It’s good hittin’ weather

It’s the halfway point of the NFL season, which means that football is completely dominating the sports world. The NFL Network had its first Thursday night broadcast of the season, and two college football games will be played in MLB ballparks this weekend: Illinois-Northwestern at Wrigley Field, and Army-Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium. The Yankee Stadium football layout is from home plate to centerfield, making seats at the 50-yard line no great shakes. Wrigley Field is much more interesting, as it orients the gridiron much like AT&T Park but with less space to accomplish the task.

Source: Yahoo

Those drag routes across the back of the end zone are sure to be exciting. Update 11/20 – Big Ten officials and the teams’ head coaches had a pow-wow and decided to disuse the east end zone shown above. Instead, both teams will drive toward the safer west end zone when on offense. Bizarre.

Over in Philly, the Eagles are doing something really cool – they’re taking their home stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, off the power grid. To achieve this, 80 wind turbines and 2,500 solar panels will be installed. As large as that is, those renewable energy sources will only provide 15% of the expected output, while a plant that burns either natural gas or biofuels will handle the rest. Still, it’s an admirable effort and something the A’s should look to duplicate – at least the wind/solar part. The Giants, of course, were the first to cover their roof with solar panels. Less than a mile east of the Diridon site, Adobe placed several wind turbines within its building complex.

Enough of the feel-good. Let’s get back to greed business.

  • AEG’s Tim Leiweke wants the citizens of the Southland to believe that a downtown LA football stadium can be built without parking. And that it’ll cost only $725 million. With a retractable roof.
  • As for possible tenants in such a stadium, the Chargers can pay a set amount each year to get out of the team’s lease at Qualcomm Stadium. The amount decreases every year for the next decade.
  • Apparently the NFL is willing to go to any length to get the Falcons out of the 18-year old Georgia Dome. The argument this time: the Dome prevents the Super Bowl from being played in “the elements” as it should. WHA?!?!?!
  • Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which is rapidly approaching its 20th year in service, is ready to undergo a series of improvements, including the removal of more than 2,000 seats, replacement of the existing seats with wider ones, and a drop in the number of luxury suites, from 72 to 50. The O’s are also changing their concessionaire from oft-criticized giant Aramark to Delaware North.
  • Perhaps emboldened by winning a public battle to get Mesa, AZ to pay for a new facility to replace HoHoKam Park, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has his hands out for $200-300 million in TIF-financed renovations to Wrigley Field. Unlike most TIF financing structures that we’re familiar with in California, the money wouldn’t come from property taxes. Instead, funds to pay back the loans would come from a portion of the ticket taxes currently paid on tickets to Cubs games. The “amusement tax” would be frozen would be frozen at 12%, and planned raises to the tax would pay back the loans. Aside from the even more expensive tickets to come, it’s not an entirely bad idea since the Cubs are as consistent in terms of attendance as any team in baseball.
  • TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha is nearly 80% finished and on schedule for hosting the 2011 College World Series. The 24,000-seat, $128 million stadium looks like a smaller version of the redone Kauffman Stadium, which is a good thing.
  • Drayton McLane is trying to sell the Astros for $800 million, including a stake in CSN Houston.
  • According to AOL Fanhouse’s Jeff Fletcher, nothing happened this week at the November winter meetings regarding the A’s. Wait a few weeks, perhaps.
  • Speaking of being emboldened, Bryan Grunwald has an editorial at SFGate touting his 980 Deck ballpark plan. Will anyone listen?
  • The Trib comes out in favor of Victory Court, saying, “This is a great jumping off point for newly elected Mayor Jean Quan. She has to be all-in for this project and she must convince city leaders to do the same.”
  • Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is still trying (in vain?) to get some kinda of arena deal done that would keep the Kings in town. A meeting today marks the one year anniversary of an arena task force assembled to work a complex land swap that fizzled two months ago.
  • A report commissioned by the SF Board of Supervisors estimates the cost of hosting the 2013 America’s Cup at $42 million, plus $86 million in forgone revenue caused by giving development rights to whomever fixes up Piers 30/32 for the event. Race organizers and other business interests have pledged up to $32 million to help defray the cost. In the sports world, that sounds like an incredible deal.

If there’s anything else about venues worth including, send it in.

16 thoughts on “It’s good hittin’ weather

  1. Looking at Camden Yards, it’s amazing how well the neo-retro ballparks are holding up. When Riverfront or even SkyDome hit 20, they felt like relics. It really goes to show how some careful planning, taking a few risks and cherishing the things we love about baseball can really pay off for fans, the team and the city.

  2. Why would LA need retractable roof?

  3. @ Kenny – EXACTLY!

    The 980 idea (i know it’s been discussed before) looks like an engineer’s crowning achievement. He mentions a “ballpark village” where a large number of businesses already exit – any idea as to what exactly would happen there.

    Look i’m all for finding a cool way to have the A’s stay in Oakland, as long as all the parties ponying up the money agree.

  4. The stadium would double as covention center space, since it would replace exactly that.

  5. @NamTurk – wouldn’t a large beach party be a better draw for events than a convention center?

  6. the idea of using an NFL stadium for convention purposes is an excellent idea given that most NFL stadiums are used 10-15 times//year—smart move–but where they are off it sounds is in the proposed cost–$725M—‘9ers estimate is $1B without the roof–

  7. It would make for a unique expo hall, that’s for sure. Virtually no height restrictions on booth properties. Ability to do massive animated displays and projections. You could have a full-on ferris wheel in your booth!

  8. The object of NFL football is for your team to sustain fewer injuries than the other. Whichever teams has the fewest injuries, wins.

  9. From the great George Carlin:

    In football, the object is for the quarterback, otherwise known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use the shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy’s defensive line.

    In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! “I hope I’ll be safe at home!”

  10. Apparently there was NO discussion of the territorial rights and the A’s move to San Jose during the owners’ meetings. Same old, same old. Who knows if Selig will ever come to a conclusion. Can anybody remind me why some of us here are expecting to hear good news this off-season?

  11. Very frustrating that they continue to let this fester (Selig is too afraid to make a decision) but I think there are more meetings next month.

  12. The Winter Meetings start on December 6th.

  13. Weren’t we supposed to hear about the fate of KTRB already?

  14. The bass-ackwardsness of the Atlanta thing was that the Georgia Dome was a dome because the NFL touted a dome at the time as a way to get Super Bowls held at the facility. Two Super Bowls later, the NFL wants the “elements”.

  15. MIN adding another scoreboard, guess those in the LF seats couldn’t see the one above them.

    funny that MIN adds a brand new scoreboard while the coliseum i think still has the scoreboards from the renovation back in the mid 90s.

    as for 860, yeah also wonder how long before we hear who “wins” the rights to the station. at this time it’s only operational from morning to about 6 at night now? what’s the point of having “programming” at night if NOBODY can hear the station currently.

    least when stanford is playing at night the reception is decent, guessing somebody is going up to the transmitter the night stanford plays because the other days it’s all static.

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