Alabama-Birmingham Associate VP/PR & Marketing Dale Turnbough said that “work on the feasibility study for an on-campus football stadium at UAB has yet to be completed.” A UAB Facilities Division Major Capital Projects report indicated that the feasibility study “had been completed under the direction” of UAB AD Brian Mackin and VP/Financial Affairs & Administration Richard Margison. But Turnbough said that “the feasibility study ‘is still a work in progress’ and has not been presented to school President Carol Garrison.” Turnbough added that “no firm date has been set to approach the board about the possibility of building an on-campus football stadium” (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 7/17).