Venue News: Work Stoppage Ends at Brazilian World Cup Venue; Dodgers Sale May Include Stadium Naming Rights

Construction has restarted at Beira-Rio Stadium following an eight-month stoppage that put in jeopardy the venue’s status as a host for the 2014 World Cup. Bulldozers and workers were back at the construction site in Porto Alegre on Wednesday after a deal was reached on a partnership to renovate the venue in time for the World Cup. Work was halted last year because Brazilian club Internacional and the construction company involved in the project, Andrade Gutierrez, were not able to come up with financial guarantees. They reached a partnership agreement this week after months of negotiations, ensuring the stadium will be finished by the end of 2013, as initially planned. Beira-Rio will host five World Cup matches, including one in the second round. The stadium renovation is expected to cost about $137 million, partly financed with loans from Brazil’s National Development Bank. By the deal signed with Internacional, Andrade Gutierrez will be allowed to receive some of the revenue generated by the stadium for 20 years…

…At least one party bidding on the Los Angeles Dodgers has inquired about the possibility of selling naming rights to Dodger Stadium, according to records filed this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Dodger Stadium turns 50 this year. The iconic ballpark has never been known by another name. However, with the Dodgers expected to sell for a record price for a North American sports franchise, the investment bank brokering the sale has included naming rights among what it calls the “value creation opportunities” — that is, money-making options for a buyer. It is uncertain whether the inquiries came from bidders still in contention and whether the questions reflected standard due diligence or a sincere interest in selling the Dodger Stadium naming rights. According to people familiar with the sale process, the current bids for the Dodgers are believed to be in the range of $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion and the cost to renovate Dodger Stadium could run at least $200 million…

…Now that the San Francisco 49ers are finally primed for a move to Santa Clara, fans may be wondering: What happens next? A lot, it turns out — everything from selling the name of the $1.2 billion stadium to setting ticket prices to deciding what kind of beer will be sold there. With the final city approvals and funding plans signed last week, and construction weeks away, The San Jose Mercury News lays out a dozen major turning points to watch for in the drive to a 2014 kickoff

…Anschutz Entertainment Group had plenty of reasons to pass on investing $58.75 million in Sacramento’s proposed downtown arena. But AEG committed to the arena anyway, reasoning that Sacramento is a long-neglected market that has nowhere to go but up. Chief Executive Tim Leiweke came to Sacramento to meet with city officials, the Maloofs, who own the Kings, and the ICON/Taylor group, which is developing the $391 million arena. While all sides have agreed to a non-binding “term sheet,” Tuesday marked a key moment in negotiations that will play out over the next several months to forge a more definitive series of documents. In return for its investment, AEG, a worldwide arena and concert-tour operator, would run the Sacramento building, book all the non-Kings events and collect most of the profits. The city would also get a share, which it estimates at about $1 million a year. Leiweke, breaking months of silence by AEG on the topic, said the Sacramento project would be his company’s first new arena since the recession started. The $58.75 million is the most AEG has ever invested in a U.S. arena or stadium, with the exception of Staples Center in Los Angeles in 1999.

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