In Las Vegas, Richard Eng writes the Betfair-Hollywood Park naming-rights deal is an "interesting marriage that makes sense on many levels." The five-year deal "brings certainty to the Southern California racing calendar and relief to the California Horse Racing Board and the TVG network." If Hollywood Park "were to close, its dates potentially would have been allocated among Santa Anita, Del Mar and, possibly, Fairplex." Now there is "certainty for five years." Eng writes, "I suspect Betfair would not be making this commitment without the understanding that exchange wagering will be moving forward" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 3/16).
CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS: The MLB Rangers and Diageo Thursday announced they have reached a multiyear deal that includes the naming of the new restaurant and sports bar at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The two-level, over 9,000-square-feet Captain Morgan Club will offer table and bar seating for approximately 230 guests. The club will be open to all ticketed fans before, during and after Rangers home games. FS Southwest and ESPN Radio 103.3 Dallas will have studios in the club, with live pre- and post-game programming. The club will be operated by the Rangers Ballpark concessionaire Sportservice. The club is expected to be open for select non-gameday events and will also be available for special event rental when the team is on the road and in the offseason (Rangers).
GET YOUR HOT DOG! In K.C., Mike Hendricks noted "bowing to criticism from vendors and City Councilman John Sharp," MLB has "relaxed language in two proposed ordinances that would have outlawed non-MLB-approved street vending within a mile of a 'major sporting event district.'" Under the revised proposal, "nonfood vendors would still be prohibited in those zones before, during and after All-Star week, July 6-10." MLB said that it "needs the restrictions to better police the sales of counterfeit fan merchandise." But "new language says established food vendors -- those who now have all the required permits to operate in Kansas City -- would be exempt from the ban under a pair of substitute ordinances approved Wednesday by the council’s Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee" (K.C. STAR, 3/15).
KNIGHTS LOOK TO QUEEN CITY: In Charlotte, Steve Harrison reports the Triple-A Int'l League Charlotte Knights asked the city on Thursday for $11M to "help build a minor-league stadium uptown." The team has "tried to move uptown from Fort Mill, S.C., for at least" six years and still "faces a number of county-imposed deadlines." Mecklenburg County has "already pledged" $8M for stadium infrastructure and $24M in uptown property. If the city approves the $11M, taxpayers would "pay for more than half the project’s" $78M cost, including land. The Knights currently "draw only" 300,000 fans and lose money in Fort Mill" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/16).