Padres President & CEO Mike Dee helped bring Bruce Springsteen to Fenway Park when he was with the Red Sox, and he now "sees no reason why Petco Park can't draw and attract similar national and international events to the downtown ballpark" such as the Davis Cup match next year, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com. Dee yesterday said, "We're open-minded to all kinds of events. ... We're going to be focused on building that." He said the ballpark "should be a 365-days-a-year venue." Brock noted tickets for the Jan. 31-Feb. 2 Davis Cup match will be available to the general public on Dec. 6, "starting at $100 for a three-day package." The event marks the first time a Davis Cup event "will be played in an open-air baseball stadium in the United States" (MLB.com, 11/5). In N.Y., Christopher Clarey notes this will be the Petco Park's "first tennis event, and the Cup matches will be held in a stadium built in left field that will make use of some existing seats in the bleachers and additional seating in temporary grandstands to be built on the outfield grass." USTA Team Events Senior Dir Jeff Ryan said that capacity for the event "would be about 8,000, with the potential for more seating if demand warrants." But the event "might be a tough sell on Super Bowl Sunday" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/6). The AP's Bernie Wilson reported while organizers of the event have not decided if there will be red or green clay on the court, they "feel their choice of surface will give the Americans an advantage over Britain, which is expected to be led by defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray" (AP, 11/5).
Trail Blazers officials said that the Wi-Fi at Moda Center “made some progress Tuesday night, but more work remains,” according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. Team officials throughout last night's game against the Rockets “worked alongside three representatives” of contractor Aruba Networks, which wired the arena during the offseason to improve Wi-Fi access. Blazers VP/Engineering & Technology Mike Janes said, "We were fighting some issues earlier in the game, but as time went on it actually improved.” He added that the team “expects to have 400 access points -- beefier versions of household wireless stations -- installed by early next year.” The venue had 76 access points "up and running" last night. Janes said that each NBA team has “already wired their arena or is taking steps to accommodate greater WiFi use.” He added that the league “wants to fully embrace the idea of fans having the so-called ‘second-screen experience’ throughout the game.” Brettman notes the Portland-area Toyota Dealers Association has sponsored the free Wi-Fi access, which features "brief promotions for the car dealers once a connection is achieved” (Portland OREGONIAN, 11/6).
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS: In DC, Dan Steinberg noted AT&T has made a "promise to help" with the Wi-Fi service at Verizon Center. AT&T in a statement said its Wi-Fi upgrade "enhances service in the concourse." Monumental Sports & Entertainment said that there "is not currently an agreement between AT&T and Verizon Center." However, officials are "actively working on a comprehensive upgrade inside the arena for all carriers" WASHINGTONPOST.com, 11/5).
49ers season-ticket holders will have the chance to buy their old Candlestick Park seats "for $649 a pair," with proceeds set "to be split" between the team and the S.F. Recreation & Park Department's youth recreation programs, according to Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Fans can only order pairs of seats, "not singles, because the seats share arm rests." S.F. Recreation & Park Department Dir of Policy & Public Affairs Sarah Ballard said that the department gets 70% of the proceeds and the 49ers get the rest. In all, 23,000 pairs of seats will be available, which works out to a potential $10.5M "budget infusion for Rec and Park" and $4.5M for the 49ers (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/6). In San Jose, Mike Rosenberg notes starting Dec. 9, the general public "can start buying whatever seats are left over -- for $749." Most teams "that have offered similar deals have sold about 15,000 seats at most." 49ers VP/Stadium Operations & Security Jim Mercurio said that other commemorative items from the stadium "might be sold over the next few months but that they wanted to get the big-ticket item on the market in time for the holiday gift rush" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/6).
Miami-Dade County commissioners yesterday approved a $50M expansion to the Crandon Park Tennis Center, saying that the upgrades by the ATP/WTA Sony Open "would benefit a majority of the community," according to Patricia Mazzei of the MIAMI HERALD. However, the approval "does not mean construction is imminent." The tennis center makeover would "still need to be approved by a committee that oversees the future of Crandon Park." Sony Open organizers, who "want to break ground on the project in April, plan to challenge that procedural step in court." Last year, nearly 73% of voters "authorized the county to move forward with the expansion, which would be funded by tournament revenues such as parking fees and ticket surcharges." Among the renovations would be "enlarging the footprint of the tennis center’s main stadium and building three new permanent grandstands." To make room "for more hard courts used by the tournament, six clay courts and two grass courts would go away." That brought "a contingent of local tennis players to County Hall to protest." Reps of the tourney, owned by IMG and run by the local Int'l Players Championship firm, have said that the upgrades "are necessary to continue attracting big-name tennis players and more than 300,000 fans a year" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/6).
The Triple-A Int'l League Charlotte Knights yesterday announced the team's new BB&T Ballpark has been selected by MiLB "to host the 2014 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game," according to Seth Lakso of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The "one-game, winner-take-all showdown" features the champions of the Int'l League and Pacific Coast League and is scheduled for Sept. 16. The game will be televised live nationally on NBCSN. Knights COO Dan Rajkowski said, "Our goals from the beginning for BB&T Ballpark have been to provide the Knights with a first-class Triple-A facility and to utilize this ballpark for community events and to bring national attention to our city." MiLB President & CEO Pat O'Connor: "Charlotte, with the new ballpark and the enthusiasm of moving uptown was a natural selection." Rajkowski said that more events "are planned for BB&T Ballpark" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/6).
GETTING CLOSE: Rajkowski addressed the ongoing construction at the ballpark, which is scheduled to open April 11. He said, "The seats are going in. The field (was) laid on Monday. Once you put a field down, that really tells people it’s getting close. At the end of the year, we’ll have a temporary certificate of occupancy. ... Our goal is to have our staff in there in the second week of February." He added painting at the facility is "85 percent finished." Rajkowski: "We don’t want to be opening this without it totally ready for the fans. A lot of the scoreboards, video boards, will go in after the first of the year, so we’re not really intruding on the construction. (We want to) really get the production room right, get the run of show correct, sound systems perfect, field lighting perfect." Rajkowski said of ticket sales, "We’re about 45 percent of our goal of 3,600 season tickets -- that’s outside of our suites and clubs and all that. Suites are gone, we found we had a few club seats but I think we have a waiting list so those will be gone. Now the season tickets are the ones our staff is working on" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/5).
The K.C. Chapter of the American Institute of Architects on Nov. 15 "will unveil its first-ever award for sports architecture," according to Kevin Collison of the K.C. STAR. K.C. Mayor Sly James is "expected to hand out the honor at the AIA’s annual Design Excellence & Allied Arts & Craftsmanship Awards ceremony." K.C. has long been "a hub for sports architecture" with "some of the biggest names in the business," including Populous, which was formerly HOK Sports; HNTB Corp.; Ellerbe Becket, now part of AECOM; and 360 Architecture. Sports architect Paul Jorgensen, one of two jurors for the award this year, said, "This is the intergalactic headquarters of sports design." Jorgensen will be joined on the jury by St. Louis-based design firm Kiku Obata & Co. Founder Kiku Obata, whose company "provides retail and graphic design, signage and way-finding for sports projects around the nation." Seven projects "have been nominated for the first award," including BBVA Compass Stadium, designed by Populous; Barclays Center, AECOM; the Univ. of West Virginia basketball practice facility, AECOM; Cal's Memorial Stadium, HNTB; Jeld-Wen Field renovation, AECOM; Marlins Park, Populous; and the Univ. of Oregon's Matthew Knight Arena, AECOM. Generator Studio Principal Tom Proebstle "suggested the idea of honoring sports architecture to the AIA board last summer." He thought the award "would add some dazzle to the AIA's annual ceremony" (K.C. STAR, 11/6).