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Nationals Select Centerplate for Cuisine at New Ballpark PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 04 September 2007 02:00

NationalsThe Washington Nationals have named Centerplate as its new partner for cuisine at their new ballpark scheduled to open in 2008, thus ending the relationship between Aramark and the Nationals.

 “The concessionaire’s reputation for fine cuisine and service is widely recognized throughout the industry,” commented Stan Kasten, President of the Washington Nationals.  “We are looking forward to having Centerplate as part of our team as we are committed to providing our guests with the best and most enjoyable fan experience at the new Nationals Park ,”

Centerplate was selected by the Washington Nationals for its reputation of providing hospitality-focused service, innovative merchandising and a strong knowledge of the local culinary community. Centerplate will draw upon its experience with the cultured and diverse flavors of the local community and its extensive culinary training program to create innovative menus which blend traditional ballpark fare with the eclectic tastes of DC. The gourmet fare will be served in the fine dining operations of the stadium, premium seating areas and clubs.

“Nationals Park is a new piece of the city’s history and we are delighted to have been chosen by the Washington Nationals to be a part of it,” said Centerplate President and CEO Janet Steinmayer. “We have a long tradition in the Washington , D.C. area and Major League Baseball and look forward to contributing to the stadium’s success by providing innovative ballpark fare at all levels.”

The Nationals had dealt with several customer service issues with Aramark at RFK, including long lines and in some instances running out of hot dogs.


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 a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Temp Workers at Camden Yards to Conduct Hunger Strike PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 02 September 2007 04:12

OriolesTemporary workers who clean Oriole Park at Camden Yards will conduct a hunger strike tomorrow in an effort to highlight demands for a living wage.

Currently, temporary workers at Camden make $7 an hour. They are requesting a living wage of rate of $9.62. The workers are exempt from Maryland's living wage law because the stadium is state-owned by the Maryland Stadium Authority.

Eleven temp workers and three workers that are supporting them as “allies” will conduct the hunger strike on Labor Day, according to Greg Rosenthal, a communications organizers with the United Workers Association. As reported by the AP:

"The cleaners have said that the strike will end when there's a living wages solution, so there is no end date at this point," said Rosenthal, who is not one of the hunger strikers.

The Baltimore human rights organization founded by homeless day laborers represents 800 cleaners at Camden Yards. The association said the workers will begin their hunger strike Sept. 3 unless the Maryland Stadium Authority meets its Sept. 1 deadline.

"We think it's the only way we'll get attention and get a living wage for workers," stadium worker Luis Larin told The (Baltimore) Sun.

Maryland Govenor Martin O'Malley, in an attempt to avoid the hunger strike, expressed support for the living wage for the workers. As reported by the Baltimore Sun:

"We have a lot of work to do in the state ourselves as an employer to not only talk the talk but also to walk the walk," O'Malley said.

"And I'm confident that at the Board of Public Works when we see a contract from such entities who think they are independent of the state but actually are not, when we see contracts from entities like the Maryland Stadium Authority, we expect them to abide by the spirit as well as the letter of the law."

The governor also said that his support for a living wage was not specific to just Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He also mentioned support for a living wage for temp workers at M&T Bank Stadium where the NFL Baltimore Ravens play.


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 a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Angels and City of Anaheim Battle over Development PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 31 August 2007 07:37

AngelsThe Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the City of Anaheim continue to battle on the legal front, this time over the city’s proposed plans for development in the Angel Stadium parking lot.

The dispute is over what type of development should be occurring on a 53-acre site at the edge of the parking area at Angel Stadium. That property had been set aside as a possible location for an NFL stadium, but has since been dropped as a possible option. Now, the city wishes to do mixed development including 1,100 apartments, as well as possibly offices, hotels and an entertainment area and has granted development rights to Archstone-Smith and Hines, a nationally known development company. The city owns the land, but the Angels lease agreement forbids having housing on the site. That has set up yet another battle with the Angels after a lengthy and protracted legal conflict over owner Arte Moreno’s choice to rename the team from the Anaheim Angels to the tongue-twisting, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. That battle is still unresolved.

As reported by the LA Times:

"The city wanted to open up the dialogue and get Mr. Moreno's blessing to put residential on the land," said Councilman Harry Sidhu. "But since he did not want to open up the door, we are proceeding further without any negotiation."

The article then goes on further to note:

In a July 23 meeting with Moreno, city officials presented Archstone's vision for the site. Moreno expressed concern that the project would infringe upon the Angels' lease rights regarding parking, ease of access to the stadium and views of the park from neighboring streets and freeways. Moreno also objected to the presence of City Atty. Jack White at the meeting.

The article mentions that a letter from Moreno’s lawyer Leo Beus to the city, Beus wrote that the city had agreed not to pursue the residential development on the site "without the prior written consent of the Los Angeles Angels."

Beus also said the Angels took the city at its word that it would not infringe upon any of the team's lease rights and would not contend that the Angels had forfeited legal rights by not trying to stop the development now.

"Based upon your assurances, the Angels will not file an action at this time," Beus wrote. Moreno was out of the country Thursday and unavailable for comment.


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 a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
New Citgo "Gas Pump" Sign to Grace Miller Park Friday PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 30 August 2007 14:24

Miller Park Citgo signLook for a massive gas pump if you go to Miller Park when the Brewers host the Pirates tomorrow night.

The Milwaukee Brewers will unveil a massive Citgo sign in the shape of a gas pump just outside the right-centerfield fence, according to the Sports Business Daily. The new sign will light up each time the Brewers hit a home run.

According to the SBD, the "22-foot-high pump contains an LED board where the price of gas would appear, but it instead will display the distance of every homer."

The new sign is part of a continued sponsorship agreement between the Brewers and Citgo since last summer. During the sponsorship agreement Citgo will annually donate 100 game tickets and 100 T-shirts to a charity for a “Brewers Buddies Day.”


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 a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Twins Set to Break Ground on New Ballpark Today PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 30 August 2007 11:26

Twins GroundbreakingToday the Minnesota Twins, in partnership with Hennepin County, the M. A. Mortenson Company, the Minnesota Ballpark Authority, HOK Sport and HGA Architects and fans of Minnesota Twins baseball, will officially break ground at the new ballpark site in Minneapolis. The original groundbreaking date was scheduled for Aug. 2, but was postponed because of the tragic collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis.

The new 40,000-seat ballpark, scheduled to open in spring of 2010.

Twins fans along with civic leaders, government officials and Minnesota Twins and Major League Baseball officials will be at the new ballpark site to celebrate today's groundbreaking ceremony. They include Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, Twins players Joe Mauer, Michael Cuddyer, Nick Punto and Mike Redmond and Twins alumni Harmon Killebrew, Kent Hrbek, Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, Bert Blyleven, Dan Gladden and Jack Morris.

"This is a historic and long-awaited day for Minnesota Twins fans and the state of Minnesota," said Jerry Bell, president and CEO of Twins Inc. "It is a monumental step toward bringing outdoor Major League Baseball back to the state of Minnesota, the team and most importantly, to Twins fans. "This is a very special day - a once-in-a-generation milestone for Twins fans and the people of Minnesota - as we start construction of what will be one of the great urban ballparks in America," said Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat, who led the county's ballpark effort. "When the new ballpark opens in less than three years, it will be a public asset and a great venue for the return of outdoor baseball to Hennepin County and the state of Minnesota."

"It is an honor and privilege to be the builder of the new Twins ballpark where fans will come together, once again, to celebrate outdoor baseball," said Ken Sorensen, vice president of the Minnesota office of M. A. Mortenson Company. "Today's groundbreaking signifies that construction is underway. We are thrilled to be building this world-class ballpark that will provide a fantastic baseball experience for current and future generations of Twins fans."

"The Minnesota Ballpark Authority is excited about working with the Twins to create a fantastic new landmark," said Steve Cramer, Minnesota Ballpark Authority chair. "This facility will be a baseball fan's dream and we believe it will reshape the western edge of downtown for decades to come."

To view high-resolution renderings of the new Twins ballpark design, select the link provided.


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 a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Next Phase in Dodger Stadium Renovations Unveiled PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 28 August 2007 14:38
Dodger StadiumFrank McCourt, Owner and Chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers, today announced the next phase of the multi-year renovation of Dodger Stadium. The multi-million dollar construction project will expand the Field Level concourse to include nearly double the number of points of sale and restrooms, two new all-inclusive clubs for baseline seat ticket holders and a new energy-efficient and environmentally friendly cooling system. More than $60 million has been invested in stadium renovations over the last three years, and with this phase, the cumulative investment will more than double.

"One of our primary goals as stewards of the Dodgers is to provide the best fan experience in all of sports," said McCourt. "When Dodger Stadium opened in 1962, there were 2.7 million fans. This year, we will welcome more than 3.8 million fans. Dodger Stadium is one of the finest stadiums in all of sports, but in order to provide better service and more amenities for this increased fan base, we need to create more space and redesign the concourses."

With this redesign, all concession stands will now be served by the kitchen space behind them and those kitchens will be sized to produce and distribute the amount of food required for the number of patrons on each level. The ergonomically designed workspace will be outfitted with brand new state-of-the-art equipment, from grills, to refrigerators, to soda dispensers and ice cream machines, and grilled Dodger Dogs will now be available at every concession stand on the Field Level. The addition of a new stadium-wide cooling system will lower temperatures in the workspace and all concession stands now will be fully compliant with ADA standards from both an employee and customer standpoint.

"With the upgrade in technology and improved work conditions workers will be able to better serve the Dodger fans," said Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary and Treasurer, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

"Dodger Stadium is one of the crown jewels of the sports world, so we're excited about partnering with the Dodgers on this new project," said Andy Lansing, President and CEO Levy Restaurants. "Through new dining concepts, greater variety in increased locations and our continued focus on service and hospitality, we look forward to providing a great fan experience."

As part of the expansion, the Field Level concourses will now include two new Baseline Box Clubs for the exclusive use of baseline box season ticket holders. The "Hollywood Bowl-style" private baseline box seats include a table and storage area. The Baseline Box Clubs will be located on both the first- and third-base sides at the end of the concourse and offer all-inclusive buffet dining, carryout options, a full-service bar and private restrooms.

HKS Architects has overseen the redesign and kept within the Stadium's original mid-century modern architecture. The widened concourses will feature a monochromatic color scheme utilizing stainless steel, gray tile, architectural metal panels, concrete, textured wall coating, and sculptured architectural panels accented with yellow highlights, which is consistent with the seat color on the Field Level. Taking hints from the existing language of the building, the open, airy concourse will provide more space for fans to move throughout the concourse and improve the lighting scheme and signage.

The new energy efficient cooling system replaces localized, small, air conditioning systems with a more efficient centralized chilled water system. The chillers produce cold water, which is then circulated around the entire stadium via pumps. This chilled water has a variety of applications including cooling spaces through air handlers and providing heat rejection for concession equipment. Presently, the concession equipment emits a significant amount of heat into the work space. By removing the concession equipment heat via the chilled water, the equipment will use less energy and lower the temperatures in the concession areas. Additional environmental improvements include moving to waterless urinals, which will save up to 2.4 million gallons of water annually on the Field Level alone, and hand dryers.

As with the previous renovations, The McCourt Company will oversee and manage all construction. Prior stadium renovations included: new dugouts; replacing the entire playing surface, warning track and drainage system; adding seating in the Dugout Club and introducing the baseline box seats; replacing all of the seats within the primary seating bowl; returning to the stadium's original color palette; repairing and conducting maintenance on the concrete and structure within the seating bowl area; adding a new LED ribbon board; creating a new terrace outside the Loge level seating entrance; installing new ticket, telephone and computer systems; and instituting a new parking plan to improve safety and simplify the entrance and exit process.

Elements of this renovation were approved by the Los Angeles Department of City Planning in April 2005. The other concourses will be similarly redesigned in upcoming off-seasons.


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 a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Dodgers to Announce Next Phase of Stadium Renovation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 27 August 2007 10:26

DodgersFrank McCourt and the Los Angeles Dodgers will hold a 2:30pm PT press conference tomorrow to announce the next phase of renovation plans to Dodger Stadium. Those in attendance will be:

Frank McCourt, Owner and Chairman, Los Angeles Dodgers
Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary and Treasurer, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
Andy Lansing, CEO, Levy Restaurants

The announcement will mark the third phase of a multi-year renovation to the historic ballpark since the McCourts took over ownership of the club.

Phase I started in 2005 with LED Ribbon board added across the entire facade of the Loge Level; new construction of 1600 seats along both baselines; dugouts expanded and enhanced; and a return to a dirt warning track.

Phase II which occurred in 2006 included replacing the physical seats within the primary seating bowl utilizing the stadium's original color palette; repairing and conducting maintenance on the concrete and structure within the seating bowl area; and introducing a traditional yet modern "box" seat concept within the baseline seating area.


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 a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Developer, Red Sox to Develop $400 mil Project By Fenway PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 06:59

One Kenmore CenterA local investor and the Boston Red Sox have unveiled a $400 million development project that will include offices, shops and apartments alongside and over the Massachusetts Turnpike near Fenway Park called One Kenmore Project.

Newton-based developer John Rosenthal and the Red Sox made the announcement yesterday. The Sox will act as minority investors in the project. Final approval by the Red Sox ownership group is expected shortly. As reported by the Boston Herald:

The proposal envisions a mixed-used complex taking shape both next to and on a deck to be built over the Massachusetts Turnpike and between Brookline Avenue and Beacon Street. The project would have 353 apartments, 200,000 square feet of office space and 107,000 square feet of retail and shops.

The project will also include a new Yawkey rail and bus station inside the complex, as well as 1,344 parking spaces.

It will also include 29,000 square feet of open space.


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 a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Devil Rays Break Ground on New Spring Training Facility PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 21 August 2007 15:58
Charlotte DRays GroundbreakingOfficials from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Charlotte County, HOK Sport and Hunt Construction Group held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Rays new Spring Training complex at Charlotte Sports Park on Monday, Aug. 20.

The Rays also introduced new renderings of the facility as it will look when completed.

Renovations will begin this week and will be completed in time for spring training in 2009. The plans call for a thorough overhaul of the complex, including the replacement of all seats, two new berm areas along the left-field and right-field lines, improved access for disabled patrons, new landscaped entry plazas, a new "Kids Zone" along the right-field line, renovated suites and press areas, a new 40,000 square-foot clubhouse and administrative office building, rehabilitated practice fields and training facilities, and a new 20,000 square-foot outfield boardwalk that will provide 360 degree circulation around the ballpark.

Rays officials in attendance included Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg, President Matt Silverman, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, Senior Vice President of Development and Business Affairs Michael Kalt, Manager Joe Maddon and pitcher James Shields. Charlotte County commissioners, County administrators and other community leaders also participated.

"We are grateful to the officials from Charlotte County for their partnership in shepherding this project over the past 12 months," said the Rays Senior Vice President of Development and Business Affairs Michael Kalt. "We're confident that the facility will be a source of great pride for our players, our fans, and the entire Charlotte County community for many years to come."

Hunt Construction Group, Inc., teamed with Mathews Taylor Construction, LLC, and HOK Sport, has been retained as the Design-Builder. Hunt is the nation's #1 sports builder and HOK Sport is the #1 sports design firm ranked by Engineering News-Record. Hunt and HOK Sport have worked together on other Florida sports projects including Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Dolphin Stadium in Miami, and Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville.

The Charlotte County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously (4-0) last year to approve an agreement to add a fifth cent to the county's tourism tax which will be used along with funding from the Rays and the State to cover the cost of the $27.2 million project. Last January, Charlotte County was also awarded $15 million in grant funding for the project from the Florida Sports Foundation and the State's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development.

"What you're looking at today will be completely different in a year and a half," said  Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg.

As reported by MLB.com :

Renovations will begin this week. The plans call for a thorough overhaul of the complex, including the replacement of all seats, two new berm areas along the left- and right-field lines, improved access for disabled patrons, new landscaped entry plazas, a new "Kids Zone" along the right-field line, renovated suites and press areas, a new 40,000 square-foot clubhouse and administrative office building, rehabilitated practice fields and training facilities, and a new 20,000 square-foot outfield boardwalk that will provide 360-degree circulation around the 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 and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Hurricanes Leaving Orange Bowl; Impacts to Florida Marlins PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 21 August 2007 07:50

Marlins at the Orange Bowl SiteThe University of Miami Hurricanes announced that they will be leaving the Orange Bowl after the 2008 season, thus ending a 70-year relationship with the now decaying facility.

The move sets the stage for another Florida franchise that is desperate for a new facility: The Florida Marlins. The Marlins could use the property, but using the Orange Bowl as is would seem extremely unfavorable. The Marlins lease with Wayne Huizinga in Dolphin Stadium ends in 2010. Given the Hurricane’s move into the facility, an extension seems unlikely.

The Hurricanes will move into Wayne Huizinga’s Dolphin Stadium, upon agreeing to a 25-year lease agreement today. As reported by the AP:

Miami first played at the Orange Bowl, about eight miles from its campus, in 1937. The Hurricanes won three national championship games on that field, had a NCAA-record 58-game home winning streak from 1985 through 1994 and have drawn more than 17 million fans there over the years.

But the stadium’s facade is rusting, upgrades are needed and the building lacks many amenities that modern stadiums have — such as the luxury suites and video replay screens that helped lure Miami to the home of the Dolphins.

“The move to the stadium and the superior facilities that it offers will greatly enhance our recruiting efforts,” Miami coach Randy Shannon said.

Read more on the Hurricanes’ announcement here on The Biz of Football.

See artist renderings of the proposed Marlins Stadium here on 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 a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Nationals Only Fulfilling a Fraction of Stadium Obligation PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 10 August 2007 07:15

Nationals Stadium SuiteThe Washington Nationals, soon to be the owners of a new $610.8 million facility almost exclusively paid for by the public, have stated prior that they would be investing as much as $50 million for improvements to the ballpark before its opening. To date, they have only fulfilled a fraction of that amount, $8 million.

As reported by Tim Lemke of the Washington Times:

The team's contributions include between $2.5 million and $3 million for an expansion of the ballpark's center-field restaurant, about $2 million to improve the stadium suites and about $3 million to upgrade the scoreboard and video display.

The stadium is being funded largely by D.C. bonds backed by a ballpark fee on many businesses, taxes on concessions and tickets, a utility tax and an annual rent payment from the team.

The Nationals are required by their agreement with the District to provide $20 million by the end of the year to help the city complete the ballpark, and the team has contributed about $3 million toward insurance and various inspection and certification fees.

"For now, we have no additional comment about ownership's contribution to the ballpark," a spokesman for the Nationals said.

The dispute between what is deemed to be “improvements” to the ballpark continue with the Nationals and the DCSEC. In mid-July, the Nationals filed a request for arbitration with the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission associated to the purchase of furniture, fixtures, and equipment, which the Nationals feel they should not pay for.

(See details on the New Nationals Ballpark, including high resolution renderings and a computer animated “fly-through”)


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 a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Twins Groundbreaking for New Ballpark Now Aug. 30 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 10 August 2007 00:35

Twins Groundbreaking Set for Aug. 30thThe Minnesota Twins have announced that August 30th will now be the day for the official groundbreaking of their new 40,000-seat ballpark, scheduled to open in spring of 2010.

The date had been initial scheduled for Thurs. Aug. 2nd, but was postponed due to the I-35W bridge collapse tragedy on Weds. the 1st.

Groundbreaking ceremonies are slated to start at 5 p.m. CT and go until 7 p.m. with Commissioner Selig, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, as well as current and former Twins players.

To view high-resolution renderings of the new Twins ballpark design, select the link provided.


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 a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
New Marlins Stadium: “A little more challenging” PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 31 July 2007 03:59

Proposed Marlins StadiumMaybe David Samson should rebroadcast his now infamous, “”It’s the end of the world as we know it,” line…

Florida Governor Charlie Crist didn’t give the Florida Marlins too much hope on the ability to land stadium funding next year, something that anyone that’s watched the stadium saga for the Marlins should be getting used to hearing year in and year out. As Sarah Taladay of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports on her sports business blog:

“Things have changed economically, so it might be a little more challenging under the current climate, but I would encourage them to try again,” Crist said during a meeting of the Sun-Sentinel’s editorial board. “I view it as an economic stimulant to any community that has a professional sports team.”

It’s not that Crist isn’t a backer of a new stadium for the Marlins. After all, he’s the former general counsel for Minor League Baseball. And, he’s more than willing to toot the “economic impact” horn on stadium development, regardless of how many know that that simply isn’t the case in nearly every circumstance.

“The help in my view comes for two things: people who work at the stadium, people who sell hot dogs, people who work in concession stands, people who work in the parking lots. The dovetail of economic opportunity,” Crist said.

Maybe Crist should take a page from Jerry Bell and just say, "We don't have the economic theory to back it, but we have our own two eyes."

See artist renderings of the proposed Marlins Stadium here on The Biz of Baseball

 
Detroit City Council OKs Tiger Stadium Demolition PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 27 July 2007 20:00

Tiger StadiumTiger Stadium will meet the wrecking ball...

The historic ballpark that has sat Michigan and Trumbull since 1912 saw its fate come down to a Detroit City Council vote on Friday, with  the deciding vote being 5-4, thus handing control of the ballpark over to the Detroit Economic Development Corporation (DEDC).

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has sought to demolition nearly all of stadium and replace it with mixed-use development.

The vote took an interesting twist when Hall of Fame broadcaster Erinie Harwell came into the picture when he asked the council to postpone the vote till September when they are scheduled to come back from their summer break. As reported by the AP:

Harwell said he preferred a scaled-down version of the stadium that would seat 8,000 to 10,000 people and be used for high school baseball, soccer and lacrosse games. He also suggested a music museum to highlight the city's music heritage.

"Tiger Stadium has meant a lot to generations," Harwell said. "If we can't (save part of it), we'll have to keep Tiger Stadium in our memory, our mind and our heart, and cherish it that way."

The vote came on the last day of the council's session before a six-week break. The vote ends decades of debate on what to do with the historic ballpark.

Read more on Tiger Stadium's fate here on The Biz of Baseball:

 
Councilwoman to Speak to Harwell About Tiger Stadium PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 25 July 2007 11:00

Tiger StadiumTiger Stadium demolition vote delayed so that Councilwoman can hear from Ernie Harwell

The vote on the fate of Tiger Stadium, that was initially supposed to take place today, and then moved to Friday, just one day before the Detroit City Council goes on their six-week summer vacation, may have to wait until an even later date – September. Why?

Councilwoman Martha Reeves wishes to delay the vote in order to speak to "voice of the Tigers," Ernie Harwell.

As reported by the Detroit News:

Reeves said she wants to consult with Harwell, a former sportscaster, as well as get more information on a sports museum proposed for the corner of Michigan and Trumbull and how much of the stadium's facade would be preserved.

The vote comes as a battle over the historic ballpark and its possible redevelopment continues. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is pushing for nearly the entire ballpark to be demolished to make way for mixed-use development, including condominiums.

 
Nationals & DCSEC in Dispute Over Stadium Expenses PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 21 July 2007 12:43
Washington Nationals - SuiteThe Washington Nationals have a request for arbitration with the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission (DCSEC) in a dispute over $9 million in dollars “contractual issues” associated to the construction of the new ballpark for the Nationals slated to open for next season (see details on the New Nationals Ballpark, including high resolution renderings and a computer animated “fly-through”)

The term “contractual issues” seem to mean different things to the parties. As reported by Tim Lemke of the Washington Times:

"The Washington Nationals and the District of Columbia have mutually agreed that there can be no resolution to certain existing unresolved contractual issues relating to the purchase of certain furniture, fixtures and equipment," Nationals president Stan Kasten said in a statement. "Accordingly, the team has asked an arbiter to resolve the dispute. The parties believe arbitration at this time promptly resolves issues without jeopardizing a mutual commitment to completing Nationals Ballpark on time."

… "We feel it's unfortunate that the team is pursuing arbitration," Sports commission chairman Matthew Cutts said. "We have been working with the team and the deputy mayor's office to reach a compromise over the last several months."

Part of the dispute involves matters such as the District being on the hook for installation of televisions and control rooms at the new ballpark, slated to open before the start of the 2008 season.

The outcome of any possible arbitration ruling could impact the budget that DC has available for the construction of the ballpark. The total cost of the stadium is capped at $611 million, with only $8 million in contingency monies left to work with. A ruling in favor of the Nationals ownership would put the total cost of the ballpark over the $611 hard-capped budget.

 
Fate of Tiger Stadium Set for Wednesday Vote PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 20 July 2007 04:08

Tiger StadiumToday, the Detroit City Council tentatively scheduled a vote for Wednesday on whether Tiger Stadium – in its current state – will live or die.

The Council will discuss the issues surrounding the vote on Monday in advance of Wednesday’s vote.

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been working to try and seal deal that will demolish nearly all of the historic ballpark to make room for condos and other mixed-use development.

All that would remain of the ballpark would be the field and part of the stadium structure under Mayor Kilpatrick’s plan.

The vote comes at a time when a report released by the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. revealed that since 2003 only three completed proposals for redevelopment of the ballpark have been presented. In all three of those instances, dire shortcomings were found within them. As reported by the Detroit Free Press:

According to the report, the three proposals the DEGC received were from the Navin Field Consortium, which would establish a minor league team by retaining about 20,000 seats of Tiger Stadium; the Cherry Street Development, which proposed a phased-in project that would include demolishing the stadium to make way for residential construction, a hotel, parking and a museum; and Collins Development, which would demolish the stadium for housing but preserve the field for a softball field.

 
Cost of New Yankee Stadium Rises Sharply PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 20 July 2007 01:06
New Yankee Stadium

Taxpayer subsidies for New Yankee Stadium have risen $217 million more than first anticipated, according to a report issued by Good Jobs New York, a nonpartisan group.

With the increase, the total cost to the public is now $617 million. That figure is the amount of tax subsidy in today’s dollars, but will increase over time with inflation. As reported by Reuters:

Some $69 million of this rise stems from a decision by the city's Independent Budget Office to hike its estimate of how much tax revenue the city, state and federal government lost by letting the Yankees sell tax-free stadium bonds. The IBO said it took this step after the civic group questioned its figure.

The latest estimate also includes almost $90 million of city and state funds for a new Metro-North station for the stadium. Good Jobs New York applauded this expenditure because it will encourage mass transit.

The report cites former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the increase in costs. In the case of Giuliani, his firm, Giuliani Security and Safety, was hired as the stadium security consultant court papers show. He also approved a $21 million reduction in rent that the Yankees will have to pay.

"Public faith in government is eroded when private corporations hire former government officials and use their expertise and influence to evade participatory planning and established economic development principles," Good Jobs New York’s report said.

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

Select Read More to see the Executive Summary by Good Jobs New York, as well as a link to their report 

Read more...
 
Tropicana Field, Meet the Big Ten PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 19 July 2007 07:34

Tropicana FieldThe Tampa Ray Devil Rays are in discussions with the Big Ten to host an NCAA Football bowl game at Tropicana Field.

The Big East has affiliations with five bowls through the 2009 season. As reported by the St. Petersburg Times:

"We've had very preliminary talks with the Devil Rays, but there's very serious interest on both sides," said Nick Carparelli, the conference's associate commissioner for football. "It makes a lot of sense for all parties involved, but what talks we have had are in the very early stages."

Early enough that Rays officials declined to comment until talks involving the St. Petersburg stadium have reached a more substantive level.

The earliest that a bowl game at the Trop could be certified by the NCAA would be April of 2010. Certification is based on being able to sustain attendance above a threshold of 25,000. Dropping below the threshold would remove a venue from certification.

Read about this story on The Biz of Football, as well

 
Washington Nationals to Have “Topping Out” Tomorrow PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 10 July 2007 07:15

New Nationals BallparkA key milestone in the new Washington Nationals ballpark will take place tomorrow, July 11th.

The DC Sports and Entertainment Commission (DCSEC), along with Clark/Hunt/Smoot, the joint venture in charge of building the new stadium will hold a “Topping Out” celebration.

This significant milestone in the construction of the new ballpark—the placement of the last structural steel is also known as “topping out.” 

The celebration begins at Noon with a barbecue lunch for the construction workers followed at 1PM ET by congratulatory remarks by DC Mayor Adrian Fenty and other special guests.

(See larger high resolution renderings, like you see above, of the new Nationals Stadium. See a computer-animated "fly-through" of the new Nationals Stadium)

 
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