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Volume 25 No. 27

Facilities

MSG has "quietly used facial-recognition technology to bolster security and identify those entering the building," according to sources cited by Kevin Draper of the N.Y. TIMES. The tech "uses cameras to capture images of people, and then an algorithm compares the images to a database of photographs to help identify the person and, when used for security purposes, to determine if the person is considered a problem." It is "unclear when the face-scanning system was installed." Sources said that they "did not know how many events" at MSG in recent months have "used it or how the data has been handled." MSG was "already known for having tight security" as fans attending events "go through security screening that can include metal detectors, bag searches and explosive-sniffing dogs." At least two other arenas have "experimented with the technology, but teams and leagues are generally unwilling to discuss security protocols, so it is difficult to know for sure how widespread it is." An NBA Kings spokesperson said that facial recognition is "used to allow players and staff to enter the practice facility connected to the Golden 1 Center, but its use has not expanded to event attendees." The Mavericks also have "contracted with Suspect Technologies to experiment with facial recognition outside the team’s locker room and throughout the American Airlines Center" (NYTIMES.com, 3/13). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL last week examined the use of facial recognition in sports under the header, "Facing The Data: Facial Recognition Tech Presents Way To Tailor Fan Experience."

Oracle Arena underwent about $100M worth of renovations in '96, including redesigning the arena’s interior
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES

The Warriors in a letter to Oakland City Council last month reiterated that they "should not pay leftover debt at Oracle Arena" once they leave for Chase Center in '19, according to David Debolt of the EAST BAY TIMES. The Warriors’ argument is that the bonds to renovate the Oakland arena "were to be paid over 30 years, while at the same time the team signed a 20-year lease with the Coliseum joint powers authority and agreed to make annual payments to reduce the debt in those years." Warriors President & COO Rick Welts wrote the letter in response to Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan’s "demand last month that the Warriors pay whatever is left when the team departs," estimated to be $40M. Oracle Arena underwent about $100M worth of renovations in '96, including "redesigning the arena’s interior and adding more seats and luxury suites." The debt at the publicly owned arena, overseen by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, currently is approximately $55M. As part of their license agreement the Warriors have paid some $7M a year "toward the debt." Both sides will "argue their case in front of an arbitrator in July" (EAST BAY TIMES, 3/13).

The Star in Frisco already has one 400,000-square-foot office building on its campus, and now real estate brokers say Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones is "drawing up plans for a second office tower," according to Steve Brown of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Jones' Blue Star Land real estate company has "filed plans with the city of Frisco for three more office buildings ranging from seven to 12 stories tall." The current office building has "attracted a prime roster of tenants, including Bank of America, PlainsCapital Bank, RBC Wealth Management and FM Global." Just this week, commercial property firm ESRP announced that it is "moving to The Star's offices, too, with a view of the Cowboys' practice field." All that leasing activity has "filled up most of The Star's office space." Meanwhile, the Jones family and developer Columbus Realty are also "building a 17-story, 160-unit rental tower called Star House." The apartment tower is "one of two such buildings on the way in Frisco" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/13).