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Volume 25 No. 177

Facilities

The Orioles, seeking to "maximize their lease" at Camden Yards, are "breaking with more than 25 years of team tradition by holding a concert" at the ballpark on July 26 featuring Billy Joel, according to a front-page piece by Meoli, Barker & Mirabella of the BALTIMORE SUN. Thursday's announcement marked the "beginning of a partnership between Orioles Entertainment and the concert promoter Live Nation." Orioles Exec VP John Angelos said that the partnership was "years in the making and will add Camden Yards to the local stable of concert venues." The concert "marks a reversal of more than two decades of tradition" under Angelos family ownership. Orioles Chair & CEO Peter Angelos "expressed concern over the years about the potential effect of concerts on the field, and doubted whether the economics made sense." The economics "now seem to make more sense" to Peter's sons John Angelos and team Ownership Rep Lou Angelos, who have "taken more control of the team’s day-to-day operations amid their 89-year-old father's health struggles." The Orioles "saw attendance wane last year," but concerts and other events "could generate revenue to make up for lost ticket sales." Under the terms of the lease for such events, the Orioles and Maryland Stadium Authority will "split all revenue and expenses equally, after the entertainer's take." For many years, a concert at Camden Yards "simply didn't make sense for the Orioles." Under the team's initial lease, it "wouldn't share in any profits from concerts and non-baseball events the stadium authority booked for the ballpark, but the team also could veto such events" (BALTIMORE SUN, 1/11).

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: In Baltimore, Amanda Yeager noted opening Camden Yards to concerts is the "latest advance for the Orioles organization, which has seen a number of shifts" as John and Lou Angelos have "taken on a more prominent role in managing the team." About 37,000 tickets "will be available" for the Billy Joel show. Camden Yards has 45,971 seats in all, but "some will have to be taken out of service for the show because sightlines will be blocked by the stage." Nearby M&T Bank Stadium has "held multiple concerts over the years" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 1/10).

MAKING THE ROUNDS: In Ft. Worth, Robert Philpot notes Joel will play the "final concert at Globe Life Park" before the Rangers move to Globe Life Field in '20. Concerts on his '19 tour have "already been announced" at Chase Field, Petco Park, T-Mobile Park, PNC Park, Citizens Bank Park, Nationals Park, Coors Field, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/11).

The Giants expect to receive more than $15M per year from the Oracle deal, up from $4-5M from AT&T
Photo: GIANTS

MLB Giants President & CEO Larry Baer described Oracle’s "prominence in the technology realm as instrumental" in the team's ballpark naming-rights agreement with the company, according to Ron Kroichick of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Baer said, “We’re in the center of technology and innovation, so it was really important to partner with a company in that world. We know technology will change in the next 20 years." When the Giants started looking for a new naming-rights partner, they "called a handful of companies, including Oracle, with which they already had a relationship." Baer said that the "first meeting with Oracle was Nov. 26, and then both sides 'worked at hyper-speed to put something together.'" This agreement "gives the Giants a fresh revenue stream." They now "figure to receive" more than $15M "annually from naming rights, compared" with $4-5M from their previous deal. Baer acknowledged that the deal "allows the team to take some risks, not only in free agency/player acquisition but also in fan experience." Baer "mentioned possible enhancements in electronic food ordering" and VR, but he "does not expect fans to see these upgrades" in '19 (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/11). Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said negotiations were "fast and thoughtful because the depth and the trust in our relationships have gone on for years" ("Power Lunch," CNBC, 1/10).

LOCAL FEEL: In S.F, Ann Killion writes it "would be wonderful if the Giants named their stadium 'Willie Mays Park.'" However, that is "not realistic" with the "money at stake." The Giants "aren’t exactly hitting hard times, but they could use a cash infusion." With the Warriors playing their final season at Oracle Arena, the company "clearly didn’t want its association with a local sports team to vanish, and placing it right next to the Warriors’ new home, smack in the heart of a thriving technology alley, seems a no-brainer." The Giants are "happy that they have a new partner that has local ties, something that wasn’t the case with AT&T," and Oracle "isn’t likely to vanish anytime soon" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/11).

The USL Indy Eleven plans to "build a multimillion dollar mixed use development called 'Eleven Park' with a 20,000 seat" stadium as its centerpiece, according to a front-page piece by Mack & Briggs of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. The new real estate district would also include "retail space, public space, offices, a parking structure and apartments." Officials "aim to open" the MLS-ready stadium in time for the '22 season. Development plans "call for 600 apartments, more than 100,000 square feet of retail space, 150,000 square feet of office space and a 200-room boutique hotel." Officials said that the "possible location of the development will be announced at a later date." They added that the current scope of the project includes about $400M in "private investment" and $150M "related to the stadium, public plazas and infrastructure to be financed through a public-private partnership." Indy Eleven is "dependent on the state legislature, as well as the City-County Council, for help in making its stadium dream a reality" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 1/11). Indy Eleven Owner Ersal Ozdemir said that the stadium design "allows for future expansion if the team’s fan base continues to grow or if MLS increases its minimum stadium capacity, which currently is 20,000" (IBJ.com, 1/10).