Venue News & Notes: 49ers Stadium Campaign Hits Cable

The campaign for a new stadium for the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, CA, will start airing its first television ads in the next week. Using the “power of yes” as its motto, the commercial, which will air in the Santa Clara area on cable-television channels, spins through a series of local residents and politicians touting the benefits of the proposed $937 million stadium project adjacent to Great America theme park. The ad features State Sen. Elaine Alquist, Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan, and a number of other local school and political leaders…

…MLS Commissioner Don Garber is angry that District of Columbia officials haven’t come up with a plan for a new stadium for D.C. United. “I just can’t understand why we can’t make progress in D.C. and what more do we need to do to have the politicians in that community understand the relevance of that club, its deep commitment to the community,” he said during a conference call Tuesday to discuss the league’s labor contract. Garber criticized the area politicians, saying the league made a commitment to the area “with no commitment in return”…

…The city of Houston and Harris County are expected to vote in the coming weeks on a proposed plan to build a new stadium for Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo. The team would pay $60 million of the $80 million cost of the stadium, to be built in a vacant lot east of downtown. The city and county would pay the remainder if legislators approve the proposal. The City Council is expected to vote March 31 and county commissioners April 13. Construction could begin Oct. 1, and the stadium could be ready for 2012. The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority’s board is expected to vote Thursday on whether to play a central role in managing the deal and overseeing the project…

…The San Francisco 49ers have spent more than $1 million to persuade voters in Santa Clara to approve a new stadium for the team. Financial-disclosure documents filed this week show the team has spent $1.4 million in cash and manpower on the effort. In contrast, Santa Clara Plays Fair, the group opposed to the $937 million project, has raised less than $3,000. Funding for the stadium would include $114 million in public contributions. Supporters say it would generate tens of millions of dollars for the region. Opponents say it would drain city coffers…

…West Ham United could co-exist with athletics and provide the perfect legacy for London’s 2012 Olympic stadium, Vice-Chairman Karen Brady said on Tuesday. The Premier League club has joined forces with the London Borough of Newham for a bid to take over the £537 million stadium once the Games are over, outlining plans for an Olympic visitor centre and soccer museum. “It’s about realising the full potential of the Olympic Park,” Brady, who recently joined the club along with new joint owners David Gold and David Sullivan, told the club’s Website…

…A local club born out of disillusionment with the running of Manchester United is seeking to build a new stadium in the suburb where the 18-times English champion was founded. FC United, a semi-pro team established in 2005 after the American Glazer family took over the Old Trafford club, took a step closer this week to its dream of a ground in Newton Heath, where Manchester United came to being more than 140 years ago. FC United passed the first stage en route to the new £3.5 million stadium in the Manchester suburb when the local council approved its business plan this week…

…In all the ugly spats over professional sports stadiums over the years, the debate over a new stadium for the Tampa Bay, FL, Rays is barely a pillow fight. The Rays haven’t made any threats to leave the Bay area, and some sports-law experts say team owner Stuart Sternberg has been classier than other owners seeking a new ballpark. But, in the background, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig could eventually become a far bigger player in the team’s quest for a stadium, these same sports-law experts say. He has a history of making threats — implied or real — that teams may leave unless they get a new stadium.

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