Venue News: A’s Inch Closer to San Jose Relocation; Housing Planned for Yankee Stadium Lots

Despite the inability of San Jose’s struggling redevelopment agency to purchase the last two parcels of land needed for a downtown ballpark, Major League Baseball in the California city remains a possibility. Oakland A’s co-owner Lew Wolff said he would help purchase some or all of that land, and may purchase several more that the agency had acquired over the years in preparation for landing a major league team. Both the A’s and San Jose hope that the land purchase will encourage Commissioner Bud Selig to make a decision on whether the A’s can relocate to San Jose. The San Jose City Council, acting as the San Jose Diridon Development Authority, will meet in closed session to discuss the price and terms of payment for an option agreement the city would offer Wolff for the sale of six properties. They amount to little more than half of the 14 acres earmarked for the stadium, and will most likely cost less than the $24 million listed in agency documents…

…Two Yankee Stadium parking lots, whose poor performance threatens bonds backed by their revenue with default, are slated to become sites for affordable housing and retail, according to a source familiar with the plan. The Bronx Parking Development Co., which issued the bonds, approved terms to lease the sites to two development firms to build between 550 and 600 units of apartments, plus about 45,000 square feet (4,180 square meters) of neighborhood retail. Income from parking has been short of projections even though the New York Yankees were second behind the Philadelphia Phillies this year in Major League Baseball attendance, with 3.65 million fans. The facilities face competition from public transportation such as the New York City subway and Metro-North Railroad, as well as other parking at a mall near the stadium…

… Arkansas has unveiled details of a $300 million athletic facilities plan, one that includes the enclosing the north end zone at Razorback Stadium. The plan would take 30 years and affect each of the university’s 19 athletic programs. In addition to the end-zone enclosure, the plan also includes a basketball practice facility south of Bud Walton Arena, an academic and dining center, and renovations at both the baseball team’s Baum Stadium and the indoor and outdoor track facilities. Athletic director Jeff Long also included plans for a 5,000-seat competition venue for sports such as gymnastics and volleyball as well as concerts. Arkansas will break ground on its new football operations center on Nov 4…

…Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment has signed a multiyear deal with AEG Facilities to provide operational support at Barclays Center, the New Jersey Nets’ arena under construction in Brooklyn. The agreement falls in line with Brooklyn Sports’ strategy to find the best resources to operate New York’s newest arena. For Los Angeles-based AEG, a firm specializing in sales and marketing, it provides a greater foothold in the country’s No. 1 market. Some industry insiders think AEG’s latest role in Brooklyn covers much more territory than simply providing the Nets with IT staff, ushers, ticket takers, and security personnel. Going with AEG, insiders say, further guarantees more non-NBA events will come to Barclays Center through AEG Live, AEG’s sister company and North America’s second-biggest concert promoter.

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