In Akron, Ulrich & Lin-Fisher cite sources as saying that FirstEnergy Corp.’s stadium naming-rights agreement with the Browns is “worth $6 million a year," making the deal worth $102M over 17 years (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 1/18). In Cleveland, John Funk notes the amount puts the deal "on par" with the 20-year, $122M deal the Colts signed with Lucas Oil in ’08 (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 1/18).
UPGRADES IN THE WORKS: In Charlotte, Erik Spanberg cited a source as saying that the “starting point for negotiations” between the city of Charlotte and the Panthers “for a public investment in upgrades to Bank of America Stadium would keep the team here for 10 years.” Sources emphasize that “no decisions have been made and that talks are continuing with the NFL franchise.” What is known thus far is that the Panthers and the city have “discussed a 10-year commitment for the team in exchange for $125 million in city tax money -- even though the public’s share would take 15 years to be repaid with tax receipts from prepared-food taxes across the city” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 1/17).
MISSING THEIR MARK: In Minneapolis, Jean Hopfensperger noted the electronic pulltab sales “slated to help fund the Vikings stadium are nowhere near their projected target, even after the state lowered that target last month," a Minnesota House committee learned Wednesday. Gross sales through December “were $4.2 million, far behind the $17.2 million projected to be raised by the end of July.” Minnesota Gambling Control Board Exec Dir Tom Barrett attributed the “slower-than-expected growth to charities' desire for more competition among vendors and to the roughly $800 upfront costs to bar owners to install wireless connections for the games” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/17).
OFF TO THE RACES: DAILY RACING FORM’s Steve Andersen noted Betfair Hollywood Park will “run a fall meeting in November and December, ending months of speculation whether the track would continue to conduct racing or be closed for development at the end of the summer.” Track President Jack Liebau “did not state whether the track would operate in 2014, or be closed and developed for residential and commercial uses.” He said the track’s decision to race this fall was “a close call” (DRF.com, 1/17).