AEG has “finalized its contract to take over operation” of the KFC Yum! Center from the Kentucky State Fair Board, according to Marcus Green of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. AEG yesterday also formally “named Dennis Petrullo as the building’s general manager.” Petrullo was AEG Facilities Dir of Event Bookings for the Louisville area and "has helped bring events to the Yum! Center.” The KSFB had operated the arena since it opened in ‘10. The 10-year management deal “requires AEG to guarantee a profit from arena operations of at least $1 million every year -- money that the arena authority can put toward construction debt.” AEG “will receive a $480,000 annual management fee and an incentive of more than $100,000 for every year total revenue from arena operations exceeds $10.2 million.” Louisville Arena Authority General Counsel Ed Glasscock said that the new deal “is different because AEG will be responsible for operating expenses and can’t pass those through to the arena authority.” The KSFB “was under contract to manage the building until 2017” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 7/12).
Royals employees are "working hard to transition back into regular-season mode" in time for tomorrow’s home game against the White Sox, according to Katy Bergen of the K.C. STAR. MLB will have to "dismantle its huge pregame tent where it hosted an invitation-only party." The league plans to "clear out by late this afternoon." All-Star Game signage from the week’s events "has to be taken down," as do the "two bleacher areas built on either side of the concourse for the 2,000 credentialed media that covered All-Star events." In addition, the stadium "is a mess." But Royals VP/Community Affairs & Publicity Toby Cook said, "It’s a good mess. That’s a good problem to have when you have three sold-out crowds." Cook said that in the aftermath of the All-Star Game, compliments from MLB employees "have rolled in -- they said that Kansas City was one of the best All-Star Games they had worked." As the city "breathes a sigh of relief that there were no hiccups associated with the big game, contracted cleaning crews and Royals staff continue to work hard to transform Kauffman Stadium" by tomorrow (K.C. STAR, 7/12). Royals Owner David Glass said, "Talking to Major League Baseball, they were elated with the way everything happened in Kansas City." Royals Senior VP/Business Operations Kevin Uhlich said, "I'm pleasantly surprised that nothing big popped up. It ran smoother than I ever expected, but I think we were pretty well prepared." He added, "I don't have the final numbers, but I think we were well over 100,000 at FanFest. I'm trying to figure out how many people were at the Red Carpet Show, but that's a real tough number to try to gauge. But anybody who witnessed it firsthand saw how positive everybody was" (MLB.com, 7/11).
MLS DC United ownership wants to "build a stadium and team facility at Buzzard Point, along with public and commercial development that should link their territory with that surrounding Nationals Park," according to Tracee Hamilton of the WASHINGTON POST. There is "zero chance United won't draw well at a cozy home of, say, 22,000 seats." The idea "is to make that area even more attractive to fans before and after the games, and before and after the seasons." If the Nationals and DC United "could find a way to share some parking, as many teams in many cities do, so much the better." Many DC United fans take the Metro to the games and "will miss the Orange and Blue lines, but like Nats fans, they'll adjust." DC United ownership said that they "want a first-class facility, and are willing to pay for it if the city helps out with land acquisition, infrastructure and tax incentives." But "none of those declarations about finding a permanent home included the words 'in Washington.'" The owners -- old and new -- "want to be here, they'll work to stay here, but they also know they are falling behind the rest of MLS, and they have options." One is "right up I-95 in Baltimore." DC should "grab this opportunity." There is a "limited time for DC and United to reach a deal -- the team has a two-year lease” at RFK Stadium. DC United "brings a solid, consistent and diverse fan base." There will "be no better time and there will be no other time" (WASHINGTON POST, 7/12).
BRAIN TRUST: In DC, Thomas Floyd writes DC United General Partner Will Chang, in joining new Managing Partners Erick Thohir and Jason Levien, "has pieced together a balanced mesh of personalities, skill sets and business assets to compliment his own." But the "wild card here is Levien," who was "brash and charismatic, employing confident rhetoric when fielding question after question on the stadium issue." That is "what the organization needs." Meanwhile, Thohir is "the soccer brain in this equation, the one with big ideas who spoke knowledgably about building the roster and said he'd love to dig into his wallet for the right high-profile players" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 7/12).
The Univ. of Minnesota “will sell beer and wine -- but no hard liquor -- to football fans at Gopher home games,” according to Asha Anchan of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The school’s Board of Regents yesterday voted 11-1 “to approve a resolution to allow ‘beer or beer and wine sales’ in the premium-seating section of TCF Bank Stadium and in a single ‘beer garden’ during Gopher games.” Fans “will be able to bring beer to their seats.” UM Regent Dean Johnson said, “Enforcement is going to be key.” He added he worries that with a single point of sale could lead to “some long lines.” He predicted that over time, the university “might need to open up beer sales to all concessions” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/12). In St. Paul, Josie Clarey reports beer will be sold “one hour before kickoff until the end of halftime.” Fans will be able to buy “only two beers at a time.” Implementation of the new policy, which is expected to bring in $1.5-2.0M in revenue, “will begin with the fall football season.” UM President Eric Kaler said that the "plan remains 'a pilot program and an ongoing process,' and one that will be monitored and studied." UM will be the “only Big Ten school to sell alcohol in general seating, not just in premium seats.” Clarey notes in addition “to a physical and visual barrier between the west-end plaza and the Veterans Memorial and Tribal Nations Plaza outside the gates, security personnel will be increased and a designated-driver program will be available.” Beer sales also will be “opened to premium seating for games in the university's hockey and basketball arenas” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 7/12).