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Volume 24 No. 115


The Falcons have “indicated they would be willing to kick in at least $100 million more for construction of a new stadium, a move that could help secure the public funding needed to finance" a proposed $1B retractable roof stadium, according to sources cited by Bluestein & McWilliams of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. The sources said that the deal would call for the Falcons to "fork over $800 million for a stadium, up from the $700 million originally planned, to help garner the support of state and city officials for the proposed retractable roof stadium.” Sources said that the deal “also calls for the Falcons to fork over roughly $60 million to pay off much of the debt on the state-owned Georgia Dome, which would be demolished.” Bluestein & McWilliams note the “current debt on the dome is about $98 million.” Sources said that the city of Atlanta likely would “issue the remaining $200 million bonds for the stadium, backed by the city’s hotel-motel tax.” Bluestein & McWilliams note such a move “spares Georgia lawmakers a vote on the contentious issue.” Falcons execs declined to comment, but sources said that the negotiations are “still fluid," and that "they hope to soon announce a final agreement" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 1/31).

Florida legislators this spring will consider bills that “may include a request for a tax break for proposed renovations" at Daytona Int'l Speedway, according to Dinah Voyles Pulver of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL. Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford yesterday said that he “expects tax break bills" for DIS, EverBank Field and a proposed MLS arena in Orlando. Legislators “already have filed a bill to give a tax break” for Sun Life Stadium. DIS earlier this month unveiled conceptual renderings for renovations at the 54-year-old facility that "could include replacing the grandstand seating, upgrading concession areas and adding five new entrances.” ISC is “expected to vote on the proposed multiyear redevelopment later this year.” DIS President Joie Chitwood said DIS plans to sit down with legislators to explain "in more detail what we think the redevelopment is going to entail and tell them how important we think it will be to Central Florida and our community.” Chitwood added, “We definitely want to make sure all the right people know what we’re doing.” State Rep. Dwayne Taylor said that it “only makes sense the Speedway and Jaguars stadium would be included with the Dolphins in petitioning legislators for money” (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 1/31).

The Univ. of Illinois yesterday asked Daktronics to design, manufacture and install a new video display and sound system at its Memorial Stadium football venue. This includes a full design-build aspect for the entire south end zone structure from the Memorial Stadium lettering to the columns framing the main video display. The new HD video display will measure 36 feet by 96 feet, and can be divided into separate windows. A new supplemental ribbon display will be installed below the football scoreboard that will measure over 50 feet wide. In addition, two displays will be installed with one in the southeast corner and one in the southwest corner. Each auxiliary video display will measure approximately 10 feet by nearly 17 feet (Illinois).’s Brian Bennett noted the new videoboard will be “four times larger than the current one.” Workers began “dismounting the current scoreboards on Monday,” and the new sound system is “scheduled to be ready by this summer” (, 1/30).

THE CATS' MEOW: Univ. of Kentucky Exec VP/Finance & Administration Eric Monday on said the school’s renovated football facilities “will cost $110 million, which will be paid off by UK athletics in 30 years at $6.6 million a year.” School officials said “programming and internal planning” is underway. They added that “pending legislative approval, the athletics department plans to seek final approval for the renovations in March.” Monday said that after “that is done, a design team will begin the work” that will include “16-20 private suites, new home team facilities, 2,000 club seats, concession, restroom and security upgrades, a new team store, press facilities and a full-service kitchen.” The project is “to be completed in the fall of 2015 or early spring of 2016” (, 1/29).

In K.C., Kevin Collison reports Boulevard Brewing Co. has "firmed up its sponsorship agreement with" MLS Sporting KC in a five-year deal that includes naming rights "to the members club at Sporting Park." Boulevard Brewing Marketing Dir Jeremy Ragonese said that the beermaker now is "title sponsor of what will be called Boulevard Members' Club, and it will continue to be the club's official craft beer sponsor." Ragonese added that Boulevard and Sporting KC also have had "casual conversations about naming rights to the 18,000-seat stadium ... but no deal is in the works" (K.C. STAR, 1/31).

SHOUTING FROM THE ROOFTOPS: In Chicago, Ameet Sachdev reports the owners of rooftop businesses neighboring Wrigley Field would "like to extend their contract with the Cubs by nine years for letting the team sell advertising on their buildings." The current 20-year contract "will expire" at the end of '23. Rooftop owners Jim Lourgos and Beth Murphy said that they are seeking an "extension that would guarantee unobstructed views of the ballpark from their buildings" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/31).

MOTOWN MOVES: In Detroit, Louis Aguilar reported hints for a new Red Wings arena "point to a swath of blighted land north of the Fox Theatre in Detroit where at least 22 secretive land deals have taken place" since '08. Michigan House Speaker John Walsh, who sponsored legislation that would make Red Wings Owner the Ilitch family eligible for $13M a year in tax money, on Monday said that Ilitch reps "indicated they are looking to Wall Street for financing and labor unions to invest in the project to secure some of the construction work" (DETROIT NEWS, 1/30).

NEW TEAM IN TOWN: In Akron, Carol Biliczky reports Univ. of Akron trustees yesterday agreed to "sell the dormant Rubber Bowl to a Canton marketing company that wants it" as the home of the USFL Akron Fire. Team 1 Marketing will pay $38,000 for the 6.8-acre "bowl footprint plus an additional foot around that perimeter." The Fire would be the "first football team to play in the horseshoe-shaped bowl since UA moved to InfoCision Stadium" in '09 (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 1/31).