Venue News: Fox Urges McCourt to Include Parking Lots in Team Sale; NHL-Ready Arena Planned for Southern Ontario

In a court filing against the Dodgers’ embattled owner, Fox argues that if Frank McCourt wants to boost the sale price of the team, he should include the Dodger Stadium parking lots in the sale. In his agreement to sell the Dodgers, McCourt extracted several significant concessions from MLB, including the league’s promise not to contest the marketing of television rights and the league’s willingness to let McCourt keep the Dodger Stadium parking lots so long as he transferred a long-term lease to the new team owner. The latter provision could force the new owner to pay about $10 million a year to McCourt or strike a separate deal to buy the parking lots from him. In its filing, Fox suggested that the court should order the parking lots sold along with the Dodgers so McCourt could achieve his stated goal for selling the television rights — to maximize the value of the team…

…Despite plans to build a 20,000-seat, $300-million arena in suburban Toronto, Graeme Roustan insists he does not plan to pursue an existing or expansion NHL franchise for the proposed rink. Roustan claims that the facility is intended to be a multi-purpose center for concerts and cultural events. For the purpose of building his Toronto area facility, Roustan has formed a company called GTA (Greater Toronto Area) Sports and Entertainment, along with Toronto developer Rudy Bratty. Bratty is the owner of 250 acres in the northeast Toronto suburb of Markham where there are plans to build a $3-billion development called Markham Centre, which will be home to condos, office towers, retail shops, and the GTA Centre arena. Roustan has already secured the services of BBB Architects, which designed the Air Canada Centre, BMO Field, and Rogers Centre in Toronto, GM Place in Vancouver, and designed the recent renovations to Madison Square Garden. The NHL knows about the project and has been in communication with Roustan, but according to the league, is offering no guarantees and insists that Roustan should not assume an NHL franchise will move to Southern Ontario upon completion of the arena…

…As the Carolina Panthers begin a yearlong study for renovating Bank of America Stadium, experts say fans can expect to see bigger and better videoboards, improved suites and premium seats, and enhanced technology when work is finished at the 16-year-old facility. When the open-air stadium was designed in the 1990s, the emphasis was on creating a fan-friendly venue with good sight lines nestled in a park-like setting with indigenous trees and plants. In short, a place where fans would enjoy the experience of attending an NFL game in person. But two decades later, with advances in high-definition video and the explosion in popularity of fantasy football leagues, the push is to bring the home-viewing experience to stadiums. The architectural firm that designed the Panthers’ 73,799-seat stadium is leading the study. Populous, known as HOK Sport when the stadium opened in 1996, will work a pair of local consultants: Wagner, of Wagner Murray Architects, and Ron Smith of Spartanburg-based McMillan Pazdan Smith, which designed the weight room renovation this year…

… The Vikings have what the team calls a “purple solution” to come up with the green needed to pay for a $1.1 billion stadium. In newspaper ads on Sunday, the Vikings proposed dedicating the tax revenue derived from the team, players, other employees, and fan purchases to pay for the public debt incurred to pay for a stadium for the football team. The team’s proposal is similar to an analysis done by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission in February, which estimated the team and its various connected revenue streams generate more than $20 million a year in taxes of various kinds for the state. The team would still contribute about $407 million of private money for the cost of a stadium and the remainder of the funding would come from public sources, most likely the state.