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Ballpark Village Funding Plan Inches Closer PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 08 February 2007 01:23

St. Louis Ballpark VilliagePublic funding for the Cardinals proposed Ballpark Village inched a step closer to final approval on Friday when the St. Louis Estimate Board and, later, the Board of Aldermen endorsed the plan. The passage did not come without acrimony as there were warnings from some that the deal was too complex to pass in a hurry.  As reported by the Post Dispatch :

The mayor's office presented changes to the original plan that could shrink the  first phase of the project planned next to the new Busch Stadium. The changes  would make building condos — once a key part of the proposal — optional. They  also would decrease the required amount of retail space by about 10 percent.

But, if the Cardinals and their development partner, Cordish Co. of Baltimore, do indeed build less, their potential tax incentives would fall by as much as $17 million.

The Cardinals and Cordish are seeking up to $115 million in state and local subsidies for the project. The Ballpark Village bills will be eligible for final approval Friday.

Renderings of the proposed Ballpark Villiage can be seen here on the Biz of Baseball

 
Rapid Movement on Cards Ballpark Village Funding PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 07 February 2007 01:14

Ballpark VilliageWith the St. Louis Board of Aldermen scheduled for a 9-week break starting at the end of the day Friday, rapid parliamentary movement will be occurring today related to a series of bills that would provide $100 million in funding for a Ballpark Village just outside new Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals, along with their development partner, Baltimore-based Cordish Co. are seeking the funds to develop a six-block entertainment district on the remaining land where Busch II once stood. As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Mayor Francis Slay and Board of Aldermen President Jim Shrewsbury have signaled support for the Ballpark Village financing, a strong indicator that the plan has enough support to pass.

"I have not found any serious opposition to it," Shrewsbury said about Ballpark Village. "I fully expect it will pass."

Renderings of the proposed Ballpark Villiage can be seen here on the Biz of Baseball
 
Samson Predicts Ballpark Funding "This Season" PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 06 February 2007 09:17

David SamsonWith efforts to gain state funding for a new retractable roof stadium closer due to backing from Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Florida Marlins President David Samson (read Biz of Baseball interview here) is no longer mentioning deadlines, but rather predictions.

"There has been really marked progress and we certainly anticipate being able to announce a deal at some point this season," Samson said. "We're hopeful sooner rather than later. But the way things go these past 13 years with the Marlins, you never know."

As reported by the AP:

The Marlins have failed five times in the last six years to secure money from the Florida Legislature, and with the projected cost of a new ballpark now somewhere around an estimated $500 million, the state money seems more vital than ever to help bridge the gap between what the team, the city and Miami-Dade County are willing to contribute.

"It's always nice that the governor has a similar view of economic development as we do," Samson said. "And when he goes public saying he believes that sports teams spur economic development, we say we agree, and we're hoping the legislature does too."

 
Cardinals Ballpark Village Legislation Presented PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 31 January 2007 02:58

Ballpark VillageThe St. Louis Cardinals’ request for $115.8 million in public subsidies to develop a Ballpark Village on the leftover vacant land where Busch II once stood, sees the first steps in gaining that funding shortly. Friday, several bills related to the Ballpark Village were presented to the Board of Aldermen, a legislative wing of St. Louis city government.

The Cardinals are hopeful that funding will be passed soon to allow ground to be broken later in the year, with a target date for opening the Village in 2009 (to see renderings of the proposed Cardinals Ballpark Village, view then here on The Biz of Baseball). As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Alderman Phyllis Young, whose ward includes most of southern downtown, sponsored the five bills aimed at helping the team and its development partner, Baltimore-based Cordish Co., get the $115.8 million in public subsidies they are seeking.

That money would come from a variety of sources: $59 million in city tax incentives, $27 million in state tax breaks, $25 million from two special taxing districts and $5 million in public bonds bought by the Cardinals and Cordish.

The $387 million first phase of the project, built on the six-blocks covering the grounds of the old Busch Stadium, would include boutique shopping, "signature" restaurants, a bookstore, a bowling alley and a Cardinals Hall of Fame museum. Condos and office space are also part of the plan.

A hearing on the Ballpark Village is scheduled for today in the aldermanic Housing Committee.

 
Jackson Co. Questions Video System for Kauffman PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 30 January 2007 06:40

RoyalsEarly last year, voters in Jackson Co. approved $250 million in improvements to aging Kauffman Stadium for the Kansas City Royals. What the Royals have in mind for $900,000 of the total may redefine what is an "improvement".

The team plans to install a new control room, hardware and software at the center of a new state-of-the-art video and computer system that will allow the team to conduct better analysis of players. Currently —as reported by the KC Star—the Royals' "video nerve center is in a room the size of a closet that can barely hold two players, said Bob Rice, the team’s vice president of operations and stadium development. The new control room would be four times bigger."

Needless to say, some legislators are questioning the use of funds. “I cannot imagine that the taxpayers envisioned those types of expenditures being paid out of the bond funds,” Legislator Greg Grounds said.

The Royals have countered saying that the video system is the standard by which many clubs are now functioning. “It is an important piece to major-league teams,” said Kevin Uhlich, the Royals’ senior vice president for business operations. “Hopefully, it will make the team better.”

As further reported:

Royals officials say the entire cost of the video coaching system should be part of the Kauffman Stadium overhaul. They say other stadiums get new systems when they are built.

But the trend in sports is for private funds to pay for most or all of stadium construction, such as the Cardinals’ new stadium.

The Mariners, Rockies and Cardinals paid for their Panasonic [video system] upgrades.

 
Twins Ballpark Land Deal Heads for Court PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 26 January 2007 01:21

New Twins ballparkWith the clock ticking, and sides far apart on what is deemed to be reasonable compensation for the cost of the land for a new 40,000 seat baseball-only facility for the Twins, Hennepin County has moved to eminent domain as the option for getting hold of the land or risk not making the projected 2010 opening day deadline. As reported by the Minnesota Star Tribune:

With preliminary work to begin in mid-March, and with the stadium projected to open in three years, the county has asked to be given title to the land as early as Jan. 30.

The owners of the land west of the Target Center where the open-air stadium would be built -- a limited liability partnership with more than 100 investors -- has rejected the county's initial offer, and both sides appear to be tens of millions of dollars apart on a sales price. Although there has been some progress toward an agreement over the past two weeks, what happens next -- and whether it delays, or even jeopardizes the already-controversial $522 million stadium -- is drawing much interest.

 
Red Sox Outline “Year VI Improvements” to Fenway PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Wednesday, 24 January 2007 08:01

FenwayNew Third Base Deck to widen Grandstand walkways; Stairways, escalators, restrooms provide new conveniences; Private Suites receive major upgrade

BOSTON, MA   --  The Boston Red Sox today announced their plans to improve Fenway Park for the 2007 season, the 95th Anniversary of “ America ’s Most Beloved Ballpark.”  The club has engaged in a series of annual improvements since the ownership group of John Henry, Tom Werner, Larry Lucchino, and their partners purchased the club before the start of the 2002 season and committed the franchise to the preservation, protection, and improvement of Fenway Park , the oldest ballpark in the Major Leagues.

The “Year VI” improvements include a spacious new “Third Base Deck,” located behind the Grandstand seats in left field, renovations to the Private Suites, a new stair adjacent to the 24 Yawkey Way door, new escalators to the EMC Club from a renovated 20 Yawkey Way lobby, new restrooms in the State Street Pavilion and Grandstand area, and new MBTA “Charlie Cards” vending machines to ease the process of “Taking the T.” 

The new Third Base Deck area will boast the first ever Ladies Room on the 3rd base Grandstand concourse.  A men’s room was constructed in this area in 1912; it, too, will be renovated this year to provide ADA access.

“The ‘First Base Deck’ that we built two years ago reduced congestion and added comfort at the top of the grandstand on one side of the park, and now we are able to make improvements to the other side,” said Lucchino, the club’s President/CEO. 

Construction crews have demolished part of the wall that separated the third base Grandstand in Fenway from offices formerly occupied by NESN in the adjacent 1914 Jeano Building . The two buildings, Fenway and Jeano, have had a physical connection since 1949 when a radio station moved into the Jeano Building and created a bridge through a light well directly into Fenway Park . 

This 2007 third base opening is a magnification of that 58-year-old connection.  NESN moved most of its offices to Watertown last spring. That space will now house a large new restroom for ladies and new dedicated standing room positions with a drink rail for added convenience.  It will also accommodate a new concession area to further reduce time lost waiting in line and enhance the connection to the Gate E stair making it easier for fans to enter and exit the ballpark on Lansdowne Street . 

In addition, fans behind home plate will have an easier time navigating to the top of the Grandstand concourse behind home plate.  The construction of a new staircase from Yawkey Way to the back of the Grandstand at Section 22 will improve vertical circulation. The area inside Gate D has long been one of the most crowded areas on the concourses in part because all fans had to enter through the lower vomitories at the field level.  This stair resurrects one of the elements of the 1934 Osborn architectural plans allowing fans to go directly from the Yawkey Way entrance to the Grandstand seats.

The club will also add cup holders to Field Box seats and improve the entry way at 20 Yawkey Way .  

A total of 26 Private Suites, 13 on both the left and right field side, are undergoing extensive renovations for 2007. This includes reconfigured exterior seating and completely remodeled interiors and bathroom facilities. With a new front window design, suite holders will be able to enjoy a complete “open-air” experience for the first time. The suite construction is the first phase of a two-year process to renovate all of the Private Suites at Fenway Park .

Read more...
 
Wolff Gives Little Details in Public Meeting PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 01:21

Cisco FieldIn Lew Wolff's first public meeting before the Fremont City Council regarding a new ballpark-only facility for the Athletics, little in the way of new details were given. However, it was a forum for those that were for or against the development, which includes a vast "ballpark villiage" component.

What details did surface had to do with the scale involving the development project. As reported by the Mercury News:

Wolff mostly delivered a broad overview of his development plan at a standing-room-only meeting Tuesday night, but he did reveal two key numbers: The retail-residential development surrounding his new baseball stadium would include 2,900 new homes and up to a half-million square feet of ``specialty'' retailers, akin to San Jose's Santana Row. He also urged the city to "move this along sooner rather than later, if everyone likes it.''

Wolff's comments regarding the quick pace was met with criticism from several speakers. As further reported:

"The potential impacts of a project of this magnitude are enormous, and common sense would tell you, given these potential impacts, if anything, you would slow the process down to make sure that we understand these impacts,'' said Vinton Bacon, a local Sierra Club representative.

 
Miami Ballpark Deal Progressing PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 06 January 2007 16:00

Proposed Marlins FacilityWhile we've heard this news before, MLB is nearing a deal that would finalize a new ballpark in downtown Miami for the Marlins, ending over a decade of efforts for a new baseball-only facility.

The new retractable roof ballpark "would be located in a redevelopment district just miles inland from the American Airlines Arena, which is located on the banks of Biscayne Bay." As reported by Barry Bloom of MLB.com:

The ballpark is projected to be funded in a 60-40 percent public-private partnership between the city of Miami, Dade County and the Marlins, DuPuy said, with the public funding coming from hotel-motel, facility and redevelopment district taxes. A sales or income tax that would directly affect Dade County citizens is not contemplated nor is state money at the moment.

The deal wouldn't have to go to a public vote, but it would have to be approved by the Miami City Council and the Dade County Board of Supervisors, added DuPuy, who has become the point man for MLB and the Marlins on the project.

"Our highest priority this winter is to get a ballpark deal done in Miami," Bob DuPuy, Major League Baseball's president and chief operating officer, told MLB.com. "We've had tremendous cooperation from the county manager and the mayor. There have been several meetings and we are really optimistic we can get this done. There's a will to get this done. It's necessary for the Marlins. We're committed to baseball remaining in South Florida."

 
Dodgers Work to Shorten Lines PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 04 January 2007 16:00

DodgersWhile the Dodgers work to complete repair work to the Dodger Stadium foundation, in the near-term the organization is working to shorten long lines at concession stands and chronic congestion in parking lots. As reported by the LA Times:

The Dodgers are working on plans to improve traffic flow into and out of the parking lot, McCourt said, without offering details. He also said the Dodgers would open large merchandise stores in tents adjacent to the outfield pavilions, enabling the team to offer more items for sale. As a result, he said, the Dodgers can convert some merchandise stands within the stadium into additional concession stands.

The team also is completing a two-year project to repair the stadium foundation, a prelude to renovation and expansion of all concourse areas. That work could include a promenade near the pavilions, replacing the merchandise tents with a permanent gathering place where fans could beat traffic by arriving early to eat, drink and shop.
 
New Nationals Ballpark Renderings PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 16 December 2006 16:37

Nationals BallparkThe Nationals have released new renderings of their new ballpark currently under construction on the Anacostia River in Washington, DC. The Biz of Baseball has updated the New Nationals Ballpark page with 7 new images, including hi-resolution versions.

 

Renderings: New Nationals Ballpark

Reminder that the Biz of Baseball has renderings of other ballparks including New Yankee Stadium, CitiGroup Field (Mets Ballpark), the New Twins Stadium, and Cisco Field (new A's facility) to name a few.

 
Orioles Move to Block DiamondVision Installation PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 08 December 2006 02:40

OriolesThe Baltimore Orioles are looking to file a temporary restraining order in Baltimore Circuit Court today to block the $1.5 million purchase of a DiamondVision that would be installed at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The purchase and installation is being pursued by the Maryland Stadium Authority who owns Camden Yards.

The Orioles claim that the screen is too small and technologically inadequate. The sides had tried to reach a compromise this week, but failed to do so. The MSA claims that they need to move now or risk not having the display installed by Opening Day next year. A new display is needed to replace the outdated JumboTron.

As reported by the Baltimore Sun:

"We think this is in the best interests of the fans, the state and the Orioles," [authority chairman Robert McKinney] said. "We have to live up to our responsibility under the lease to provide a first-class video board for our fans."

Alan Rifkin, an attorney representing the Orioles, said the authority is rushing into a bad buy.

"It seems to be that the MSA is on a mission, for reasons that escape me, to fill a hole left by the JumboTron," he said. "It's pretty shortsighted."

McKinney defended the screen, noting that its picture resolution would be the best in baseball. The Mitsubishi screen would be similar to, though smaller than, the video display at Atlanta's Turner Field. It would feature a higher-resolution picture than the screens at M&T Bank Stadium, McKinney said. The screen would be equipped to receive a high-definition picture, he added.

Join a discussion on this topic in the Biz of Baseball forums

 
Nats Preparing to put Naming Rights Up for Bid PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 28 November 2006 04:32

New Nationals BallparkWith the opening of the new Nationals ballpark along the Anacostia River slated to open in April of 2008, the Nationals are preparing to accept bids for the naming rights to the stadium.

It appears the Nationals will hire the Wasserman Media Group to accept bids, which could range from $4 million to $10 million annually. Note that the Mets and Athletics have recently come into agreements for naming rights for their new ballparks, with CitiGroup agreeing to $20 million a year for 20 years for the new Mets ballpark (making it the most lucrative naming rights deal ever), it is possible that the Nationals naming deal would be at the higher end of the spectrum.

As the Washington Post reports:

One industry source, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the sale, said the family of Theodore Lerner, which owns the Nationals, is hoping the naming rights will earn $10 million to $15 million per year. The source estimated the rights probably will sell for $5 million to $10 million. Others said these numbers were too high.

"My guess is this Nationals deal will fetch between $4 and $6 million a year, based on other recent deals," said Jeffrey Grill, a Washington attorney who has negotiated several sports naming rights deals. "No one should expect a deal anywhere near what the Mets got. But Washington is interesting because the stadium is going to be the cornerstone of a new revitalization area, it's an affluent area and there's clearly a demand for baseball here that was underestimated by most people, including Major League Baseball."

If the contract for conducting the auction goes to Wasserman Media, as expected, the sale likely will be engineered by WMG Marketing President Jeff Knapple, one of the top sports naming rights marketers in the country. Knapple will lead the naming rights process for the new stadium being built for the New York Jets and New York Giants. A spokesman for Wasserman declined to comment. 

 
Twins announce project team for new ballpark PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Friday, 17 November 2006 14:05
New Twins BallparkThe American League Central Division Champion Minnesota Twins today announced the project team chosen to lead the construction of the new ballpark scheduled to open 2010. The team includes design architect HOK Sport, local architect HGA Architects, and construction manager M.A. Mortenson Company. The announcement was made at the Minnesota Ballpark Authority's (MBA) monthly meeting, which took place at the Metrodome.

All three firms are well-established in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Notably, HOK Sport was the lead architect firm on the Xcel Energy Center, and Mortenson was the general contractor.

"With their rich history in creating state-of-the-art ballparks and other large-scale facilities, coupled with great knowledge of urban design, we welcome these three exemplary firms and have the highest regard for their abilities to create a legacy with the Minnesota Twins," said Jerry Bell, president of Twins Sports, Inc.

HOK Sport's tradition of innovation has transformed the way fans experience the game of baseball. The firm conceived the design vocabulary used in today's ballparks and is charting an inventive course for tomorrow's venues. In the past 25 years, the firm has designed 14 new professional ballparks including Oriole Park in Baltimore, Jacobs Field in Cleveland, AT&T Park in San Francisco and PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Additionally, HOK Sport is designing new ballparks for the Mets, Yankees and Nationals.

(Editor's Note: See renderings of the new Twins Ballpark design here on The Biz of Baseball)

Read more...
 
New Yankee Stadium Lawsuit Dismissed PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 16 November 2006 18:04

New Yankee StadiumThe construction of New Yankee Stadium will not be stopped via lawsuit, at least for the time being. A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking to stop construction of the new $1.1 billion facility for the New York Yankees yesterday. Several groups, including Save Our Parks and the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality had filed the lawsuit. It is unknown at this time if the groups plan to appeal.

As reported by the AP on the NY Times:

Construction of the stadium involves paving over large portions of two parks in the Bronx and cutting down about 400 mature oak trees. The Yankees are to offset the loss of the parks by building new parkland, including three ballfields at the site of the current Yankee Stadium, which will be dismantled.

A group of South Bronx neighbors and parks advocates filed a federal lawsuit in September protesting the loss of the parks, after first filing a suit in state court seeking a restraining order that was dismissed.

U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald dismissed the second lawsuit late Wednesday based on lack of merit.

Groundbreaking for the new stadium was conducted in August of this year.

 
DC Council Approves Parking Plan PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 14 November 2006 19:48

 The DC Council yesterday approved emergency legislation that would build parking garages next to the new baseball Nationals Ballpark being constructed in Southeast along the Anacostia River, resolving a months-long deadlock with the Washington Nationals and putting the ballpark on track to open in 2008.  The vote is seen as a key victory for incoming mayor, Adrian Fenty.

As reported by the Washington Post :

Under the plan approved yesterday, two three-story garages will be built just north of the ballpark, which will be near South Capitol Street and the Navy Yard along the Anacostia River. A two-story garage will be built south of the stadium.

The new plan could make it more difficult for the District to build a mix of condominiums, shops and restaurants next to the stadium, as envisioned by Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D). Council members said they had little choice, because the city is required to provide 1,225 parking spaces to the Nationals by March 1, 2008 -- or risk potentially severe financial penalties.

"The decision made not only allows the project to go forward without any further risk of damages or liability but also continues to encourage a lot of economic development in the area," Fenty said. "The land in question on the stadium site is a small percentage of the area around the stadium that is already being developed."

As Tim Lemke of the Washington Times reports:

The garages are expected to cost $32.9 million, about $3.1 million less than what is currently budgeted for parking structures. Sports commission officials said the city was able to save money because the Nationals relaxed their requirement for 300 spaces at the south side of the stadium. The stadium construction team, led by Clark Construction of Bethesda, said it can build the parking more inexpensively now with only 130 space at the south. Clark is expected to sign a contract guaranteeing it can complete the work on budget and before April 1, 2008.

"I'm very happy that the final piece of the baseball stadium puzzle is now in place," said Bill Hall, chairman of the baseball committee for the sports commission. "Now we move forward with construction. It's going to be on time, on budget, and there's no stopping us now in terms of completing the stadium as promised."

 
A’s Purchase 143-Acre Parcel From Cisco Systems For New Ballpark PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Tuesday, 14 November 2006 10:39

Cisco Field

EDITOR'S NOTE: LOOK FOR AN UPDATE TO THE BIZ OF BASEBALL'S GALLERY OF IMAGES FOR THE PROPOSED A'S FACILITY (NOW NAMED CISCO FIELD) SHORTLY 

A’s Purchase 143-Acre Parcel From Cisco Systems With Intent to Construct New Ballpark

A’s and Cisco Agree to 30-Year Naming Rights Deal for New Stadium

OAKLAND, Calif. - Oakland Athletics owner and managing partner Lew Wolff announced today the A’s have reached an agreement to purchase a 143-acre parcel from Cisco Systems with the intent of constructing a baseball park in the City of Fremont.

The state-of-the-art baseball-only stadium will be named Cisco Field as part of a 30-year naming rights agreement, which is valued at $4,000,000 million annually, with the potential for annual increases based on inflation. This naming rights agreement is transferable at any time. As part of the naming rights deal, Cisco will be granted an undisclosed amount of guaranteed print, radio and television exposure.

360 Architecture, with offices in Kansas City, Mo., Columbus, OH and San Francisco, and Gensler, with offices worldwide, will serve as the primary design companies for the ballpark.

Cisco Field will be located in Fremont, which is approximately 20 miles to the south of McAfee Coliseum, five miles north of the Santa Clara County line and 12 miles from downtown San Jose. With a population of over 210,000 people and an area of 92-square miles, Fremont is the fourth most populous city in the Bay Area and California’s fifth largest city in area. The ballpark site is proposed to be located on the west side of Interstate 880 off the Auto Mall Parkway.

The partnership with Cisco also includes a broad marketing and business agreement which will underscore the A’s commitment to create a unique fan experience by leveraging state-of-the-art network technology throughout the ballpark and franchise operation. As a result, Cisco Field will be one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world and will demonstrate the positive role technology can play in sport, entertainment and connecting communities. Cisco’s technology will be used to enhance every facet of the stadium, from ticketing and concessions to management of game day operations.

Read more...
 
Ceremonial Groundbreaking for New Mets Stadium Today PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Sunday, 12 November 2006 17:51

New Mets BallparkThe New York Mets, along with State, City, and Borough leaders, will hold the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Mets ballpark today
at 11:00 a.m.  ET

Watch and listen to this event LIVE on your computer by visiting mets.com.

Attendees scheduled to appear include:

George E. Pataki, Governor, State of New York
Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor, City of New York
Christine Quinn, New York City Council Speaker
Sheldon Silver, New York State Assembly Speaker
Helen Marshall, Queens Borough President
Fred Wilpon, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, New York Mets
Saul B. Katz, President, New York Mets
Jeff Wilpon, Chief Operating Officer, New York Mets
Willie Randolph, Manager, New York Mets
Jose Reyes, Shortstop, New York Mets
David Wright, Third Baseman, New York Mets
John Maine, Pitcher, New York Mets

Renderings of the New Mets Ballpark design can be seen here on The Biz of Baseball 

 
"CitiField"? Mets Appear to Have Reached Naming Rights Deal PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 11 November 2006 07:04
New Mets Ballpark

Reports are that the Mets and CitiGroup have reached a naming rights deal for the new Mets stadium, whose groundbreaking will be Monday.  As Newsday reports:

The Mets will officially break ground on their new ballpark, set to open in 2009, on Monday. The new name of the ballpark will likely be announced at that time.

The Mets have long indicated that they would sell the naming rights to their new ballpark. It is believed that they have also discussed those rights with Verizon and Pepsi.

Citigroup has conducted market research to determine the best name for their new stadium. Among the names proposed were: Citigroup Ballpark, Citi Ballpark, Citibank Ballpark, Citibank Yard, Citibank Coliseum, Citibank Diamond, Citibank Field.

The AP reports that the naming rights deal will be the most lucrative in sports history:

The Mets and Citigroup Inc. have agreed on a 20-year sponsorship deal for the team's new ballpark that is worth more than an average of $20 million annually and includes stadium naming rights, a baseball official said Saturday. The source spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal will not be announced until Monday at the formal groundbreaking.

This will be a record for U.S stadium naming rights, topping the approximately $10 million annually the NFL's Houston Texans receive from Reliant Energy to call their home Reliant Stadium. 

Renderings of the new Mets Ballpark design, as well as a Fly-Through animation can be seen here on The Biz of Baseball

 
Cisco Systems and A's Reach Naming Rights Deal PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 09 November 2006 07:25

New A's Facility DesignWhile the name of the Athletics is up in the air (some possible names that have surfaced are "Fremont A's", "Silicon Valley A's", "San Jose A's", or one possibility... the "California A's") pending a move to Fremont, when the new stadium is built, the name of it will not be in question.

Cisco Systems and the A's have reached a naming rights deal that will give the name of the new stadium in Fremont, Cisco Field. More details on the pending move and new facility have surfaced, as well. As reported by the San Jose Mercury News:

Keith Wolff has held a series of meetings in recent months with officials from Fremont and several transit providers -- including AC Transit, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, the Capitol Corridor and the Altamont Commuter Express systems -- to begin planning for a transportation system to serve the ballpark. Officials involved in the discussions said they don't know exactly what Wolff intends for a location served by two exits from a congested freeway and with poor access to mass transit.

Unlike many modern ballparks built near downtowns, the planned Cisco Field couldn't rely on the use of parking spaces emptied by office workers for night and weekend games. The retailers and residents who would occupy what he calls a "ballpark village'' would need parking spots at the same times as baseball fans. And using vacant land for parking would waste development opportunities.

The nearest BART station is five miles away, and even a station along a planned extension south to Warm Springs would still be two miles away by shuttle. A single-track rail line along the bay shore, west of the proposed stadium location, is served by the Capitol Corridor and ACE trains. But each of those systems provides infrequent service and must work around freight trains run by Union Pacific, which owns the tracks.

Details are still fuzzy on how the $400 million facility would be funded. Lewis Wolff has said previously that the A's would be willing to fund a large part of the ballpark if the City of Fremont agrees to convert Cisco's industrial-zoned land to housing uses for the purposes of a "Ballpark Villiage".The profits from the development of that land would be given to the city in exchange for Fremont investing in the ballpark, as well. As Wolff told the Mercury News editorial staff recently,the city would "reinvest the money in a ballpark, provided you guys build it, you guys take care of any overruns, and you guys run it with no obligation on our part for operational deficits."

"The city can continue to have the ownership, or the percentage they put into it," he said. "If they put in $200 million and we put in 200, it's 50-50."

 

 
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