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Volume 24 No. 112


MLS FC Dallas yesterday announced a long-term stadium naming-rights deal with Toyota, and FC Dallas Stadium now "will be known as Toyota Stadium," while the adjacent 17-field soccer complex will be called Toyota Soccer Center, according to Valerie Wigglesworth of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The Frisco, Texas, complex opened as Pizza Hut Park in '05, but had been "without a sponsor" since Pizza Hut pulled out of its naming-rights deal in December '11. New signs for Toyota Stadium will "be in place in time for FC Dallas’ last home game of the regular season" on Oct. 19 against the Sounders. Frisco officials are "meeting to determine the number and placement of directional signs around the city," and talks are "in the works to upgrade the 8-year-old stadium." The deal marks Toyota's third soccer stadium naming-rights acquisition, including the MLS Fire's Toyota Park and the NASL San Antonio Scorpions' Toyota Field. FC Dallas this season is "on pace to break the all-time franchise record" in attendance (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/11). Gulf States Toyota VP/Marketing Brent Hillyer said that the company was "drawn to Frisco's growing population and demographics, plus it helped them claim a major stake in Texas." Hunt Sports Group VP Dan Hunt said that in addition to signage, the stadium will "name the northeast plaza terrace box after Toyota." In Dallas, Danielle Abril noted Toyota also will be the team's "exclusive local automotive sponsor." McKinney, Texas-based Pat Lobb's Toyota dealership helped HSG "make the connection." Terms of the agreement were not disclosed (, 9/10).

The 49ers yesterday announced that BNY Mellon has signed on to sponsor the team as its official investments company and a founding partner of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. The 10-year deal is set to begin in '14 and run through the '23 season. BNY Mellon's assets include exclusive branding rights for two field-level premium seating areas: the East and West Legacy Clubs. The company also will receive in-bowl permanent and digital signage. BNY Mellon has plans to increase its S.F. staff by another 50% by the middle of '14. This will include a number of new positions for its planned Silicon Valley office (BNY Mellon). In San Jose, Lauren Hepler noted the East and West Legacy clubs, which "will serve an estimated 900 patrons per game, are among the most expensive seats in the stadium" at $325-$375 per game, "plus a one-time seat license fee of $20,000-$80,000." BNY Mellon will receive the "option of hosting 'several exclusive events' at the stadium each year for clients and prospects" (, 9/10).

EPL club Liverpool Owner John Henry has "pledged that finance" for the club's proposed expansion to its Anfield stadium "will be in place when the final logistical hurdles to the development are overcome," according to Ian Herbert of the London INDEPENDENT. Lucrative naming rights are a "non-starter for a stadium to be expanded from 45,000 to 60,000." But Henry said that the money "would be found and that the mistakes of the previous era, when planning went ahead without the cash in place, would not be repeated." Henry said former Liverpool co-Owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett "were talking about going out and borrowing an enormous amount of money for an enormous facility." Herbert notes Liverpool has "cleared virtually all the obstacles to the expansion, with the city council having bought all but eight of the 30 privately-owned houses needed to undertake a wholesale demolition and clear the way for the enlarged stadium, which the club has said is its preferred way of expanding capacity." The city council will "compulsorily purchase them if necessary ahead of a planning application going in -- possibly by February" (London INDEPENDENT, 9/11). The GUARDIAN's Andy Hunter reports Liverpool Chair Tom Werner last week "held further talks with council officials" and the club hopes "a breakthrough is close in the long-running, controversial stadium saga." While renovation plans have not been revealed, they are "understood to involve a new main stand and Anfield Road end being built behind the existing structures to minimise the impact on revenue." Henry said, "We are making good progress. We have a lot of different groups working very well together and having everybody on the same page is the key to a big project like this happening and pretty much everyone is on the same page" (GUARDIAN, 9/11).

The Boston Redevelopment Authority yesterday released filings showing that developers of the old Boston Garden site "now want to build three high-rises" with residences, hotels, offices and shops that "would tower over the TD Garden," according to Chris Cassidy of the BOSTON HERALD. The three-tower project would include "a 600-foot residential tower with 497 units." A 306-room hotel in the middle "would stretch 320 feet," and an office tower next to it "would rise to 420 feet." The filings show that all totaled, the project would include "668,000 square feet of office space, 142,000 square feet of flex office space, 235,000 square feet of restaurant and retail, 25,000 square feet for an atrium hall leading toward Canal Street and a 40,000 square foot expansion of the TD Garden." The first phase would "begin in late 2014 and end in early 2017." The rest of the project would "then take about two to three years" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/10). In Boston, Casey Ross noted the towers are "one of several developments that could drastically reshape the neighborhood around the arena in coming years," as a new world HQs for Converse is currently "under construction next to the Garden" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/10).

Iowa Speedway officials yesterday "hustled to calm any potential fears about the racetrack’s financial health or future after confirming the departure" of its CEO Doug Fritz and a pending refinancing deal, according to Bryce Miller of the DES MOINES REGISTER. Speedway employees "were told Tuesday morning about the departure" of Fritz, the man "hand-picked as CEO" in Sept. '11. Speedway officials confirmed yesterday morning that Fritz "had left the company and that a refinancing deal was in the works." Speedway Owner & Chair Conrad Clement acknowledged the "existence of some financial issues." Track co-Owner Rusty Wallace "vowed that a race schedule would be finalized" for next year. Speedway officials also confirmed that the track is "catching up on some payments, but declined to provide specifics about the number of vendors owed or the remaining amount of money still billed for this season." Track President Stan Clement "emphasized that plans for next season remain in motion -- and offered assurances that unpaid bills will be handled." He said, "We’re planning on having everything up to date and are working on next year.” Stan Clement also has been "tabbed to assume the CEO duties vacated by Fritz." He said that negotiations are "ongoing for a schedule that could include a combination weekend with IndyCar and NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series." Speedway Dir of COmmunications Craig Armstrong said that the timing of the split with Fritz and any financial issues with the venue "were unrelated." He added that despite "concerns from speedway business associates," no unpaid bills "remain from last season" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 9/11). Wallace said that the Clement brothers are "examining options to ease financial strain." Wallace: "Whether they want to bring some partners in, or sell off a portion of the track." He added, "They’ve been spending, spending, spending, keep it going, keep it going, keep it going, but they’re about spent out. We’ve had to really cut costs" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 9/10).