Venue News & Notes: Tough Times for Stadiums

Economic troubles — and some litigation — have marred this week’s venue news and notes. In Florida, the Marlins’ new stadium is on hold, pending Norman Braman’s lawsuit questioning the use of tax-increment financing for the project. Meanwhile, in Louisville, KY, a faltering economy threatens major proposals, but both the downtown arena and expansion of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium are currently on track.
…There’s been another delay in the final ruling for auto dealer Norman Braman’s lawsuit that challenges funding for the Florida Marlins’ new stadium. The facility is to be almost entirely paid for by tourism tax dollars, but Braman questions the use of tax-increment financing for other parts of the city and county’s megaplan — a $3 billion program that includes the stadium project…
…Two major projects in Louisville — a new downtown arena and the expansion of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium — are dependent, at least in part, on companies’ spending big bucks to reserve boxes and suites. But will they, with the economy faltering? Although no contracts have been signed, buyers have committed to three-fourths of the 60-plus arena suites and about the same percentage of the three dozen new suites planned for the Papa John’s expansion…
…Because of declining revenue and a struggling economy, General Motors will no longer pay a naming-rights fee to the city of Youngstown, Ohio, for the Chevrolet Centre. But it’s likely that a deal with local dealers will be signed by late next week that will keep the name and the Chevy bow tie at the facility, says Eric Ryan, the center’s executive director…
…Washington State athletic director Jim Sterk said this week he does not believe the faltering economy will directly affect the university’s plan to begin expansion of Martin Stadium in January. Sterk said the Cougars have raised or received solid commitments for half of the $40 million cost of constructing 16-20 luxury suites, 31-35 loge boxes, and 1,200 club seats on the stadium’s north side…
…The Tampa Bay Lightning has developed its fifth branded premium group space this season at the St. Pete Times Forum. The NHL team signed a seven-year sponsorship under which CCM Graphics Solutions, a local printing company, will put its name on a new 40-person suite in Section 213, in the east corner of the Jeep Club level.