In Chicago, Ellen Jean Hirst notes the Chicago Park District BOD last night "approved a new 10-year contract" for SMG to manage Soldier Field. The decision came after an "extensive" presentation by the company and President & CEO Wes Westley. Chicago Park District Budget Dir Juliet Azimi said that SMG "received higher scores in every category compared to the other contender for the contract, AEG." SMG will make a $2.5M "contribution to the park district" and will secure a $1M marketing fund for events at Soldier Field. The company will receive an "annual management fee of between $600,000 and $684,000 to run Soldier Field and two other facilities." SMG has managed Soldier Field "under various contracts" since '94 (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/14).
HOME & GARDEN: In N.Y., Michael Kimmelman notes the owners of MSG are looking to N.Y. officials to "renew -- in perpetuity -- the special permit that allows them to operate an arena atop Penn Station." It is a request the City Council "should deny." The Council could "grant a 10-year permit, enough time so that the Garden and the various parties responsible for the station can come up with an appropriately aggressive plan to improve the site, a plan that should include discussions about a possible future home, elsewhere, for the arena" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/14).
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: In Denver, Benjamin Hochman notes the Nuggets last night played the team's first game at Barclays Center and writes under the header, "You Must See Brooklyn's Barclays Center To Believe It." Hochman: "The arena is pretty cool, I must say." There is a "good vibe in here and a cool vibe around here." The crowd is "as eclectic as the borough" (DENVER POST, 2/14).