Bucks Owner Herb Kohl said that he "is not worried about issues with the new hardwood floor that caused the cancellation" of the Raptors-Bucks preseason game last Friday, according to Charles Gardner of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The Bucks play their home opener Saturday against "the same Raptors team that was slipping and sliding in last week's game." Kohl: "We hope the (new) floor is going to be available for the opener. We'll find out in a day or two. We don't really know what the issue is. The league is going to be in (Tuesday) and Wednesday. They're going to tell us we need to do this and that, or we'll go back to our old floor. It's really not a problem. I don't see it as an issue the fans have to be concerned about. They need to know the game will be played on Saturday and we'll either be on the new floor or we'll be attending to the old floor." Meanwhile, Gardner noted it is a "critical time for the franchise as decisions loom on funding a new facility that would replace the BMO Harris Bradley Center." Kohl and Exec VP/Business Administration Ron Walter last week presented a report to the NBA BOG on the "progress being made toward a new downtown arena." Kohl said, "People are legitimate in their concern in this community about seeing us move ahead. ... We're 40 or 42 events and without us you can't build the building. It's important to get it done and it's important to keep the team in town, so we have to make it happen." Kohl added that NBA officials "prefer a new facility rather than any attempt to renovate" the arena (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/29).
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "plans to talk soon" with Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg to "determine the next step" in the team's pursuit of a new ballpark, according to Marc Topkin of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. St. Petersburg and team officials "had been talking and were believed to be close to a deal that would allow the Rays to consider potential sites in Tampa," but those talks "stalled in August." Selig on Saturday said that he "had not yet decided on appointing an emissary and hadn't yet plotted a course of action" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 10/27). In Tampa, Stephen Nohlgren cites a recent Tampa Bay Times poll as showing that 48% of St. Petersburg residents were "open to letting the Rays explore new stadium options all over the Tampa Bay area," with 39% opposed. Respondents "did not see stadium negotiations as the city's single most pressing issue." More important issues were "building a new pier, public safety and Midtown redevelopment." But the poll shows that the electorate is "keeping pace with city administrators as they evolve into a more nuanced position on the stadium." St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster and mayoral candidate Rick Kriseman said that they "expect negotiations with the team to recommence after the election" next Tuesday. In the poll, 38% of respondents "would let the team look in Hillsborough -- but only after the Rays and city negotiate some financial compensation." Another 10% of respondents "would allow a Hillsborough search without preconditions," but almost 40% said that the Rays "should stay" at Tropicana Field. African-American residents in particular "felt this way," with 52% "opposing any Tampa forays." Foster said that the goal is "to commit the Rays to the region beyond 2027, while protecting St. Petersburg's financial interests." Kriseman said that he "wanted to talk about beefing up Trop attendance before negotiating any potential move to Hillsborough" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 10/29).
Clemson Univ. AD Dan Radakovich has "begun to virtually remake the face of Clemson athletics with football, basketball, baseball and tennis scheduled for facility facelifts," according to Ed McGranahan of the Columbia STATE. Some of the works "could become evident" as early as the spring of '15. Radakovich said that he was "in the final stage of pulling together concepts for changes to Memorial Stadium, a new football operations center and renovations to Littlejohn Coliseum worthy of HGTV." While Radakovich did not discuss cost estimates for the nine projects, he said that the Clemson Athletic Facilities Trust would "provide the seeds for funding." Clemson's athletics debt has "been limited" to $200M by the state legislature. Radakovich said the school is "way under that statutory limit" at about $25M. McGranahan writes the "biggest project should be" renovating Littlejohn Coliseum, as teams that play in the arena "would be displaced one season." Several separate projects are slated for football, including "a new operations center of between 60,000 and 80,000 square feet adjacent to the indoor facility" (Columbia STATE, 10/30).