Rose Bowl officials are “squeezed" by a $37.6M funding gap and may seek a $28.6M loan and put off $14.3M in work "in order to complete the stadium's renovation,” according to Brenda Gazzar of the PASADENA STAR-NEWS. The $28.6M, termed a "bridge loan" by officials, “may be needed to complete the project, which was initially budgeted" at $152M but now is "expected to cost nearly" $177M. The stadium would “pay back the loan interest only for up to four years” and officials said that the principal “would be repaid over the remaining term of the loan.” As part of its plan to mostly complete renovation in three years and work within an established budget, stadium officials “are proposing to eliminate or put off some planned work.” Among the items under consideration are “the widening of four tunnels, the upgrade of some concession stands, the building of bathrooms on the north side of the stadium and three new entry gates.” Rose Bowl CEO & GM Darryl Dunn said that the Rose Bowl Operating Co. board is “in talks with stadium tenants UCLA and the Tournament of Roses about its strategy, which would have to be approved by the Rose Bowl Operating Co. board and the City Council by the end of the month.” In addition to possibly reducing the project's scope, stadium officials are "counting on" $4M in '14 BCS Championship revenues, $400,000 in added bond interest on existing proceeds and nearly $19M in "private philanthropic donations through Legacy Connections” (PASADENA STAR-NEWS, 7/17). In L.A., Adolfo Flores reported Rose Bowl officials are "also looking at extending the project a year past the original Jan. 1, 2014 deadline." Crews have already "installed new electronic signboards and made extensive progress in building new luxury seating and an expanded press box." Officials said that they need to "quickly define the work to be done in the next phase of construction and to secure a loan by October" (LATIMES.com, 7/16).
The downtown arena project is Edmonton's "one-off chance to construct a sports palace worthy of the city's renowned history of hockey excellence, and to do so in the context of a large, comprehensive downtown revitalization plan led by the city itself," according to John MacKinnon of the EDMONTON JOURNAL. It has "taken a while, but the arena designs made public so far, not to mention the video tour on offer on YouTube, seem to be winning Edmontonians over to the notion there is something powerfully appealing about building a hockey temple." The "grandeur of the design is the point here, central to ensuring that all the inter-connected parts of the project fit together to help make it a destination, a centerpiece of civic pride." As opposed to the "desolate expanse the site has represented for so many decades." Oilers Owner Daryl Katz said that the current target "is for completion by the fall of 2015, a costly one-year gap." Katz: "We are actually pretty close to being on budget, if you consider things like an extra year of construction cost inflation and underground parking, which weren't part of the equation when the number (C$450 million) was set" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 7/17).
MONEY TALKS: The NATIONAL POST's Jen Gerson notes the latest estimates to be presented to city council today suggest the project "could actually run to C$485-million -- unless changes are made to keep costs down." The project has "garnered almost unceasing scrutiny since it was proposed; the municipal government has agreed to a proposal that would see it foot much of the bill for the arena, although it remains short C$100-million in financing, with the province so far unwilling to chip in" (NATIONAL POST, 7/17).
IF YOU BUILD IT...: The GLOBE & MAIL's David Ebner noted Katz and Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel "believe the arena is an essential one-of-a-kind spark for the city's downtown, a draw for people, real-estate development and a font of new property taxes." They "want to replicate the downtown arena districts in places such as Los Angeles." Critics of the Edmonton arena deal "look at Katz's on-paper wealth and wonder why he can't just build an arena himself." Katz said that Edmontonians "underappreciate the money he has spent, and has committed." Katz: "I'm a builder. I can't say I really would have been interested in buying the team at all, but for the opportunity, through the team, to do such a transformational thing for the city, and also sustain the team, and sustain the NHL, and build a new arena, and revitalize the city. It was the whole kind of thing that was really attractive to me. I didn't have a burning desire to own a hockey team" (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/14).
Univ. of Michigan AD David Brandon is “seeking approval to install a $2.8 million electronic marquee that can be viewed from Stadium Boulevard,” according to Kellie Woodhouse of the ANN ARBOR NEWS. The marquee would be “located in the space between Michigan Stadium, Crisler Center and Stadium Boulevard and would have both video and audio capabilities.” The eight-member Board of Regents will choose “whether to approve the marquee during their Thursday meeting.” The marquee's $2.8M price tag “will be funded in full by the athletic department, which reported a $5.8 million surplus this year” (ANNARBOR.com, 7/16). In Detroit, Mark Snyder reported the Michigan athletic department “will bring two projects to the U-M Board of Regents meeting this week: the Schembechler Hall renovation and an electronic events marquee outside the renovated Crisler Center.” The Schembechler Hall entrance and museum renovation “would add 7,000 square feet and renovate 7,000 more square feet to ‘create an appropriate new entrance for the home of Michigan football, integrating the museum area.’” That project is “expected to cost $9 million and be completed in the winter of 2014.” The marquee will be used “to welcome guests to Michigan Stadium and Crisler Center and announce upcoming events and programs.” The construction “would be completed in the fall of 2013” (FREEP.com, 7/16).
The Big Ten Conference plans to build a new HQs building in Rosemont, Ill., that "will include an interactive museum celebrating the 116-year-old sports league's past and present,” according to Ryan Ori of CHICAGO REAL ESTATE DAILY. The museum, which will be called "The Big Ten Experience," will for the “first time give fans a chance to stop in and see, touch and hear the conference's sports history.” The museum within the MB Financial Park at Rosemont entertainment complex “will include vintage and current video highlights honoring top players and teams.” It will be “within a new three-story, 50,000-square-foot building on a 1 1/2-acre site at 5440 Park Place.” Construction of the building is “expected to begin in August, and the 12-team conference plans to move its headquarters there from Park Ridge by September 2013.” Rosemont officials negotiated “a complex deal in which the village will transfer land" worth about $1.7M to the Big Ten and pay about $2.6M "to develop the building's ground floor.” Big Ten Deputy Commissioner Brad Traviolia said that the conference will spend about $15M "to construct second-floor meeting space and third-floor offices for about 40 full-time employees.” He added that the museum “will be free to the public and should resemble modern exhibits already found on conference campuses.” There also could be a “Hall of Fame element, although not in the traditional sense” (CHICAGOREALESTATEDAILY.com, 7/16).