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Mets to Break Ground on New Stadium Monday PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 08 November 2006 23:44
New Mets Ballpark

The NY Mets will break ground on their new 45,000-seat facility on Monday. The $800 million stadium will be built in the parking lot just outside Shea Stadium. As reported by the NY Sun:

The new Mets ballpark will contain 12,000 fewer seats than Shea Stadium and will carry a different moniker, most likely the name of a corporate sponsor. The stadium design, by the firm HOK Sport, is expected to evoke Ebbets Field, the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers before they were moved to Los Angeles in the 1950s.

The city's support for a new Mets ballpark was announced in June 2005, just days after Mayor Bloomberg's plan for a football and Olympic stadium on the West Side of Manhattan was rejected. Originally, the new Mets stadium also was to serve as an Olympic stadium, but New York City failed to win its bid for the 2012 Olympics.

The city is planning to contribute about $90 million and the state about $75 million toward infrastructure improvements. In May, the City Council gave final approval for the city to issue $632 million in tax-exempt and taxable bonds, which the team will pay back over time.

Several renderings of the new design, courtesy of the NY Mets, can be viewed here on The Biz of Baseball website. We also offer a 3-D mass-modeling "fly-through" animation that can be viewed on the site as well.

 
Report: A's to announce relocation to Fremont Nov. 14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Monday, 06 November 2006 11:03

Proposed A's DesignKCBS News in the Bay Area is reporting that the A's will announce that they are preparing to move to Fremont on a 143 acre parcel of land currently owned by Cisco Systems Inc.

As reported, "Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is expected to come to the Bay Area next Tuesday, November 14, and is expected to make the announcement along with A's owner Lew Wolff, Fremont city officials, and executives from Cisco Systems, which will lease the land for the complex."

Prior plans have shown that the A's wish to build a 35,000 seat venue along with a mixed use Ballpark Village, but KCBS News is reporting that facility seating capacity will be 40,000. Given that the KCBS report had the A's Owner and Managing Partner's name as Lew "Wolfe", there is the possibility that the 40,000 seating capacity figure may be incorrect.

In related news, Owner and Managing Partner Lewis Wolff will participate in the grand opening of the A's and Earthquakes Soccer, LLC SouthBay office at the Fairmont San Jose on Wednesday. Also in attendance will be Earthquakes Soccer, LLC Executive Vice President David Alioto and Director of Business Development Ann Rodriguez along with Athletics President Michael Crowley.

Earlier this year, A’s Principle Owners Lewis Wolff and John Fisher reached an agreement with Major League Soccer in an attempt to bring professional soccer back to the Bay Area. As part of the exclusive option agreement, the A’s ownership group has three years to develop a soccer-specific stadium and purchase an MLS team.

 
MLB to focus on Marlins stadium issue after WS PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 27 October 2006 02:52

Proposed Marlins Stadium DesignWith a new labor deal in hand, MLB will focus on completing a new stadium deal for the Marlins in South Florida after the World Series. Two representatives from MLB were in Miami this past week, and MLB president and CFO, Bob DuPuy has been speaking with Miami-Dade County Manager George Burgess and Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina recently.

As reported:

"I expect that we will, in fact, turn our attention to this over the next 60 days to try to get something done," DuPuy said while attending the World Series at St. Louis. "Now that [the labor deal] is done, the Florida stadium situation remains a critical one for us."

The Marlins, who declined to comment, have been focusing talks on financing a stadium at Hialeah. Meanwhile, MLB also has been exploring building a stadium at downtown Miami and has contracts to purchase land south of Miami Arena. Although those contracts are expected to expire before year's end, DuPuy said there is still time remaining on them.

(The South Florida Sun-Sentinel

 
HOK To Hear Public Ideas For Stadium Design in Springdale PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 26 October 2006 12:00

As reported by the NW Arkansas Morning News:

Residents who have ideas about the design for the Springdale baseball stadium will have a chance to tell the architects in November.

Springdale and HOK Architects will hold a public input hearing next week. HOK plans to present an overview of their design process, then take suggestions and comments from attendees at the meetings.

Two sessions are planned for public comments, while a third session is scheduled for city aldermen to make comments and ask questions. The first session is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Arts Center of the Ozarks at 214 S. Main. The second public session is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday at the council chambers in the City Administration Building at 201 Spring St. 

 
The Biz of Baseball mentioned in extensive NY Times article PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 21 October 2006 17:19

The Biz of BaseballKen Belson has an extensive article on stadium economics within the Money section of the 10/22/06 (Sunday) edition of the New York Times.

The article, entitled Oh Yeah, There's a Ballgame, Too, goes into numerous facets of stadium economics including concessions, suites, and many other topics. A great deal of the article covers the development and marketing within Turner Field and Coors Field. The article also has a nice graphic breaking down the 2006 Fan Cost Index as published by Team Marketing Report.

The article also interviews Maury Brown, the editor of The Biz of Baseball. As reported:

An increase of one-tenth of a cent in the metro-area sales tax helped the local stadium authority repay the 20-year construction bonds for Coors in less than a decade. But revitalizing neighborhoods by building stadiums may be more difficult in New York, where the Yankees and Mets have broken ground on new fields next door to their existing stadiums. The Mets’ park in Queens is surrounded by highways and auto body shops, hardly an ideal magnet for upscale restaurants and boutique hotels. Parks border parts of Yankee Stadium, and fans have a myriad of dining and entertainment options elsewhere in the city.

Many civic leaders and taxpayers have also balked at how much money municipalities are being asked to pay for stadium projects, whether in the form of street improvements, parking lots, tax abatements or dozens of other subsidies. Relatively new parks in places like Milwaukee remain burdens on their cities, said Maury Brown, a writer for Baseball Prospectus, a publication devoted to analyzing the game. Local leaders in Oakland, Miami and Washington are keeping this in mind as they consider stadium upgrades in their cities.

“It’s reasonable to tax people who go to the ballparks through ticket taxes, but the general taxpayer should not bear the brunt of it,” said Mr. Brown, who is also editor of www.bizofbaseball.com. “There are a lot of hidden costs that get purposely buried. A lot of municipalities are pushing back.”

(The NY Times)

 
Mayor Wants Spokesman, 3 Others Appointed to DCSEC PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 20 October 2006 01:32

New Nationals BallparkOutgoing D.C. Mayor Antony Williams has sent the City Council four last-minute appointments to the powerful and prestigious D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission (DCSEC), which is raising some concerns because many government officials, including several Council members, believe appointments like these -- ones that carry multi-year terms -- should be left to the next mayor.

The DCSEC is overseeing the construction of the new Nationals ballpark being built on the banks of the Anacostia River. 

Vince Morris, the Mayor's spokesperson, is considered to be one of the candidates.

As reported:

The three other nominees are Mark Tuohey, Lloyd Jordan and Neil Albert.

Tuohey is currently the chairman of the commission, and one of the people responsible for negotiating the deal with Major League Baseball that brought the Nationals to D.C.

Jordan also is currently serving on the commission. An attorney at the powerful law firm Holland and Knight, he is the former head of the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

Williams also nominated his former Director of Parks and Recreation Neil Albert.

Jordan's and Albert's terms would run through the end of 2009, while Tuohey's and Morris' wouldn't expire until 2010.

The nominations all have to be approved by the DC Council.

(WTOP News

 
Bid to hasten construction of DC ballpark parking fails PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 19 October 2006 01:02

Proposed DC parking structures The D.C. Council yesterday voted 8-5 on an emergency bill, thus rejecting a bill that would have quickened the pace of building parking structures for the new Nationals ballpark slated to open in April of 2008. The vote means that chances are ever increasing that building the structures will be late in meeting a requirement to provide parking for 1,225 cars by Opening Day 2008. Per the lease agreement, if the city fails to provide the required spaces, it could be liable to pay millions of dollars in legal damages to the team.

The bill by Adrian M. Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat, called for the city to build two garages aboveground at the north end of the stadium and an underground garage at the south end.

As reported by Tim Lemke of the Washington Times:

Council members balked at the $56 million cost of the proposal, about $30 million over the parking budget for the ballpark. The proposal needed nine votes for approval and received eight.

 The council also rejected an emergency bill presented by Mayor Anthony A. Williams to borrow additional money for underground parking at the stadium, saying that an emergency does not exist.

Council members said that the real reason they shot down the measure was because they thought the bill would violate the $611 million cap on the city's expenditure for the stadium project.

The D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission (DCSEC) may be left with no choice but to pave over a five-acre parcel north of the stadium to provide some parking and let others park on the street.

As reported by David Nakamura of the Washington Post:

Fenty, who is expected to win easily in the Nov. 7 general election for mayor, sought to resolve the deadlock after several city officials appealed to him to get involved last week. On Tuesday, Fenty met with city officials and the Lerner group and settled on his proposal for the $56 million garages.

There is $25 million for parking in the council's $611 million budget, meaning the city would need an additional $31 million. Fenty, with support from Gandhi, proposed that the city use $17 million in additional stadium-related taxes generated from local businesses during the stadium's first two baseball seasons; $8 million in stadium contingency funds; and $6 million in bonds that could be paid off by revenue made by the city by parking cars in the garages during non-game days.

Several council members argued yesterday that, technically, Fenty's plan would raise the cap by $23 million because of the planned use of the business tax revenue and the parking revenue, funds which could be spent on other city needs.

Before the vote, Mayor Williams voiced his frustration on the issue saying, "Take any major project from the pyramids to Stonehenge. The stupid parking lot has taken more hours and meetings per parking space. It's incredible." 

How they voted

Yes

Adrian M. Fenty (D-Ward 4), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Chairman Linda W. Cropp (D), Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large), Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), Kathy Patterson (D-Ward 3), Sharon Ambrose (D-Ward 6) and Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7).

No

David A. Catania (I-At Large), Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), Carol Schwartz (R-At Large), and Vincent B. Orange Sr. (D-Ward 5)

 
DC Council to weigh ballpark legislation PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 17 October 2006 18:32

Nationals new ballparkThe DC Council today will consider several pieces of emergency legislation all centered around speeding up the development of parking and commercial development at the site of the Washington Nationals' new ballpark.

As Tim Lemke and Amy Doolittle of the Washington Times reports:

One emergency bill, introduced by D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, would permit the city to sell revenue bonds to help pay for the construction of parking structures on the ballpark site, and would also allow the city to use money from the sale of development rights for the same purpose. The mayor's bill also allows D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi to collect money from adjacent parking facilities, with the money raised going to pay for parking garages and commercial development at the actual ballpark site.

A separate emergency bill introduced by Councilmember Marion Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, would free the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission from the responsibility of providing parking at the site. Under the bill, those duties would be handed over to the quasi-public Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, which would likely partner with a developer on a parking and commercial project.

The sports commission, which is overseeing the ballpark project, is required by contract with the Nationals to provide parking for 1,225 cars on the ballpark site in time for the stadium's opening day. The transfer of parking responsibilities to the AWC, according to Barry's bill, "is the most efficient method of providing the necessary parking spaces on time and initiating the development process on the ballpark site." But sources yesterday said such a transfer could be in violation of the contract with the Nationals

But, a cheaper alternative may come from Adrian Fenty, the Ward 4 Democrat who is expected to win the city's race for mayor next month. Fenty could introduce a plan to place all the parking above ground at a location at the south end of the stadium site, saving the city as much as $30 million in construction costs. As the article further reports, the "plan reportedly has received the blessing of the Nationals ownership group, the Lerner family, which must approve any plans for the stadium site."

Mayor Anthony Williams is opposed to the plan citing the need for placing the parking below ground at the northern end of the ballpark where more commercial development could occur at the street level.

With all 13 council members still reviewing the bill it is uncertain if there are enough votes for the emergency bills to pass.

(The Washington Times

 
Coliseum board approves lease extension for A's PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 13 October 2006 12:00

McAfee ColiseumLess than a month after breaking off talks with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority to extend their lease at McAfee Coliseum, the Coliseum Authority unanimously approved a lease extension Friday that would extend the lease for the A's till 2010 or possibly 2013.

There has been speculation that the A's may announce a move to Fremont in the off-season, and the lease extension has a provision within it that would address that possible scenario, should the club decide to relocate.

As reported:

The deal allows the A's to cancel their lease without penalties if the team leaves for another stadium in Alameda County.

A's owner Lewis Wolff has expressed interest in moving the team to Fremont, about 20 miles south of Oakland in the same county, and the Oakland Tribune reported earlier this week that Wolff's company purchased 10 acres of land near the Fremont site that the A's have eyed for a new stadium.

The terms of the lease extension also include the end of attendance-based rent payments.

Under the current lease, which runs through 2007, the team shared half of its revenue from ticket sales after 2 million tickets were sold. This year, the team brought in 1.9 million fans for home games.

Formal approval by the parties still must be made. However, Alameda County, the City of Oakland and the Athletics said they agree to it in principle.

(The AP

 

 
In the hot seat: New Twins Stadium PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 13 October 2006 03:34

New Twins FacilityThe word from MLB yesterday was that today's Game 3 ALCS being played at Comerica Park in Detroit is being bumped to a 4:30pm EST start because Detroit is seeing snow arrive at an all-time early date.

Now, think about an outdoor stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

After a decade of attempts, the Twins were able to lock up funding for a new facility this year, but it came with a caveat: no extra funds for a roof. From that point on there have been talks of how to at least put a curb on the cold for those Spring and Fall time games:

As reported: 

For all the early talk about heating the Twins' newly approved stadium, including the field and possibly the seats, making it work poses significant challenges. Using hot water from the cooling tower of the adjacent Hennepin Energy Recovery Center, a waste-to-energy garbage burning plant built in 1989, remains one possibility.

However, both technological and legal questions remain.

Installing heated seats, while never really seen by the Twins as a viable option, may already have been discarded as impractical because of inadequate technology. Few large outdoor stadiums use heated seats -- and one National Football League team that has, the Buffalo Bills, reports that 40 percent of them had quit working because of mechanical problems over the past winter.

However, the Twins and Hennepin County officials are confident that other options can work as the Twins move toward outdoor baseball in 2010 after a quarter century in the climate-controlled Metrodome.

One compromise, which both the Boston Red Sox and the NFL's Cleveland Browns have used variations of, would make radiant heat available through overhead ducts. In the case of the Browns, whose stadium opened in 1999, the radiant heat is provided only for a limited number of outdoor seats used by luxury suite ticket holders.

(The Minnesota Star Tribune)

 
Nats Facility Construction Still On Schedule PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 12 October 2006 01:04

New Nationals BallparkAllen Lew, chief executive officer of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission (DCSEC) said yesterday that construction of the new Washington Nationals facility on the banks of the Anacostia River is, "on time, on budget and we expect to have the ballpark open by April of 2008."

To get it done, however, workers have toiled from 7am to dusk seven days a week. The reason for the extra effort is that the DC Council and MLB went back and forth over terms of a lease and construction agreement.

As reported by Tim Lemke of the Washington Times:

The construction team has excavated more than 300,000 cubic yards of dirt at a rate of more than 5,000 cubic yards a day. It also has installed more than 55,000 cubic yards of concrete, and visitors to the site can see the infield stands starting to take shape. Nearly 2,400 pilings have been put in place, and nine cranes are being used to help erect the steel.

Construction officials said they were able to move quickly in part because the sports commission agreed on a "design-build" plan that allows construction to begin even while architectural plans are being completed. Furthermore, the sports commission also saved time by ordering the steel for the stadium early this year, long before construction was permitted to begin, and by ordering excavations and the relocation of utilities nearly a year ago. 

As for keeping on budget, Lew reported that $7 million more than expected was spent on environmental cleanup at the site.

Construction officials yesterday also said the city's debate over the proposed parking structures should have no affect on the ability of the Nationals to play in the ballpark in Opening Day of 2008.
    

(The Washington Times)
 
Maury Brown on CNBC 7pm ET tonight PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 11 October 2006 04:28

Maury Brown, the editor of The Biz of Baseball will talk with Darren Rovell of CNBC tonight about the incredible shrinking MLB stadium.

Air time is 7pm EST. 

Stadium designs are growing smaller in terms of seating capacity. This season has also seen the A's tarping off the upper deck of McAfee Coliseum, as well as the Rockies closing off upper sections of Coors Field. Darren and Maury will look into this trend tonight.

 
A's to Open Upper Deck for World Series PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 10 October 2006 10:50

Athletics TarpEditors Note: For those unaware, the upper deck of McAfee Coliseum has been tarped off by the A's for the entire 2006 season, the Division Series, and will be for the ALCS games in Oakland.

MLB advises the clubs as to what the gross ticket revenue should be for each playoff round based on their seating capacity. The clubs then scale the house accordingly. That is why you'll see varying ticket prices for each venue.

 A’s to Open Third Deck for Potential World Series Home Games
Additional 11,406 Tickets Will Be Made Available to Registered Fans

OAKLAND, Calif. – At the request of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, Allan H. “Bud” Selig, A’s Managing Partner Lew Wolff and A’s President Michael Crowley, agreed to make seating available in the third deck for any potential World Series games played at McAfee Coliseum.

The opening of the third deck will create an additional 11,406 seats per game which will be made available to the randomly selected winners from the 125,000 fans who pre-registered to purchase World Series tickets through the team’s website, oaklandathletics.com, from September 28 to October 9.  Randomly selected winners will be notified by e-mail with instructions for ordering.

Major League Baseball has priced the tickets at $150.

Since 1968, the Athletics have been involved in postseason play 15 times, winning four World Series titles (1972-74, 1989), six American League pennants (1972-74; 1988-90), 14 AL West Division championships (1971-75; 1981; 1988-90; 1992; 2000; 2002-03; 2006), along with one Wild Card appearance (2001). Only the Atlanta Braves (16) and New York Yankees (15) have won more division championships and only the New York Yankees have won more world championships (6) and league pennants (10) during that span.

From the franchise’s inception in 1901, the Athletics have won 15 American League pennants and nine world championships. Only the Yankees (26) have won more World Series titles.

 
A's Appear to be Fremont Bound PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 09 October 2006 07:30

Proposed A's FacilityThere are indications that the Oakland Athletics may soon be the Fremont Athletics. The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the A's are purchasing up parcels around the proposed 143-acre site owned currently by Cisco Systems where the stadium and other mixed use development would be, in an attempt to get a better investment on the deal before property values skyrocket around the site location, as seen in and around facility development such as the new Washington Nationals stadium project.

As reported:

"I think it's pretty clear we are spending a lot of time in the Fremont area,'' said A's managing partner Lew Wolff. "Obviously, if we can acquire land around (the proposed stadium) and make it better, we will do that.''

The A's and Fremont officials are trying to stay low-key, hoping to avoid a rush on real estate that would drive up prices before the team commits to a ballpark site. Wolff says the A's will make that call before the end of the year.

The A's are hot to leave the Coliseum, where they'll be on a year-to-year lease after 2007. And their options for staying in Oakland or moving to downtown San Jose -- floated as a possibility from time to time -- are shrinking.


"We can't go into the Giants' territory (meaning San Jose, or anywhere in Santa Clara County for that matter), and that's fine," Wolff said. "We want to stay in Alameda County."

(The San Francisco Chronicle)

 
DC Mayor Williams Proposes Raising Spending Cap PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 05 October 2006 03:20

 It seems $611 million may not be enough to build the new Nationals stadium and its associated parking.

DC Mayor Anthony Williams is proposing legislation that would add an additional $75 million to the project. Six months ago a contentious DC Council voted to cap the costs at $611 million. As reported:

Although the council included $25 million for parking in the initial budget, Williams (D) and his top aides say that is not enough to build the garages in a way that would allow for additional development on the site, such as condominiums, shops and restaurants. The mayor has promised that the ballpark project would spur new business and produce millions of dollars in tax revenue.

Under the proposal being developed by Williams, the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission and some council members, the council would be asked at its Oct. 18 meeting to alter the cap and allow additional public money to pay for stadium parking.

"All the council members agree that we need to maximize the economic benefits of the stadium," mayoral spokesman Vince Morris said yesterday. "If we do not do this, we lose out. . . . To not do it would be irresponsible."

(The Washington Post

 
Pompano Park for New Marlins Facility? PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 04 October 2006 01:51

New Marlins StadiumCould the Marlins be moving to Pompano Beach?

For months,  Pompano Beach, Broward County and Florida Marlins officials have discussed financing a stadium that would be built at Pompano Park Harness Track, city officials said Tuesday. As reported:

The talks have not yet yielded a completed deal, but Pompano Beach Mayor John Rayson and Broward County Mayor Ben Graber said they are excited about the possibility of bringing the Marlins to Broward -- a prospect that has seemed unlikely for years as county commissioners have been unenthusiastic about putting tax dollars toward another sports venue. The county commission raised the county hotel bed tax 2 percent in 1996 to help pay for BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, home of the Florida Panthers hockey team.

Both mayors called the discussions "complex" and would not disclose any of the financing details.

"There are possibilities," said Rayson, who has toured the track with representatives of the Marlins and the track's owner, Isle of Capri. He said one possibility is relocating a set of older stables at the track to make way for a stadium.

(The South Florida Sun-Sentinel

 
New Nationals Ballpark to be "Green" PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 04 October 2006 01:11

Nationals Ballpark DesignThe new Nationals Ballpark, currently being built on the banks of the Anacostia River will be the first ever "Green" MLB facility.

The DC Sports and Entertainment Commission (DCSEC) yesterday authorized the design changes. The DCSEC will submit an application to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program from the U.S. Green Building Council, which grades construction projects for their sensitivity to the environment.

To achieve LEED ceertification, a structure is graded on a points system for environmentally and energy efficient design.

(The Washington Times

 
DC Condo/Parking Structure Not Dead Yet PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 03 October 2006 03:51

DC Parking and Condos for Nationals StadiumThe grand parking structure design by Herbert S. Miller isn't dead yet.

A mixed use of condominiums, restaurants, and parking, which would be used for the new Nationals ballpark slated to open in April of 2008 had been declared dead more than a week ago due to funding issues. Now, the DC Council may step in. As reported:

Several D.C. Council members were negotiating late yesterday to introduce emergency legislation today that would revive a plan to build condominiums and parking garages near a new baseball stadium in Southeast Washington.

Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) was leading the effort and had distributed a bill that seeks to alter the $611 million stadium cost cap approved by the council in March. The legislation would allow the city to spend money from the sale of development rights on stadium land to pay for the parking garages.

Recall that the cap on funds was a major point of contention with several Council members when funding for the new stadium was approved at the 11th hour nearly a year ago. One of those opposed to the public subsidy for the stadium at that time was democratic nominee for mayor, Adrian Fenty. 

DC CFO Natwar M. Gandhi expressed "grave concerns" about the plan. The bill would "jeopardize the on-time and on-budget completion of the stadium facility."

(The Washington Post

 

 
Woman hit by falling concrete at Dolphin Stadium PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 02 October 2006 00:54

Dolphin StadiumA piece of concrete fell approx. 20 feet and struck a woman attending yesterday's final game of the season for the Marlins at Dolphin Stadium. The accident occurred in the 4th inning in section 242. The woman sustained minor injuries, and was treated by paramedics at her seat where the injury occurred. The woman mentioned that she would have her personal doctor look at the injury today. She stayed after the injury and continued to watch the game.

As reported, George Torres, director of corporate communications for the stadium speculated the accident may have been caused by some rebar that had rusted, causing a piece of concrete to give way and fall approximately 20 feet into the seating area. Torres said the piece of concrete weighed less than a pound, though it was described by other fans in the stands as being "the size of a football.''

(The Miami Herald

 
$24 million Approved for O's Spring Training Facility PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 28 September 2006 01:28

Fort Lauderdale StadiumBroward County commissioners voted 8-1 very early Weds. morning to approve $24 million in funding over 20 years for the redevelopment of the Baltimore Orioles Spring Training facility. The approval of the funds means the Orioles will not be relocating their Spring Training location.

The Orioles had asked that a Hotel Tax in Broward Co. be redirected at $1 million a year for 30 years. Those funds have been used to replenish sand along Broward's beachfront.

Total cost of the project is estimated at $38 million and would involve four athletic fields, four baseball diamonds and the main stadium. 

Lockhart Stadium would be torn down, which is a concern as high school games are held there. The Orioles have said that they are committed to allowing schools to use the new main stadium and fields for games.

There are concerns about the funding, however. As reported:

Several county commissioners balked at not having adequate information about the stadium deal and worried about having enough money for future county projects such as beach renourishment, a hotel at the convention center and a convention center expansion. ''I want to protect that surplus money by prioritizing,'' Commissioner Ilene Lieberman said.

Their eventual agreement came with the caveat that if surpluses run dry for beach renourishment and the convention center, the county will withhold its annual $800,000, and the team would reduce the value of its $1.2 million marketing and promotion package by that amount.

Broward's tourism bureau would receive one 30-second advertisement for every game aired on the Orioles cable network, spots on game radio broadcasts and a left-field placard at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

Fort Lauderdale also would finance the stadium by issuing tax-exempt bonds for construction, which would be repaid over 30 years with the $350,000 facility-use fee the Orioles pay annually. The team would lease the facility from the city.

Final agreements still must be drawn up and approved by both the city and county.

(The Miami Herald)

 
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