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Volume 24 No. 157


California has “rejected a $30 million settlement that sought to split taxpayer funds” between the 49ers’ Santa Clara stadium and the South Bay schools, according to Mike Rosenberg of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The state's decision “could result in millions of dollars lost to both the Niners and struggling local schools and will send the battle over the money back to court.” But it “won't slow ongoing construction of the 49ers' new Santa Clara stadium.” Santa Clara voters had “earmarked $40 million in redevelopment taxes for the new stadium in 2010, but local officials shocked the region in June by trying to take the final $30.2 million for local governments, primarily schools.” An “ensuing public argument pitted football fans against school parents.” A compromise came in August when the 49ers “agreed to delay their full share of the funds for a few years and give school districts about half the money they were seeking.” But the California Department of Finance “denied the settlement in an Oct. 15 letter publicized Monday.” Finance officials said that “all redevelopment-related contracts needed to be signed before the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown approved a law in June 2011 scrapping redevelopment agencies.” The 49ers “expressed disappointment but said the decision would have no impact on their expected move to Santa Clara in 2014” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/30).

The USTA “hopes to expand its Queens facility by less than an acre into Flushing Meadows Corona Park, but is seeking to distance itself from other contentious projects planned for the borough’s largest greenspace," according to Joe Anuta of the Queens TIMES LEDGER. The USTA is “currently in the process of trying to acquire 0.68 acres of parkland and include it in its lease, which would basically take away the space occupied by three lanes of an internal roadway and pedestrian path used by the city Parks Department and parkgoers.” The association "hopes to finish the approval process to acquire the sliver of parkland by the latter part of 2014.” Development in the park has “come under increasing scrutiny in the last few months, with the news that the Willets Point redevelopment project would place a mall on what is technically parkland -- now a Citi Field parking lot -- and the proposed Major League Soccer stadium in place of a nearby fountain.” National Tennis Center Managing Dir Dan Zausner said, “I think it is important for us not to be confused with those other projects. We have a very strong proven track record.” Anuta notes cities like Abu Dhabi, Madrid and Shanghai also are "building facilities that will put them on par with the current grand slam venues.” Zausner: “In five to 10 years, it’s not unthinkable that a player could choose between playing in some tournament much closer to home and getting paid much more of a guarantee than having to come to New York and work his way through two weeks of matches to get to that final round and make the big payday. These are real legitimate concerns for us” (Queens TIMES LEDGER, 10/27).

In Green Bay, Scott Cooper Williams notes the Oneida Tribe yesterday "renewed its sponsorship deal with the Packers" through '22. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but Oneida Tribe Chair Ed Delgado said that the Oneida Nation Gate at Lambeau Field "gives the Oneidas valuable exposure and promotes tribal businesses, which include Oneida Bingo & Casino in Ashwaubenon" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 10/30).

GEORGIA ON MY MIND: In Atlanta, Jim Galloway noted while the Fulton County (Ga.) hotel-motel taxes are "expected to contribute" $300M to the Falcons' proposed new stadium, the bonding capacity for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority "is capped" at $200M. To allow the GWCCA to issue bonds on the entire $300M "would require an act of the Legislature, topped off by the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal." An extension of the hotel-motel tax in '10 "was to keep the project away from lawmakers." State Sen. Edward Lindsey said it is "very likely" the GWCCA bonding cap will have to be raised. Galloway noted that means 236 state lawmakers will "be asked to pass judgment on the merits of any funding package agreed to by the Falcons, the GWCCA and the city of Atlanta." The prospect "already has many state lawmakers running for cover" (, 10/27).

JERRY'S WORLD: In Dallas, Kevin Sherrington wrote Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones has "built the most spectacular stadium in all sports, a venue so vast, so stunning in concept and opulent in execution, it’d make an oil sheikh blush." From "exquisite objects of art in the stairwells to the bohemian culture decorating the party plazas, there’s something for everyone." Everything but "a home-field advantage." After Sunday's loss to the Giants, the Cowboys are "an underwhelming" 14-13 at home since the stadium opened in '09 (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/28).

TURF'S UP: In Houston, David Barron reported AstroTurf arrived yesterday at Reliant Stadium and "will be used for high school playoff games as early as next month and potentially, high school championship games in 2013." Reliant Park GM Mark Miller said that the new AstroTurf field "cost about $1.2 million, including installation, maintenance and storage equipment." Reliant Park "will continue to use its grass field for Texans games" (, 10/29).

MSG yesterday announced a long-term marketing deal with Lexus, which will sponsor the venue under the Signature Partner designation. The brand's assets will include naming rights for a new suite level that will debut this week as part of the second phase of renovations at the arena. Lexus becomes the official luxury vehicle of MSG, the Knicks, the Rangers, the WNBA Liberty and the Concert Series at MSG. It also gains a presence on MSG's RSNs and integration on the 7th and 8th Avenue marquees (MSG).

NO EXTREME MAKEOVER: In San Diego, Bill Center wrote, "I like the changes being made to Petco Park." The shortening of the fences "will not be turning Petco Park into a hitter-happy venue like Minute Maid Park in Houston, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia or Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati." Padres Dir of Baseball Operations Josh Stein said, "There are not going to be cheap home runs at Petco Park. ... These changes will not change the way the Padres play baseball" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/28).

A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME: In Louisville, John Karman III reports the Univ. of Louisville is planning an $8M, 40,000-square-foot, glass-enclosed academic center "at the south end of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium." The facility will be built "beneath the Norton Healthcare Terrace, which will serve as the center's roof." The school also is "planning a soccer facility" across the street from Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. UL officials said that the $18M, 5,500-seat venue "is in the early funding stages." Its design "was created by" Jeffersonville, Ky.-based architectural firm The Estopinal Group (LOUISVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/26 issue).

NEWS FROM THE RUGGER: MARKETING magazine's John Reynolds reported the Rugby Football Union is "considering selling the naming rights to Twickenham, as it moves to boost revenues ahead of the 2015 World Cup" (, 10/29).