Pizza Hut as of Jan. 1 will “no longer be sponsoring FC Dallas and Pizza Hut Park,” according to Buzz Carrick of ESPN.com. The complex "will officially be re-branded FC Dallas Stadium” after the FCS title game Jan. 7. FC Dallas is “already seeking a jersey sponsor,” and will now add “a stadium sponsorship to the ongoing sponsor search for quality corporations with sponsor cash to spend.” The MLS team in a statement wrote Pizza Hut “has shifted its sports marketing philosophy and will no longer be our naming rights partner.” The removal of Pizza Hut signage from the stadium “should begin in the next few weeks” (ESPN.com, 12/21). FC Dallas PR/Communications Dir Leigh Anne Gullett said, “Our sponsorship department is actively seeking new partners. They are in discussions with several companies at this time. I know it’s something that’s a priority for our sponsorship department.” Pizza Hut PR Exec Chris Fuller said the company “made a decision to find larger, more national sports” facilities, including venues in the NBA, the NCAA and NASCAR. Meanwhile, Fuller indicated that Pizza Hut is not interested in becoming “the title sponsor of Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, which has yet to announce a naming rights sponsor” (DALLASNEWS.com, 12/21). SPORTING NEWS' Brian Straus noted the only soccer-specific stadium in MLS “that currently lacks a naming rights partner is Columbus Crew Stadium” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 12/21).
In Boston, Chris Cassidy notes the Foxborough "battle over a proposed casino now hinges on a meeting next week, where town officials could vote to snub Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Vegas billionaire Steve Wynn." Town advisory board Chair John Gray said, "Right now, it’s been a lot of yelling and screaming." Cassidy notes selectmen "are expected to consider the plan Tuesday night." Meanwhile, Foxborough police "reported between six and 12 cases of anti-casino sign stealing in the past week" (BOSTON HERALD, 12/22).
IT ALL FALLS DOWN: In Seattle, Bob Condotta notes on Tuesday workers began "cutting the supports that for more than 61 years have held up half of the overhanging roof on the south side of" Univ. of Washington's Husky Stadium. Eventually, the "east half of the roof (nearest Union Bay) collapsed onto the stands." A similar procedure will be "used to collapse the other half of the roof within a week." All of this is "part of the demolition to allow for the building of an essentially new stadium in time for the 2013 season" (SEATTLE TIMES, 12/22).
TAX BENEFITS: In Green Bay, Richard Ryman notes sales tax distribution for '11 was the "second highest in the 11-year history of the tax supporting the 2003 renovation of Lambeau Field in Green Bay." For the year, distribution to the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District "was $20.96 million, the most since 2008, and 6.27 percent more than in 2010." Bonds for "the $295 million construction project, completed in 2003, were paid off Aug. 1." The district now is "collecting money to fund its share of stadium maintenance through 2031." Stadium District Exec Dir Patrick Webb "expects the tax to be retired in 2015" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 12/22).
SHOW ME THE MONEY: In New Jersey, John Brennan notes Prudential Center "for the first time has broken into the top 10 worldwide for gross concert and family show revenues, according to the trade publication Venues Today." The figures, which are "for mid-October 2010 to mid-October 2011, show the four-year-old Prudential Center with $30.3 million in revenues from 66 events, not including Devils, Nets or Seton Hall games." Madison Square Garden was "fourth overall at $55.7 million, trailing the O2 Arena in London ($121.1 million), Allphones Arena in Sydney ($82.7 million), and Staples Center in Los Angeles ($60.0 million)" (Bergen RECORD, 12/22).