Falcons fans “may be asked to help pay for a proposed new downtown stadium through personal seat licenses that can cost thousands of dollars,” according to a front-page piece by Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. A document -- the “most recent draft of a non-binding term sheet that is being negotiated between the Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority -- provides the first acknowledgement that a sale of seat rights is being contemplated as part of the funding plan for the stadium.” PSLs “commonly have been used in the financing of NFL stadiums over the past 15 years.” The document states the Falcons would have “the right to determine the exact terms of such seat rights program, including price, term, etc.” The GWCCA would have “final approval rights over the marketing and sales program plan and forms of agreements to be utilized in connection with such seat rights.” Under the deal being negotiated, an “estimated $300 million or less would come from bonds to be repaid by hotel-motel tax revenue and the rest of the cost -- minus whatever is raised from seat licenses -- would be the responsibility of the Falcons and the NFL” (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 10/2).
Duke Univ. is "planning major upgrades to Wallace Wade Stadium, in addition to building a new track-only stadium and adding new amenities to Cameron Indoor Stadium," according to Steve Wiseman of the Durham HERALD-SUN. Duke officials last Saturday unveiled a $250M plan that when complete, "will see Wallace Wade Stadium's seating capacity eventually increase to 44,000 while dramatically changing the look of the 83-year-old facility." The current Duke Sports Medicine Center overlooking the stadium "would be replaced by a building with at least 20 permanent luxury suites and 20 or more loge boxes in addition to a new press box." Once the track is removed from Wallace Wade Stadium, "the playing field will be lowered and new seats would be added to create a more intimate bowl around the field." The plan also "includes the construction of at least 700 club seats." Modern restrooms and concessions "will be built throughout the stadium." The final improvement will involve "closing the stadium's horseshoe opening at the south end with additional seats that will increase capacity, currently at 33,941, by more than 10,000." Meanwhile, Cameron Indoor Stadium's seating bowl and capacity "will not change," but a new two-story entrance lobby "will be constructed on the front end of the building where the traffic circle now exists." Inside the building, new luxury suites "will be built under and behind the seating bowl where offices are now located." Duke officials have been "quietly raising funds over the last two years for this project," and sources said that the earliest the upgrades could begin "would be next spring" (Durham HERALD-SUN, 9/30). In Raleigh, Laura Keeley noted a new track and field stadium "will be northwest of Wallace Wade Stadium." A new press box will "be built between it and Koshkinen Stadium, which houses both soccer and lacrosse." The two-story addition will include a "special access club and suites." New locker rooms "are in the plan as well, which calls for maintaining the trademark intimate atmosphere" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 10/1).
Colorado State Univ. President Tony Frank yesterday announced he “will support the construction" of a new on-campus football stadium, according to Anthony Cotton of the DENVER POST. However, Frank said that he will recommend to CSU's BOG that the 42,000-seat, $250M project "not begin until at least half of the cost is raised through private funding.” Frank: “At this point, the clearest path that I can envision is $125 million of philanthropic funds supported by stadium revenue commitments able to service $125 million of debt.” He added that if the university “has not identified a viable financing plan for the new stadium within two years, it will have to suspend the efforts and instead make investments in the existing Hughes Stadium to ensure it remains a viable option.” In August, the school's Stadium Advisory Committee said that stadium revenue commitments, including "areas such as ticket sales, naming rights and luxury seating," could total $13-26M in the first year the structure was open (DENVER POST, 10/2). Frank said that he would "have to be ‘extremely confident’ that philanthropic support, combined with committed stadium revenues, would cover the cost of the stadium before taking ‘any’ financing package to the CSU system Board of Governors for final approval.” He said that while the numbers “aren’t set in stone,” the projected cost “doesn’t include building a potential $16 million alumni welcome center and $30 million parking facility in university plans.” Frank added that it also does not include “an estimated $9 million to potentially move the Plant Environmental Research Center” from its current location. Consulting firm Conventions, Sports & Leisure Int’l said that the new stadium is “expected to bring in" $6.35-$18.31M in its first year (COLORADOAN, 10/2).
REBEL BASE: In Las Vegas, Joe Schoenmann notes cost and location plans for a “domed, 60,000-seat ‘mega-event’ stadium on the UNLV campus are coming into sharper focus two months before a review by the university system’s Board of Regents.” Sources said that the stadium would be located at the “site of the current UNLV baseball facility.” Schoenmann adds the stadium’s cost is estimated around $800M, with about one-third "coming from long-term naming rights and numerous forms of advertising.” Another third would “come from revenue generated at the site; the last third would come in the form of a sort of tax-incremental financing plan, which would help developers obtain long-term financing.” The state legislature will be “asked to approve the tax-incremental financing plan in 2013.” Sources said that earlier plans placed the stadium further south, but “concerns about interfering with air traffic into McCarran International Airport forced the move to the north.” Schoenmann notes a “key component to the plan is obtaining more than 20 acres of land currently listed as property of the Clark County Department of Aviation." Ultimately, the stadium would “become the cornerstone of a development currently called UNLV Now that includes 5,000 to 10,000 living units for college students and an on-campus retail/entertainment district.” UNLV AD Jim Livengood yesterday said plans were “moving ahead.” Livengood: “There’s no slowdown. There are a lot of moving parts. We are not at the stage where a lot of things are going public. But certainly in the next 75 to 90 days, a lot more will be known” (LAS VEGAS SUN, 10/2).
In a deal "being pushed" by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, DePaul Univ. is "talking about moving its basketball games to a new facility that would be built for it near McCormick Place," according to sources cited by Greg Hinz of CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS. Sources confirmed that the school "also has been talking" with Bulls Chair Jerry Reinsdorf "about playing in the United Center and/or sharing a practice facility." DePaul is believed to be looking for a facility "that would hold about 12,000 fans, compared to the United Center's 22,000-person capacity." The Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority, which owns McCormick Place, "is not now in the sporting business," but it has more than $100M in "untapped bonding authority, funds that could be used to construct an arena." In addition, "adequate land is available within walking distance of McCormick Place and its large parking lots." DePaul in a statement said, "As noted in our strategic plan V2018, one of DePaul's goals is to seek opportunities to bring men's basketball back into the city. To that end, DePaul will consider any proposal that will help us accomplish that goal. As of how, however, nothing definitive has been forthcoming" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 9/28). Emanuel yesterday in a press conference said, "DePaul for years has been talking about a stadium in Chicago that's better for their basketball team, better for their fans and better to be close to home. It is in our interest as a city that they choose Chicago. And so we're going to work together to look at Chicago being a home for DePaul's Blue Demons" (ESPN.com, 10/1).
In Orlando, Mark Schlueb reported the Magic have “asked city officials for more time to figure out whether the team's plan to develop a downtown $100 million sports and entertainment complex is feasible.” The team’s one-year purchase option on a city-owned building across the street from Amway Center expired Sept. 21, and the company “wants it extended" to Jan. 21. The City Council was expected to vote on the request yesterday. Magic execs “envision an entertainment complex similar to those around arenas” in Charlotte, Memphis, Nashville, Columbus, and L.A. It would “likely include a mix of shopping, dining and retail.” Magic President Alex Martins in a letter to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer wrote that the feasibility studies “aren't done” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 9/29).
FOR KICKS: In Houston, Jesus Ortiz noted Mexico's men's national soccer team, "accustomed to playing before green-clad sellout crowds at Reliant Stadium, is headed to BBVA Compass Stadium for the first time." The squad will "play a World Cup qualifier against Guyana on Oct. 12." The Mexican Federation announced Univ. of Phoenix Stadium as the site, but "talks between promoters and stadium officials broke down last week." BBVA Compass Stadium GM Doug Hall said, "Any time you get a chance to host a World Cup qualifier, it's a big deal." The qualifier will "mark the third international match in the brief history of the venue" (CHRON.com, 10/1).
GETTING THE GO-AHEAD: In DC, Steven Goff noted a “deal to build a baseball-soccer stadium" in Loudoun County, Va., was announced yesterday, "significantly bolstering the prospects of a North American Soccer League expansion franchise in Northern Virginia for the 2014 season.” The stadium project “calls for 5,500 permanent seats and space to accommodate about 10,000 spectators.” The NASL BOG “could ratify the franchise bid as early as Oct. 26-27" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 10/1).
SUPERSIZE IT? In N.Y., Michael Grynbaum notes the “only soda-cup size available” at Barclays Center’s concession stands is 16oz. The size is, “not coincidentally, the maximum quantity allowed under new rules that seek to combat obesity by limiting the size of sugary drinks in New York City restaurants, stadiums and movie theaters.” The restrictions “do not take effect until March, but Barclays volunteered to comply with the regulations from the moment it opened on Friday.” In addition, the “official souvenir cup had to be redesigned, downsized to 16 ounces from 32.” The cup, “emblazoned with Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center logos, will sell for $5, one dollar more than the same-sized regular cup” (N.Y. TIMES, 10/2).