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Volume 21 No. 1

Coast to Coast

Braves close on land purchase

The Atlanta Braves closed on the 57-acre parcel where the team’s $672 million stadium will be built. The team agreed to pay $34 million to Bethesda, Md.-based B.F. Saul Co. for the property. Additionally, the team last week selected Populous to design the new ballpark.

Celtics work on hunger awareness

The Boston Celtics have partnered with Sal’s Pizza and Project Bread on a community initiative called “Teaming Up Against Hunger.” The effort gives students at select Boston-area schools a chance to star in their own PSA on hunger awareness.

HarborCenter to have training facility

The $172 million HarborCenter development opening this fall is getting a 5,000-square-foot high-performance training facility overseen by Impact Sports Performance. The facility will be run by Jason Jerome, who founded Impact Sports, a subsidiary of Pegula Sports and Entertainment. Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula is developing the HarborCenter project.

All-Americans get Wrigley lights

This year’s Under Armour All-America Baseball Game, powered by Baseball Factory, will be played at night for the first time in the game’s seven-year history. The Aug. 16 game at Wrigley Field will air live nationally on MLB Network and showcase 36 of the nation’s best high school players.

Indians, Delaware North extend pact

The Cleveland Indians extended their pact with Delaware North Cos. that calls for the company to continue food and beverage operations at Progressive Field. Terms of the long-term pact were not disclosed. Delaware North has been aligned with the Indians’ ballpark since it opened in 1994.

Video board part of stadium renovation

Columbus Crew Chairman Anthony Precourt said Crew Stadium’s video board will be replaced as part of a multimillion-dollar renovation to the 15-year-old facility, according to a Columbus Dispatch report. The new Daktronics board, at 66 feet by 17 feet, will be more than double the size of the one that survived a fire before a game against D.C. United last March. Also included are an auxiliary video display and two ribbon displays.


The Hall of Fame celebrates vehicles and artifacts from American motorsports, including open-wheel racing, stock cars, motorcycles, aviation, drag racing and powerboats.
Motorsports HOF moving to Daytona
The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America plans to move its operations and exhibit collection from the Detroit area to Daytona International Speedway by January 2016. The move coincides with the scheduled completion of the Daytona Rising renovation project at the speedway.

Pro Bowl draws near-capacity crowd

A crowd of 47,270 fans attended the Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium last week in what could be the last Pro Bowl in Hawaii. The site for next year’s game has not been announced. This year’s game, on NBC, also was the final Pro Bowl on network television before exclusive broadcast rights move to ESPN in 2015.

Royals partner with School of Rock

The Kansas City Royals and the local School of Rock group are teaming for a promotion called Family FunDay Sundays at Kauffman Stadium in the coming MLB season. Every Sunday home game will feature entertainment by the KC School of Rock House Band along with presentations of its Little Wing program at the ballpark. The House Band features musicians ranging in age from 12 to 17, while Little Wing has preschool-age performers.


The SportsNet LA food truck will operate until the start of the regular season.
SportsNet LA markets channel launch
SportsNet LA, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ planned RSN, started a marketing campaign with messages announcing the channel’s launch on Feb. 25. The effort adorns 40 billboards and 100 bus shelters in the Los Angeles market. The RSN also put its message on a food truck that will give out Dodger Dogs at various events.

‘HockeyBird’ debuts at Dodger Stadium
The NHL and “Angry Birds” developer Rovio Entertainment unveiled the NHL HockeyBird mascot at the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25. A virtual version of HockeyBird appeared on video screens at the ballpark in two animated crowd games using voice-activated fan engagement technology created by Uplause.

Cubs open new ballpark

The Chicago Cubs’ new spring training facility had a grand opening event on Jan. 25 that featured live music, tours of the park and photo opportunities on the field, according to an East Valley Tribune report. The new ballpark will seat 15,000 for games.


Team president Pat Riley spoke to party attendees at the home of player Ray Allen.
Heat gala raises $1.2 million
The Miami Heat Charitable Fund raised more than $1.2 million at its TaHEATi Beach presented by Hublot event last month. This year’s gala was hosted at the Coral Gables residence of Ray and Shannon Allen. More than 150 guests walked the red carpet at the $20,000 per couple event.

Burger joint hits Miller Park

Wisconsin-based burger restaurant AJ Bombers plans to open a stand at Miller Park for the 2014 MLB season. The stand will be located in the space previously known as Plaza Pavilion along the west side of the stadium.

Rangers stay after school with Kumon

The New York Rangers and Kumon North America agreed to a multiyear marketing partnership, naming the after-school learning program the official learning center of the Rangers. The agreement gives Kumon brand integration at Madison Square Garden during Rangers games and designates Kumon as a partner of the Rangers’ youth hockey camps.

PIR wants jeans on race day

Cotton Inc. and Phoenix International Raceway agreed to a partnership for an at-track denim recycling initiative and title sponsorship of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the facility on March 1. The deal gives the race the title of Blue Jeans Go Green 200 presented by Cotton, The Fabric of Our Lives. As for the recycling effort, fans will be able to drop off any type of denim at recycling bins, and that denim will be converted into UltraTouch Denim Insulation by Bonded Logic, located in Chandler, Ariz.

Blazers, Wells Fargo extend deal

The Portland Trail Blazers and Wells Fargo signed a three-year extension of their sponsorship deal, agreeing to continue their partnership through the 2015-16 NBA season. The agreement calls for the Blazers and Wells Fargo to continue to jointly market their brands throughout the region and for them to launch a new college scholarship program.

Kings unwrap arena images

A center-hung scoreboard can be seen from street level through massive windows.
The Sacramento Kings released long-awaited renderings of a new downtown arena last week. The renderings from AECOM came after months of feedback from fans and the public through workshops, open houses and town halls. The team said that construction materials will include glass, recycled aluminum, and concrete made of sand from San Benito and Sierra limestone rocks.

Poll: Residents oppose stadium funding

A survey of more than 1,000 residents shows public opinion is running strongly against Mayor Vincent Gray’s initiative for financing a new D.C. United stadium, according to a Washington Post report. The January poll surveyed 1,003 people and found that six in 10 residents oppose the plan, which was unveiled by Gray and team officials in July. The number of those strongly opposed to the deal more than doubles the number of residents who strongly support it, according to the poll results.


Camp Nou speaks to visitors
FC Barcelona is welcoming international fans to Camp Nou stadium with a new message played in English over the facility’s loudspeaker, according to a Sport report. The message: “Visitors from all over the world, welcome to Camp Nou, FC Barcelona’s legendary and magical home. We are delighted to have you here and we hope you enjoy the game. Thank you very much for coming and we hope to see you back again very soon.” The message is part of the club’s ongoing effort to make foreign fans feel welcome at its games.

Baseball hall of fame planned
The South Korean southern port city of Busan is nearing an agreement with the Korea Baseball Organization to build the sport’s hall of fame, according to a Yonhap report. City officials in Busan, the nation’s second-largest city, will reportedly sign a deal this month with the KBO and the county of Kijang, with the hall then opening by 2016.

Formula E headquarters set
Donington Park Racing Circuit was selected as the site of Formula E’s headquarters and team facilities. Construction on a 44,000-square-foot facility began last month. It will provide all 10 Formula E teams with offices, stores and workshops for the circuit’s 150 staff members.

Work begins on cricket stadium
Construction of a 30,000-seat cricket stadium began in Afghanistan’s southeastern Khost province, according to a Pajhwok Afghan News report. Khost Gov. Abdul Jabbar Naeemi laid the foundation stone of the stadium and said that a $1.3 million donation for construction of the project came from the government of Germany.

Team signs automotive partner
Vauxhall Motors will be Liverpool FC’s automotive partner in Europe until the end of the 2015-16 season, according to a Liverpool Echo report. Vauxhall Motors has a manufacturing plant at Ellesmere Port near Liverpool.

Arsenal, Puma sign $249M deal
Arsenal FC and Puma reached a five-year, $249 million kit supply deal that is the largest in British football history, according to a (London) Telegraph report. The deal begins next season. Arsenal’s current deal with Nike dates to 2003 and is worth about $13 million a year.

Chelsea signs bookmaker Coral
U.K. bookmaker Coral agreed a 2 1/2-year deal to become the official European online betting partner of Chelsea FC, according to an iGamingBusiness report. Under the deal, Coral will deliver exclusive betting offers to Chelsea fans on a weekly basis for various markets around the world.

2016 budget swells 25 percent
Brazil’s operating budget for the 2016 Summer Olympics has increased by 25 percent above initial estimates to about $2.9 billion as a result of new sports and inflation, according to a Bloomberg report. The original spending plan called for expenses of $2.3 billion, mostly funded through sponsorships and an International Olympic Committee grant.

Organizing committee begins work

The Japanese Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government launched an organizing committee for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics with former prime minister Yoshiro Mori as its leader, according to a Japan Times report. The committee is in charge of preparations and overall management of the Summer Games.

Sports apply for Paralympics inclusion
Six sports and three disciplines applied to be included in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Vying to be added are para-badminton, para-taekwondo, powerchair football, three-on-three intellectually impaired basketball, electric wheelchair hockey, amputee football, one-person multi-hull (sailing), blind match racing (sailing) and three-on-three wheelchair basketball.

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