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See What the "Coca-Cola Corner" at Fenway Will Look Like PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 03 March 2008 20:07

Construction of the Coca-Cola CornerYesterday, the Boston Red Sox announced that they had reached an extended sponsorship agreement with the Coca-Cola company to create a new section at Fenway Park called the “Coca-Cola Corner.”

The new extension with Coca-Cola runs five years and will run to the end of the 2017 season. Financial terms were not announced.

The new section will add 412 new seats to Fenway, plus a new sign that will measure 42’8” in length and 12’3” in height, and will feature 1059 LED lights that will scroll through the iconic “Coca-Cola” logo.

Coca-Cola Corner

The Coca-Cola Corner seating area will feature picnic tables, Coca-Cola and Red Sox-themed décor and a wide variety of food and beverage options, including select Coca-Cola products.

The Boston Red Sox has provided the Business of Sports Network with images showing the current state of construction (upper left), as well as an artist rendering of what the finished section will look like (image to the right).

Select the image to the right to see an artist rendering in high resolution.

ALL IMAGES COURTESY BOSTON RED SOX


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network

 
412 New Seats, Signage for "Coca-Cola Corner" at Fenway PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 03 March 2008 10:03

Red Sox and Coca ColaThe Boston Red Sox and Coca-Cola today unveiled “The Coca-Cola Corner”, a new family-friendly seating and hospitality area of Fenway Park for the 2008 season. The unique area will add more than 412 new seats to “ America ’s Most Beloved Ballpark”, and is part of the extension and expansion of the Red Sox partnership with Coca-Cola, the longest-standing team sponsor with a relationship dating back to 1912. Coca-Cola is “The Official Soft Drink of the Boston Red Sox”.

The new Coca-Cola Corner will be located on the State Street Pavilion level, and will be crowned with a new illuminated sign featuring the beverage company’s signature red and white logo. The sign design harkens back to an historic Coca-Cola sign that stood on Storrow Drive for more than four decades, and will provide the company with a new and even more meaningful historic Fenway presence.

“Working with a creative and valued partner like Coca-Cola is always exciting and we were thrilled when discussions began to create a unique area that could greatly enhance our ability to provide fans with the best ballpark experience possible,” said Sam Kennedy, Executive Vice President, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Boston Red Sox. “The Coca-Cola Corner is the next chapter in a sponsor relationship that will now extend well beyond Fenway Park ’s 100th anniversary in 2012.”

The sign will measure 42’8” in length and 12’3” in height, and will feature 1059 LED lights that will scroll through the iconic “Coca-Cola” logo. The 25 second scroll, which will illuminate lights in a pattern that replicates writing, will be done in 254 steps. The Red Sox choice to use LED in the new sign is in keeping with the organization’s commitment to adopting environmentally-sustainable business practices with the bulbs using 80% less power and lasting years longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.  The sign was designed by Ashton Design and constructed by Triangle Signs. It will be installed before Opening Day 2008.

The Coca-Cola Corner seating area will feature picnic tables, Coca-Cola and Red Sox-themed décor and a wide variety of food and beverage options, including select Coca-Cola products.

“We are very proud of our association with the World Champion Boston Red Sox and are thrilled to have our brand featured in such a high-visibility position at America ’s Most Beloved Ballpark,” said Joe Papapietro, Vice President of Sales Operations, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New England . “The Coca-Cola Corner is another way for us to bring Red Sox fans the enjoyment of refreshing Coca-Cola beverages, and expand our commitment to helping preserve and protect Fenway Park .”

The Coca-Cola Corner is an expansion of the beverage company’s presence at the ballpark. In early February three Coke bottles were removed from the left field light tower as the last piece in the efforts to restore the light towers to their original historic appearance. The 25’ fiberglass bottles, which made their debut at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, were installed in 1997.

The Coca-Cola Corner is a one of the key elements of the Red Sox’ Year VII Fenway Park Improvements. The Year VII improvements continue the club’s efforts to make Fenway Park more comparable to other MLB parks in terms of number of seats and fan amenities, while still preserving the scale and character that had made Fenway Park ‘America's Most Beloved Ballpark’. Changes are being made in accordance with the standards set by the National Park Service and are reviewed in advance by the Massachusetts Historic Commission, the Boston City Landmarks Commission, and Boston Redevelopment Authority. The club has made annual improvements since Principal Owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, and President/CEO Larry Lucchino and their partners purchased the club before the start of the 2002 season.

Source: Boston Red Sox 

 


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network

 
Citi Field Logo to be Unveiled Today by Mets PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 25 February 2008 06:07

Citi Field LogoThe New York Mets plan to unveil the logo for Citi Field today, according to Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal:

The Citi Field logo, designed in-house with the aid of brand consultant Lippincott, combines the existing Citigroup logo with the Mets’ blue and orange colors. Like many baseball-themed marks, it also employs a diamond shape.

[…]

The logo will be officially unveiled at two events today: one in midtown Manhattan and another at the Mets’ spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

(See renderings of the new Mets ballpark being constructed)

The naming rights deal reached by Citigroup and the Mets in ’06 is the largest US naming rights deal in history, at 20-years, $400 million. Rumors have recently floated around that due to Citigroup’s recent fourth quarter net loss of $9.83 billion that the naming rights deal might be in jeopardy. The unveiling today seems to put that to rest, although one speculates whether a restructuring of $20 million annually might occur in favor of backloading. To date, no confirmation on such a restructure has been made.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
City and County Approve Marlins Stadium Funding PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 21 February 2008 14:17

Marlins StadiumThe Florida Marlins passed through the final set of hurdles for a proposed $515 million, retractable roof ballpark on the site of the Orange Bowl today, when city of Miami commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the deal, followed by a 9-3 vote before the Miami-Dade County Commission Thursday night, thus marking the end of over a decade's worth of searching for a baseball-only stadium by three separate ownership groups, provided legal wrangling doesn't scuttle the deal. The deal also calls for the city to construct a $94 million, 6,000-space parking garage with some financial assistance from the Marlins. The stadium deal is part of a larger $619 million package that includes other civic improvements. As reported by Sarah Talalay of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

The plan calls for the city to contribute $13 million in hotel bed taxes, spend as much as $10 million for the demolition of the Orange Bowl and oversee the building of the parking garage. The Marlins will offset those costs by buying most of the 6,000 parking spots annually and then re-selling them.

Miami-Dade County is to contribute $347 million derived from a $50 million general obligation bond approved by voters in 2004 to renovate the Orange Bowl. The funding has since moved to the ballpark project, with the balance to come from hotel taxes.

The Marlins will provide $120 million up front and another $35 million in annual rent payments of $2.3 million a year. The team is to cover cost overruns, unless delays are caused by the city or county. They also will change their name to Miami Marlins by 2011, when they hope to open the ballpark.

But, getting over the final hurdle – the Miami-Dade Co. vote – did not go as smoothly.

The county commission met since 1pm ET trying to come to an agreement one way or the other on the deal. The sticking point was a sticking point on something outside the stadium deal proper: which police department will patrol the new ballpark. The controversy had the capacity to kill the deal. As reported by the Miami Herald earlier today:

The county commission could still vote on the $619 million package before the end of the day, but many commissioners were talking about adding an amendment to guarantee some work for off-duty county officers -- an amendment that would essentially negate the city's 4-1 approval earlier in the day and force them to meet again.

''All the parties have to agree,'' said County Manager George Burgess.

Still at issue is whether city or county police would patrol the new stadium.

If it seemed like a small matter, it’s not. As further reported:

The fight was serious enough that city commissioners, who voted hours earlier and were not at county hall, were getting calls. Commissioner Marc Sarnoff said the fire-department spots should be reserved for the city, but might be willing to give county cops the inside of the ballpark if they give up a handful of spots at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

But, late Thursday night, word came that the county commission voted 9-3 in favor of the deal. As reported Thursday evening by the Miami Herald after the county vote was taken in favor of the deal:

The 37,000-seat facility would be at the site of the Orange Bowl, which is to be demolished in the coming months, and this is the closest the Marlins have been to fulfilling their stadium quest.

But several issues, including the particularly thorny matter of deciding if city or county police and fire departments will be patrolling the new facility, remain unresolved. An agreement on the police-fire staffing front must be struck within 30 days, or the plan - and maybe the Marlins franchise - would likely be doomed.

"This has to be resolved within 30 days ... so therefore, the inability to resolve this political issue kills baseball in South Florida," Major League Baseball president Bob DuPuy said. "That's the consequence."

Miami mayor Manny Diaz, though, sounded certain that all further roadblocks can be cleared.

"This is a binding agreement," Diaz said. "This is it. We have a deal. There will be baseball in Miami."

(See renderings of a possible new Marlins stadium design here)


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
Last Game at Yankee Stadium Sold Out. $17K for Some Tix PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 21 February 2008 12:43

Yankee StadiumThe final game at The House That Ruth Built, sold out in a scant 11 min. after they went on sale. The Sept. 21st game against the Orioles had three-quarters of Yankee Stadium sold out by season-ticket holders before the few thousand that were left went on sale. Now that the game is sold out, the secondary ticket market is seeing prices the likes we may never see again. How high? Try $17,000 for some of the best seats in the house. As reported by the NY Daily News:

Scalpers quickly started hawking tickets for the historic Sept. 21 game against the Baltimore Orioles, with top seats going for a head-spinning $17,000 a pop.

Even the cheapest bleachers seats at the House that Ruth Built were going for $165 online. 

[...]

Some fans were asking more than $300 for bleacher seats with a face value of $14. Seats next to the on-deck circle were going for up to $10,000.

Imagine what tickets will be going for by the All-Star break.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
New Video Display Installation Begins at Camden Yards PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 19 February 2008 13:04
Orioles

Installation of the first piece of the new video board began today at Oriole Park, the next step in the process of replacing and upgrading the Camden Yards entertainment systems to ensure the ballpark remains at an elite level within current sports facility standards.

The video boards are being shipped via air from the Mitsubishi plant in Tokyo, Japan to New York ’s JFK airport, then driven to Baltimore. They will be sent in three installments comprising the bottom, middle and top portions of the board. The first installment is 16 pieces composed of 160 LED modules. The second shipment is due to arrive tomorrow, and third shipment will arrive at the beginning of the week of February 25. These LEDs will make up the upper HD board in center field. The upper screen will be completely filled with modules by mid-March.

The upper board will serve as the main video board for the ballpark, reversing the placement of the system used since the ballpark opened in 1992. The change was made to allow the main board to be substantially taller and wider than its predecessor and capable of providing HD technology. Both the upper and lower center field boards will be upgraded from outdated matrix and light bulb technology to state-of-the-art LED boards capable of, and used for, video.

New Video DisplayDemolition of the previous center field scoreboard was completed last month, and the right field out-of-town scoreboard and club level and upper level auxiliary scoreboards were removed in December in preparation for the replacement of outdated matrix and light bulb systems with upgraded LED boards capable of providing more information, animation, and statistics for fans. A larger and state-of-the-art LED scoreboard in right field and new LED ribbon boards on the club level and upper level fascia will also be installed in time for Opening Day on March 31. All of the new video and scoreboards are centrally controlled to provide maximum information and entertainment and to deliver video and animations that provide Orioles corporate partners with state-of-the-art branding and sponsorship opportunities.

Additional upgrades to the Ballpark Information Systems are planned during 2008 and 2009, including expansion of ribbon boards and upgrades to HD control room facilities and the Camden Yards sound system. 

Since it ushered in a new era of ballpark design in 1992, Oriole Park at Camden Yards has been the standard-bearer for sports facilities in the United States. The city of Baltimore and the entire state of Maryland have derived significant economic impact totaling in the billions of dollars from the over 48.5 million fans who have attended Orioles games over the past 16 seasons, as well as from the millions more who have participated in festivals, meetings and community events that have been held at the ballpark.

Source: Baltimore Orioles


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
The Year of the Marlins? Ballpark Agreement Reached PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 16 February 2008 08:58

Marlins Stadium DesignFor over a decade, the Marlins have been in search of a new baseball-only ballpark with which to play in. Whether it was Wayne Huizinga, John Henry, or now Jeffery Loria, ownership's efforts to land public funding has come up against a wall year after year. In the meantime, the Yankees, Mets, Expos/Nationals, Cardinals, Phillies, Tigers, Diamondbacks, Padres, and Twins have landed new facilities. And, if you want to get technical, the Royals, and Red Sox have worked to redevelop their existing digs.

This past year I said that it would be the year it would happen... This year, I gave up trying to guess when a new stadium might arrive in South Florida, given that MLB wishes not to relocate, but rather stay in the market.

Now, the Marlins are a city of Miami and Miami-Dade County commissioners' vote away from that becoming a reality. As reported by Sarah Talalay of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

The Marlins, Miami-Dade County, the city of Miami and Major League Baseball reached agreement late Friday to finance a $515 million ballpark at the site of the Orange Bowl, according to a source.

The agreement was not released, but was expected to be distributed to county and city commissioners, who will need to approve it. The city has scheduled a special commission meeting to consider the deal at 9 a.m. Thursday; the county commission is to meet at 1 p.m. that day.

The deal calls for the county and city to contribute $360 million mainly in tourist taxes and a $50 million general obligation bond Miami-Dade voters approved in 2004 to renovate the Orange Bowl, but which will instead be moved to the ballpark project.The Marlins are to contribute $155 million.

(See renderings of a possible new Marlins stadium design here)

Should I mention that by next Friday the Marlins could finally land the funding for a new stadium they have long sought after? Let's not jinx the deal. 


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
Yankees to Rename Legends Field after Steinbrenner PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 14 February 2008 11:24
Legends Field to be renamed after SteinbrennerHank and Hal Steinbrenner today announced that The New York Yankees will rename Legends Field, their spring-training facility, George M. Steinbrenner Field. The name change follows two unanimous resolutions recommending and supporting the change by the Hillsborough County Commission and the Tampa City Council.

In a joint statement Hank and Hal Steinbrenner said, "Speaking on behalf of the entire family, we couldn't be more pleased about the fact that Legends Field will now become George M. Steinbrenner Field. We have been residents of Tampa for over 30 years, and we feel this is a terrific way to honor our father's longstanding philanthropic commitment to Tampa. Our father has always made clear how much he values Tampa's role in playing host to the New York Yankees' spring-training and the Tampa Yankees. The outpouring of community support for this name change has been wonderful to watch, and we're very grateful for the acknowledgement of his achievements and contributions it represents."

The resolution by the Tampa City Council, passed on February 7, 2008, endorses the naming of Legends Field after George M. Steinbrenner by citing his many charitable donations on behalf of youth activities, hospitals and the arts. Among these contributions, the founding of The Gold Shield Foundation, which insures that the families of police officers and firemen killed in the line of duty receive early financial assistance and are guaranteed a tuition-free college education, is singled out as an especially significant endeavor. The resolution also recognizes that George M. Steinbrenner has stepped forward at critical times to help influence and improve the community.

The resolution of the Board of the Hillsborough County Commissioners, passed on February 6, 2008, recognizes that the New York Yankees hold the naming rights to Legends Field and urges the Yankees to honor George M. Steinbrenner by renaming Legends Field in recognition of his numerous extraordinary contributions to the area.

"I am humbled and flattered to have this outstanding and totally unexpected honor conferred on me. I extend my thanks to the Tampa City Council and to the Hillsborough County Commissioners for passing resolutions suggesting and recommending the change. I also thank my family for supporting the renaming of the stadium and for everything they have done for so many years that helped bring about this great day," said George M. Steinbrenner.

Source: Press Release, New York Yankees 


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
King George's Palace: Yankee Stadium's Increasing Bill PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dave Rouleau   
Friday, 08 February 2008 10:11

New Yankee StadiumThe costs related to the construction of the new Yankee Stadium (see ballpark renderings) have ballooned to $1.3 billion from a projected one billion dollars.

According to the Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost, in this Associated Press story, the “cost overruns included $150 million in enhancements such as the giant video screen, $138 million in food and beverage costs not included in the original estimate and $50 million from delays due to a lawsuit by community groups that sought to halt construction of the stadium.”

Some of the amenities planned for the ballpark, set to open in 2009:

  • Martini Bar
  • Party Suites
  • Members-only restaurant
  • Conference area with video conferencing
  • A concierge will be able to procure theater tickets or restaurant reservations
  • 51 luxury suites
  • Two large outdoor suites
  • Eight party suites with seating for 410 people in total
  • 58x103 feet video screen in center field

Said Trost of the mentality behind all the features, “We tried to reflect a five-star hotel and put a ballfield in the middle.”

This new development comes one month after the news that this project would cost taxpayers $102.5 M more to cover the cost of new park land and garages.

The main reason for the high (parking) rates is the astounding $340 million price tag for the project - three new garages, the refurbishing of half a dozen outdoor lots and the replacement of park land displaced by the new stadium.

The cost is $60 million higher than the city announced just eight months ago, when the IDA gave it preliminary approval. In addition to the bonds, the garage project is receiving $70 million in direct subsidies from the state and $32.5 million from the city to pay for replacement parkland that will be situated over two of the garages.

Financial projections in the feasibility study show that even with the huge public subsidy and the higher game-day parking rates, revenues will be insufficient to permit the developer to pay full rent and taxes to the city until at least 2016.

So while the fans pay double for parking, taxpayers will receive virtually nothing for almost a decade from garages that public money helped build.  Meanwhile, the Yankees will be raking in huge amounts of cash from their spanking-new stadium next-door.

On this matter of park land, Geoffrey Croft, president and founder of NYC Park Advocates, claims that the city has not held up its end of the bargain when mayor Bloomberg promised to not only replace what the deal was taking away, but provide even more in return.

Yet a close examination reveals that only 21.3 acres are actually being replaced - a net loss of nearly 4 acres.  The deal claimed 25.1 acres of parkland heavily used for active recreation, including baseball and soccer fields, and tennis, basketball and handball courts.

In return, the city has tried to pass off a disparate collection of "replacements," including Ruppert Place, the existing concrete walkway next to Yankee Stadium, and many acres of already existing, mapped parkland.

To get its replacement scheme to add up, the city actually omitted a 2.9-acre asphalt ballfield from the project's environmental impact statement. Now an "interim" track and field, it will ultimately become a permanent multistory garage.

Soon after my organization, NYC Park Advocates, brought the acreage shortfall to light, the Parks Department began to alter its numbers. (A breakdown of the acreage can be seen online at the Web site NYCParkAdvocates.org)

See Slideshow of Construction Progress of new Yankee Stadium 

MORE ON NEW YANKEE STADIUM


Dave Rouleau is a staff writer for the Business of Sports Network, where he covers baseball and hockey on The Biz of Baseball and The Biz of Hockey. He also can be found on Baseball Digest Daily, Inside the Dome (Scout.com), and Seamheads.com. His contact info can be found on the Authors Profiles.

 

 
FLEXcon Art Adds Dramatic Flair to Corporate Suites PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 05 February 2008 16:35
FlexCON Suite Art One aspect of corporate suite purchases at stadiums and arenas is the inability to really highlight your products. Sure, you can hang a picture or two, but since suites are leased, the ability to do something dramatic that lends your stamp has been missing, until now.

FLEXcon has come up with the ability to hang corporate art via self-adhesive system, which can present a dramatic flair to a suite.

(Select the image to see a larger view)

SUITE-art™ is a system of self-adhesive products that allow for suite owners to custom brand their luxury boxes within sports stadiums. SUITE-art™ products can be applied to walls, doors, floors, ceilings, tables, refrigerators, and armchair rests. These products have the ability to transform a suite into a marketing showcase. The products are easy to install and remove, so they can be used for long or short term promotions. An example is FLEXcon's RECEPTAmag® which creates a magnetic surface out of any standard wall, floor or countertop. It offers the ability to swap out reusable graphics with ease. The SUITE-art™ product line is designed to give suite owners the ability to create a unique experience which cannot be ignored, offering an effective and unique way to increase visibility.

To see more on SUITE-art™ visit http://suiteart.FLEXcon.com

 


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
New Twins Stadium Over Budget by "Significant Amount" PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 25 January 2008 21:43

New Twins StadiumScratch “$390 Million” off the list as the cost of the New Twins Stadium has already gone up, and not by a little, but a lot.

Twins president Jerry Bell declined to give an exact figure on the increase, but said it was a “significant amount”. The reason? The increased price of materials and construction costs. As reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

The Twins have already agreed to pay $125 million of the ballpark's cost, and in October, Twins owner Carl Pohlad contributed an additional $15 million to help settle a dispute over acquiring the property. The ballpark is already well under construction, and on schedule, Bell said, with the first concrete poured on the concourse level this week.

The project faced an extra hurdle, Bell said, when it was discovered that the site, behind the Target Center on the west side of downtown Minneapolis, was once in the bed of the Mississippi River. The soil contains a high amount of silt, forcing construction crews to drill more than 3,000 piles into the ground in order to reach bedrock to anchor the structure [which will be completed in March].

Although the cost will increase, the Twins have no plans to do value engineering – the redesigning of certain aspects of a stadium in an effort to cut costs. Bell said the Twins were committed to the design, and were willing to cover the overruns. “We don’t want to change it.”

(See high resolution latest design renderings of the New Twins Ballpark with mass modeling fly-through animation)

(See cross-section views of the New Twins Stadium and other images)


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
Jacobs Field to Become Progressive Field PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 11 January 2008 04:23

Jacobs FieldThe Cleveland Indians announced today that they have reached a naming rights deal with Progressive Insurance to rename Jacobs Field to Progressive Field.

The deal will be worth $3.6 million annually over 16 years. The total value over the life of the agreement comes to approx. $57.6 million.

At a press conference today, the Indians announced that the name change will take place for the 2008 season.

Progressive President and CEO Glenn Renwick said, “This is a story about two Cleveland-based organizations making a long-term commitment to the city, the fans and our people.”

“Progressive is the perfect fit for the Cleveland Indians, a hometown, world-class organization known for putting their customers first with a tradition of innovation and excellence,” said Indians President Paul Dolan. “We look forward to continuing to provide our fans with a championship-caliber team in an atmosphere of superior customer service and entertainment at Progressive Field.” 


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
Cubs Get Approval To Add Luxury Seats, Signage at Wrigley PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 04 January 2008 11:12

Wrigley FieldThe Chicago Cubs have been given the green light to add 70 premium “bullpen box seats”, along with additional signage to historic Wrigley Field.

The approval by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks for the improvements had to occur due to Wrigley’s historic landmark status. As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times:

In 2004, the City Council gave landmark status to "historic elements" of Wrigley, including the marquee at Clark and Addison, the quaint centerfield scoreboard and ivy-covered brick wall, and the uninterrupted sweep of the bleachers and grandstand.

According to Cubs officials, the changes will allow for increased revenues, which in turn can be used to offset investments, such as player personnel. As further reported:

"We're adding 70 additional bullpen box seats on the third base side, much as we did previously on the first-base side. These will be great seats and, just like the seats behind home plate, will blend in with the architecture and history of Wrigley Field," said Mike Lufrano, the Cubs' vice president of community relations. "We're also extending digital signage on the sides of the grandstands by adding fixed advertising panels on either side."

The Cubs, along with assets such as Wrigley Field, are currently up for sale since Sam Zell purchased the Tribune Company. Recently, talks have centered on possibly splitting up the Cubs from the sale of Wrigley Field, with Illinois Sports Facilities Authority possibly purchasing the historic ballpark.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
Chew on This: Wrigley Field Naming Rights Deal Possible PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 21 December 2007 10:04

Chicago CubsOne of baseball’s most historic and well known stadiums could become available to put your company name on.

With new Tribune Co. owner Sam Zell looking to sell off the Chicago Cubs and its associated assets, there have been talks of selling historic Wrigley Field to the State of Illinois through the Illinois State Facilities Authority. Along with that deal, the possibility of a naming rights deal for the Friendly Confines is being considered. As reported by the Chicago Tribune:

The two sides have worked on a concept in which the ISFA would issue bonds to finance the purchase and sign the Cubs to a 30-year lease. Naming rights for the stadium would be used to help defray the cost of Wrigley renovations.

"We believe that transaction, when completely vetted, is very beneficial for the city of Chicago, it's very beneficial for the Cubs and for the future of a Major League Baseball team in this city," Zell said.

"The governor originally approached us on this, we studied it, we thought it was really an interesting concept, we started meeting with mayor's people on it. We will see where that goes."

If the sale of Wrigley to the ISFA were to go through, it would most assuredly impact how the bidding for the Cubs would be dealt with. Wrigley Field and the Cubs are a tightly knit set of commodities that would seem to diminish their values if separated. The possible move to sell off Wrigley Field would partially explain why there has been a delay in the delivery of the offering book valuating the Cubs and the associated assets to the likes of John Canning, Jr., Mark Cuban, and the Ricketts family, and more than a dozen others who have made overtures about purchasing the Cubs from Tribune.

As to when the sale might occur, word has been that it would not occur until well into Spring at the earliest. Zell said in his introductory press conference as Tribune Co. owner yesterday that he hoped the deal would be done by Opening Day, an extraordinarily aggressive time line given the complexities of the deal.

Commissioner Selig also wishes to review the current state of the Cubs’ management structure since John McDonough left the club in November. As reported by the LA Times:

The Cubs' new management and pending sale are on the agenda for the Jan. 16 owners meeting in Arizona, Major League Baseball President Bob DuPuy said.

"The commissioner will review the situation," DuPuy said.

Back to the naming rights issue, and the possibility of selling the Cubs assets off piecemeal… Let me add the following:

There are few institutions left in baseball. Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, and Wrigley Field are certainly ones that are. The backlash to a naming rights deal would be enormous. To add to this, if the sale of Wrigley were to be disconnected from MLB entirely, the capacity for a naming rights deal is increased, impacts the valuation and branding aspect of the Cubs, and creates issues beyond in a domino effect. One can only hope that Zell is simply exploring this matter as a way gauge valuation or possibly as a method to gin up the total sale valuation. If it is a matter of decreasing Tribune Co. debt load in advance of the sale, it will be a sad day indeed for baseball. What would Harry Caray say? "Holy Cow!" might be putting it mildly.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
Daktronics: Video System for New Yankee Stadium PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 13:35

New Yankee StadiumDaktronics, Inc. announced yesterday that they have been chosen to design and build a unique integrated video and scoring system for the new Yankee Stadium, which is scheduled to open prior to the start of the 2009 baseball season. Installation of the new equipment is scheduled to start during the spring of 2008, with substantial completion by the end of year.

The value of the contract exceeds $19 million.

(See high-resolution renderings of the New Yankee Stadium design)

“Daktronics is proud and excited to be chosen to provide this unique system for the Yankees,” said Jim Morgan, President and CEO of Daktronics. “The Yankees and HOK Sport have teamed up to design a ballpark that combines the history and traditions of the game with the best in modern amenities. The integrated display system will play an important part in the overall fan experience and will help create a very entertaining atmosphere at the new Yankee Stadium.”

The system will consist of 13 large full-color displays and 32 smaller displays. The project features the installation of a 1280-foot long full-color Iight emitting diode (LED) ribbon board, mounted to the fascia of the second deck of seating, which will be one of the longest continuous displays in Major League Baseball. The system will also include two LED displays in center field, each measuring approximately 24 feet high by 60 feet wide, to show lineups, player and team information, and out-of-town scores throughout the game.

A high definition LED video display 25 feet high by 36 feet wide will be installed in the Great Hall, a retail space of approximately 30,000 square feet located between the exterior facade and the interior of the stadium. In addition, an LED display approximately five feet tall by 400 feet wide will line the wall inside the Great Hall.

Additional Daktronics components of the new Yankee Stadium system will include:

  • Two additional closed caption ribbon displays, each approximately three feet high by 20 feet wide, installed on the fascia of the 150 level.
  • Two LED message centers on the exterior of the stadium, each approximately ten feet high by 40 feet wide.
  • Two manually-changeable scoreboards, one each behind right-center and left-center field.
  • Two seven foot square displays, one each adjacent to the manually-changeable scoreboards.
  • Five LED displays in the lobby outside the ticket office, each approximately one foot high by seven feet wide.
  • 27 small monochrome LED displays to direct fans to the appropriate ticket window.

Daktronics LED video displays use the latest in red, green and blue (RGB) LED technology to present live and recorded video images, colorful animation and vivid graphics with incredible brightness and wide-angle visibility. Well over ten million individual LEDs will be used in the Yankee Stadium displays.

The system will also incorporate Daktronics DakStats® baseball statistics system, which communicates with Major League Baseball’s statistical database.

Source: Daktronics 


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
Massive Miami Redevelopment Plan May Assist Marlins PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 18 December 2007 14:27

Proposed Marlins StadiumIn a sweeping plan that only became public last week, Miami-Dade commissioners today approved a multibillion-dollar deal that includes downtown streetcar, museum campus, an underwater tunnel to the Port of Miami, and yes, a new retractable-roof stadium for the Florida Marlins.

(See renderings of a possible new Marlins stadium design here)

The 9-4 vote allows both the county and the City of Miami to set aside new property-taxes by way of urban renewal in the Overtown/Park West and Omni neighborhoods by expanding that project and extending its life. The 9-4 vote comes one day after Miami city commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the deal. As reported by the Miami Herald:

That expansion [in the Overtown/Park West and Omni neighborhoods] allowed the county and city to plan long-term spending of some $3 billion. Most of it will come from the Omni CRA, including $484 million to pay off debt at the new Carnival Center for the Performing Arts, $88 million for the city's contribution to the $1 billion port tunnel and $130 million to renovate Bicentennial Park, where voters in 2004 approved a plan to build two museums.

The two governments would spend $370 million on the baseball stadium -- plus $155 million from the Florida Marlins -- by dipping into tourism taxes that can only be used on sports and convention facilities.

Marlins President David Samson attended much of the day-long meeting but did not address the commission.

(Read the David Samson interview on The Biz of Baseball) 

The $155 million being provided by the Marlins is now being discussed as being an up-front payment.

In a separate vote, the Miami-Dade County Commission voted 11-2 in favor of allocating a $50 million general obligation bond toward the Marlins new stadium project at the site where the current Orange Bowl sits in the Little Havana. As reported by MLB.com:

The $50 million bond originally was voted on for renovations to the Orange Bowl. Now that the University of Miami football team is moving to Dolphin Stadium next season, the Orange Bowl is being vacated. Yet the $50 million was voted on to be used for an Orange Bowl facility.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
It PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 06 December 2007 10:13

Nationals ParkIn a day and age where stadium naming rights deals can garner a large chunk of revenue for MLB clubs (as the best example, see how Citigroup’s naming rights deal for the new Mets ballpark will pull in $20 million annually over 20 years), the Washington Nationals will be waiting until after their new $611 million ballpark opens in March of ’08 – at the earliest – before a naming rights deal will arrive. And, it may be not happen next year at all. With that, get used to this name for a while… Nationals Park. As reported by Tim Lemke of the Washington Times:

A corporate naming rights deal for the $611 million stadium will not be in place for the 2008 season as the team is running out of time to complete an agreement for this spring, principal owner Mark Lerner said.

"I think it's more of an '09 thing," Lerner said in an interview during a holiday celebration overlooking the snow-covered ballpark yesterday. "It's something you really have to be patient on. We just have to find the right partner, and when the time is right, it will happen."

The Nationals have referred to the ballpark as Nationals Park for most of the last year and said the name will remain in place until a corporate partner is identified.

First Game Will Be Seen on ESPN 

In other Nationals news, it appears that the club will be able to get the first official game at the new ball on national television. The Nats are working on getting approval of a March 30 opening day game scheduled, which would allow the game to be shown on ESPN. The Nationals had hoped for an April 1 Sunday night game against the Mets, but ESPN balked at that match-up. Now, with the March 30 date being worked on, the Nationals will match-up with the Braves.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
10 New Rays Ballpark Images Along with Details PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 29 November 2007 04:25

New Rays BallparkDetails on Funding, Location, Roof, etc. for Proposed Tampa Bay Rays Ballpark

The Biz of Baseball has been updated with a new Ballpark Renderings page with 10 new images of the proposed Tampa Bay Rays waterfront ballpark, and details, as they are currently known, for matters such as funding mechanisms, details on the unique rook concept, the redevelopment of Tropicana Field, and more.

Go to the following link for details:

Proposed Tampa Bay Rays Facility


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 

 
Rays Unveil Proposed Waterfront Stadium Design PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 12:22
New Proposed Tampa Bay Rays StadiumTampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg announced today the Rays’ plans for a new 34,000 seat, retractable-roof, open-air ballpark on the St. Petersburg waterfront at the site of historic Al Lang Field.

“Our vision is to build a breath-taking and contemporary waterfront ballpark,” said Sternberg. “It will be an iconic landmark for the entire Tampa Bay region and showcase all that is great about Major League Baseball in the State of Florida.”

(Click the image provided to see a high resolution version)

At a press conference conducted in the outfield of Progress Energy Park, home of Al Lang Field, Sternberg and the Rays introduced renderings of the proposed ballpark which will provide an intimate baseball venue and offer sweeping views of the picturesque St. Petersburg waterfront. The design draws upon the 100-year history of baseball and spring training on the Al Lang site. In addition to modern fan- and family-friendly amenities, the ballpark will feature 360 degree circulation, air-conditioned concourses with open views to the playing field, the smallest upper deck in baseball, and a new public park that will seamlessly link the waterfront park system to the north of the ballpark with the emerging cultural district to its south.

The ballpark design also includes a unique retractable roof which will shield the playing field and fans from the elements yet still maintain an intimate environment. The roof will be comprised of a light weatherproof fabric that will be pulled along cables that are suspended between arches on one end and a central mast structure on the other. It will take approximately 8 minutes to open or close the roof, and, even when the roof is deployed, the feel of an open-air ballpark will be maintained. The Rays have worked closely with a team of architects and engineers, led by HOK Sport, on the design. The total cost for the ballpark is estimated to be $450 million.

The design also takes advantage of the Al Lang site’s proximity to the existing interstate highway network and over 12,000 publicly-accessible parking spaces in downtown St. Petersburg. In addition, 5,000 overflow parking spaces will be available on the Tropicana Field site.

The Rays and the City of St. Petersburg have been evaluating financing alternatives for the facility. The ballpark financing will include a large contribution by the Rays. An essential component of the financing is the redevelopment of the Tropicana Field site into a major retail, entertainment, and housing development. The Rays also expect to seek financing assistance from the State of Florida.

“We are eager to advance our discussions with the City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, and the State of Florida to reach agreement on an appropriate financing plan for these projects,” said Rays President Matt Silverman. “We believe this ballpark can be built without any new taxes, and we will work in partnership with the public to make these projects a reality.”

The Rays have partnered with Hines, a leading national developer of high-quality and environmentally-friendly mixed-use projects, to develop a site plan on the Tropicana Field redevelopment. Hines envisions creating an entirely new community at the Tropicana Field site, with new shops and restaurants, residential buildings (including affordable workforce housing), street-level retail, entertainment venues and new parks and open spaces.

“We are excited about this opportunity to work with the Rays and the City of St. Petersburg,” said Hines Senior Vice President Michael Harrison. “We can transform Tropicana Field and its parking lots into a thriving neighborhood of residences, shops, entertainment and parkland.”

The waterfront ballpark and Tropicana Field redevelopment projects are estimated to bring more than $1 billion in investment to St. Petersburg, create thousands of construction and permanent jobs, and generate tens of millions of dollars in increased tax revenue for St. Petersburg, Pinellas County and its schools. The Rays expect both the new ballpark and the Tropicana Field redevelopment will qualify for LEED-certification, the highest standard of environmentally responsible construction.

“We look forward to working with the community to develop this vision for the future of St. Petersburg,” said Michael Kalt, Rays Senior Vice President of Development and Business Affairs. “These twin development projects will be a significant economic development engine, drawing visitors from around the region into the heart of downtown, and extending greater economic opportunity into Midtown and beyond."

Today’s announcement kicks off a year-long public process for the two projects. The Rays will conduct extensive public outreach to present plans and gather feedback on all aspects of these developments. Hines must also compete for the rights to redevelop the Tropicana Field site through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process managed by the City. In addition to the RFP process on the Tropicana Field site, the City Council would also need to approve adding to the November 2008 ballot a referendum to authorize the construction of the new ballpark on the site of Al Lang Field. Following referendum approval, construction on both sites is anticipated to begin in mid-2009, with the new ballpark ready by Opening Day 2012. The retail, commercial, and housing development on the Tropicana Field site is scheduled to open in 2011 and continue through approximately 2013.

"Downtown St. Petersburg has undergone a tremendous renaissance in recent years,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker. “We look forward to exploring this opportunity with the Rays."

Up to date information on the progress of the development plan can be obtained at www.majorleaguedowntown.com. The website will include an overview of the project, artist renderings, videos, a virtual tour and a timeline for completion of the projects. Fans may also sign up for email updates on the projects and join the Rays season ticket priority list.

The Rays will continue to operate under their current lease agreement at Tropicana Field during this process. Tropicana Field was completed in 1990 as a multi-purpose stadium. Tampa Bay was awarded a Major League Baseball franchise in 1995, and the facility underwent an $85 million renovation before the Rays (then named the Devil Rays) began play in 1998. The domed Tropicana Field, one of only five multipurpose stadiums in baseball, was the last baseball stadium constructed before Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore ushered in a new era of ballpark design and innovation.

Progress Energy Park, home of Al Lang Field, will host the Rays 2008 Spring Training before the team moves to Charlotte County for the 2009 spring season. The field is named after Al Lang, former mayor of St. Petersburg, who, in 1914, convinced Branch Rickey to move his St. Louis Browns to the city for Spring Training. Since then, nine teams have trained in the city. Since 1998, the Rays have played their Spring Training games at Progress Energy Park, home of Al Lang Field.

(Renderings and information courtesy of Tampa Bay Rays. More images as they are made available, so check back often at The Biz of Baseball)


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Tampa Bay Rays to Unveil Proposed Stadium Design PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 07:46

Tampa Bay RaysAs reported earlier this month, the Tampa Bay Rays are looking to develop a new waterfront stadium at the current site of Al Lang Field in downtown St. Petersburg.

Today, the Rays have called a Weds. Nov 28th 3pm ET press conference to unveil the proposed design for the 35,000 seat, $450 million ballpark. As reported by Ticker:

According to various reports, the team is willing to contribute up to $150 million and is seeking at least $60 million in future sales tax revenues from the state of Florida.

The proposed stadium would not be completed until at least 2012.

The Rays will also announce plans for the redevelopment of Tropicana Field as part of the methodology for offsetting the costs on the new stadium. The redevelopment of Tropicana Field would attract a million square feet of new retail, office and residential development. That would generate more than $800 million in new property and sales tax revenue over the next 35 years, according to a report submitted by the City of St. Petersburg.

The lease on “The Trop” runs through to 2025, with the estimated value being reported at $100 million.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 

 
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