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Volume 24 No. 156

Events and Attractions

The Dolphins and Miami-area tourism officials yesterday in N.Y. presented the NFL with the "most expensive Super Bowl bid in South Florida’s history," but team CEO Mike Dee said that "amped-up entertainment options won’t be enough if voters don’t approve a subsidized renovation of Sun Life Stadium," according to Douglas Hanks of the MIAMI HERALD. Dee said an upgraded stadium “is the only impediment between us and success." The South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee "expects to spend" about $21M in private and public funds "putting on the kind of Super Bowl outlined in the thick binder" presented to NFL execs. The "confidential proposal includes creating a Super Bowl theme park in downtown Miami, including closing down Biscayne Boulevard, constructing a 'Hail Mary Zip Line' along the waterfront and possibly mooring barges to accommodate some of the action." The NFL this week met with officials from South Florida, S.F. and Houston, all areas which are "pursuing Super Bowls 50 and 51," and the final bids "are due May 7." South Florida has "previously declined to pursue a Super Bowl scheduled the same weekend as the Miami International Boat Show," but now has "agreed to hold both events at the same time" should the NFL opt to schedule the Super Bowl "two weeks later than usual" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/24). In Miami, Patricia Mazzei noted the Dolphins yesterday sent out their "first campaign flier" for stadium renovations. The mailer highlights the team's estimate that the $350M "stadium face-lift will create 4,000 jobs and promises the upgrades would attract more Super Bowls, college football championships and international soccer games." But the flier "does not break down how much public money the stadium would receive" (, 4/23).

The All England Club "won’t raise ticket prices" this year at Wimbledon, "even after it announced the biggest prize-money increase ever seen in tennis and plans to build a second retractable roof," according to Danielle Rossingh of BLOOMBERG NEWS. The club yesterday said that it would "boost prize money for this year’s event" by 40% to $34.5M (all figures U.S.). The $9.9M increase is the "largest ever in player compensation, while the total purse is the biggest in the history of the sport." The men's and women's singles champions for this year's tournament will receive $2.4M each, which is 39% "more than last year." Wimbledon "saved the biggest increases for early-round losers." An exit in the first three rounds of the main draw will be "rewarded by as much as" 64% more pay, while players in the qualifying tournament will receive 41% more. Players falling in the opening round will see a prize increase of 62%. Meanwhile, the club is "planning to build a retractable roof over No. 1 Court" by '19, after spending $122M for a retractable roof over Centre Court in '09. Wimbledon also plans to "build three new courts north of No. 1, new player accommodations and landscaping that aims to give fans the experience of 'tennis in an English garden.'" All England Club Chair Phil Brook said of the Wimbledon ticket prices, which include a $31 ground pass for the tourney's first week, "All of our plans here are funded in a way that will not affect ordinary fans coming to Wimbledon" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 4/23).

LEVERAGE SERVED: In N.Y., Christopher Clarey writes Wimbledon's prize increase marks the "latest example of the players’ new bargaining power in an age of uncommon unity among the game’s biggest men’s stars." If there are "no further changes, the final prize-money figures for the Grand Slam tournaments" in '13 will be as follows: the Australian Open ($31M, up 15%), the French Open ($28.7M, up 16%), Wimbledon ($34.4M, up 40%) and the U.S. Open ($33.6M, up 31%). Though "unprecedented in size and scope, the raises do not match what the players were initially requesting." With the men "leading the way in negotiations," players wanted 25% of total revenue and "have not yet achieved that at any Grand Slam tournament" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/24).

Three Rivers Marathon Exec Dir Patrice Matamoros said that if the organization is “forced to bear the cost of the additional police officers and equipment that are in the works in light of the attacks in Boston, it could spell the end" of the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, according to a front-page piece by Balingit & Navratil of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. While the plan is not yet finalized, Matamoros said she understands the cost to be "significant." Three Rivers Marathon, the nonprofit that operates the race, historically “pays for race security, including hiring hundreds of police officers and security guards.” The organization this year “planned to hire 350 officers from local departments, including the city, county and university police and the county sheriff's office.” Matamoros has said that the organization also “planned to have security guards on hand, for a total cost of around $160,000.” But she said of the potential that the city is unwilling to pay for any additional security, "It will basically bankrupt us. ... We'll drain our accounts and go away next year." But officials have been “purposefully vague about what kind of additional security will be present for this year's marathon -- and how much it will cost.” City officials “may be able to tap federal resources.” Pittsburgh Deputy Emergency Management Dir Ray Demichiei said that in the days after the attacks on the Boston Marathon, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security “issued a bulletin informing municipalities that they could shift the money they receive from the department to pay for extra security for ‘special events,’ including races” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 4/24). In Pittsburgh, David Conti noted organizers “expect help from other big races.” Matamoros said that three staffers from the Boston finish line “will make their third trip to Pittsburgh, joined by eight staffers from the Chicago marathon and one each from Toronto, Houston and the Twin Cities Marathon” (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 4/23).

EMPIRE STATE OF MIND: The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Sara Germano writes the “eyes of the marathon industry are fixed” on N.Y. Road Runners President & CEO Mary Wittenberg, whose ING N.Y. Marathon “features larger numbers of runners and spectators than any other in America.” Germano asks, “Will the New York marathon start subjecting finish-line spectators to security checks? Will insurance rates skyrocket following the Boston bombings and Hurricane Sandy?” Gaining a spot in this year's event “will be more difficult than usual because thousands of slots will be filled by runners displaced by last year's cancellation.” Unknown as yet is “whether fear of terrorism will affect demand.” Wittenberg said, "After 9/11, we saw our numbers decline by between 5,000 and 8,000. I don't think we'll see that big of a difference this year. Marathons aren't about running. They're about unlocking personal achievement. And we'll be out there in force this year" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/24).