Posts Tagged ‘Renovations’

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday presented three options for renovating Soldier Field, the home of the Chicago Bears, but the team said it’s not interested.

Lightfoot proposed fully enclosing the stadium by rebuilding both end zones with columns that can support a dome; rebuilding both end zones with columns to make the stadium dome-ready; or modifying Soldier Field to be a multi-purpose stadium better suited for soccer.

“Any of these proposed renovations will allow Soldier Field to retain its role as an economic engine for Chicago for years to come,” Lightfoot said in a news release.

The mayor’s office estimated the costs of the three options would range from $900 million to $2.2 billion. It did not say how it would pay for any of the options.

The proposed renovations would expand seating from 61,500 seats (now the lowest capacity in the NFL) up to 70,000; increase the number of suites from 133 to 140; and quadruple concession area square footage from 50,000 square feet (4,645 square meters) to 200,000 square feet (18,580 square meters), the mayor’s office said.

The Bears had no new comment on Lightfoot’s proposals but the team reiterated the same statement it issued July 7 when a panel appointed by Lightfoot recommended the city explore enclosing Soldier Field.

“The only potential project the Chicago Bears are exploring for a new stadium development is Arlington Park. As part of our mutual agreement with the seller of that property, we are not pursuing alternative stadium deals or sites, including renovations to Soldier Field, while we are under contract,” that statement said.

The team signed a purchase agreement last year for a 326-acre (131.93-hectare) site in suburban Arlington Heights, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) miles northwest of Soldier Field, that could be the site of a future stadium. President Ted Phillips has said that deal likely won’t close until early 2023, at which point the team will decide whether it’s “financially feasible to try to develop it further.”

Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro believes significant upgrades to the Rogers Centre will allow the team to play at the stadium for another 10 to 15 years while plans for a new ballpark are worked out, according to Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.

Shapiro said the Blue Jays will eventually need to build a new facility in the same area Rogers Centre is currently located at or find another spot in Toronto.

“We have been approved for a significant renovation of Rogers Centre,” Shapiro said Friday. He added that construction will start next offseason and is expected to be done in 2024.

The executive said the work will focus on the lower bowl and concourses.

Shapiro’s goal is “to move it (Rogers Centre) from a stadium to a ballpark,” according to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun.

The cost of the renovations wasn’t disclosed. However, the team was reportedly looking at a price tag of $200 million to $250 million in late December.

The stadium originally opened in 1989 as the Skydome and cost $570 million to build. Rogers acquired the facility in 2004 for $25 million.

Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula will consider the financial strain on local fans as he decides whether to renovate New Era Field or build a new stadium.

“Whatever we’re going to do stadium-wise is going to be in the best interest of our fans,” Pegula told John Wawrow of The Associated Press. “We have the interest of our fans at heart, and what we do will be heavily weighted – whatever the plan is – toward the benefit of our fans.”

Stadium issues have surrounded the Bills since before Pegula purchased the franchise in 2014. New Era Field has housed the Bills since 1973, making it one of the oldest venues in the league.

The NFL prefers a new stadium for the Bills, one that would compare to the several state-of-the-art creations the league has overseen throughout the last decade. But a new stadium would be significantly more expensive than renovating the current one.

The Bills are awaiting the results of a feasibility study from a private firm to help determine their next stadium steps.

“As far as professional sports teams go, Buffalo’s the biggest little city in the country,” Pegula said. “And our fans need their due as far as whatever we do with venues for them to attend our games.”

Pegula has a net worth of $5.56 billion, according to Bloomberg. He is also exploring the feasibility of a new arena for his NHL franchise, the Buffalo Sabres.

The Indiana Pacers are staying put in the Hoosier State after agreeing to a new 25-year deal with Indianapolis to keep the club in the city, according to the team’s official site.

According to The Associated Press, the agreement includes $295 million in public subsidies to upgrade Bankers Life Fieldhouse, while the Pacers will contribute $65 million toward the renovations. The Marion County Capital Improvement Board (CIB) – which owns or manages Indianapolis’ professional sports stadiums – will reportedly spend roughly $362 million to operate the Bankers Life Fieldhouse during the span of the deal and allocate up to $120 million for technology upgrades.

The CIB voted unanimously in favor of the agreement, according to Chris Sikich of the Indianapolis Star. The Pacers’ current lease was set to expire in 2024.

“The Pacers have a long history in downtown Indianapolis, from the move to Market Square Arena in 1974 to the opening of Bankers Life Fieldhouse 25 years later,” CIB president Melina Kennedy said, according to the team’s site. “Today we are pleased to announce the Pacers will stay in Indiana where they belong for at least another 25 years.”

Sikich reports that the Pacers will remain in town through the 2043-44 NBA season and have options to extend their stay another three years.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse has played host to the Pacers since its opening in 1999 and the WNBA’s Indiana Fever since 2000. It previously hosted the 2014 Big Ten Conference men’s basketball tournament and the 2011 NCAA Women’s Final Four.

The stadium will host the 70th NBA All-Star Game in 2021.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers won’t have a refurbished home arena after all.

The organization announced it will no longer participate in The Q Transformation Project aimed at modernizing and making additions to Quicken Loans Arena.

The proposed $140-million project would have drawn $70 million from public funds, which became a sticking point in the proposal. A coalition led by the Greater Cleveland Congregations argued that those funds would be best served to address poverty and unemployment as opposed to renovating an arena and put forth a prospective referendum.

The Cavaliers claimed that the referendum delayed construction and pushed the project past their deadline, which ultimately led them to pull the plug on the proposal.

This latest development means that Cleveland will not host either the 2020 or the 2021 NBA All-Star Weekend. The league issued a warning earlier in July that construction would need to be underway by Sept. 15 if Cleveland’s bid to host would be accepted. That deadline will evidently not be met.

It was estimated that the project would have extended the life cycle of Quicken Loans Arena – the oldest venue in the league without any major renovations – for another 40 years.

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Major League Baseball has officially become involved in the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ lawsuit against Maricopa County regarding Chase Field.

According to Rebekah L. Sanders of AZCentral.com, Leo Beus, a lawyer representing the Diamondbacks, argued in front of an Arizona judge that the team could move if the county doesn’t cover the millions of dollars required in repairs to the 19-year-old ballpark.

Beus said the club is “facing a crisis” with regard to its future at Chase Field, and perhaps in the city of Phoenix itself, given the ballpark’s apparent condition.

“Major League Baseball … they’re very, very concerned,” Beus said, per Sanders. “If Major League Baseball decides they want to create issues for us, there might not be baseball at all in Arizona.

“We’d like to keep the franchise in place, we’d like to make peace with Major League Baseball, not that we’re at war,” he added. “We don’t know where that’s going to come out. They’re very concerned.”

Beus specifically pointed to a pair of incidents in downtown Phoenix this past June: a burst pipe and a city-wide power outage that affected the ballpark’s air conditioning during a game.

Maricopa County officials and attorneys both denied Beus’ arguments. Lawyer Cameron Artigue, who represents the county, told Sanders the pipe incident of which Beus speaks wasn’t the Diamondbacks’ fault, and has nothing to do with how Chase Field operates on a day-to-day basis.

While Beus’ words mark the first time MLB has apparently expressed concerns about the Diamondbacks’ future at the ballpark, it’s not the first time the possibility of a move has been raised. Last March, club president Derrick Hall announced the team might look to relocate if Maricopa County doesn’t pay for the repairs.

The Diamondbacks and Maricopa County have been involved in the dispute over who’s responsible for approximately $187 million of repairs at Chase Field for well over a year.

Chase Field, originally named Bank One Ballpark, has been the Diamondbacks’ only home stadium since the franchise was established in 1998.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers need to fix up before winning any bids to host All-Star weekend.

NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum informed the Cavaliers that they won’t host the 2020 or 2021 All-Star Game festivities if construction on upgrades to Quicken Loans Arena isn’t underway by Sept. 15.

Tatum’s letter to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was obtained by Robert Higgs of Cleveland.com. It explicitly states that the NBA will look elsewhere if the renovation project remains stalled.

The league initially pushed back its decision to accommodate Cleveland, but evidently cannot wait any longer.

The $140-million proposal to upgrade the 22-year-old Quicken Loans Arena includes adding a glass facade that would expand the interior space for restaurants and bars. Construction is expected to finish in 2020.

Cost estimates, however, are unclear. They range from the current $140 million to as much as $282 million over the next 17 seasons, according to Cleveland.com. The Cavaliers will pay $122 million toward the total, while the city of Cleveland plans to commit $88 million in taxpayer funds.

A disagreement over the allocation of those tax funds is holding up the proposal in the Ohio Supreme Court. A coalition led by the Greater Cleveland Congregations argues that those funds would be best served to address poverty, unemployment, and living conditions in Cleveland neighborhoods.

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The Detroit Lions will invest $100 million into stadium enhancements this offseason, team president Rod Wood wrote in a letter to season-ticket holders, according to Justin Rogers of the Detroit News.

The investment will go toward new video boards and sound system upgrades.

The announcement coincides with the team’s uniform and logo updates, which include the removal of the shade of black from the team’s profile.

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The Atlanta Hawks are set to give their home arena a $192-million makeover, with the majority of the funding for the project coming from Atlanta’s taxpayers.

Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed announced Tuesday that the city will put up $142 million for the renovation, with Hawks ownership chipping in $50 million, USA Today’s Dan Wolken reports.

Philips Arena was completed in 1999 at a cost of $213 million (approximately $304 million in 2016 USD).

The team and city have been in talks regarding what Reed called a “retrofit” of Philips since an ownership group headed by billionaire Tony Ressler (and including former player Grant Hill) purchased the team in April 2015. Ressler said avoiding upgrading the facility was “not an option,” and threatened to move the team from downtown Atlanta if a financing deal with the city couldn’t be reached.

Atlanta is already losing the Braves to the neighboring suburb of Cobb County next year.

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The Arizona Diamondbacks could be preparing to try and leave Chase Field after claims that Maricopa County is unable to make an estimated $187 million in repairs to the 18-year-old ballpark.

In a statement released by Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall, he said the Diamondbacks want to remain in downtown Phoenix, though the County is putting that in jeopardy.

The statement reads, in part:

The Arizona Diamondbacks highest priority is to provide a high-quality experience for our fans and our agreement with the County was designed to ensure Chase Field delivers on that promise not only on the day it opened, but throughout its lifespan. Our organization will not renege on that commitment and we expect our partners to share that value. Unfortunately, the County has demonstrated that it does not.

The Maricopa County Stadium District has made clear that it will not be able to meet its obligations to fund financial reserves for capital improvements, which now estimates to be at least $187 for the remaining life of the stadium. This spiral is insurmountable and will result in a Chase Field that will no longer be a state-of-the-art facility as our agreement requires and may, in fact, become unsuitable for continued use. We cannot risk being put in that position.

The Diamondbacks have occupied Chase Field – formally Bank One Ballpark – since 1998 and their current contract runs through the 2028 season. If the County is unable to make the improvements, Hall wants the club to be released from certain provisions in the contract in order to allow them to discuss options with other partners.

Maricopa County rejected the Diamondbacks request to negotiate with other partners on Wednesday, according to Brahm Resnik of KPNX, and said the clause was put in place to protect the city from the team leaving.

“(The clause was put in place) to ensure that the taxpayers, who had paid $238 million in sales taxes to build the stadium (in addition to the District’s undertaking an additional $15 million contribution for construction costs), would not be left with an empty stadium,” County Board Chairman Clint Hickman wrote to Hill.

Under the current lease, the Diamondbacks cannot negotiate for a new stadium until 2024.