In Minneapolis, Mike Kaszuba reports the economic impact of Target Field “is showing signs of tailing off, and its role in boosting the vitality of downtown Minneapolis remains unclear.” Figures provided by both the Twins and the public ballpark authority show that “sales and use taxes collected at the stadium fell last year by $1.5 million from the 2010 inaugural season total of $18.6 million, and will likely drop again this year as the team expects 300,000 fewer people from a year ago” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/25).
SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT: In Mississippi, Brandon Marcello reported construction on the proposed $80M stadium expansion of Scott Field “should be started sometime before” the Mississippi State Univ. football season ends. The project, which “will likely cost less than the $80 million estimate, will be funded by bonds.” MSU Senior Associate AD for Ticket Operations Mike Richey said that the school “recently sold out its season ticket allotment for a third consecutive year -- a total between 43,100 and 43,200 seats.” He added that "roughly 1,560 fans are on a waiting list for season tickets.” Richey said of the stadium, “You're going to see progress on it during this season and a lot of progress during the 2013 season” (Jackson CLARION-LEDGER, 6/22).
WISH LIST: In West Palm Beach, Ben Volin reported the Dolphins “hope to make significant aesthetic improvements to Sun Life Stadium.” Dolphins CEO Mike Dee “wants to bring the fans closer to the field -- he noted that the seats behind the benches are 80 feet from the action, the biggest gap in the NFL -- but the top priority is building a canopy over the seating area to protect fans from inclement weather.” Team Owner Stephen Ross said, “We’re looking at a potential canopy to protect you from the sun and rain, but certainly not cover the field.” Any stadium improvements “will wait until at least 2013” (PALM BEACH POST, 6/22).
NOTES: In Tampa, Mark Puente reported a showcase party at Tropicana Field “will be held on Aug. 26, the eve of the Republican National Convention.” More than “15,000 journalists and 5,600 delegates plan to attend the gala” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 6/23)....In Boston, Nick Cafardo wrote someone “needs to redo Marlins Park,” because it is “gaudy in certain places” (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/24).