Venue News & Notes: Coyotes’ Move Contingent on Arena Use

Representatives of Jim Balsillie and Hamilton, ON, Mayor Fred Eisenberger met this week to discuss a deal for Copps Coliseum, where the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes will soon play if Balsillie has his way. He hopes to buy the team and move it to Hamilton, but the city is interested only in a long-term agreement in exchange for exclusive use of the arena.

Fred Eisenberger, mayor of Hamilton, ON, says the city is interested in welcoming the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton in exchange for exclusive hockey use of Copps Coliseum. He says the arena needs about $100 million worth of upgrades, including private boxes, and it would be up to Jim Balsillie, prospective buyer of the team, to come up with the money. Balsillie has said he would be prepared to spend up to $160 million as a longer-term project to revamp Copps…

…The next month will be the real-world equivalent of a two-minute drill for the Dallas Cowboys. The $1.1 billion stadium opens June 6, when a country-music lineup led by George Strait and Reba McEntire takes the stage. Between now and then, there will be a stressful scramble with long days — and often nights — to get the stadium ready for company. Its 60-yard-long HD video boards are not yet fully functioning. Parking lots are still being paved. And roadwork continues on highways and surface streets alike…

…The company that built the collapsed Dallas Cowboys’ training facility also manufactured at least three other buildings that have fallen in heavy weather since 2002, according to court records. The other tent-like facilities manufactured by Allentown, PA-based Summit Structures LLC or its related company, Cover-All Building Systems, were warehouse-type buildings in Philadelphia and upstate New York and an indoor arena for horse competition in Oregon. All those buildings fell in conditions that included heavy snow, according to records and interviews…

…A hockey arena and community theater in New Tampa, FL, may no longer be a pipe dream now that Hillsborough County commissioners have agreed to set aside county land for the projects. It now will be up to two private groups backing the enterprise to find money to finance construction and operating costs. “I’m like a racehorse; I’m ready to bolt out of here,” said Jim Mennie, president of Tampa Bay Sportsplex Inc., after the vote…

…The Tulsa Development Authority agreed this week to a 21-day negotiation period with developer Bob Eggleston for his investor group to buy about 1.5 acres at Third St. and Denver Ave., a prime spot facing the BOK Center arena entrance. With that and other lands on the block at his disposal, Eggleston hopes to raise One Place, a projected $38 million-$44 million complex mixing retail, office, lofts, and a hotel…

…Fans in Winston-Salem, NC, have their turn to express their thoughts about the delays to Winston-Salem’s downtown baseball stadium. The public-private deal is at a standstill. The city paid $12 million, with the agreement that the stadium will be finished by March 2010. There’s still time, but fans question whether time is running out.

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