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Upscale Private Club at Miller Park Renamed "NYCE Stadium Club" PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 22 February 2010 14:16
NYCE Stadium Club
The Metavante Club at Miller Park has been renamed the "NYCE Stadium Club"as
part of a naming rights deal with FIS

The Milwaukee Brewers and FIS today announced that the Miller Park up-scale dining area formerly known as the Metavante Club has been renamed the NYCE Stadium Club.

Work on re-branding the Club, including signage and updates to décor, will be completed in time for the beginning of the Brewers 2010 season.

Financial terms were not released.

FIS is one of the world’s largest providers of banking and payments technology.

Commenting on the renaming, Frank Martire, FIS president and chief executive officer, said, ”We’re excited to extend our relationship with the Brewers organization and reinforce our commitment to the local Milwaukee area. We look forward to continuing the tradition of the Club that has been so well-received by fans and patrons alike.”

Marcia Danzeisen, senior vice president, FIS Global Marketing and Corporate Communications, stated, “The opportunity to introduce the NYCE brand to the thousands of consumers who frequent Miller Park will help drive greater brand recognition for NYCE, which is a leader in advanced payment solutions to consumers nationwide.”

Located on the Club Level in the left field corner, the private NYCE Stadium Club offers a panoramic view of the ballpark. The 200-seat, multi-tiered dining room offers a unique view of the action on the field, a buffet featuring world-class cuisine, and an outdoor patio area for fans to enjoy the Miller Park atmosphere.

Source: Milwaukee Brewers


Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Local Legislature Decision to Fund New Cubs Spring Training Stadium May be Challenged PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff Levine   
Monday, 22 February 2010 07:04

CubsThe constitutionality of a recently approved local tax to fund the new Chicago Cubs’ spring training facility may soon be challenged in Arizona court. The Arizona legislature approved a measure last week to levy a one-dollar tax on all automobiles rented within the state and an additional surcharge on all spring training games played within Maricopa County to finance the new stadium. In total, the city of Mesa is providing the Cubs with more than $50 million in state-raised funds in order to keep those “loveable losers” in Arizona for spring training.

The Cubs draw the biggest crowd out of all the teams that comprise the Cactus League, which is comprised of teams that hold spring training in Arizona. In order to keep these fans coming back to Arizona and spending money at the various venues throughout metropolitan Phoenix, officials realize the city must keep the Cubs satisfied with playing in Mesa.

Under the memorandum of understanding between the Cubs and Mesa, the team will buy the land for a new spring-training facility and then transfer ownership to the city. Thereafter, Mesa will build and own the new stadium, in essence gifting the Cubs a new stadium. However this decision is not sitting well with much of Major League Baseball and many throughout the metropolitan Phoenix legal community.

“The Commissioner is opposed to the proposed legislation,” Bob DuPuy, MLB’s chief operating officer, stated through an e-mail to The Associated Press, referencing the recently approved tax. “He is committed to finding an alternative method of financing that will allow the Cubs to continue training in Arizona.”

Commissioner Selig is not the only person within baseball who is at odds with this decision. Other teams within the Cactus League view this decision to finance the Cub’s new facility purely with tax money and a private bond offering as something that puts other teams at a disadvantage.

Building this facility and gifting it to the Cubs could also contravene Arizona law. Under a recent Arizona court decision, a beneficiary of a governmental gift must provide back to that entity some sort of comparable benefit. Thus, under the current arrangement between the Cubs and Mesa, a comparable tangible benefit must be present for this transaction to be constitutional.

It is quite possible that the Goldwater Institute, a local conservative constitutional litigation institution, may challenge the constitutionality of the Cubs-Mesa deal. In an opinion piece published in a Phoenix newspaper, Goldwater Institute Director Clint Bolick suggested that while a city may construct and own a sports stadium, the recently approved tax scheme might be an improper delegation of legislative authority.

As Bolick suggests, under this agreement, the Cubs need to do little more than “show up” in order to receive this tax windfall. Labeling this deal as such makes it very likely that litigation is not too far off the horizon. Such a lawsuit could be extremely costly, potentially soiling any benefit both the Cubs and Mesa hoped to derive from this agreement. Defending such a lawsuit would probably be long in duration and cost the defendants hundreds of thousands in attorneys’ fees and costs. With so many against building a new stadium through tax money, it is only a matter of time before the decision is challenged.


Jeff LevineJeff Levine is a staff member 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 a sports attorney, and the Executive Director of One Sports and Entertainment, International.

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Images: Snow Comes to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 12 February 2010 00:20

No, you're not looking at the Twins' new Target Field, set to open next season. Or, one of any number of ballparks in the East covered under a deep layer of the white stuff. No, these are images of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Yes, Texas, folks.

CLICK TO SEE IN A LARGER VIEW

ALL IMAGES COURTESY TEXAS RANGERS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Cubs Renovating Wrigley Field With All-Inclusive Club on Suite Level PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 18:08
Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field's suite level, seen here between the lower and upper levels,
will see the first major renovation under the Cubs new ownership

Wrigley Field will see its first renovation after the sale of the Cubs to the Ricketts family with the creation of a new all-inclusive club on the suite level where 71 season-ticket holders will pay $300 a game.

According to the SportsBusiness Journal, the “club, the first of its kind at Wrigley, will offer the most expensive season tickets in 2010 by far for the Cubs.”

The space is called the Executive Club for now, but the Cubs expect to announce a naming-rights partner in the next week or two, said Wally Hayward, chief sales and marketing officer.

At a season-ticket price of $24,300 the cost will cover all food and drink (including alcohol), as well as parking for all games, “access to postseason tickets, tickets to concerts and other special events, and access to hold corporate meetings on non-game days.”

Populous, the former HOK Sport, will be doing the design.


Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Dave Matthews Band to Play at Nationals Park on July 23rd PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 15:56

Dave Matthews

Dave Matthews Band announced today they will perform at Nationals Park – the home of the Washington Nationals -- on Friday, July 23 with Zac Brown Band as support. This will be the ballpark’s second-ever show, following Elton John and Billy Joel’s sold-out show in July 2009.

The show will be held rain or shine and will be promoted by Live Nation.

“We pride ourselves on playing at some of the most unique venues in the world,’’ said Matthews.  “Nationals Park is the newest and most exciting outdoor venue in the DC market and we are very excited to be the second show to play there.”

“We are very excited to have the biggest concert of 2010 as our second summer concert in Nationals Park,” said Stan Kasten, Nationals President. “Elton John and Billy Joel  gave the DC community an unforgettable  performance in July 2009 and the Nationals are thrilled to host the “hometown” Dave Matthews Band in the summer of 2010.”

“Nationals Park has quickly established itself as one of the premier concert venues in the country,” said Ted Mankin, Live Nation. “Dave Matthews Band is a perfect fit for the ballpark.”

The Grammy Award-winning Dave Matthews Band has sold more than 15 million tickets for its concerts, and has been named the top-drawing American band in the world by Billboard. Pollstar named the group its “Top Act of the Decade” and Spinner dubbed them one of the “Top Artists of the 2000s.”

Dave Matthews Band has been nominated for “Album of the Year” and “Best Rock Album” at this month’s 52nd Annual Grammy Awards.

Source: Washington Nationals


BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK FEATURE STORY:

(THE BIZ OF FOOTBALL)


Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Cubs Plan Renovation to Wrigley Field to Coincide with 100th Anniversary PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 18 January 2010 02:54
Wrigley Renovation
A vision of a renovated Wrigley Field from 2005

Well before the sale of the Chicago Cubs from the Tribune Co. to the Ricketts family was completed, talk of a major renovation to Wrigley Field was well under consideration (see other images of the proposed design from 2005). In fact, one of the biggest selling points of the Cubs, included Wrigley Field, due to its potential for additional revenues not yet tapped through renovation, the blueprint being what the Red Sox had done with Fenway Park.

Now, the renovation of Wrigley appears to have a target date: its 100th anniversary in 2014.

According to a report by Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune, the Wrigley Field project deemed "Wrigley 20-14" will get a complete renovation by then that according to Cubs president Crane Kenney said will make the historic stadium viable "for another 100 years." According to the report:

The focal point of the massive restructuring will be the long-talked-about "triangle building" to the west, a project that will include knocking down the outer wall on the third-base side to form a large open-air courtyard that would include concession areas and shops.

In the end, all of the concourse will be widened and include expanded restrooms, some of which will be completed for this season. It also means construction will be ongoing during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Another aspect of the design that remains sketchy could be a restaurant below the third-base terrace “suites”


Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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SEE IT: Flying Through the Polo Grounds in 3D PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 19 December 2009 22:31

I'm not old enough, nor was I ever near the hallowed grounds, but I would have given about anything to see what the Polo Grounds looked like. Now, I (and you) get a chance.

There are some things that make you love YouTube, and this is one of them: a 3D fly-through the Polo Grounds, repleat with markers showing field dimensions, and the memorial to Giants' third baseman Eddie Grant. If you're a Giants, Yankees, or Mets fan, baseball history buff, or just love ballparks, this is a must view bit of goodness.

Hat tip to Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest


Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

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A View of the Ballparks That Nearly Weren’t PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 18 December 2009 22:37

Marlins Stadium

Marlins Stadium Design

Target Field

Target Field Design

Getting a new ballpark built isn’t easy, at least in this day and age. In what some have called the Selig Reclamation Project, MLB has stressed that small-to-mid revenue making markets in older stadiums need new state-of-the-art replacements in order to be competitive with their larger revenue making brothers.

That’s all good and well, except for the fact that the league (and the owners of the clubs that want new stadiums) have done so with their hands outstretched – a “we need (expect) public subsidy to get the stadium built, or we could relocate.”

With that, stadium funding doesn’t occur overnight. In the case of the examples below, the funding for each of them took more than a decade.

For the “concrete beat”, those that cover stadium development, when you look at the images below it almost doesn’t seem possible; they’re actually getting built.

What are looking at are web camera shots of the new Twins stadium (Target Field) and new Marlins stadium as they sit in their various states of development before they come online and begin building their histories.

See design renderings of Target Field

See design renderings of Marlins Stadium

In the case of Target Field, it will open 115 days from today. We’re sure the Twins’ brass are praying that their first game in the new ballpark doesn’t look as it does now: snow covered. Be that as it may, from a distance, it looks ready for use. At the Baseball Winter Meetings, I met with representatives from Populous, the ballpark’s architects, and saw the latest images of it. Given that it sits on an exceptionally small parcel (8 acres), it’s a design marvel. The site location is so small, part of it is built over stadium 3rd Avenue N., the 394 freeway ramp and Northstar rail line that will transport fans to and from the park. (here’s some construction shots showing the development over the rail and freeway)

For the Marlins (soon to be “Miami Marlins”), the construction of the stadium is in its infancy. The pillars that will support the roof and its rolling track have risen from the site of the former Orange Bowl, and in the distance, the lower level seating appears to be getting poured. The stadium that is scheduled to open in 2012 is a clear break from the “throwback” or “retro” ballparks that followed in the wake of Orioles Park at Camden Yards – a white, nearly “spaceship-like” design. The renderings that have been released to the public show practically no color in the design, what so ever. Representatives from Populous say the latest renderings have more color in the exterior at the lower levels.

Select these links to see the most recent webcam shots:

Select the images below to see a larger version


First webcam shot (Target Field)

First webcam shot (Marlins Stadium)

Most recent webcam shot (Target Field)

Most recent webcam shot (Marlins Stadium)

Renderings Courtesy of Populous


Maury BrownMaury 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 available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Minor League Baseball to Hold Special "Turf Clinic" PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 27 October 2009 12:07

DAPMinor League Baseball will host its inaugural Sports Turf Managers Clinic from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow at the recently renovated Durham Athletic Park (DAP) in Durham, N.C. Representatives from MiLB clubs, soccer associations, high schools and parks & recreations employees, among others, will attend the clinic that will focus on winterizing a facility.

The clinic will also include hands on field maintenance techniques for pitcher’s mounds, turf, home plates & infields and a walk through of the daily maintenance routine required to provide a top quality playing surface. Brickman SportsTurf, a division of the Brickman Group that provides the maintenance and sports turf training at the DAP for Minor League Baseball, will run the clinic. Brickman SportsTurf is recognized as an industry leader in the design, construction and management of baseball facilities around the world.

“A couple years back, Pat O’Conner called me up to talk about a vision he had of turning the DAP into a laboratory for the Minors,” stated Brickman SportsTurf President Murray Cook. “His idea of developing a sports turf training center that could be accessed by baseball organizations worldwide was something that has been needed in baseball for a long time. This Field Clinic represents his vision and brings it to reality. I’m just honored that I can be a small part of this exciting inaugural event.”

(Read The Biz of Baseball interview with MiLB President, Pat O'Conner)

John Deere is a preferred partner of MiLB and a major sponsor of the clinic.

"Any time a professional can learn best practices from peers and other experts is time well spent," says Matt Armbrister, marketing manager for golf and turf products at John Deere. "That's why we're so pleased to be working alongside Minor League Baseball on this clinic. The day will include applied information a sports turf manager or head groundskeeper can use as they prepare for the winter season. It certainly will be a worthwhile event and we are delighted to be a part of it."

Burnett Athletics, Carolina Green, Profile Products/Turface and Sandhill Turf and Sports Construction Management, Inc., have also partnered with Minor League Baseball for the one-day clinic.

Source: Minor League Baseball


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Yankees Open Up Stadium to Allow Fans to Watch TV Broadcast of ALCS Game 3 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 18 October 2009 17:45

ALCSThe New York Yankees announced today that they will open the Stadium Field Level and Great Hall to the public to watch the broadcast of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) Game 3 from Anaheim on Monday, October 19. The decision to open the Stadium was made after consultation with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.

Turnstiles between Gates 4 and 6 will open at 3:30 p.m. for the 4:13 p.m. Game. Fans can watch the Game in the Great Hall or in the opened sections of the Field Level.

"We wanted to provide a place for our fans to come together to cheer for our team even if the game itself is taking place across the country," said Hal Steinbrenner, Yankees Managing General Partner. "This is a way of saying thank you for their continued support."

"I thank the New York Yankees for opening their amazing new Stadium to the community, and I hope that people from all over the city will come out to cheer for the Yankees and share in what's sure to be a great night right here in The Bronx," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Food and concession stands will be open and available to fans. NYY Steak and Hard Rock Cafe will also be open.

Source: New York Yankees


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Twins Loss Sees End of MLB for the Metrodome PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 11 October 2009 22:45

With the Yankees sweeping the Minnesota Twins in Game 3, 4-1, the final MLB game was played at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The game was the highest attended MLB game in Metrodome history at 54,735 or 117.4% above regular season capacity. The attendance mark smashed the 54,088 figure set on Monday's AL Central tiebreaker against the Tigers.

The Twins will begin play next season at the new open-air Target Field.

With the final out, two events were caught on camera by TBS, framing the swan song for what has been lovingly been called the "Baggydome":

Metrodome Plate dug up
The grounds crew begins to dig up homeplate at the Metrodome after the final out of Game 3 of
the  ALDS  against the Yankees.
Metrodome Plate dug up
Homeplate at the Metrodome after being completely dug up.
The plate will be moved to the new Target Field
Joe Nathan
Twins closer Joe Nathan grabs a handful dirt from the pitcher's mound after the final MLB game
at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

 


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Yankee Stadium to Host Annual College Football Bowl Game PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 30 September 2009 14:18

New Yankee StadiumThe New York Yankees announced today that Yankee Stadium will host an annual college football bowl game between the Big East Conference and the Big 12 Conference, with the first game slated to be played at the conclusion of the 2010 college football regular season.

The yet-to-be-named bowl game will pit the Big East conference's third or fourth selection against the Big 12 conference's seventh selection and will take place sometime between Christmas Day and New Year's Day. It marks the first NCAA football bowl game in the Bronx since the Gotham Bowl on December 15, 1962, when Nebraska edged Miami (Fla.), 36-34, at the original Yankee Stadium.

"This is a great day for the New York City and the Bronx, as we bring a premier college football bowl game to Yankee Stadium," said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. "When we constructed this Stadium, it was our intention to create a first-class baseball stadium as well as a venue capable of holding a variety of unique and memorable events."

A vote to approve the bowl game was passed by both conferences with a four-year agreement in place (through 2013). The NCAA is expected to formalize the four-year bowl agreement in April, 2010. Should the Big 12 representative not qualify for bowl eligibility under NCAA guidelines, Notre Dame has agreed to take part in the Yankee Stadium bowl game against a Big East opponent, barring Notre Dame's availability to participate.

"There is no better place during the holiday season to host big events than New York City, and no one does big events better than New York City," said Yankees President Randy Levine. "Hosting two of college football's premier conferences in an annual bowl game will give sports fans from all over the country a unique opportunity to experience and enjoy Yankee Stadium. It is a tremendous honor to bring the excitement and prestige of college football to the great stage of Yankee Stadium and the great city of New York."

"What better place for a big game between the Big 12 and the Big East than the Big Apple," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "Not only will it give fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to close out their season and the year in the world's most exciting City, it will also give us a chance to introduce New York City to thousands of new visitors, including college students and football fans from the South, East, and Midwest. Over the last several years we've targeted events that might seem unconventional for New York City - like the Country Music Awards or NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Champions Week - for just that reason: they highlight the City to new audiences. An annual college football bowl game is the latest example, and - with an anticipated economic impact of $47 million - we're thrilled to join the Yankees and play host."

The Bowl Game Host Committee will be managed by Mark Holtzman, the bowl's Executive Director, and Maureen Reidy, the bowl's Director.

As one of the world's most prestigious addresses, the original Yankee Stadium played host to a number of college football games from the year it opened in 1923, including New York University and Fordham home games and the two schools' annual matchup. From 1925-46, and again in 1969, the annual Notre Dame-Army football game took place at Yankee Stadium, including the memorable "win one for the Gipper" matchup in 1928, and the 1946 contest which ended in a scoreless tie and featured four Heisman Trophy winners (Doc Blanchard, Glenn Davis, Johnny Lujack and Leon Hart). From 1968-73 and '76-87, Grambling played a series of home games at Yankee Stadium, known as the Whitney M. Young Urban Classic.

The original Yankee Stadium was also the home for scores of other sports, entertainment and cultural events, including boxing, professional football, soccer, political assemblies, three Papal masses, religious conventions, concerts, NYU commencement and the circus.

Today's news comes two months after it was announced that Yankee Stadium will host the Notre Dame-Army game on November 20, 2010, as well as a series of Army home football games vs. Rutgers in 2011, Air Force in 2012 and Boston College in 2014.

The Yankees will have a future announcement regarding ticket availability for the general public.

Source: New York Yankees


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"The Stadium Died at 9:24" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 15:13

Farewell, Tiger Stadium...

 

Video Courtesy Detroit Free Press


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Qwest Enters 5-Year Agreement with Twins to be Communication Sponsor of Target Field PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 13 August 2009 07:47

TwinsQwest Communications (NYSE: Q) and the Minnesota Twins have reached a 5-year agreement making Qwest the exclusive communications services sponsor of Target Field and the Minnesota Twins. Financial terms were not released.

“Qwest has more than 3,500 employees who take pride in their hometown team,” said John Stanoch, Qwest’s Minnesota State President. “We are proud to continue our partnership with the Twins as they usher in a new era of baseball in Minnesota.”

Under separate agreements, Qwest will build and maintain a multimedia network in Target Field – the 1 million square-foot facility which will open in April 2010 – equipping the ballpark with advanced data communication and video services that enhance the fan experience and support the Twins front office.

“Our partnership with Qwest positions us to take advantage of advancing technology for years to come,” said Dave St. Peter, president, Minnesota Twins. “This technology will help the Twins conduct business efficiently and greatly enhance the fan experience at Target Field.”

The agreement also contemplates joint community support and outreach efforts for Qwest and the Twins.

See images of Target Field

Source: Qwest


Maury BrownMaury 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 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 (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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New Marlins Ballpark Renderings Released, Video "Fly-Through" PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 28 July 2009 18:53

Populous, formerly HOK Sports, has released new renderings for the Marlins ballpark design that will reside on the former home of the Orange Bowl in Little Havana. Along with the new high-resolution images is a "fly-through" video (select Read More to see the video, plus vital stats on the ballpark design).

Select each of the images below to see in high-resolution

ALL IMAGES COURTESY POPULOUS

New Marlins Stadium New Marlins Stadium - HR Porch
New Marlins Stadium - View toward Home Plate New Marlins Stadium - Plaza
New Marlins Stadium - Night time New Marlins Stadium - Daytime

 

Select Read More to see details on the new Marlins Stadium design, as well as a "fly-through" animation

Read more...
 
New Design is More than a Stadium to the Marlins PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Devon Teeple   
Monday, 27 July 2009 01:41

Marlins Stadium

It is official, as members of the Marlins brass and other dignitaries have broken ground on the new Marlins stadium.  Present at the groundbreaking were the Florida Marlins, representatives from Major League Baseball and southern Florida officials. (Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson)

The stadium, which is being built in Miami's Little Havana area, is scheduled for a 2012 opening. The Marlins are hoping that the long-awaited ballpark will reinvigorate the city's youthfulness and recapture the attention of baseball fans worldwide.  “We have a special vibe,” Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said. “Our architecture is bold and exciting. And it was always clear to me that this ballpark must capture and mirror the special feeling of Miami. It’s the feeling of cool.”

The location of the new facility resonates with baseball boosters.

“As far as I’m concerned, this is sacred ground in athletics,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez said. “Now it’s the Miami Marlins turf.”

Dolphin Stadium, which was recently renamed Land Shark Stadium after a single-year naming rights deal, has been home to the Florida Marlins since their inaugural 1993 season and has seen monumental success in the teams short history (Word Series Championships in 1997 and 2003), but has also seen mixed results in the standings over its history. The club has found that gaining public subsidy is no easy feat, which curtailed the new stadium for more than a decade.

The new stadium is designed to keep the fans very comfortable despite the hot summers that fans and players alike are accustomed to.  According to the Sun Sentinel, "The venue is designed to be breezy and comfortable, with wide concourses and plenty of concession stands for fans to get food and drinks quickly, Loria said. The concourses will overlook the field, so fans won't miss the action when they get up for a beer or hot dog."

The retractable roof will be a clear break from all previous ballpark designs. "The three-paneled roof closes in less than 13 minutes. When it is open, glass panels behind left field will also be open. Unless it's closed, the roof's panels will be parked above the giant plaza on the ballpark's west side. The plaza, which will be the length of three football fields, will serve as gathering spot for game-day activities and other programs for the community, even when games aren't being held."

Clubs tout new ballparks as gaining new revenues for the organization and the surrounding businesses. According to Philip Bess, director of the graduate architecture program at Notre Dame and author of City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense About Cities and Baseball Parks, he advocates ballparks that are built in "traditional neighborhoods".

"A neighborhood is a place where people live and a mix of uses are within pedestrian proximity and it's fine for a ballpark to be one of those uses, he said.”It implies it is adjacent to residences and restaurants and retail and schools and churches. To the extent the new Marlins stadium does that, I think that's good."

Populous, formerly knows as HOK Sport has had a hand in the construction of 17 of the 21 Major League parks that have been built in the past two decades, including the Cincinnati Reds’ Great American Ball Park and Pittsburgh Pirates’ PNC Park. Earl Santee, senior principal of Populous, sees the new look of the Marlins stadium as something that the fans, even tradionionalists should be proud of.  It doesn't look like any other ballpark," he said.  Marlins owner, Jeffrey Loria, said that he challenged Populous to give the stadium a new look, a sleek modernistic style, "For me, Miami is a really cool place to live ... it's a cool place to visit, it's a cool place to work in, and I wanted the stadium to have that feeling, which is why I wanted to look forward, rather than looking backward."

To see all of the following images, plus others in high-resolution:

Proposed Miami Marlins Stadium

Miami Marlins Stadium
Miami Marlins Stadium
Miami Marlins Stadium Miami Marlins Stadium

ALL IMAGES COURTESY POPULOUS (FORMERLY HOK SPORT)


Devon Teeple is a staff member 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 a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide's Baseball General Manager Class.

He is the founder of The GM's Perspective, is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels. Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada.

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Marlins Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony For New Ballpark PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 18 July 2009 10:12

Marlins Groundbreaking

 

It took over a decade and efforts by three separate ownership groups, but today, the Florida Marlins finally broke ground on a new baseball-only stadium on the former site of the Orange Bowl in Little Havana.

The image above, taken from the Marlins New Ballpark webcam located on the roof of the Robert King High Towers Building shows the festivities.

The facility will have a seating capacity of approximately 37,000 seats, a retractable roof, will be air-conditioned and sit on a parcel of 928,000 square feet on the former Orange Bowl site.

The cost is set at $640 million, but with interest over the life of the bonds (40 years) the total cost will come to $2.4 billion.

The ballpark is set to be unveiled on Opening Day in April 2012.

 

Marlins Stadium

To see all of the following images, plus others in high-resolution:

Proposed Miami Marlins Stadium

Miami Marlins Stadium
Miami Marlins Stadium
Miami Marlins Stadium Miami Marlins Stadium

ALL IMAGES COURTESY POPULOUS (FORMERLY HOK SPORT)


Maury   BrownMaury 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 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 (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Fenway Puck: Official Announcement on Bruins in Outdoor Winter Classic on Weds. PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 11 July 2009 21:07

Fenway Park - Outdoor Winter Classic

The story that leaked in May will become official on Wednesday: the Boston Bruins will play in the next NHL Outdoor Winter Classic at Fenway Park on January 1.

The scheduled 2PM ET press conference, where the announcement will be made, will be simulcast on NHL Network and NHL.com.

While it has not been announced, the Washington Capitals or Philadelphia Flyers are expected to be the Bruins' opponent for the game.

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs said in May that the official announcement of the Bruins game at Fenway would be made in July.


Maury   BrownMaury 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 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 (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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With Interest, Final Cost of Marlins Stadium Expected to be $2.4 billion PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 09:23
Miami Marlins Stadium
When factoring in interest over 40 years, the new Marlins stadium will cost
as much as $2.4 billion
(Click to see in larger view)

While $409 million in bonds will be issued to pay primarily, but exclusively the cost for the new Marlins stadium construction, when accounting for interest over the 40 year life of the bonds, the final price tag will be a staggering $2.4 billion, according to the Miami Herald:

The total exceeds earlier estimates, which pegged final costs at $1.8 billion to $2 billion, according to papers released by the Wall Street firms underwriting the bonds. The new figures show that one $91 million bond offering alone will cost, with interest, more than $1 billion to repay. The bonds are backed by tourist-tax dollars, but if those numbers don't meet projections, the county can dip into the general fund.

The prime reasons for the rising figure: The county is paying higher interest rates than anticipated -- and is putting off huge pieces of the repayment until decades down the road. That means interest will compound year after year, raising the total.

The Marlins are kicking in $120 million, plus repayment of a $35 million county loan. But as reported, the club “doesn't have to pay until the final phases of construction.”

So, what is the percentage of Marlins funding compared to public subsidy over the life of the bonds? Try 6.46 percent.

To see all of the following images, plus others in high-resolution:

Proposed Miami Marlins Stadium

Miami Marlins Stadium
Miami Marlins Stadium
Miami Marlins Stadium Miami Marlins Stadium

ALL IMAGES COURTESY POPULOUS (FORMERLY HOK SPORT)


Maury BrownMaury 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 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.

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Site Prep Work For New Marlins Stadium Expected Today, Despite Bonding Shortfall PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 11:06
Marlins

Site prep work for the new Marlins Stadium has begun today (see webcam), despite the fact that Miami-Dade County fell $6.2 million short in its efforts to sell bonds for the new stadium, according to Sarah Talalay of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The stadium, which is to be located at the site of the former Orange Bowl in the Little Havana, nearly teetered on not getting the site prep underway due to the shortfall. As reported by Talalay:

Although the shortfall in the bond sale threw the ballpark deal into disarray for several hours Tuesday night and into early Wednesday, the deal appeared to be back on track, after the Marlins agreed to fill the gap should the dollars be needed to complete the 37,000-seat retractable roof ballpark.

The commission debated from about 7 to 9 p.m. and then what was meant to be a 45-minute break stretched on for three and a half hours. The commission finally returned at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday and voted 9-3 for changes that will allow the deal to move forward. Commissioners approved three items, including agreeing to a higher interest rate on the some of the bonds and adjusting the county's commitment to the project to $341 million down from $347 million.

As for whether the deal includes more public subsidy, according to Marlins officials, the answer is no.

“We made a commitment in March," [Marlins President David] Samson said. "That commitment was there would be a certain amount of money the public would be committing and not one dollar more.”


Maury BrownMaury 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 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.

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