Legends Hospitality Management, the joint venture involving the Cowboys, Yankees and two private equity groups, "has bought CSL International and CSL Marketing Group, which founder Bill Rhoda developed into major forces in facility development," according to Don Muret of the SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The deal "instantly gives Legends a dominant position among companies that help teams develop and market premium seating for their buildings." CSL International, an 11-person operation with offices in Minneapolis and Plano, Texas, has been a "leading player in determining the feasibility of building arenas, stadiums and other public assembly facilities." CSL Marketing Group was formed in '07 and "generated $1 billion in gross sales for its clients at Yankee Stadium and MetLife stadium." 49ers COO Paraag Marathe said, "They are combining two powerhouses in stadium development." Venue Research and Design Managing Partner Bob Jordan said, "CSL is so well-placed due to CSL International. With CSL International part of the mix, Legends is now in the game before anybody knows something is happening. They are growing vertically, from the inception of the project to sales and marketing." CSL International will "continue to run under its own name." The four execs at CSL marketing "will be combined with Legends Premium Sales' nine-person staff to create Legends Sales and Marketing." Legends principal Chad Estis "retains his title as president of the sales and marketing group, and Rhoda has been named executive vice president" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/21 issue).
In St. Petersburg, Richard Danielson wrote the city will have a “showcase party at Tropicana Field on the eve of next year's Republican National Convention.” Mayor Bill Foster said that the city “needs to have a word with RNC organizers and the Tampa Bay Rays about who pays to guard the event, which could draw up to 15,000 journalists and 5,000 or more delegates.” While the city “owns the Trop, the Rays manage it.” Under a deal between the two, when an event “grows to a certain size, the team has to contract with the city for services like security.” Rays VP/Communications Rick Vaughn “referred questions to the convention's host committee, though the team has agreed to make the Trop available for an RNC event on Aug. 26, the day before the convention is gaveled to order” (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/19).
TAKE A SEAT: In L.A., Scott Wolf cited a source as saying that if USC takes over the L.A. Coliseum, the school is “prepared to spend $26 million just to replace the seats at the venerable stadium.” USC officials on Saturday said that the school “hopes the Coliseum Commission will take the first steps toward granting” the master lease “in December with final approval in January or February.” USC also “wants to renovate the locker rooms, build lounges for the athletes and improve the restrooms on a list of planned changes” (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 11/20).
BILL PAYMENT: In Nashville, Nate Rau reported the city’s Metro Sports Authority “will pay an estimated $7.8 million this year to the Nashville Predators ownership group and its management company to operate Bridgestone Arena.” Metro has the “opportunity to discontinue the $7.8 million subsidy by giving notice by Dec. 31, but there are no indications that will happen.” Mayor Karl Dean’s top aides said that they “believe the subsidy is working because it maintains the arena as a critical economic engine for downtown.” But other city leaders said that “it’s time for a change, especially considering the stress on the Metro budget” (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 11/20).