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Volume 24 No. 178


The Rays are "likely to head home" to St. Petersburg after tomorrow's game against the Yankees at Citi Field to "host the Red Sox as planned this weekend" at Tropicana Field, according to Marc Topkin of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. A final decision is "expected today." After determining there was no major damage or flooding at the Trop and talking with St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman about staffing and public safety concerns, Rays President Brian Auld said that he was "'optimistic' the team will be able to play" the Red Sox as planned starting Friday. The "biggest hurdle may be whether traffic lights in the area are back on line." Meanwhile, the Rays did "rave about how much the Mets did to make them feel at home" for their series against the Yankees, from "allowing them full use of the home clubhouse and facilities to playing their walkup music and scoreboard videos all the way down to little things like putting Tampa Bay logos on the placards above their lockers." Mets GM Sandy Alderson "came down to the clubhouse Monday afternoon to make sure they had everything they needed" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 9/12). Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg said the organization is "feeling pretty good" about Tropicana Field. He said, "We see some things so far but haven’t gotten a full report, so we’re still waiting to hear" ("High Heat," MLB Network, 9/11).

: In Miami, Richards & Jackson note Hurricane Irma damaged about 6% of the retractable roof at Marlins Park, and it will "need to be replaced immediately after the season." Though the facility is "safe to use," the Marlins and MLB have "not decided whether Miami will play host" to the Brewers this weekend. A source said that whether the series will be played in Miami will "depend on several factors, such as whether police and fire rescue can work the game, whether Miami-Dade County's curfew is lifted and whether street lights are working" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/12). Brewers manager Craig Counsell said, "All indications that we've gotten indicate that it's a go in Miami. I don't think anything is for sure yet, but every piece of news we've received has been positive" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/12).

The Falcons will play their first regular-season game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium "without having met the organization's long-time goal to sell out of personal seat licenses," according to Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. AMB Sports & Entertainment Senior VP & CRO Michael Drake said that "slightly more than 57,000 seat licenses have been sold, leaving 'around 2,500' still available." It was the "first time" the club had acknowledged that the PSLs "won't be sold out by Sunday night's game" against the Packers. Drake said, "We've still got a little bit of work. It's about 96 percent (sold)." Tucker noted the sale of PSLs, which are "required for the right to buy Falcons season tickets, will continue as long as seats are available." Drake said that the Falcons "still don't plan to sell single-game tickets." He added that seats with unsold PSLs will be "added to the group-sales inventory for now." The Falcons also have had to "sell some seat licenses more than once because of defaults on purchase contracts" (, 9/11).

The Jaguars are in Year 5 of playing games in London, and the relationship is going "better than expected" -- to the point where adding a second regular-season game there "isn't out of the question," according to Eric Adelson of YAHOO SPORTS. Jags Owner Shahid Khan said, "We’ve talked about that. There might be a time where it would make sense to play more than one game.” Khan said the team's one game in London account for "almost 20 percent of our revenue." Adelson notes the Jags "keep the gate from the London game, and Wembley Stadium at capacity brings in a lot more revenue for a 'home' date" than Everbank Field. Khan: “You have 80,000 tickets paying a higher price." The London series has had a "ripple effect not only for Khan and the team, but for the city of Jacksonville." Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Daniel Davis estimates that the London game has "brought 1,000 jobs to Duval County since the series began." He added the city’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, which has its U.K. HQ in London, has "'catapulted' over the last several years." Davis: "Khan and the Jags have helped us in a way we could not have done without. Walking down Regent Street (in London) and seeing ‘Jacksonville’ on the signs is pretty incredible and I don’t think you can put a price tag on that” (, 9/12).

RETURNING HOME: In Jacksonville, John Reid notes the Jaguars today plan to return home after "remaining in Houston" following Sunday's win over the Texans due to Hurricane Irma. The storm "caused extreme surge levels on the St. John's River that led to flooding downtown and other parts of Jacksonville." The Jaguars still are slated to play Sunday against the Titans at EverBank Field (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 9/12). Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said that officials are "assessing damage" to the stadium and will then determine "whether the game will be played as scheduled" (AP, 9/11)

The Colts last week announced a 10-year deal to move the team's training camp to Westfield, a suburb of Indianapolis, and the intangibles "have city leaders excited," according to Chris Sikich of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. The Colts will "pay Westfield $653,000 over 10 years, including an upfront payment of $123,000" to get Grand Park Events Center and its four outdoor fields "ready for camp." The city will "receive $53,000 in annual payments" and is "positioned to make an estimated $190,000 per year from parking, food and beverage sales." Westfield Mayor Andy Cook's Chief of Staff Todd Burtron said that the city has a "chance to capitalize on the Colts brand." He added, "For us to have the opportunity to bring the Colts for that length of time will help to serve the entire region." Sikich notes the Colts will rent the 370,000-square-foot complex from July 22 to Aug. 18 and "repair any turf damage when camp is over." The city can "continue to rent the dozens of other fields at the 400-acre sports park." Burtron said that the "going rate to rent that space for four weeks would be about $300,000, compared to the $53,000 the Colts will pay." The Colts are "guaranteeing at least $100,000 annually in parking and concessions sales." The team will "make up the difference if Westfield earns less." Burtron said that the Colts "want to keep a close eye on parking and food fees to ensure training camp is accessible to fans." The Colts "averaged about 10,000 fans on weekends and 6,000 on weekdays" when the camp was at Anderson Univ. from '10-15. Both Westfield and the Colts "think many more will flock to Grand Park" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 9/11).

The Bucks have "sold 2,140 new season-ticket packages for the coming season," and about 95% of the new customers are "signing on for two years -- nailing down their spot in the new arena" that will open for the '18-19 season, according to James Nelson of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Bucks President Peter Feigin said that the figure of 2,140 new packages makes the club one of the "top teams in the NBA in terms of new season-ticket customers." In recent years, the Bucks were "one of the worst in the league in terms of attendance and ticket sales." Feigin: "It's excitement about the team's performance and the buzz about the new arena and entertainment district." Nelson noted the increase in ticket sales "comes even though prices for some seats are sharply higher for the new arena" compared with BMO Harris Bradley Center. But the Bucks "point out that 50% of the seats at the new arena will cost $50 or less, and a majority of tickets will have a price increase of $6 or less." The team's goal for the first season in the new arena is "10,000 full season tickets sold, with 16,000 full-season equivalents, which include partial season ticket plans and group buyers." There are "about 7,500 full-season equivalents" at the current venue (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/10).