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Volume 24 No. 159


Warriors plan to release Android app in summer
The Warriors are trying to make Oracle Arena a "very mobile-friendly place" as the club in recent months has "rolled out a free arenawide Wi-Fi network, an indoor antenna system to help frustrated cellphone users get a better signal and most recently, an iPhone app," according to Troy Wolverton of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The app, which the Warriors "unveiled this month, shows team news, lists upcoming games, displays players virtual trading cards, includes promotional offers and has links to Web pages where users can buy jerseys and tickets online." Warriors President & COO Rick Welts and the club are "already planning new features and updates." In the future, fans may be able to "use the app instead of a paper ticket to gain entrance to a game." This summer, the team "plans to release an Android app, and is considering an iPad version." The Warriors are one of a "growing number of teams that are embracing digital technologies." The 49ers have said that their new stadium in Santa Clara is "going to be a technological marvel." The Warriors said that two other NBA teams are "offering Wi-Fi to fans in their arenas," while six other NBA teams have mobile apps. But sports consultant Andy Dolich said that meeting fan expectations "could prove challenging" for teams across pro sports. He added that not all venues are "well suited for Wi-Fi or for offering decent cellphone connection." Welts said that the Warriors "plan on making [their] digital marketing efforts optional." But he thinks that "most fans will participate" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 4/23).

The Triple-A Int'l League Charlotte Knights yesterday said that they have “secured a naming-rights deal with BB&T Corp." for a potential new stadium, but the team also “faced a chilly reception from the Charlotte City Council, which is considering giving the team $8.5 million toward building a ballpark uptown,” according to Steve Harrison of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The team said that it “needs city help to build the stadium" with the total cost being “$74 million, including $28 million from Mecklenburg County.” Harrison notes it is “unclear whether there is a majority of council members to back the city subsidy.” Some council members said that they believe the team “could spend more of its own money on a stadium,” while others have “questioned the timing of the subsidy, which comes as the city is considering a property-tax increase.” The stadium would be called “BB&T Ballpark under the agreement” announced yesterday. BB&T “declined to disclose the amount of money involved.” Harrison notes the bank has its name “on two sports venues in the Winston-Salem area -- Wake Forest University’s football stadium, and the city’s minor-league baseball stadium” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/24). BB&T said that the naming-rights deal in Charlotte "will be one of its largest sports-marketing initiatives." BB&T Senior VP/Corporate Sports Marketing & Event Planning Pete Zifchak said that the "bank considers the proposed stadium 'a compelling opportunity' to expand its brand in Charlotte." Zifchak said that the deal runs through '31. The bank has not said whether "it plans to provide a loan to the Knights' ballpark effort" (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 4/24).

In California, Dan Woike reports Staples Center is “on the cusp of some found money and exposure” with all three of its tenants set to participate in the postseason at least through the next two weeks. Between the Lakers, Clippers and NHL Kings, the arena is guaranteed to host at least eight playoff games. Staples Center Senior VP & GM Lee Zeidman: “It’s something we could only dream of at the start.” Zeidman said that while the Staples Center schedule is cleared for most of the postseason and it “seems unlikely to be necessary,” he is preparing to host at least one postseason doubleheader (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 4/24).

GETTING IT DONE: Univ. of Washington AD Scott Woodward said the $250M renovation of Husky Stadium is "on time and on budget." In Seattle, Bob Condotta notes the stadium is set to be complete for the '13 football season. UW had a goal of raising $50M "in major gifts by the end of construction," and Woodward said the current total is $48.5M. Woodward: "I was scared beyond belief. But here again, hard work and belief in our program and belief in this university, our donors step up year in and year out.” Woodward said that the money “came from many corners.” Woodward: “I don’t have one big donor that wrote a big check. We have a bunch of healthy donors that have stepped up" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/24).