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Archive for the ‘New Venues’ Category

Taxpayers forced to pay off debts for sports stadiums

Posted by ZA on September 8, 2010

A good article from the New York Times that exposes the debt that still exists on many unused stadiums.  The tax payers in New Jersey still have over $75 million in dept to pay off on the Izod Center, yet no professional sports teams play there any longer (the Nets & Devils have already said bye, bye).  Indianapolis residents have over $60 million in debt yet to pay on the RCA Dome, even though the team is starting their second year at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Both are ridiculously unfair to the taxpayers, but that’s the price you can pay in big time sports.

While I agree that these stadium finance deals can turn out badly for taxpayers, I do think more has to be considered than just the dollars.  A stadium and the team that plays in it is a big part of the identity of a city.  The Meadowlands and RCA Dome are landmarks in their cities, even once they are no longer in use.  So while taxpayers need to be reluctant to pick up the entire tab on these stadiums, they don’t want to stop the next big sports venue from being built in their town.

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New Dallas Cowboys stadium called Cowboys stadium

Posted by ZA on May 13, 2009

This one was almost too predictable to even mention, but the Dallas Cowboys have decided to name their new stadium Cowboys Stadium.  The new Cowboys Stadium will host its first NFL football game this Fall.  It replaces Texas Stadium which was the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Irving for the past few decades.

The writing has probably been on the wall for some time on this decision.  I think Jerry Jones originally had visions of a 8 figure per year naming rights deal with AT&T or some other corporation.  When the economy tanked those deals dried up, which is why the Cowboys are going with a non-corporate name right now.  I expect Jerry will continue to shop a naming-rights deal to anyone corporations interested in partnering with “America’s Team”.  The opportunity to associate a corporate brand with one of the finest stadiums in the world is too great a chance for exposure to stay on the shelf for long.  I expect it’ll stay as Cowboys Stadium for the start of this season, but at some point this season or next Spring a major deal will be announced that provides some corporation with venue naming right for Cowboys Stadium.

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Why don’t the Chicago Cubs like Wrigley?

Posted by ZA on September 17, 2008

Twice in the last week pitchers for the Chicago Cubs have been quoted in the media bashing venerable Wrigley Field.  The most recent was pitcher Jason Marquis who was quoted in the Chicago Tribune on his desire for Wrigley to have some modern upgrades.

Marquis said, “If I had a personal choice, I think they should knock down Wrigley and build a replica in the exact same spot to give it that same feel.”

That followed a quote made by pitcher Carlos Zambrano earlier in the week who said “Gosh, I wish we could have a new ballpark.”

I don’t fault the Cubs players for wanting more luxurious digs, but what they need to understand is you cannot replace history.  Wrigley Field is one of the two legendary ballparks for baseball, along with Fenway in Boston.  Tearing down Wrigley is akin to tearing down a national monument.  You wouldn’t tear down the Washington Monument, would you?  Which is why the people of Chicago, baseball purists, and Cubs fans across the country do not want to tear down Wrigley Field.  Folks in Chicago are so loyal to their historic sports venues that they choose to land a spaceship on top of Soldier Field, rather than tear it down and remodel it from scratch.

Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois

Does it look like a spaceship landed on Soldier Field?

It is obviously a difficult situation to decide how to treat Wrigley Field.  Cubs outfielder Jim Edmonds said it best, “Everyone is going to have a different opinion.”  Edmonds went on to say the Cubs players, “…enjoy it, and enjoy the history…of course it’s always nice to have a new place.”

My take is that certain things shouldn’t be upgraded, they are a part of fabric and too important to people.  Wrigley Field is that for baseball and the people of Chicago.  I absolutely think they should find creative ways to upgrade the facility so the team has the amenities that they need, but they should never follow the advice of Marquis to tear it down and rebuild it new.  That may seem like the same place, but it wouldn’t have the soul of Wrigley that carries all of the great history with it. 

It doesn’t matter that the St. Louis Cardinals tore down Busch Stadium or that the New York Yankees are building a new Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field must stay.  Those new stadiums will be incredible, but every fan who enters them will tell you that you cannot replace the history of the former ballparks.

Winston Churchill said it best, “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”  The Cubs should learn from those other teams, and keep Wrigley Field the way it is.

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Pay $104 to sit behind a pole at an NFL game?

Posted by ZA on July 17, 2008

Lucas Oil Stadium view

These could be your seats at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Indy Star ran an interesting piece on the limited view seats at Lucas Oil Stadium, the new home for the Indianapolis Colts.  The article states that there will be less than 200 limited view or disabled view seats sold for each Colts game, and all will be clearly marked on the tickets.  It says the seats might someday be removed to add more luxury suites.  Let’s hope that’s true, because from the photo it looks like those seats are going to be some real stinkers.

The limited view seats are located in sections which the Colts website says will sell for $104.00 per ticket for individual games.  Although I imagine the Colts ticket office plans to severely discount these limited view seats…at least, I hope they do.

I wonder who made the design decision to put those columns where they were going to obstruct seats?  It had to be the Colts decision to do that, with the idea they would maximum revenue selling those seats as limited view until they replaced them with luxury suites.  I cannot imagine an established design firm like HKS, Inc, who is the architect on the Lucas Oil Stadium project, would design it in such a way that fans would be sitting behind columns.  Regardless there is going to be some fans who show up to a Colts game next season who are shocked at their view (or lack thereof).

Image courtesy of the Indy Star.

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New Twins ballpark will be cash cow for team

Posted by ZA on April 29, 2008

The Minnesota Twins are about to get a lot richer.  That’s because it is estimated that the Twins new ballpark will help the club generate more than $1 billion dollars in additional revenue.  The yet to be named new ballpark being built in Minneapolis, Minnesota is expected to be completed for the 2010 baseball season.

The reason for the cash windfall is the Twins will own all of the revenue from the new park, while they currently get very little from their lease at the HHH Metrodome.  At the new park the Twins will have revenue from naming rights, concessions, in-stadium signage, suites and the 40K seats in the ballpark.  The suites alone are estimated to generate $8 million per year.

The new Twins ballparkis being built by HOK Sport.  The capacity is expected to be around 42,000.  The new ballpark will be 4000 seats smaller than their current home in the Metrodome.  It will also be a natural grass surface, the Metrodome has an artificial playing surface.  And the new Twins home will not have a roof like the Metrodome, so the Twins will have to get used to playing outside in the elements.  Brrr…I don’t want to be a fan a Twins fan sitting in the stands the next time they play a November World Series game.

The average ticket price in the new stadium is expected to be around $17.00, which is the most affordable average ticket price among recently built stadiums in the 4 major U.S. sports leagues.  Now that’s a great way to make sure you keep fans filling up the stands…give them prices they can afford.

New Minnesota Twins ballpark
Drawing of new Twins ballpark (image courtesy of MLB.com)

Posted in Improve Attendance, MLB, New Venues, Stadium Construction, Tickets, Venue Information, Venue Naming Rights | 2 Comments »

King of Beers signs deal with NY Mets

Posted by ZA on March 18, 2008

The New York Mets will debut a brand new stadium, Citi Field, to start the 2009 baseball season.  And if you are a Mets fan you better enjoy Budweiser & Bud Light, because Anheuser-Busch signed a multi-year agreement to become a ‘Partner’ at Citi Field.  The deal means that Budweiser will be the exclusive sponsor for all alcohol signage within Citi Field.

The deal is the first ‘Signature Partner’ the NY Mets have signed for their new stadium.  But Anheuser-Busch has been the Official Beer Sponsor of Major League Baseball for over a dozen years.

Citi Field will replace the Mets current home, Shea Stadium, at the start of the 2009 season.  Citi Field is being built by HOK Sport in Queens, New York.  It is estimated that Citi Field will cost $610 Million dollars to build.  When completed it will have a capacity of approximately 45,000 baseball fans.

Posted in MLB, New Venues, Sponsorship Deals, Stadium Pouring Rights, Venue Information | Leave a Comment »

2012 Olympic Stadium begins construction

Posted by ZA on March 11, 2008

In May construction will begin on the centerpiece for the 2012 Olympics in London.  The 85,000 seat Olympic Stadium will take approximately three years to build.  So it should be ready one full year prior to the start of the 2012 Summer Games.  The Stadium was designed by HOK Sport, who is based out of Kansas City.  A picture of the stadium, from the HOK site, is below:

2012 Olympic Stadium London

The Olympic Stadium will be located in the middle of the London Olympic Park.

Official site of the 2012 London Olympics.
Official site of the Olympics.

Posted in New Venues, Olympics, Stadium Construction, Venue Information | Leave a Comment »

There is no I in TEAM. There is no HOK in STADIUM.

Posted by ZA on February 2, 2008

Both are true statements, but it sure seems like HOK Sport is involved in every new stadium or arena being built today.  The worldclass architecture firm which specializes in designing sports venues is currently involved in major projects, that will shape the sports world, on at least four continents.  HOK Sport was once an unknown design firm in rural America, and is now the “it” company for new venue construction.  With offices around the World, this Kansas City based company is having a huge impact on how sports fans enjoy their favorite teams.  Since cutting their teeth on the Truman Sports Complex in Kansas City, HOK has played a dominant role in defining the look of the modern sports arena.

Notable HOK Sport projects:
Fedex Field (NFL)
Heinz Field (NFL)
Reliant Stadium (NFL)
University of Phoenix Stadium (NFL)
AT&T Park (MLB)
Busch Stadium (MLB)
Coors Stadium (MLB)
Minute Maid Park (MLB)
Air Canada Centre (NBA)
Toyota Center (NBA)
Estadio du Luz (Soccer)
Emirates Stadium (Soccer)
Wembley Stadium (Soccer)

Notable current/upcoming HOK Sport venue projects:
Citi Field (Mets)
Nationals Park (Nationals)
New Yankee Stadium (Yankees)
Olympic Stadium in London for 2012 Games

And these do not even scratch the surface on the numerous other HOK Sports projects that are going to shape the future sports world.  So the next time you settle into your stadium seat for the big game, look around and take in your surroundings.  And know that those surroundings are carefully planned out by companies like HOK Sports, who are helping to shape your experience at the game.

Posted in New Venues, Stadium Construction, Venue Information | 2 Comments »