Tiger Woods has “begun construction on what appears certain to be his first ever completed golf course at Diamante, a high-end real estate enclave in the Mexican resort town of Cabo San Lucas,” according to Eamon Lynch of GOLF magazine. Ground was “broken on the course -- to be called ‘El Cardonal,’ the original name of the former ranch on which it sits -- last month and it is expected to open in the spring of 2014.” The team at Tiger Woods Design recently “made a scouting trip to some courses in Southern California, including Riviera and Los Angeles Country Club.” Woods has said that those “classics will influence his work at Diamante.” Diamante CEO Ken Jowdy declined to reveal the financial terms of Woods's deal, but said that they are “partially based on sales of the real estate component around the course.” Woods had previously signed “three highly publicized course design contracts, but all of those projects ran aground during the global economic collapse.” His first U.S. design was “planned at The Cliffs at High Carolina," near Asheville, N.C. That development was announced in ‘07, but Cliffs Communities “went bankrupt and now lists liabilities of up to $500 million.” Woods in '08 also was involved in a golf course project in Dubai. His most recent project was “slated for a spectacular oceanfront site at Punta Brava, near Ensenada in northwest Mexico.” That was announced after the ‘08 U.S. Open, but Lehman Brothers three months later “filed for bankruptcy and sank much of the golf real estate industry with it.” The Punta Brava project “has been stalled ever since” (GOLF.com, 10/21).
NOT GIVING UP THE GOODS: Woods on Friday appeared via satellite on CNBC’s “Closing Bell With Maria Bartiromo” with Fuse Science CEO Brian Tuffin, which Bartiromo noted “is a company Tiger has partnered with.” Bartiromo asked, “What are your financial interests in the company?” Woods: “You always want to partner up with innovative companies and Fuse is certainly doing that. What they've done with sublingual drops, which I use, and electro Fuse and now what we're coming out with is just absolutely amazing, and it does help. Just being part of such an innovative company is very exciting.” Bartiromo again asked, “Do you have an ownership in this company?” Woods: “I'm not going to talk about my financial stake in that. But I'm just very excited to be a part of a great company like this” ("Closing Bell With Maria Bartiromo,” CNBC, 10/19).
At the MLS Earthquakes' groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for a new San Jose stadium, Guinness World Records officials said that the attendance of "exactly 6,256 people, most of them ordinary Quakes fans, surpassed the previous groundbreaking high mark of 4,532," according to Joe Rodriguez of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Earthquakes officials said that the large turnout will "bode well for season-ticket sales and the long-term success and stability of the team." Earthquakes President Dave Kaval said, "Since it's been such a saga to get to this point, people wanted to celebrate." The MLS office "was skeptical the Quakes could set a Guinness record" for the groundbreaking, but league Commissioner Don Garber "came out anyway." He said that soccer-specific stadiums "are crucial for the league's success." Garber: "These things are difficult, but they eventually get done." The new facility "is expected to open in 2014" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/22). MLSSOCCER.com's Geoff Lepper noted San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed at many different points was asked, "Did you think this wouldn't get done?" Reed replied, "Oh, probably a dozen different times." He added, "We in San Jose have been trying to have a home in San Jose for a soccer team for decades now. So we're all excited about this." Lepper noted thousands of "commemorative shovels were impaled in dirt located where" the pitch is "eventually slated to be laid." Fans and dignitaries "staked out their spots and, after a wrecking ball painted in black-and-white to resemble a 1970s-era soccer ball thudded into the earth, dug for two minutes to set the official Guinness World Record" (MLSSOCCER.com, 10/21).
HITTING A ROUGH PATCH: The groundbreaking ceremony took place before the Earthquakes' regular-season home finale against the MLS Galaxy, and in San Jose, Elliott Almond notes it "all didn't go as planned for Major League Soccer's newly minted regular-season champions" on a day Garber and other dignitaries "were part of the sellout crowd of 10,744 at Buck Shaw Stadium." An "altercation in the stand where L.A. supporters sat escalated when some fans stopped security from breaking up a fight." Santa Clara Police Lt. Matt Hogan said that that led his department "to call for 20 additional officers from the San Jose Police Department and the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety to restore order." An Earthquakes spokesperson said that police "escorted about 100 Galaxy fans out of the stadium during the second half" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/22).
N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration is "attempting to push through three major projects" at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park proposed by the Mets, MLS and the USTA that "would permanently seize nearly 75 acres of public parkland for commercial projects that will also have enormous additional impacts on the surrounding communities," according to Geoffrey Croft of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Bloomberg's "preferred developer the Related Companies in partnership with Sterling Equities, the real estate firm controlled by the owner of the Mets, have plans to build a 1.4 million-square-foot mall and parking garage." The majority of the land for the $3B Willets Point project "would be taken from parkland adjacent to Citi Field currently used for parking." MLS is "pushing to build a 35,000-seat professional soccer stadium on up to 13 acres." The league's $300M plan "calls for filling in the former Pool of Industry from the 1964 World’s Fair." Unlike the Willets Point deal, the city is "requiring MLS to replace park land." But replacement park facilities "would not provide the same usefulness, location or value." Meanwhile, the USTA as part of a $500M expansion "plans to build a 15,000-seat stadium and an 8,000-seat stadium, as well as two parking garages adding 500 spaces." The N.Y. Economic Development Corp. is "also irresponsibly attempting to push this massive project through without conducting a full environmental review of all three projects, needed to assess the cumulative impact" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/22).
IN THE STUDIO: MLS Commissioner Don Garber sat down with SBD/SBJ Executive Editor Abraham Madkour and talked about the league’s plans for a second team in N.Y. and the challenges of placing a team in Queens.
NO PARKING: In N.Y., Ken Belson reports Bronx Parking Development Co., which runs the parking lots around Yankee Stadium, has "defaulted on nearly $240 million of its bonds because of overambitious forecasts and less expensive transportation alternatives for fans." If new revenue is not found and costs are not cut "in the coming months, the company could go bankrupt even though the city provided more than $200 million in subsidies, some of which were used to replace parkland where parking lots now stand." The company's next debt payment is "due in April." The parking lots this year have been 43% full "on average during games and other events at Yankee Stadium," down from 46% last year (N.Y. TIMES, 10/22).