In Tampa, Puente & Nohlgren report the city of St. Petersburg “threatened to sue any Hillsborough County officials who even discuss possible new stadium locations” with the Rays. The threat “came in a letter from St. Petersburg City Attorney John Wolfe to Hillsborough County attorneys.” It marks an “escalation of tension between the city and Hillsborough commissioners, who in August invited the Rays to appear before them to talk about baseball.” Hillsborough Commission Chair Ken Hagan on Thursday “shrugged off St. Petersburg's letter and said he was still excited about having the Rays speak” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 10/19).
GAME OF PICKUP: In Hartford, Paul Doyle writes Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco is “focused on the future of the women's basketball tournament.” Next year “will mark the second year of a two-year agreement” for the tourney to be held at XL Center, which has hosted the event since '04. Big East Associate Commissioner/Women’s Basketball Danielle Donehew said that the conference has “had preliminary talks, but negotiations won't intensify until March and an announcement will likely come during this year's tournament.” XL Center is operated by AEG, but the company's contract to run the building “expires next year and the issue will need to be resolved before serious negotiations with the Big East begin” (HARTFORD COURANT, 10/19).
A SCANNER DARKLY: In N.Y., Rich Calder writes Barclays Center is “still treating its fans like a bunch of bums.” Airport-style metal detectors were “used at the arena again” Thursday to “scan patrons hoping to score some of the 1,000 free tickets it was giving away for a boxing card” on Saturday. Arena officials last Sunday “vowed to drop their controversial use of the walk-through detectors ‘for the foreseeable future.’” But Calder writes the “foreseeable future” turned out to be “five days.” Arena spokesperson Joe DePlasco said the two detectors “are being transitioned out by the end of the week.” Last night, the remaining two were “finally removed” in time for a Nets’ exhibition game (N.Y. POST, 10/19).
MONEY PIT? In Charlotte, Steve Harrison in a front-page piece notes the “taxpayer-supported Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority no longer reports detailed monthly financial statements" for the NASCAR HOF and other city-owned buildings. That makes it “difficult to know whether the Charlotte Convention Center or the NASCAR Hall of Fame is making or losing money” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/19).