The company owned by Patriots Owner Robert Kraft "wants to expand its Patriot Place development at Gillette Stadium with hundreds of housing units, several restaurants, and a hotel," according to Casey Ross of the BOSTON GLOBE. Foxboro town officials "are in preliminary discussions with the Kraft Group about the expansion, which could result in up to 300 residences and new dining and entertainment options, including a bowling alley." Officials said that the project "would require a zoning change and approval of eight additional liquor licenses." Expanding Patriot Place with residences and a hotel "would provide a year-round supply of customers for its shops and restaurants, which at times have struggled to generate consistent crowds during the Patriots’ off season." The project also would "shake-up Patriot Place’s dining options, adding a Japanese steakhouse and Mexican restaurant." The Kraft Group has "not yet filed a formal proposal with the town, but its executives have been meeting" with a committee of Foxboro officials in recent weeks. Kraft Group VP/Development & Construction Ted Fire said that the company "has been approached by a hotel operator interested in the property, but the size of the hotel has not been decided." All of the new activity "would be within the existing Patriot Place development." The Kraft Group, along with Foxboro officials, also are "hoping to add full-time commuter rail service to the property" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/18). Fire said, "We don't have any defined designs at this point." In Boston, Donna Goodison noted the expansion pitch comes "months after shelving a billion-dollar Foxboro gambling resort with casino king Steve Wynn" (BOSTON HERALD, 8/18).
Bauer Performance Sports Chair Graeme Roustan, the head of the GTA Sports & Entertainment group backing the new arena planned for Markham, Ont., “is convinced" the proposed arena can be "profitable without an NHL team as a major tenant,” according to David Shoalts of the GLOBE & MAIL. Doubtful of the plan “are NHL executives, and those familiar with the operations of the Air Canada Centre.” But a source said that even if Roustan “can book close to the 50 concerts a year that the ACC averages, they do not bring in enough money to support a large arena.” Since all of the C$325M construction cost for the proposed Markham arena “will be borrowed, the debt service alone will be in excess of [C]$10-million a year.” There also will be “several million dollars in operating costs, which will be paid by GTA Sports and Entertainment Ltd.” Shoalts notes the company “is also on the hook for any operating losses.” Roustan said, “I’m a businessman who makes investments in companies where I surround myself with really smart people who’ve done this stuff before.” He added, “I make my decision based on what I know. I’m told by the experts a second (arena) would be very profitable.” Roustan, who is “well connected in international hockey, says he plans to chase every International Ice Hockey Federation event from the junior tournament to the men’s and women’s world championships.” Live Nation is already a partner with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment in promoting concerts "at the ACC and other venues in Ontario.” The source said that MLSE “will object, if it has not already, to Live Nation doing business with Roustan” (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/20).