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Volume 24 No. 155
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NFL Facility Notes: Vikings Tab Women-, Minority-Owned Firms To Work On Stadium

In Minneapolis, Dee DePass noted the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority on Friday announced that "more than a dozen women- and minority-owned engineering firms won bids to work on the new Vikings stadium under architect HKS Sports & Entertainment." The contracts are "worth an estimated $5 million and will include civil engineering, landscape and traffic flow design work, electrical, mechanical and other services for the new $975 million stadium." Nineteen firms in all were "announced Friday, including two companies not owned by minorities or women." All the firms are "based in Minnesota" (STAR TRIBUNE, 1/19).

MIAMI'S TAXING SITUATION: In Miami, Douglas Hanks reported Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan is "slated to introduce a resolution Wednesday backing the Miami Dolphins’ plan to use a state subsidy and local hotel taxes to fund about half of a $400 million renovation of Sun Life Stadium." The resolution "urges Florida lawmakers to pass a bill allowing the funding, and cites the upgrades’ ability to attract Super Bowl and other major events to the stadium." State Rep. Erik Fresen, the original sponsor of the Dolphins' stadium bill during the '11 bid for a tax-funded renovation and co-sponsor of the new bill, said that he "needs the commission to endorse the legislation before he pushes it [to] fellow lawmakers." The bill would "create a special $3 million yearly stadium subsidy designed for Sun Life." The Dolphins "currently receive $2 million a year from Florida under the current stadium subsidy program, tied to retrofitting the Miami Gardens facility to house the Marlins in the 1990s" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/20). 

NINERS' NEW STADIUM TO START NAMELESS? In S.F., Matier & Ross reported the 49ers "just might open their $1.2 billion Santa Clara stadium in 2014 without a naming-rights deal that would pay a big chunk of the construction bill." Team PR Dir Bob Lange said, "We don't have anything in the pipeline. It's not a necessity. ... A number of other stadiums have opened without a naming-rights partner" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/20). In California, Elizabeth Kalfsbeek reports by the end of January, just before the 49ers go to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, the upper bowl of the team's new stadium will "be complete with 1,442 panels of precast concrete made at Clark Pacific's Woodland plant, or about 70 percent of the project." Clark Pacific Marketing Dir Thomas Ketron said that by February, production of "the 40 million pounds of concrete will be complete," and the company will "gear up to begin the stadium's lower bowl and field level starting in June." Ketron added that the field seating will be "the lowest in NFL stadiums" (Woodland DAILY DEMOCRAT, 1/21).

OVERLY ENERGIZED IN CLEVELAND? In Akron, Bob Dyer wrote the fact that FirstEnergy is paying $6M a year to put its name on the Browns' stadium has "rubbed plenty of people the wrong way." FirstEnergy said that it "needed to pay handsomely for that good PR because, since deregulation, outside power companies have been making inroads in territory it once monopolized." FirstEnergy execs could have "taken the $102 million they’re going to spend on the Browns over the next 17 years and put it toward a sane tree-trimming program" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 1/20).