February 9, 2009
Mike Zurawski has sent another batch of news items concerning ballpark renovation, construction, and planning. In Milwaukee, the Brewers are building a new 42-seat elevated seating area in left-center field at Miller Park, to be called the "Harley-Davidson Deck." Fans who are members of the Harley Owners Group can buy tickets at a discount, and will have special access to a new motorcycle parking lot. See Business Journal of Milwaukee. Harley-Davidson is certainly a much more reputable company than others that have reached ballpark deals in the last few years. They not only produce a useful, high-quality product, they make them right here in the U.S. of A.!
In Miami, fears are growing that the economic recession will cause future hotel-tax revenues to fall short of projections, leaving the local governments without the means to pay for a new stadium for the Marlins. The estimated total cost at present is $609 million. The new report on the effect of declining tourist business casts a chill on the upcoming vote on the stadium deal by Miami and Miami-Dade commissioners. See Miami Herald. Nevertheless, Marlins president David Samson says he is "cautiously optimistic" that the commissioners on will approve the deal on Feb. 13. If so, he expects groundbreaking to begin between June 15 and July 15, which would still make it possible to finish construction in time for the 2012 season. See MLB.com.
In the Bay Area, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has begun promoting the idea that the 49ers and Raiders should share a new stadium, rather than replacing their respective existing stadiums on their own. He cited Meadowlands Stadium which is being built next to Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. -- a $1.6 billion long-term cohabitation arrangement between the Giants and Jets that is supposed to open in August 2010. As with the case of the Oakland Athletics, the haggling with various local governments is dragging on and on, and with no imminent prospect for an economic recovery, some difficult compromises and severe belt-tightening will be necessary. See sfgate.com.
Thanks as always to Mike for sharing the latest ballpark news with the rest of us.