News for 2/4/13
A lot to go over in this edition. Thanks to all who have been contributing. The response has been excellent so far, I hope it continues. I have a couple of surprises in store for you generous folks.
- Update 2/5 12:00 PM – Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson had yet another press conference to give an update on the Kings/arena effort. The big takeaway is that there is not yet an announcement on a big money equity group. That may happen next week, in conjunction with the City submitting its arena plan to the NBA. Meanwhile, billionaire Ron Burkle looms larger than ever, as he has emerged as a potential bidder for AEG. Keep in mind that Burkle would have to partner with private equity to buy AEG. It would make sense for Mayor Johnson and Sacramento if Burkle, Mastrov, and silent money were to come in on a package deal for the team and arena, similar to Guggenheim Partners’ overwhelming bid for the Dodgers.
- The Giants are reportedly being less strident in their concerns about a Warriors arena at Piers 30-32 in San Francisco. The sides are hashing out their differences with the City in the middle. 2013 must mark a new era of a “kinder, gentler Giants”. [SF Chronicle/John Coté, Neal J. Riley]
- The 34-minute power outage at yesterday’s Super Bowl at the Superdome is being blamed for now on monitoring equipment that tripped a breaker after sensing an anomaly. Power outages happen from time to time at sporting events depending on load, grid, and stadium. The spectacular 2011 blackout from a 49ers home game was notable. I vaguely recall an A’s game that had the lights go out in 2012, though I can’t remember if it was a home or road game. While somewhat embarrassing for New Orleans, it seems unlikely that this mishap will affect future Super Bowls in NOLA, especially if the true cause can be properly identified and fixed. [LA Times/Patrick Kevin Day | Deadspin/Barry Petchesky]
- If the problem is grid-related, the Santa Clara stadium shouldn’t be hit in the same way due to built-in redundancy with multiple substations next to the stadium. Santa Clara runs its own power utility, which allows for more leeway in utility planning than if it had to work with PG&E. [SJ Mercury News/Mike Rosenberg]
- Somehow the Miami Marlins continue to make out well at their new ballpark despite their mistakes. The Marlins have paid only $102 million of the $131 million they were supposed to contribute. If the full project comes in below projected cost, the remaining money that’s supposed to come from the team will be rerouted to a capital improvements fund, instead of refunding Miami and Dade County taxpayers. [Miami Herald/Charles Rabin]
- MLB executive Kim Ng toured Hermosillo, Mexico’s Estadio Sonora while checking out the Caribbean Series. The 16,000-seat stadium could potentially be used as a spring training home by Arizona Diamondbacks or another team. Hermosillo is 4.5 hours south of Tucson, inland of the Gulf of California. [MLB.com/Alden Gonzalez]
- Reno’s City Council approved a subsidy plan to pay off Aces Ballpark, which will keep the D-backs’ AAA affiliate in Reno for the next 30 years. The subsidy will run approximately $1 million per year. [Reno Gazette Journal/Brian Duggan]
- The Scranton-Wilkes Barre Railriders (AAA-Yankees) are moving into their completely rebuilt ballpark, PNC Field, after a year of barnstorming. [Scranton Times Tribune/Jim Lockwood]
- A Mesa-based service organization called the Hohokams (natch) has long had a contract to provide manpower at Hohokam Stadium during spring training. As the Cubs complete work at their new park, no deal has been made for the new ballpark. [Arizona Republic/Editorial Board]
- El Paso’s upcoming Populous-designed AAA ballpark will take stylistic cues from the city’s historic Union Depot train station. The ballpark, which will replace the not-that-old City Hall, is expected to open in time for the 2014 season. Meanwhile, a legal challenge to the $50 million deal has caused the city to halt an effort to issue bonds for the stadium. [El Paso Times/Cindy Ramirez, Zahira Torres]
- A 100-feet-deep sinkhole found at the Birmingham Barons’ new ballpark site has put a snag in construction. Apparently sinkholes are quite common throughout Birmingham. [AL.com/Joseph D. Bryant]
- Henderson, NV is suing developer Chris Milam and others over an alleged bait-and-switch scheme that involved 480 acres of land that was meant to be used for a stadium complex. Instead, Milam may be looking to build housing on the land. The City is suing to prevent that from happening based on the very low land sale price furnished to Milam. Caught up in all of this is former Bureau of Land Management director Bob Abbey, who signed off on the deal. [Las Vegas Review Journal/Alan Snel]
More as it comes.