In S.F., Matier & Ross reported the 49ers have told Santa Clara officials "to expect a financial plan soon for the team's billion-dollar stadium -- raising hopes for a groundbreaking on the project by late next year." Santa Clara City Council member Lisa Gillmor said, "We are hoping to approve (the finances) before the end of the year." Matier & Ross noted the team "appears so confident of coming up with the money -- even in these lean times -- that it wants to speed things up and shoot for a 2014 opening, instead of the current target of 2015" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/31).
CUTTING BACK? Bobcats President Fred Whitfield indicated that the "number of suites at Time Warner Cable Arena could change in future years." The arena currently has 60 suites, and Whitfield "wonders whether a couple of them could be consolidated into 'super suites,' larger luxury boxes sold on a per-game basis for private parties at games and other events." A "decision on what will be changed and a timetable is expected early next year" (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/28 issue).
FILLING THE VOID: WXIA-NBC's Michael King reported Georgia Tech has "already started marketing its basketball program to displaced NBA fans left with no basketball action this season." The school has "decided to move 10 games to the now-all-but-empty Philips Arena," which typically would host Hawks games. GT had already planned to "move all of its home games to Duluth's Gwinnett Center," as the school's on-campus Alexander Memorial Coliseum is being renovated this winter (11ALIVE.com, 10/31).
LAND GRAB: In Edmonton, Michelle Thompson reported the city of Edmonton gave out nearly C$75M "on land for the downtown arena and surrounding developments," though the Katz Group will "cover nearly half that bill by buying one parcel from the city." The deal will "still see Edmonton taxpayers paying about [C$41M] for arena-related land." Those costs are not included in the C$450M "building cost estimate and are nearly twice as high" as the C$25M land estimates earlier floated (EDMONTON SUN, 11/1).