RECENT ARTICLES
  • Florida Bills Would Nix State Assistance for Stadiums

    by Andy Berg August 2017

    A Florida legislator is pursuing laws that would significantly curtail public assistance for franchise stadium developments in the state.

    House Bill 13, introduced by Rep. Bryan Avila (R), would ban the building or renovation of stadiums on public lands, while House Bill 6005 would nix a program that set aside state funds for stadium projects.

    In HB 6005, Avila is proposing legislation that would do away with a program sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala (R) and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott in 2014. The program offers $13 million a year for stadium projects. A number of facilities, including EverBank Field in Jacksonville and Daytona International Speedway, have been approved to receive assistance from the fund, but legislators in the House have blocked disbursement of the money.

    Chris Hudson, director of Americans for Prosperity in Florida, questioned the program in a statement. “Why should taxpayers foot the bill for billionaire sports owners who want to expand their facilities?” Hudson said.

    According to News4Jax.com, HB 13 was filed for the 2018 legislative session, which is scheduled to begin in January. 

  • Wood Shade Structure Softens TD Place Stadium

    by Paul Steinbach August 2017

    The oldest of the six venues used by Canada to host the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, TD Place Stadium underwent a renovation a year earlier that redefined its presence within a varying context — urban on one side, natural on the other.

  • Cracks Appear in Fresno State Stadium Project

    by Andy Berg August 2017

     

    According to a report from the Fresno Bee, Fresno State may have to delay a planned renovation of Bulldog Stadium due to cracks in the seating and walkway areas. The grand reopening of the facility was scheduled for 2019, but a new timeline could push that date out to 2020 or 2021.

    Athletic director Jim Bartko called the cracks in the foundation the “100-pound gorilla,” noting that plans for the renovation are set, naming rights have been secured, and donations for the revamp are already coming in. “But we have to determine is it just the west side, or do we need to do it over a two-year span?”

    The cracking foundation won’t have any affect on the 2017 football season, and the Bee reports that the a fix could be as simple as patching the cracks. That said, concerns remain that the entire facility may have to be torn down and rebuilt, which would cost a lot more than the $60 million renovation currently under consideration. 

    Bartko says that Fresno State’s fundraising efforts have already secured $15 million for the project. 

  • Tucson Must Invest to Woo Spring Training Baseball

    by Arizona Daily Star August 2017

    FULL TEXT Tucson went 15 years without a college football bowl game and is working on eight years without spring training baseball.

  • Chick-fil-A Stand Closed for All But One Falcons Game

    by Paul Steinbach August 2017

    It’s now the norm for professional stadiums to offer fans food options from franchised brands, and the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is no different.

    However, one concessions stand will be closed for all but one of the Atlanta Falcons’ eight home games the the stadium’s inaugural season in 2017. According to ESPN, Chick-fil-A will fly the MBS coop seven times — exercising its corporate policy of closing on Sundays and leaving fans only a Thursday night game between the Falcons and the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 7 to purchase the chain’s signature chicken sandwich. For the remaining games, the stand’s digital signage will promote stadium concessionaire Levy’s non-branded food and beverage items.

    From AB: Concessions Contracts Capitalizing on Brand Loyalty

    Headquartered in Atlanta, Chick-fil-A is the highest grossing restaurant franchise in the United States, with each store generating $4.4 million in annual revenue, on average, according to QSR Magazine, an industry trade publication.

    The policy of closing one day of the week for rest and worship, mandated by Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, is also in play for Atlanta United’s MLS games scheduled for Sundays at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, as well as at the Atlanta Braves’ new SunTrust Park.

    A separate stand at MBS, run by former Top Chef contestant Kevin Gillespi, will offer a “Closed on Sundays” chicken sandwich, featuring a knockoff of the Chick-fil-A standard fried chicken and pickle on a buttered bun.

  • AB Spotlight: Nashville MLS Stadium

    by Andy Berg August 2017

    Investor John Ingram and his team released the first renderings, drawn up by HOK architects, of a proposed Major League Soccer stadium for Nashville. Music City has seen success hosting MLS games at the existing Nissan Stadium. The initial design for the new stadium makes room for 30,000 seats.

    AB Stadium Spotlight

  • Injury Prompts Call for MLB to Examine Safety of Bases

    by Paul Steinbach August 2017

    In all kinds of climatic conditions, a baseball diamond is pampered like few other sports surfaces. The infield dirt gets watered and raked even in good weather, and covered during extended periods of rain. But one surface area — the desired destination of every offensive player on the field — doesn’t get enough attention, according sports agent Scott Boras.

    Boras, considered the world’s most powerful sports agent by Forbes magazine, called on Major League Baseball to consider bases a hazard when wet after one of his clients, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, slipped on first base during the first inning of a game Saturday night and suffered a deep bone bruise.

    “We go to great lengths with the soil to make sure it’s not wet and there are drying agents on the ground,” Boras said, as reported by ESPN. “I don’t know what technology we apply or the studies that have been done on the composition of having a wet base. That’s certainly something we need to look into. This injury was directly related to inclement weather and a player putting his cleat on the bag and it slipping across because the surface was slick.

    “In the NBA, when a player hits the floor and there's perspiration on the floor, they clean it up immediately so the surface isn't slick. In baseball, we have no one cleaning the bags between innings during inclement weather. Is there observation as the game goes where they would stop and make sure the bag is dry? We don’t do that. We don't take measures like that for player safety that could easily be accomplished by the grounds crew and the umpires’ observations."

    From AB: How to Properly Maintain Baseball and Softball Infields

    MLB Rule 1.06 states that bases are “marked by white canvas or rubber-covered,” and are “securely attached to the ground.” A change in composition of bases used by Major League Baseball would come from the league’s joint Safety and Health Advisory Committee. The committee, which includes representatives from Major League Baseball and the Players Association, addresses health and safety issues as they arise and monitors the safety of working conditions for players, according to ESPN’s report.

    “We’re placing players in peril when they have no notice or familiarity with the surface they’re playing on,” Boras said. “There may be a better solution where you have a base that has a less slick surface in response to precipitation.”

  • Colorado Schools Seek Naming Rights Partners

    by Andy Berg August 2017

    The University of Colorado and Colorado State University are both looking to generate some revenue by selling the naming rights to their stadiums.

    The Denver Post reports that the two schools are seeking either corporate sponsors or a philanthropic donor. It remains to be seen what the Colorado schools will get for the naming rights to their stadiums, but the strategy isn’t new for college teams.

    Grocery chain Albertson’s will pay Boise State $12.5 million over the course of 15 years for naming rights to the Bronco’s stadium. In the Pac-12, the University of Washington will get $41 million over 10 years from Alaska Airlines, and the University of Southern California will take home $70 million over 15 years from United Airlines.

    CSU athletic director Joe Parker said his team will be looking for a partner that will commit to at least 10 years. “You don’t want to get into a three-, four- or five-year cycle where you’re changing the name of the stadium,” Parker told the Post. “You want a company that’s reputable. You want a business that’s in a market segment that everyone in higher education would feel good about.”

    Parker said any funds generated through the naming rights to CSU’s $220 million stadium will be set aside in a “rainy-day fund.”

    CU’s facility has been called Folsom field, after coach Frederick Folsom, since 1944. CSU’s field was named Hughes field in 1968 after coach Harry Hughes. 

  • Delays Could Displace School’s Opening Games

    by Courtney Cameron August 2017

    After approving a $621,204 contract to replace the aging football field at Eagle High School with synthetic turf, the West Ada School District in Meridian, Idaho, is facing delays that threaten the first home games scheduled for August 24 and 25 at Thunder Stadium.

  • USF Announces Results of Stadium Feasibility Study

    by Courtney Cameron August 2017

    On Tuesday, the University of Southern Florida announced the findings of a $75,000 feasibility study to examine potential locations and construction costs for a new on-campus stadium.