Venue News & Notes: History in the Making

While Tuesday’s historic presidential inauguration has delayed a vote in South Florida to bring the Florida Marlins a new ballpark, a different kind of history is being made in Detroit, where a nonprofit group has received preliminary approval to preserve what remains of Tiger Stadium. The price tag on developing the historic ballpark into a commercial and community space is around $27 million, which the conservancy must prove by March 1 it can provide or the stadium will be completely demolished.

The city of Detroit has granted preliminary approval to a nonprofit group’s plans to preserve the remaining portion of historic Tiger Stadium. The city’s Economic Development Corp. approved a plan and budget by the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy in a letter to the group dated Friday. The conservancy wants to develop the old ballpark as a commercial and community space at an estimated cost of $27 million…

…The campaign to bring the Florida Marlins a new ballpark in South Florida has stalled again. Votes by Miami and Miami-Dade commissioners that could lead to the new stadium have been delayed, in part because of the holiday season and Tuesday’s presidential inauguration. City and county officials are now expected to vote on the issue next month…

…The New York Islanders agreed to play a preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings next September in Kansas City, MO, raising questions about their future on Long Island. While scheduling exhibition games in other cities is not uncommon, Islanders owner Charles Wang has been unhappy that the team has not been able to get approval for a new arena for several years, and there has been talk he might sell or move the team…

…With their plans for a ballpark village facing major obstacles, the Oakland A’s are shifting their focus for a new stadium to Fremont, CA’s Warm Springs area next to a planned BART station, team and city officials confirmed this week. The announcement comes weeks after A’s owner Lew Wolff released a letter from Major League Baseball inviting the team to pursue other options if he can’t move forward with a deal in Fremont…

…New York City’s Industrial Development Agency approved $370.9 million in primarily tax-exempt bonds this week to finish construction of Yankee Stadium with all the upgrades the team had sought, from better security to a new scoreboard to replace one that did not meet its needs. The Mets’ request for $82.3 million in tax-exempt bonds to complete Citi Field was approved unanimously with little debate…

…The Delaware County City Council voted 2-1 in favor of kicking in nearly $30 million to support a $115 million Major League Soccer stadium, under construction along the waterfront just south of the Commodore Barry Bridge. Backers of the project are betting that the stadium will be the spark and the anchor for $500 million in additional development meant to revive Chester…

…When they surprised the public with plans for a new ballpark for the minor-league Braves a year ago, Gwinnett County officials said the stadium would cost $40 million and would pay for itself from Day One. Neither statement has come true. So far, county commissioners have committed $31 million in taxpayer cash for the stadium. And in September, they approved increasing the ballpark’s cost by nearly 50% for amenities and changes, much of which aren’t required for the Braves to play ball…

…When Towson University officials unveil plans for a new campus arena at a community meeting this week, they are likely to find many residents dismayed by the prospect of a 5,000-seat auditorium in their backyards. Officials, planners, and architects for the $45 million Towson Center expansion project, which is included in the 10-year master plan for the campus, will present drawings and discuss a timetable — construction is scheduled for later this year — during the session.

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