In Nashville, Nate Rau notes after construction on a "new convention center and its headquarters hotel is finished next year, Metro Nashville government is expected to turn its attention to possible renovation projects at Bridgestone Arena." Predators President & COO Sean Henry said that Bridgestone Arena’s "current back door could become its front door with the thousands of convention center visitors expected each year." Predators Chair Tom Cigarran said that the "local ownership group has considered at least" three possible renovation projects for the arena, but he "would not go into specifics." The team has "identified at least" $13M worth of "ongoing capital needs inside Bridgestone Arena that have gone unaddressed in recent years." The Predators have "explored the possibility of adding a ticket tax similar to the one the Titans charge fans to fund projects at LP Field" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 4/23).
HELLO OPERATOR: In Oakland, Angela Woodall noted the Coliseum Joint Power Authority voted Friday "after hearing nearly an hour of contentious, politically charged public comment to begin negotiations with AEG for a five-year contract with a five-year extension." The eight-member authority split 4-3 with one abstention to "move forward with negotiations at the recommendation of a subcommittee." That means SMG's 13 years in Oakland "will come to an end" July 1. Among other things, AEG offered a $3.5M "capital investment" for the Coliseum complex and a $1M signing bonus for "revenue-enhancing projects." AEG also "promised to bring in 25 events, including bull riding and boxing, able to generate" $2.5M by the end of the five-year contract. AEG "promised to reduce operating expenses" by $500,000 a year (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 4/22).
BANKING ERROR: In Atlanta, Christopher Seward noted Braves fans who "used credit cards to purchase food at Turner Field at the home opener April 13 may want to double-check their statements." Aramark, which "provides food services at the Atlanta stadium, disclosed that a software problem may have caused some credit card users to be overcharged for purchases." Aramark Senior PR Manager David Freireich said that the "problem appeared to be isolated to software that processes card purchases." He did not say "how the overcharges came to light or how many cardholders were affected." He added that Aramark was "in the process of correcting the charges" (AJC.com, 4/21).
GROWING ITS SHOWBIZ: In England, Deborah Linton noted EPL club Manchester City is "bidding to join the showbiz premier league -- by expanding the number of special events held at the Etihad Stadium." The team has "applied for a permanent licence that would allow" the club to "hold events including boxing and wrestling, live music concerts, film and theatre." If granted, the "new permanent licence will give City the chance to hold a dozen events a year for up to" 63,000 people. Club officials "banned concerts" at the stadium in '08 after a Bon Jovi concert "damaged the turf and forced City to play a UEFA Cup home tie at Barnsley." Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen are "both due to play gigs" at the stadium this summer (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 4/21).