The NBA Kings on Thursday unveiled plans for an esports training facility and production studio to be built inside Golden 1 Center. The 2,100-square-foot facility, to be built on the arena’s event level, includes a training and broadcast center and a gamer lounge to be used for the team’s upcoming NBA 2K League team and future Kings gaming teams. The new space will have gaming tech and broadcast capabilities to produce livestreams and content. The cost of the facility was not disclosed. The facility also will accommodate small theater-style audiences and will be wired into Golden 1 Center’s premium clubs, along with a direct feed into the arena’s bowl through its scoreboard. The space is planned to open in mid-January ahead of the NBA 2K League launch in May (John Lombardo, Staff Writer). In S.F., Benny Evangelista notes Kings management "wants to be the first" to create a permanent esports training area inside a pro sports arena. The esports room beneath the stands "will give the Kings’ five-member video game team access to everything available" to the NBA players, including the weight room, health care facilities, dining area and oxygen bar. It will also have a 360-degree camera to "give fans a look inside the room" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/8).
In Phoenix, Rebekah Sanders reports the D-backs and Maricopa County are "negotiating in secret over the team's request to move out of Chase Field, leaving taxpayers without an immediate window into talks that could affect" as much as $187M in ballpark repairs. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge "ordered the parties last month to take their bitter fight out of the public eye and into private mediation." The first public glimpse of their progress "will be a status report to the court Jan. 15." The county's private attorney Grady Gammage Jr. said that if the parties "reach a mutual resolution, taxpayers might have only 24 hours to review the deal before the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors votes on it" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 12/8).
WHAT'S NEW THAT'S BREWING: In Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt notes the Brewers are planning a "renovation of the PNC Club Level concourse" at Miller Park, to be completed before the start of the '18 season. The project features a "redesign and modernization of that level, including the addition of two new food areas, a hospitality station and a revamped marketplace." The upgrades include "new corridor finishes, wall coverings and improved lighting, with wall graphics commemorating various moments in Miller Park history." The redesign also "includes new large-screen TVs and furniture, including bar-top tables and modular seating" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 12/8).
EXPENSE REPORT: In Providence, Kate Bramson in a front-page piece reports the "initial cost to build" a new ballpark for the Triple-A Int'l Leagaue Pawtucket Red Sox could be as high as $97M, which is 17% "higher than the earlier projection" of $83M. Revised ballpark-financing legislation was introduced in the Rhode Island Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. The increase is because the legislation now details $85M as the top amount the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency "could bond to raise" what Pawtucket, the state and club have "said they’d each contribute to the project." Despite the projected higher costs, Senate Finance Chairman William J. Conley Jr. said that he "doesn’t expect" the ballpark project to be "that expensive" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 12/8).