California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that will "prevent environmental complaints from significantly stalling the construction of a new ballpark" for the A's should the team "choose to build" at the Howard Terminal location, according to Kimberly Veklerov of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Under the bill, signed Sunday, legal challenges to the project "must be resolved within 270 days." In return, the A's have "promised to adhere to a host of environmental measures, including traffic mitigation and green building standards." The law "applies only to a possible ballpark" at the Howard Terminal site. The team has "not yet announced" whether it will build a ballpark at Howard Terminal or stay at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, which has "already cleared environmental reviews." A's President Dave Kaval said that the new law "ensures that a ballpark would be ready" for a '23 opening. Kaval also said that the team is currently "working out economic terms of potential land deals" at both potential sites (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/1).
CLIPPING THE RED TAPE: In L.A., Mirjam Swanson notes Brown also signed a bill that will protect the Clippers plans to construct a new arena from "extended environmental litigation," and will "limit the windows for lawsuits, including appeals, for the project to nine months." The Clippers "hope to open" a new arena in Inglewood in '24. The bill "requires the Clippers to employ a 'skilled and trained workforce,'" and hire 30% of their employees "locally." Other sports facility proposals that have "obtained similar legislative protection from such litigation" include the Warriors' Chase Center and the NBA Kings' Golden 1 Center. The Clippers' proposed Inglewood project has been "met with opposition from a pair of community groups" and the owners of the nearby Forum, the longtime former home of the Lakers (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 10/2).
New USF AD Michael Kelly said that he is "hopeful the school can break ground" on the $40M USF Football Center some time in '19, with the "objective to have it completed" by '20. Kelly said that $11.5M has been "committed to the project, the plans of which were unveiled 11 months ago." In Tampa, Joey Knight notes the next round of meetings with designers, led by Exec Deputy AD & COO Barry Clements, "starts next week." Naming rights for "various segments of the complex also are being solicited, with some already secured" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 10/2).
MOVE-IN DAY: In Providence, Kevin McNamara noted Providence basketball coach Ed Cooley and his team are "moving into" the Ruane Friar Development Center, the "long-awaited" $30M practice facility. The school "finally" owns the "basketball practice facility of their dreams." Cooley said, "This is as good as any basketball practice facility in the country." He added, "We are the last school in the league to get one, but we are also the smallest school in the league. Our endowment is comparably small and we had to privately raise the money so a lot of credit goes to the team here at Providence" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 9/30).
CATS' NIP: In Lexington, Jared Peck noted Kentucky "unveiled a few renderings of what a renovated Memorial Coliseum would look like after an estimated" $15M in upgrades. The renderings for the multipurpose venue reveal what a new $2.2M “Club Area” in the north end zone "would look like." The club area would "go in the space where the old video board sat and where bleacher seating has gone unused for years after the construction of the adjacent Joe Craft Center," UK's basketball practice facility (KENTUCKY.com, 10/1).
WHAT'S NEW? In Indianapolis, Matthew VanTryon noted Indiana "unveiled the Roberts Family Indiana Basketball Team Center" over the weekend. It features more than 4,000-square feet of space, including a "locker room and training room" (INDYSTAR.com, 9/29).