Venue News: Yankee Stadium Hotel Under Consideration, AEG Sets Sights on Sacramento

Looking to capitalize on the tourism boom of nearby Manhattan and the perennial success of the Yankees, the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp., an arm of the borough president’s office, has asked developers to submit plans for a complex that would include retail space, hotel rooms, a conference center, and a penthouse-level restaurant near Yankee Stadium. Developers were also asked to consider including a Latino Baseball Hall of Fame on a site that currently houses a parking garage posting weaker-than-expected results, due to the number of fans that travel to home games via public transportation. However, experts point out that construction financing would be hard to obtain. Unlike the Days Inn that recently opened and the Holiday Inn Express currently under construction in the Bronx, the Yankee Stadium hotel would be full-service, geared towards fans and tourists as well as local corporations and hospitals, with approximately 125 rooms, conference center, upscale restaurant, and amenities for catered weddings and other celebrations…

…Anschutz Entertainment Group, long associated with the $1 billion Farmers Field project in Los Angeles, confirmed that it might also participate in the city of Sacramento’s effort to build a new arena. Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson recently met with AEG officials in Los Angeles to speak about their possible role as arena operator. Johnson and his Think Big Sacramento committee now realize a company like AEG must provide up-front cash in order to build a new arena. Sacramento has also made strides in finding a developer. The city has considered a proposal to engage in exclusive negotiations with ICON and its local partner, developer David Taylor, to develop their arena when the financing becomes available…

…The McCann Center, home of the Marist College basketball teams and volleyball team, is now the McCann Arena after a massive renovation. The original floor was replaced with a full wood floor, the new bleachers are now individual chairs with backs on the east and west side and benches on the north and south, and all of the seating is retractable. The gym will now feature three full basketball courts when the seating is pushed back that will be open for general use. Though not in place yet, two LED video boards will be installed before the start of the basketball season. The boards will show the score and time during play and will be capable of instant replay, animation, and graphics during dead ball situations. Located on opposite corners, the boards are 10 ft. by 15 ft. Another video board will be installed as the panel at the front of the scorer’s table. An area to accommodate TV cameras, which will be constructed above the current locations of coaches’ offices, is in the works…

…The University of New England describes its new $20 million athletic facility, currently under construction, as a game changer for the school.  Looking to stand out amongst regional competition in higher education, UNE’s new sports center features a 900-seat ice rink, a basketball court with 1,200 seats, classroom space, a fitness center, and a series of multi-purpose indoor practice courts that can be combined to serve as a 3,000-seat performance venue. As much as $10 million toward the cost of the three-level, 105,000-square-foot facility has been pledged by the Harold Alfond Foundation, and the new center will be called the Harold Alfond Athletics Complex.

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