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usbankstadium10 TO WATCH WEEK OF 9/25/16

PUBLIC SECTOR SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT ISSUES OF THE WEEK

  1. Rome has decided to drop its bid for the 2024 Olympics, leaving only Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest as candidates to host the Summer Games. According to the AP, Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi rejected the bid, saying that it would be “financially ‘irresponsible’ to pursue the bid any further given the city is barely able to get its trash picked up.” Raggi went on to bring up facts regarding the massive debts that previous Olympic hosts have incurred among her reasons for the rejection. Rome has notoriously struggled with corruption and poor public services over the past years. This marks the “second withdrawal in four years” for Rome; former Italy premier Mario Monti in ’12 “stopped the city’s plans to bid for the 2020 Olympics because of financial problems.” Raggi, who was elected this past June, ran her campaign on the foundation that an Olympic bid was “unsustainable” and not feasible.
  1. The Las Vegas NHL expansion team announced that it will “stop future sales for its inaugural season” in 2017-2018, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Season ticket demand has surpassed the expectations of many after the team reached 16,000 sold. A waiting list “has been established and fans still may place deposits on season tickets. The brand new T-Mobile Arena right off The Strip, which has 17,500-seats, is set to host the expansion team going forward. The team’s “initial goal was 10,000 tickets,” and 18-months later it has well surpassed that marker. Owner Bill Foley has been pleased with the city’s demand for tickets thus far, but he “now turns his attention toward building a business, marketing and sales staff” for his team. Foley “interviewed six candidates for the president of business operations position and said he is close to selecting that person.”
  1. The Detroit Redwings made a “bold” investment with their new facility, Little Caesars Arena, but it is nowhere near as “bold an audacious” as the investment in the 50-block downtown development. According to SBJ, “the total investment in the arena and adjacent space was projected to be between $1.5-2 billion,” while the “total amount of investment with the entire 50 blocks will be $4-5 billion.” Olympia Entertainment President & CEO Tom Wilson praised the plans. “This is going to be something that people are going to be writing a thesis on in college because it’s such a renaissance,” said Wilson. The new development will include “six new restaurants, a five-star hotel, Wayne State Business School, a $60 million structure,” and an “outdoor piazza, modeled after the grand piazzas in Italy, that can be programmed 300-plus nights a year with everything from yoga classes to farmers markets to concerts.” Number to Watch: $4-5 billion.
  1. Following “months of negotiations, dozens of legal filings and several hearings,” the Minnesota Vikings are allowing Well Fargo to keep limited signage near U.S. Bank Stadium, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The settlement was “mostly confidential” and was field in U.S. Court District. The designated signage will be elevated, but not illuminated on the rooftops of two office buildings adjacent to the Vikings’ brand new stadium. The case escalated later last year when the Vikings “took Wells Fargo to court,” citing that they were “attempting to photo-bomb the image of U.S. Bank stadium that would be broadcast around the world, especially during the Super Bowl” in February 2018.” In multiple documents and in the courtroom, the Vikings said that Wells Fargo “was allowed to have painted signs on the rooftops, but they couldn’t be elevated or illuminated.” Those close to the case noted that the Vikings “won outright in court.”
  1. The Washington Wizards released initial designs for their new practice facility, which is expected to be shared with the WNBA Mystics. According to Sports Business Journal, “the practice facility is tied to a 4,200-seat multi-purpose arena that will serve as the new home of the Mystics and a potential D-League team.” Other potential events that could be hosted at the venue included e-sports competitions, concerts and boxing matches. “Sports architect Rossetti has teamed with local firm Marshall Moya Design for the $65 million project spanning 118,000 square feet, including the 45,000-square-foot practice facility.” The facility is expected to feature an arena bowl with two practice courts on the building’s east side. Events DC President & CEO Greg O’Dell said, “We studied the right configuration for the arena with the minimum number of events to optimize a niche market. There are several other venues in the area with 1,000-3,000 seats, but only a few in the mid-range of 5,000 seats.” Number to Watch: $65 million.
  1. The Golden State Warriors are finally ready to starting building their new arena, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Following a few delays, the Chase Center is “scheduled for construction in the Mission Bay district.” Warriors President & COO Rick Welts is “hoping to break ground early next year and have the arena ready” by the start of the 2019-2020 NBA season. The main delay in the process was the opposition to the arena’s location by UCSF. The university operates three hospitals and a campus close to the facility’s planned sight and is concerned with traffic on game days. “We’re not taking anything for granted. It’s a process. We’re taking it all very seriously,” said Welts. “But one of the important things that happened before (the Mission Bay Alliance) sued us was that we reached an agreement with UCSF…we, the city, UCSF – spent a lot of time negotiating an agreement that regulates traffic.”
  1. The Sacramento Kings announced that their new home, the Golden 1 Center, has been “certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building,” according to the Sacramento Bee. By earning the status, the Golden 1 Center becomes the “first indoor arena” to do so, as LEED Platinum is only “given to projects that meet strict standards in energy use, water efficiency, transportation impacts and the materials used in construction.” The building is set to be powered by solar panels atop the building during the day. Further contributing to the arena’s environmental commitment, the Kings also plan to source 90% of the food and drink concessions from “businesses and farms within 150 miles of the arena.” Another aspect that makes the process of earning LEED Platinum so difficult is the fact that the stamp of approval also “takes into account how the arena was constructed.”
  1. The Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid is continuing to develop, and that means new venues are entering the mix for potential host sites. According to the Orange County Register, the bid’s organizing committee revealed that the city is planning on using Anaheim’s Honda Center to host the volleyball competition, “Long Beach would be home to six sports,” and Riviera Country Club would host the golf competition. Lake Perris is being discussed as a possible site for rowing and canoe events. Many speculate that the L.A. Rams’ new Inglewood stadium “will also be part of the final bid.” The revised plan “focuses on four Olympic sports parks and emphasizes the proximity to public transportation” and the L.A. and Orange County region’s “wealth of world class facilities.” October 7 marks the deadline for the remaining cities to submit their Stage II bids to the IOC.
  1. English Premier League club West Ham United is notorious for having some of the rowdiest fans in the country, but the team is now resorting to extreme measures to “tackle crowd problems,” according to the London Times. Going forward, West Ham will be implementing new security measures that will “increase segregation distances for rival supporters” and move hundreds of its own fans to different seats after pleas for relocation.” The team is playing its home matches in the remodeled London Stadium, which was used primarily for the 2012 London Olympics. The frequent “violent scenes” at the team’s last home games involved home supporters clashing “both with away fans and each other during the game.” As a result, stadium operator LS185 has “agreed to use new security firms to provide trained stewards after complaints that many of those who have been employed this season were inexperienced at football grounds.”
  1. Chicago has played an active role in hosting some of the biggest events in sports over the past few years. Now the Midwestern city is “weighing a bid to host the 2019 and 2020 X Games, according to the Chicago Tribune. ESPN Events operates the event, and the Chicago Sports Commission has until November 1 to notify the organization if wants to submit a formal bid. Commission Executive Director Kara Bachman confirmed by email that it is “considering an invitation to join the host-city bidding.” Merely two months ago, Minneapolis was awarded the rights to host the X Games in 2017 and 2018, effectively ending a three-year run by Austin, Texas. Chicago was “among the finalists” Austin beat out in the ’13 bidding process. Chicago’s ’13 proposal was to use the United Center and the “parking lots surrounding it.”