Nationwide Arena "spent most of its second year under public ownership operating at a deficit," but a "recent rally, thanks to special events that included Bruce Springsteen, Cher and Demi Lovato, has nudged the arena $426,000 into the black," according to a report cited by Lucas Sullivan of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. Still, that figure is "down from the $730,000 'profit' the arena posted in its first year of public ownership." The arena's "thin margins are a product of the complex purchase contract and the performance contracts arena managers sign with musicians and performers." The Blue Jackets "take all concession and parking revenue for all hockey-related events," while performers "demand a certain percentage of all ticket sales (usually 85 percent or more) before agreeing" to play the venue. The public "pays for improvements inside the arena, such as the nets on the hockey goals," and more than $900,000 in public money "was spent in the past year to replace and repair seats." However, the public's investment is "capped" at 32% of the city and Franklin County’s "share of casino tax revenue." The Blue Jackets and Nationwide Insurance are "responsible for any costs that exceed that contribution" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 6/8).
CAA Sports has been retained by Serie A club AS Roma "to sell naming rights and other-top-tier sponsorships" for its $300M stadium and entertainment complex, scheduled to open in '16, according to Terry Lefton in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The facility is "expected to host 200 to 300 events a year and will include a 52,500-seat soccer stadium, three indoor and outdoor theaters -- ranging from 900 to 14,500 seats -- along with a retail and restaurant complex and an office park." CAA Sports has "not done a naming-rights deal in European soccer, though it has sold marketing inventory for top clubs, including FC Barcelona and Chelsea." CAA Sports Head of Global Sales Paul Danforth said that the company has "been making informal sales calls over the past few weeks; formal presentations will follow" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/9 issue). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Rebecca Sun noted AS Roma also has opened an office in N.Y. "to serve as a permanent base for its commercial operations in the U.S." The team is the "only one in the Italian league to be owned and managed by a U.S.-based group, Boston’s Raptor Group" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 6/9).
In Ft. Lauderdale, Chris Perkins writes Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is “hopeful he will reach a deal” with the Dolphins on a $400M Sun Life Stadium renovation -- “financed by the team -- by the end of the week." If the Dolphins and Gimenez reach a deal, it could be “presented to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners by the end of the month.” The commissioners meet every two weeks. Under terms of the proposed deal, the county would “pay ‘incentives’ to the Dolphins for hosting events such as the Super Bowl and the College Football Championship at Sun Life Stadium” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 6/10).
DAWG PARK: In Cleveland, Gabe Spiegel noted the Browns have reached an agreement that will “pay the city about $7,000 per game” for use of land “on the west side of FirstEnergy Stadium.” The city of Cleveland owns the land, which “holds 1,700 parking spots” (FOX8.com, 6/6).
VISION QUEST: Northwestern Univ. yesterday announced upgrades to the in-stadium video display capabilities in Ryan Field, with plans to nearly triple the size of the existing videoboard and install new LED ribbon boards overlooking both the north and south end zones. The videoboards are expected to be in place ahead of NU's football home opener against Cal on Aug. 30. The primary videoboard structure in the northeast corner of the stadium will increase from its current 390 square feet of screen surface area to more than 1,100 square feet (NU).
HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE: Arkansas State Univ. has partnered with Daktronics to make improvements to Centennial Bank Stadium. Approximately 1,600 square feet of LED video display will be added to the south end zone along with a custom audio system, delay-of-game clocks and locker room clocks (Daktronics).