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Volume 24 No. 112


A planned new stadium for MLS DC United "could receive extensive breaks on sales and property taxes over the next three decades, and in return the team could share some of its revenue with the city," according to O'Connell & DeBonis of the WASHINGTON POST. City Administrator Allen Lew began meeting with members of the DC Council late last week "to brief them on the status of deals he is arranging among the city, the team and landowners on Buzzard Point," where Mayor Vincent Gray "envisions a 20,000-seat stadium for the soccer team." Three members of the council and a Gray administration official "outlined the preliminary deal." Two members were told that DC United "would owe no sales tax on any commercial activity on the stadium footprint -- including tickets, concessions and even such businesses as restaurants that might locate adjacent to the stadium -- throughout the team’s 30-year lease." For the "first five years of the 30-year lease, the team would pay no property tax." For each "subsequent five-year period, the team would pay an additional 25 percent of the tax normally due, with 100 percent owed for the last 10 years of the lease." A council member on Monday said that the property tax provision "remains in flux, with some pressing Lew to negotiate more guaranteed tax dollars for the city rather than engage in a revenue-sharing agreement whose benefits are more speculative and could be evaded through team accounting maneuvers" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/24).

When rain falls on Miller Park's 8.5-acre roof next year, "some of the water would drain" into extra-large barrels "set out at three locations around the outside of the stadium" as part of a proposed storm-water management plan, according to Don Behm of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Each barrel "would hold 1,500 gallons" of water that would have normally been discharged into the Menomonee River. A preliminary study by The Sigma Group of Milwaukee showed that the three barrels "would collect nearly 100,000 gallons of rain during the plant growing seasons of spring, summer and fall." A tanker truck "could pull up to each barrel and be filled with water for irrigating flowers and plots of trees, shrubs and grass planted around the parking lots and walkways." Miller Park Stadium District Exec Dir Mike Duckett said that installing the barrels "would reduce by 53% the amount of drinking water from the Milwaukee Water Works that is purchased by the Brewers baseball club for exterior irrigation." Proposed exterior locations "would ensure the tall rain barrels are visible to everyone attending games." The Sigma Group said that the cost of "buying and installing each extra-large rain barrel is estimated at $30,000 to $35,000." Duckett said that the Brewers "likely will sell corporate sponsorships, or naming rights, to each barrel as a way to reduce its costs." Duckett added that he "has not asked the stadium district board to fund any portion of the costs." The Brewers "likely will be tagged for whatever share is not covered by sponsorships and grants." Installing oversize rain barrels "is in line with other recent Brewers projects aimed at conserving water, increasing energy efficiency and boosting recycling of waste" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 12/23).

A privately funded $1.3B arena with a retractable roof "has been proposed at the former Wet 'n' Wild site" on the Las Vegas Strip, according to Richard Velotta of the LAS VEGAS SUN. Former NBAer Jackie Robinson on Monday announced plans to "break ground next year on the 22,000-seat arena that could house basketball, hockey, boxing, rodeos and concerts." The 862,000-square-foot arena would "be built on 27 acres between the yet-to-open SLS Las Vegas and the dormant Fontainebleau project site." The project, which developers have tentatively named the All Net Arena and Resort, is planned "on the opposite end of the Strip" from another arena proposal, which involves MGM Resorts Int'l partnering with AEG on a 20,000-seat facility between New York-New York and Monte Carlo casinos. The All Net proposal includes "a high-end resort with a spa" to accompany the four-level arena that would "include 75 luxury boxes: 25 1,000-square-foot executive suites and 50 500-square-foot corporate suites." Robinson said, "I started on this about four or five years ago, and at the time, the economic conditions didn’t help. So we just waited for the right time. We have proper financing in place, the economy is moving in the right direction and our lenders are saying now is the time." He added that he and his lenders would "meet with representatives of the Clark County Commission in the weeks ahead." Robinson said that he "has a team of financial backers that includes several banks and international and domestic lenders." He has "hired Minneapolis-based Cuningham Group Architecture" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 12/24). In Las Vegas, Alan Snel noted Robinson hopes to "open the arena in December 2016." He said that he "will try to bring an NBA team to his arena as a tenant." Robinson added that he is "using his contacts" with NBA Basketball Operations President Rod Thorn and NBA VP/Baskteball Operations Kiki Vandeweghe "to lobby for an NBA team." Snel noted Robinson also "proposes to build a 300,000-square-foot promenade called Victory Plaza to lead visitors from the Strip to the venue" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 12/25).