In Phoenix, Jeff Metcalfe writes Arizona State Univ. officials are "back to behind-the-scenes negotiations that would satisfy" the D'Backs after ASU President Michael Crow on Tuesday said that the school would like to play football games at the D'Backs' Chase Field. ASU Senior Associate AD/External Operations Rocky Harris has "held two meetings with Select Artists Associates, which books non-baseball events at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix, with another scheduled for May 2 that is expected to include" a D'Backs rep. Select Artists Founder & President Charles Johnston said, "We all got blindsided. Dr. Crow was a little bit ahead of the curve. [D'Backs President & CEO Derrick Hall] was not involved in our preliminary conversations (with ASU)" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/25).
LOOKING FOR A BOOST: In Sacramento, Bizjak & Van Oot in a front-page piece note the city's proposed downtown arena project could "get a boost under major environmental legislation unveiled" yesterday by State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. Steinberg's proposed "rewrite of the landmark California Environmental Quality Act, months in the planning, aims to reduce the chance that urban projects like the Downtown Plaza arena will get hit by lawsuits that stall construction." Steinberg said that it could "expedite Sacramento's efforts to build an arena" for the NBA Kings. Steinberg said that the "fact that the bill was unveiled at a critical time for Sacramento's arena efforts was a happy coincidence" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 4/25).
UNITED WE STAND: DC City Administrator Allen Lew said that he is "working diligently toward a deal with DC United to build a new stadium for the team on Buzzard Point in Southwest DC." Lew said that after "repeated meetings with DC United’s new ownership and other stakeholders he hopes to have the framework for a deal to build a new stadium for the team 'inside of a year.'" In DC, Jonathan O'Connell noted Lew "oversaw construction of Nationals Park and the convention center" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 4/22).
ON THE ROAD AGAIN? In Hartford, Paul Doyle writes the XL Center "once again is getting strong competition from the Mohegan Sun Arena" to host the former Big East women's basketball tournament. The decision on where the American Athletic Conference will place the tournament "won't be made until league meetings in May." AAC Associate Commissioner/Women's Basketball Danielle Donehew said that "no decision has been made and that both venues are being considered." The Big East women's tournament has "been in Hartford for 10 years, but the new conference might be ready for a new location" (HARTFORD COURANT, 4/25).