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Volume 26 No. 111

Facilities

The Raiders are "nearing a naming rights agreement" with Allegiant Airlines for the team's new 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas, according to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez (TWITTER.com, 7/31). No terms of the potential deal have been released, but PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Charean Williams noted the price for "applying a name to the stadium was expected to cost $25 million per year for 20 years" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 7/31). Las Vegas-based KSNV-NBC's Bryan Salmond noted there have been "rumblings for some time" about Allegiant buying the naming rights. A "big reveal" is set for Monday as there will be a topping out ceremony at the stadium. Salmond said, "Who knows, maybe they'll have the name by then" (KSNV-NBC, 7/31). Officials with the Las Vegas-based airline in May denied that a trademark filing for "Allegiant Stadium" was tied to the Raiders' venue (THE DAILY).

Tepper envisions a new stadium for the Panthers bringing huge events like the Super Bowl to Charlotte
Photo: getty images
Tepper envisions a new stadium for the Panthers bringing huge events like the Super Bowl to Charlotte
Photo: getty images
Tepper envisions a new stadium for the Panthers bringing huge events like the Super Bowl to Charlotte
Photo: getty images

NFL Panthers Owner David Tepper "dreams" of a new stadium in Charlotte with a "retractable roof to be built within the next decade that could host not only NFL football, but set up North Carolina" to host an NCAA Final Four for the first time since '94, according to Rick Bonnell of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Such a stadium could also "fast-track" an MLS team and "establish Charlotte as a true epicenter of the Carolinas for sports and entertainment." Tepper said, "I've been talking about some sort of a new stadium. It's really a whole, big statewide sort of deal." He added, "If we do football, and if we do end up with a soccer franchise, and then have all the other events there -- have a Final Four there -- that would be the cherry on top. It's not like idle chatter; it's something I'd really like to see done. To say that I'm going to do it in the next year, that's not true." Tepper also said he would like any new stadium to "be as close" as possible to Bank of America Stadium's current location (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/1). SBJ's Ben Fischer highlighted Tepper's plans for a new stadium in this week's issue.

A CLOSER LOOK: Charlotte-based WCNC-NBC’s Fred Shropshire said Tepper “made it clear the current stadium doesn’t have all the bells and whistles he would like." Charlotte City Councilman Larken Egleston said of tax dollars being used, “It’s kind of just the way these work now … and investment in the stadium would come from that hotel/motel tourism tax. It’s same way we’re paying for the improvements to the convention center and for those types of things that’s what that bank of money is there for" (WCNC-NBC, 7/31). In Charlotte, Katie Peralta noted a new stadium like the one Tepper has described would "likely cost more" than $1B and "require taxpayer funds." When Tepper was a Steelers investor, that team "used incentives from the city, county and state to help build its stadium and surrounding areas" (CHARLOTTEAGENDA.com, 7/31). THE ATHLETIC's Jourdan Rodrigue noted over the past year, Tepper has "pumped out multiple infrastructure projects, the most noteworthy of which being the indoor practice bubble," and the "several hundred acres the team has secured in Rock Hill, S.C., for a new mixed-use practice facility and team headquarters" (THEATHLETIC.com, 7/31).

SHOWING COMMITMENT: In Charlotte, Tom Sorensen writes the city is "stronger with the Panthers than without them." So, as long as Tepper invests his money into the team, Charlotte "should supplement his investment" with taxpayer funds for a new stadium. Tepper's business "comes with a price." If Tepper builds a new stadium, local businesses will "scramble to get close" to it, and since it will "offer a retractable roof, Charlotte will host its first Super Bowl." If Tepper has "shown us anything" since he bought the Panthers last year, it is that he is "committed to the Carolinas" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/1).

The city of Jacksonville has "agreed to undisclosed terms of a development deal" with Jaguars Owner Shad Khan to build a $450M "mixed-use project on the Lot J parking area next to TIAA Bank Stadium," according to a front-page piece by Christopher Hong of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said the city will be a “financial partner” in the project. Khan and City Hall have been "discussing the development" since at least '17. The plan for the development includes an "entertainment venue surrounded by restaurants, a 200-bed boutique hotel and a 300-unit residential tower." It would also "include one office building" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 8/1). In Jacksonville, Mike Mendenhall notes the development's Live Arena will be "modeled after a similar multilevel entertainment, food and drink venue" in the K.C. Power & Light District. That project is by The Cordish Cos., which is working with Iguana Investments Florida on Lot J. Jaguars President Mark Lamping in April said that Cordish has "agreed to operate the Live Arena at Lot J." A hotel operator already is "secured for the 200-room boutique hotel" (JACKSONVILLE DAILY RECORD, 8/1).

Local breweries will have a presence in the new Chase Center through the arena's Taste Makers program
Photo: chase center
Local breweries will have a presence in the new Chase Center through the arena's Taste Makers program
Photo: chase center
Local breweries will have a presence in the new Chase Center through the arena's Taste Makers program
Photo: chase center

The Warriors' new Chase Center announced the last of its "in-house food and drink components" ahead of its September opening, which include a "handful of bar concepts" and "Pepsi Hydration Stations" that will be scattered throughout the arena, according to Justin Phillips of the S.F. CHRONICLE. French beverage company Pernod Ricard is "opening multiple bars in the Chase Center, including a Jameson bar space in the upper concourse." Philippines-based Tanduay Rum will also have "'theater boxes' opening above the arena's Suite Level." One of the "largest ventures on the beverage front is a two-story Budweiser Legends Club on the west side" of the arena, which will house one of two Michelob Ultra bars. Local breweries will also "have a presence through the arena's Taste Makers program which provides Bay Area businesses with networking and educational programs." Two Elysian City Bistros, which are owned by A-B InBev, are "headed to the upper and main concourse." A Constellation Brands' Modelo Cantina is "being built on the north upper concourse skybar and a Modelo-themed bar is coming together on the south upper concourse." S.F.-based Bon Vivants Hospitality has been "selected by Chase Center to help coordinate a beverage program throughout the facility" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/1).

Inter Miami Managing Owner Jorge Mas ahead of the MLS All-Star Game in Orlando last night "assured fellow MLS owners" that his "ambitious plans are on track and the club will be ready to play" in '20, according to Luis Torres of PRO SOCCER USA. Inter Miami is set to play its "first two MLS seasons" at renovated Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale before "moving to Miami Freedom Park" in '22. However, Mas "still faces obstacles finishing work" on Lockhart. The stadium, which will seat 18,000, "had to undergo a demolition" for extensive renovations. Mas said that certain parts of the facility "might not be done in time" for the '20 season. He added, "I'm very confident that we'll have close to 100% of the whole facility done by March. ... There's no plan b." Mas also said that there have been "more than 8,000 non-refundable deposits for spots" in Lockhart Stadium, about 2,000 of which are "for club seats." Mas added the team is "currently in negotiations for the lease" to the stadium, and are "anticipating and hopeful" to have it done within the next 60-90 days (PROSOCCERUSA.com, 7/31).

Calgary City Councillor Jeff Davison, who spearheaded efforts in pursuing the Flames' new arena deal, said that it is possible the team "could take their first face-off in the new building" in the fall of '24, according to Bill Kaufmann of the CALGARY HERALD. For now, Davison said that the "next step is determining how the new building will look and function, a process expected to kick off" after Sept. 5 when a Calgary Municipal Land Corp. report on "how public engagement will proceed" goes to the Calgary Event Centre Assessment Committee. He also said that a "virtual pre-requisite is that the 19,000-seat facility be capable of hosting major concerts, something the Saddledome's unique but finicky roof was often unable to accommodate." Meanwhile, CMLC VP/Marketing & Communications Clare LePan said that the "demolition of the Saddledome won't happen until after its replacement is completed" (CALGARY HERALD, 8/1).

Rams Exec VP & COO Kevin Demoff does not believe the first event at the Inglewood stadium "will be a Rams or Chargers football game" when the venue opens next year, according to Arash Markazi of the L.A. TIMES. Demoff said, "That's not to say it couldn't be an NFL event, but it likely won't be an NFL game. ... We're thinking about a summer concert series, international soccer matches and other events. Our hope is that fans of entertainment and sports will get to come and sample this building before we play a game." Markazi notes Demoff's comments were the first sign that the stadium "could be finished in time to host its first event" prior to the '20 NFL preseason. It is "common for new stadiums and arenas to host such events as a 'test run' before the primary tenants play their first games" (L.A. TIMES, 8/1).

TOP OF HIS MIND: THE DAILY caught up with Demoff at the '19 World Congress of Sports to find out what is keeping him occupied these days. Among the things on his mind are being in L.A. and the city being Super Bowl ready.