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November 26, 2008

Panthers want to turn Black Friday blue

As in Panthers blue. Or maybe that should be green. Not to be outdone by the day after Thanksgiving holiday shopping tradition known as “Black Friday,” the Panthers are introducing their own special shopping day:

From midnight on Thanksgiving to midnight Friday, the Panthers are holding a sale on individual game tickets to all remaining home games beginning with the Dec. 4 game against the Buffalo Sabres. Prices will be reduced 30 percent to 50 percent depending on seat location at BankAtlantic Center and the opponent. To purchase tickets, call 954-835-TEAM or visit the team’s Web site.

The team also wants to invite fans to shop at its arena store, Pantherland, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday. Some items will be discounted as much as 60 percent; holiday ornaments and Santa hats will be half price. Fans can also watch the Panthers’ and New York Rangers’ morning skates at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. respectively, in advance of Friday night's Panthers-Rangers game.

POSTED IN: Florida Panthers (108), Tickets (126)

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Got a cool $3 million for a Super Bowl ad?

Turns out that rapid Super Bowl ad buying recorded in September has slowed down significantly. NBC says it has eight 30-second spots still available during Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa on Feb. 1.

NBC, broadcaster of the 2009 game, says about 59 spots during the game have been spoken for and are running about $3 million each. That’s up from about $2.7 million last year. But the company also told the Associated Press it is negotiations for the remaining spots.

Regular Super Bowl advertiser General Motors announced in September it would skip the Super Bowl. FedEx Corp., Garmin Ltd. And Salesgenie.com are also not buying ads this time.

Monster Worldwide, however, which hasn’t bought an ad since the 2004, game will be back and competing with ads from CareerBuilder.com. Probably not a bad spend, given how many people have lost their jobs and are looking for work.

POSTED IN: Advertising (79), NFL (178), Super Bowl (53)

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November 25, 2008

Marlins Stadium Update No. 2012

No surprise here, but the Marlins are finally publicly acknowledging that a new ballpark won’t be ready in time for the 2011 season. Marlins President David Samson insisted on Tuesday that a 2012 opening is a certainty.

“It’s disappointing,” Samson said of the delay, which he blamed on auto dealer Norman Braman’s unsuccessful lawsuit targeting the ballpark financing. “The important thing is it’s going to open and it’s going to be a stadium that will last forever and help define Miami.”

Last forever? Define Miami? Perhaps Samson can be forgiven since he thinks he is finally seeing the light at the end of that long stadium financing/construction tunnel.

Samson said it became clear in talks with the team’s construction manager, Hunt/Moss, that a 2011 opening was too optimistic for construction and to keep the venue’s cost at $515 million. Samson said the cost to build a 37,000-seat, retractable roof ballpark at the site of the former Orange Bowl is expected to remain $515 million, despite the delay.

He said construction will need to begin by May to ensure a 2012 opening.

There’s still a lot of work to be done, including completing definitive agreements spelling out the stadium’s construction and financing details and then presenting them to Miami-Dade County and Miami city commissioners, expected next month, and putting them to a vote of commissioners, expected in January.

Even with approval, the team will still need to secure financing. Samson is optimistic that can happen even with Braman expected to appeal and tight credit markets in a difficult economy.
“We’re confident the markets will improve and the liquidity will return to the marketplace,” Samson said.

He and other stadium advocates believe now is precisely the time for governments to support large public works projects to create jobs and stimulate the economy. We’ll see about political support in the coming weeks.

And then there’s the thorny question of where the Marlins will play in 2011. The team’s lease expires after the 2010 baseball season, but Samson is hopeful the team will be allowed to play at Dolphin Stadium another season.

He said preliminary discussions with Dolphins and stadium co-owner Stephen Ross have occurred and Ross confirmed that he has spoken with Samson. Samson said that he’s also contacted University of Miami President Donna Shalala since the Hurricanes also share Dolphin Stadium.

Under the agreement to move from the Orange Bowl to Dolphin Stadium, UM’s needs are considered third behind the Dolphins and Marlins until after the 2010 baseball season when UM moves to second place. The baseball diamond was also supposed to be removed after 2010.

“I would hope that an agreement can be ironed out, it would be difficult to believe we would not be able to extend the lease by one year. It will not be an infinite extension,” Samson said. “Anybody can get along for a year.”

POSTED IN: Florida Marlins (193), Marlins Stadium Updates (112), Miami Hurricanes (32)

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November 21, 2008

Marlins Stadium Update No. 112,108

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri Beth Cohen finally issued the final ruling in auto dealer Norman Braman’s lawsuit challenging the financing for a new ballpark for the Marlins.

As promised, Cohen ruled a referendum is not necessary for a portion of the financing for $3 billion in Miami projects. Her ruling came after the Florida Supreme Court refused on Wednesday to re-hear - again - a similar case.

The county, city of Miami and Marlins have never believed a referendum was required for the ballpark project, but the ruling gives them peace of mind to move forward.

“We are very happy that Judge Cohen has entered the final judgment,” Marlins President David Samson said in a statement. “We always knew that the facts and the law made it impossible for Norman Braman to prevail.”

Samson went on to promise “thousands of jobs and doing our part to make Miami an even greater world-class city.”

Samson and others say final agreements spelling out the details of the construction, financing, and other elements of the stadium are close to completion. Officials hope those agreements can be brought to the county and city commissions for approval next month or in January. Those votes are not guaranteed and serious discussion of job creation, stadium construction costs and whether public money should be put toward the $515 million ballpark in such a tough economy are expected.

Samson also told reporters Friday he expects to know soon whether the optimistic 2011 opening for the ballpark is possible. Samson blamed the delay on Braman’s lawsuit. Braman is expected to appeal.

"We've always said the Braman litigation absolutely was a delay," Samson told reporters. "We're evaluating the significance of that delay, and we'll take it from there."

POSTED IN: Florida Marlins (193), Marlins Stadium Updates (112)

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November 20, 2008

MLB Network: 41 days until launch

trademark_logo2.jpgA clock is counting down the days until the Major League Baseball Network launches in 50 million homes on Jan. 1. It’s down to 41 days.

It’s not exactly the economic environment MLB Network President and CEO Tony Petitti envisioned for starting a new channel, but the number of homes – the largest for a league network – means guaranteed subscriber fees.

(By contrast, ESPN is in 98 million homes; the NFL Network, which launched five years ago, is now in 44 million homes).

Petitti said the network is aggressively pursuing advertisers beyond its corporate partners.

“Obviously it would have been much easier to be doing this a year ago,” Petitti said.

Appearing at the 10th annual Fantasy Sports Association's Sports Media & Technology conference in New York this week, Petitti outlined plans for the new channel:

The network will launch with “hot stove” shows five nights a week at 7 p.m. The network also has the rights to re-air the Don Larsen’s perfect game from the 1956 World Series, complete with the original commercials.

Spring training will bring a “30 clubs in 30 days” show when the network will visit each team’s camp. The network is also scheduled to broadcast 16 World Baseball Classic games.

Once the season starts, an "MLB Tonight" show will air starting at 6 p.m. and run until the end of the last west coast game, Petitti said.

“We want to be the second choice for fans,” Petitti said stressing that fans’ first choice should be their local team’s broadcast. “We built the show to be a complementary way for fans to watch baseball.”

Petitti anticipates the network will show 1,400 live hours during its first year, including 26 game telecasts. Within five years, he said, the network hopes to bid for another package of games. He said there are plans to air the network internationally, with Canada being the first target outside the U.S.

POSTED IN: MLB (110), Television (35)

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November 18, 2008

Why isn’t Jimmie Johnson more marketable?

Jimmie Johnson just made history, becoming only the second driver in NASCAR history to win back-to-back-to-back Sprint Cup championship titles. He’s well-spoken, clean-cut and has one of the sport’s biggest corporations – Lowe’s -- supporting him.

So will he finally break through and become more marketable than his fellow drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and even Carl Edwards, his runner-up for this year’s championship? Not likely, experts say.

Oh sure, he’s marketable. He even shot a commercial last week before the Ford 400 Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. But he doesn’t have that certain something.

“Call him the Roger Federer of NASCAR,” said Bob Dorfman, executive creative director at Baker Street Partners and author of The Sports Marketers’ Scouting Report. “Maybe Johnson is too cool and laid back on camera to the point of seeming a little stiff and aloof, and a question mark as a compelling pitchman. Given the state of the current economy, and the tight purse strings of marketers, it’s doubtful that Johnson’s third straight NASCAR championship will lead to new major endorsement deals.”

Dorfman predicts Johnson will make the rounds of talk shows and speaking engagements.

According to Millsport Motorsports’ Davie Brown Index, which uses consumer research to measure the attributes of athletes and celebrities, Earnhardt tops the list of NASCAR drivers among both avid NASCAR fans and the general population. Gordon and Stewart also beat out Johnson.

“He’s dry,” said Joe Castello, who hosts radio shows about auto racing on both 790 The Ticket and Sirius XM. “His style was to be the polished marketable guy, the polished pristine vanilla guy that’s corporate and that got him to where he is. But fans don’t like that. Fans don’t like the vanilla guy. Fans like the Tony Stewart, fans like the guy who’s going to do something against the grain.”

But there’s no question Johnson is marketable, Castello said. “He doesn’t sell as many T-shirts as Earnhardt, as Stewart. “He’s a California kid, understated, that doesn’t make you want to run out and get his T-shirt. His fans are passionate.”

And if you win three consecutive championships, that’s got to mean something, Castello said. “You’ve got to respect that.”

Meanwhile, Lowe’s is offering a discount on Kobalt Tools in Johnson’s honor. Find the details on our Shop-O-Matic blog.

And don’t forget to check out my guest blogs at CNBC, here and here.

POSTED IN: Advertising (79), Auto Racing (42), Endorsements (20)

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November 17, 2008

Weathering the economy at Homestead-Miami Speedway (and guest blogging)

NASCAR announced Friday – at the opening of its season finale weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway – that it is banning all testing at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks next year. The move is aimed at saving teams millions of dollars in an economy that is already hitting the sport hard.

The Homestead track wasn’t on the open testing schedule, meaning it won’t be losing out on valuable revenue, speedway President Curtis Gray said.

“We support NASCAR’s decision because we need the full teams,” Gray said. “If it saves costs and it makes the teams stronger, than we’re all for that.”

But Homestead, which is busy with racing and a host of other activities about 260 days a year, will continue looking for other ways to generate revenue.

“We have sports groups who want to use the venue for other sporting events, running and biking,” Gray said. “I think we’re wide open for ideas that make the track as active as possible.”

That includes renting out the track’s sparkling new media center. Already, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau is planning a convention event there, Gray said.

GUEST BLOGGING

I’m guest blogging today at CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell’s blog. Please check out my blog entries there.

POSTED IN: Auto Racing (42)

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November 14, 2008

The greening of NASCAR

NASCAR, by its very nature, is the anti-green sport: fuel, fast cars, tires upon tires.

But that doesn’t mean efforts aren’t being made to recycle and cut down on printing.

Going to Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend for Ford Championship Weekend? You’ll find recycling bins throughout the concourse and hospitality areas. Workers will sweep the grandstand twice after each race – first for items that can be recycled, a second time to collect the trash.

OD-Thumb-Drives-for-NASCAR2.jpgMeanwhile, NASCAR is becoming more conscientious about its printing. For the 2009 season, media guides will be available in English, Spanish and French, but there will be fewer paper copies. The sport plans to print 1,750 media guides down from 6,000 and supplement those with some 2,000 flash drives that will include the media guides. Delray Beach-based Office Depot, a NASCAR sponsor, will supply the flash drives.Coumbus-Nascar-Car2.jpg

And speaking of sponsors, Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis has taken an unusual step for Saturday’s Nationwide Series Ford 300: covering Ryan Newman’s No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet with the colors and logo of Christopher Columbus High School. The car will not feature the names of any companies – just the colors and logo for the all-boys Catholic high school in Miami in celebration of the school’s 50th anniversary.

Lemonis is a 1991 graduate of the school. The value of putting the school’s name on the car is estimated at $250,000. Camping World agreed last month to a seven-year deal to title sponsor NASCAR’s truck series beginning next season.

POSTED IN: Auto Racing (42), Sponsorship (101)

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D. Wade’s schools blocked; maybe it was the name

OK, so maybe designing a PlayStation and Xbox curriculum isn’t the best move for a charter high school.

Concerned plans for the curriculum at the schools was lacking, the Broward School Board this week denied an application to open three charter schools -- bearing the name of Heat guard Dwyane Wade -- designed for dropouts.

That’s despite several pleas that the unconventional plans for the Mavericks High D. Wade’s Schools, which would be run by private management company Mavericks in Education, might be just the ticket to help distracted students. A charter school is a public school that receives state funding, but is free of most state regulations.

But I’m wondering if it wasn’t the school’s name that was the problem: Mavericks High.

Are you kidding me?

The Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks to win the 2006 NBA Championship.

POSTED IN: Miami Heat (174), NBA (139)

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November 12, 2008

More sports teams responding to the economy

Sports are supposed to be an escape from real life. Or at least, that’s what we’re always being told.

But in these difficult economic times, teams are increasingly getting involved in fans’ lives as a way to help out and strengthen their fan bases.

When the Heat launched its season ticket renewal campaign earlier this year, it entered early renewers into a sweepstakes to win prizes that included offers to pay fans’ property tax (up to $5,000) and FPL (up to $4,000) bills.

This week, the St. Louis Blues announced that at every Saturday home game beginning Nov. 29, the team will pay one fan’s mortage or rent payment for four months up to $4,000. The team will call the seat number of the lucky fan.

Today, the New Jersey Nets announced they are offering the unemployed free tickets and some assistance finding a new job. Up to 300 tickets for five different games will be released on a first-come first-served basis to unemployed fans, who sign up for the Nets Employment Program and submit their resumes. The resumes will be distributed to Nets sponsors – including UPS, TD Bank, Coca Cola Enterprises -- and season ticket holders who have businesses that are involved with the program. The fans will also have a chance to attend a Nets career fair later this month.

There are no guarantees the team will be able to provide fans jobs, but if you got one through the program, wouldn’t you be a Nets fan for life?

POSTED IN: Miami Heat (174), NBA (139), Promotions (120), Sponsorship (101)

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November 11, 2008

Marlins Stadium Update No. 420 feet

It’s been a long time since a stadium update didn’t focus on lawsuits, court hearings and rulings or delays of rulings, and government votes. But the Marlins have revealed a little something about a new ballpark: its dimensions.

In the midst of design development with its architect, H.O.K., the Marlins have worked to borrow some of what makes Dolphin Stadium a difficult place for opponents to play for the new ballpark planned at the site of the former Orange Bowl. There will even be a nod to Dolphin Stadium’s “Bermuda Triangle.”

Marlins President David Samson said team owner Jeffrey Loria was very clear: “He wanted to maintain the integrity of a pitcher’s park.” The dimensions are planned as follows:

Left-field line: 340 feet
Left-field alley: 384 feet
Center field: 420 feet
Right-field alley: 392 feet
Right-field line: 335 feet

Here’s how that compares to Dolphin Stadium:

Left-field line: 330 feet
Left-field alley: 385 feet
Center field: 434 feet (slightly to the left of straightaway center)
Right-field alley: 385feet
Right-field line: 345 feet

Samson said also that Loria has a surprise planned that will make the new stadium unique just as ballparks across the country have some signature element, from Fenway Park’s Green Monster to home runs being hit into the bay in San Francisco.

“The good news about being one of the last new stadiums being built is that you get a lot of other stadiums to look at and learn from,” Samson said. “The bad news is you’re one of the last ballparks being built … We think we can have it all. A Miami experience for fans outside the ballpark, a very South Florida experience inside, the food, the in-game that will be offered. The general programming of the stadium.”

Renderings aren't expected to be unveiled until Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri Beth Cohen issues her final ruling in auto dealer Norman Braman's case targeting the ballpark financing.

Samson said it will be determined shortly if the optimistic 2011 opening date can be met. Meanwhile, negotiations with Miami-Dade County and City of Miami officials on the definitive agreements spelling out the ballpark’s construction, financing and other details continue. Officials hope to have agreements to put before both commissions next month or in January at the latest.

Those votes certainly won’t come easily particularly in this difficult economy, but also will once again come as the Marlins are trading their players – read more in our Marlins blog. Commissioners voted on an agreement to make way for the ballpark just days after the team sent Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera to Detroit last year.

POSTED IN: Florida Marlins (193), Marlins Stadium Updates (112)

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November 10, 2008

Ross to expand Dolphins ownership before next season

Stephen Ross says Dolphins Managing General Partner H. Wayne Huizenga “has nothing to worry about” when it comes to the eventual transfer of another 45 percent of the Dolphins.

Ross said he’s able to complete the purchase, which would give him 95 percent of the team, but he and Huizenga are still discussing when it will occur.

Before Tuesday’s presidential election, Huizenga made it clear he’d like to sell soon to avoid increased capital gains taxes in a Barack Obama administration. A sale before the end of the calendar year could ensure that, but Ross is thinking about the postseason.

“I’m not sure, because we could make the playoffs,” Ross said with a hopeful chuckle before Sunday’s Dolphins-Seattle Seahawks game at Dolphin Stadium. “At some point I will be taking it. Wayne and I are discussing exactly when that is. I assume it will be sometime before next season.”

Earlier this year, Ross bought 50 percent of the team, stadium and surrounding land for $550 million, with the intention he’d eventually become majority owner. Last month, NFL owners approved the eventual transfer, meaning it can take place any time.

Ross says he can complete the purchase without financial help, but does plan to bring in investors at some point.

“We’re talking to some and I want to make sure I have the right mix,” Ross said. “I will own well in excess of 50 percent but always intended to bring in some investors. The question in when they come in.”

Any investors would need league approval.

Ross praised his partnership with Huizenga, who will maintain 5 percent of the team.

“We have an agreement, we get along great. We have a great partnership and all Wayne’s needs will be accommodated as well as mine,” he said.

He also says he’s pleased to have joined the NFL ownership ranks, even sharing a sports cliché: “You’re always antsy before the game, a little bit on edge. These games are important now, we’ve got a certain momentum. You want to continue on. You’ve got to take each game one game at a time.”

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178), Sports Team Owners (49)

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November 9, 2008

Under Armour to cover Texas Tech sports

Could it be a better time to outfit Texas Tech?

With the football team’s resounding 56-20 win over Oklahoma State on Saturday, it is now vying for the No. 1 spot in the BCS polls with Alabama. Texas Tech is now first in the computer rankings and second in both the Harris and USA Today Coaches polls.

Already in the midst of a five-year agreement – that began in 2006 -- with the football team, Under Armour is to announce Monday in Lubbock that it will outfit all 17 of Texas Tech’s teams. The new five-year $11 million agreement includes uniforms, other apparel and shoes. The partnership with men’s basketall begins this season with the other relationships launching in July 2009.

The Baltimore-based company already has partnerships with the University of Maryland, Auburn, University of South Florida, University of South Carolina, University of Hawaii and the University of Utah.

POSTED IN: Apparel (55)

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Marketing the Heat

If you’re a Heat fan, you’ve no doubt seen or heard the new “Something2Prove” advertisements or glimpsed the billboards. They’re part of the team’s first “substantial” advertising spend since Shaquille O’Neal was traded to the Heat before the 2004 season.

Ad executives, fans and others I spoke with for today’s story about the campaign were impressed with the honesty of the message, that it didn’t hide from last year’s 15-67 debacle. Much of the marketing and advertising approach this year is to introduce fans to the team so they learn more about the players’ personalities.

The team has created a Something2Prove Web page with light videos of the players and a space for fans to share their love -- or even hate -- for the team.

But the question remains will all this effort lead to more ticket sales. Season ticket renewals dragged this offseason putting the team in the bottom third among the NBA’s 30 teams. The team is, however, in the top third in the league for new season ticket sales.

The team opened the 400 level at AmericanAirlines Arena for every game in the 2004-05 season – its first with O’Neal. The black curtains that covered the 400 level have not returned and they won’t this year either. You can buy season tickets in the 400 level for $10. New this year: individual game tickets for $10 in the 300 level and $5 tickets in the 400 level.

The team launched the advertising campaign because it has seats available in the lower bowl for the first time in years. You could see the pockets of empty seats – particularly in the lower bowl – for the first two home games of the 2008-09 season.

Empty seats are expected to be common this season. In fact, the crowd of 15,103 announced for the second home game this past Wednesday, was the team's smallest since the 2003-04 season when the curtains still covered the 400 level.

POSTED IN: Advertising (79), Miami Heat (174), NBA (139), Tickets (126)

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November 6, 2008

Panthers launch YouTube channel

The Panthers’ parent company, Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, has launched a Panthers channel on YouTube aimed at providing and receiving fan-generated videos to extend the team’s brand.

The company is considering it an extension of GrowlTV, which is the online video section of the team’s Web site. That’s where you’ll find player and broadcaster interviews, highlights and other features.

The YouTube channel already includes interviews with players, videos made by fans, and Stanley C. Panther playing prankster.

"Based on the popularity of GrowlTV on FloridaPanthers.com, now is the perfect time to establish a channel on YouTube and provide even more video content for our online community," Chad Johnson, SSE senior vice president of sales and marketing, said in a statement. "I am confident that this relationship will lead to even greater exposure for the Florida Panthers brand and a new dimension of team access for our technologically savvy fanbase."

POSTED IN: Florida Panthers (108), Mascots (16)

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November 5, 2008

Carl Edwards gets wedding assist from sponsor Office Depot

carlod2.jpgNASCAR driver Carl Edwards carried a marriage proposal on the back of his No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race in Charlotte in May.

The proposal was part of a contest sponsored by Edwards' primary sponsor, Delray Beach-based office products retailer Office Depot, and it came with a diamond ring and a trip to Sedona, Ariz.

Now Edwards, who is in second place in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup just 106 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson, has turned to Office Depot for help with his own nuptials.

Edwards and fiancée Dr. Kate Downey, a friend from his hometown of Columbia Mo., picked out their wedding invitation stationery (see the pattern by Gartner) from their local Office Depot store and are letting Office Depot’s Design Print and Ship service do the rest.

How’s that for sponsor loyalty?

With NASCAR’s 10-month schedule that ends Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, there’s little time off, but Edwards’ big day is planned in January. He’s also switching primary sponsors next year … to Aflac. Looks like he got his wedding invitations in under the wire.

POSTED IN: Auto Racing (42), Sponsorship (101)

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November 4, 2008

Orioles’ future in Fort Lauderdale still murky

Here’s what we know about the Baltimore Orioles and spring training:

The team will return to Fort Lauderdale Stadium in 2009.

After that?

It’s anybody’s guess.

Negotiations among Indian River County and Vero Beach officials and the unnamed team -- but which everyone knows is the Orioles -- continued last week and ended with the officials agreeing to allow the team more time. City and county officials believe they’ve offered a fair package to the team to occupy Dodgertown in Vero Beach.

They issued a joint statement after the meetings saying:

We think we’ve gone as far as we can and the ball is now in the Club’s hands. Our understanding is that our offer will be discussed with the Club’s ownership for consideration and we look forward to hearing from them. We understand that the Club’s ownership needs a reasonable period of time to review and consider our offer. We believe it is in everyone’s interest that the Club be given that time.

Read the Vero Beach Press Journal’s account here.

My favorite part of that story is that officials still refuse to name the team, but Indian River County Commissioner Wesley Davis is quoted as saying he’d like the issue resolved: "I would have preferred to have heard the deal was done and go out and buy my Orioles hat," Davis told the paper.

For their part, the Orioles have been keeping with their tradition of not saying a word publicly.

Meanwhile, Fort Lauderdale officials still hold out hope the team will make a long-term commitment to Fort Lauderdale Stadium. In July, the FAA issued a letter saying it would not exempt the team from having to pay $1.3 million annually for use of the stadium property for the upkeep of adjacent Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. In August, Fort Lauderdale City Manager George Gretsas sent the FAA a letter reminding officials their opinion wasn’t final and asking for agency to issue its final verdict on the matter. He still hasn't heard back.

Neither the city nor Broward County will contribute to the $1.3 million payment, but city and county officials have met to discuss the team’s future in Fort Lauderdale beyond 2009. At this point, they say it’s still up to the FAA.

“We’re hoping the FAA changes their decision on allowing the land to be continued for a stadium,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle said. “We’re deadlocked right now.”

POSTED IN: MLB (110), Spring Training (11)

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November 3, 2008

Dolphins offer new mini-plan for the season's final home games

Buoyed by their impressive win over the Denver Broncos Sunday and their .500 record (4-4), the Dolphins are offering up a new mini-plan for the last four home games of the season.

A limited number of the “Final Four” mini-plan will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday. The plan includes seats on the 100 and 400 levels, starting at $188 for the remaining games at Dolphin Stadium: Seattle Seahawks (Nov. 9); Oakland Raiders (Nov. 16); New England Patriots (Nov. 23); and San Francisco 49ers (Dec. 14).

Purchasing the plans makes fans season ticket holders, meaning they can renew their seat location or upgrade to full season ticket status for 2009. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 1-888-346-7849 or visit miamidolphins.com.

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (186), Promotions (120), Tickets (126)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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