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Volume 24 No. 154


A new Raiders stadium offer "worked out by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan's development people calls for giving free land to the team" and for city and Alameda County taxpayers to pay off $120M they "still owe for the 1990s overhaul of the Coliseum -- which would be demolished," according to Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Zach Wasserman, an attorney representing backers of the mixed-use Coliseum City project, said that the "'basic terms' of a financial deal have been worked out among his group, the city's negotiators and the Raiders." But Matier & Ross write even as Raiders Owner Mark Davis "thinks it over, questions are being raised about whether the proposed deal will fly." The idea is the public "wouldn't be on the hook for construction costs," but would "contribute the land and infrastructure improvements." The city and county "would also have to come up with" the $120M to "pay off the Coliseum expansion that lured the Raiders back" from L.A. in '95. City and county taxpayers now pay $20M a year "in general-fund money for debt service." A "big question" is how the A's -- who "just signed a 10-year lease extension at the stadium that would be demolished -- fit into the picture." Sources said that if the A's "won't play ball with the project's backers, part of the land could be turned over to team owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher for their own privately developed ballpark" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/3).

HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS: In S.F., Ann Killion writes the "tension and dislike" between 49ers and Raiders fans is likely to "ramp up a few degrees this season." The two franchises "just moved further apart in the department of Haves and Have Nots." While the 49ers have "a brand-new, state-of-the-art stadium that they are touting as the best in the NFL," the Raiders "continue to play in what is widely considered the worst stadium in the league." While the Raiders "remain in stadium limbo," the 49ers are, "apparently, set for life." The fan bases "have a new issue to divide and antagonize them" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/3).

Oilers Entertainment Group Vice Chair Bob Nicholson said that while Rogers Place "won't open until" Sept. '16, some pieces of the Edmonton Arena District "will be rolled out over the next 12-18 months," according to John MacKinnon of the EDMONTON JOURNAL. Nicholson: "This fall, over the next month to six weeks, you’re going to see partnerships and you’ll go ‘Wow,’ now I can see how that partnership is going to happen." Nicholson "sold his Calgary home last Friday" and will "move into a condo just west of downtown" with his wife, Lorna. He is "the consensus builder, a lifelong networker who puts building relationships high on his list of strengths." Nicholson said, "We want to have a stronger relationship with the University of Alberta. We want to have a stronger relationship with the Edmonton Eskimos. You’ve got to have strong local relationships, because that’s your base. But that quickly moves out to the entire province of Alberta, then throughout Canada and North America. If you have what we know we’re going to have, you try to attract people from everywhere to come and see this." He added, "Over the next 12-24 months we will see a number of key partnerships rolled out that we’re starting to cultivate." Nicholson said he foresees some restaurants within the arena district that "are going to be destinations" and others that will be "placeholders" that people visit before events (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 9/3).

NASL San Antonio Scorpions Owner Gordon Hartman's Soccer for a Cause "has unveiled plans" for a proposed $45M expansion of Toyota Field, according to W. Scott Bailey of the SAN ANTONIO BUSINESS JOURNAL. Plans "call for dramatic changes to the roughly 8,000-seat stadium that, once completed, would make it one of the nation’s premier soccer and special-events venues." Proposed changes include the addition of 10,000 seats -- 9,000 of which "would be constructed in a new second level that would create a bowl-like configuration around the playing field." Plans also call for a canopy that "would cover the second level, providing shade and amplifying crowd noise." The stadium also would feature 18 new suites, which "would each accommodate up to 24 fans." The proposed expansion "would take Toyota Field’s seating capacity north of the 18,000-mark needed to accommodate" an MLS franchise (, 9/2). In San Antonio, Dan McCarney reports the expansion also would include three additional club areas and a "high-powered beacon to be lit during matches that can be seen for miles." The beacon's light "would turn from white to red after Scorpions goals and victories." The new façade, "combined with the existing west stand, would give the stadium an intimate enclosure similar to the European venues." Viewed from above, the roofed portion "curls around the playing field to resemble a scorpion's tail." While city aid "will almost certainly center around the stadium expansion, the bulk, if not all," of the estimated $70M MLS expansion fee "will come down to a handful of investor groups Hartman said are looking to buy into his club, with a fourth recently entering the picture." Hartman "has signed confidentiality agreements with all four groups." Sources said that Spurs Sports & Entertainment is "among the groups interested in purchasing at least a controlling interest in the Scorpions" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 9/3).

In Toronto, Kurtis Laron writes the latest BMO Field renovation rendering "looks pretty nice," despite many Toronto FC fans "being skeptical of the club's new digs." The image "shows roofing above three of the sections, with two extra decks built behind the east stand and the supporters’ end." Capacity "is supposed to peak at close to 30,000 for Toronto FC games" once the C$120M in renovations are complete (TORONTO SUN, 9/3).

IT'S GETTING REAL: The Utah State Fairpark yesterday announced that its chair and vice chair "will seek approval from the Fairpark’s board to begin negotiations with Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen for an 8,000-seat stadium to be the home of RSL's minor league team." In Salt Lake City, Christopher Kamrani noted Hansen has proposed to pay $13-18M to construct a soccer stadium for his team's future USL Pro affiliate "at the Fairpark, located a few blocks west of downtown Salt Lake City." Fairpark Exec Dir Michael Steele said that Hansen "is eyeing a 40-year lease for the facility" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 9/3).

DECISION DAY: In Las Vegas, Conor Shine reports the town's City Council today will vote on "whether to approve a nonbinding agreement" for a new downtown MLS soccer stadium with the development partnership of Findlay Sports & Entertainment and Cordish Cos. If they vote yes, "the project will stay alive for three more months while developers prepare a more detailed and comprehensive proposal." A final agreement "would need council approval in December." A no vote "means the project is likely dead." Under the plan, the public would pay for $155M of the $200M construction costs "through bonds, tax credits and cash on hand" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 9/3).