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    Entries in sports (8)

    Thursday
    Feb112016

    Rethinking the Game Plan for Stadium Bonds

    Is a 30-year bond realistic when the economic lives of stadiums are proving to be much shorter?
    BY  FEBRUARY 11, 2016

    In the world of sports stadiums, 20 is the new 30.

    Stadiums are typically financed through bonds that take 30 years to pay off. But their useful life isn't always that long.

    Just take last month’s announcement that the St. Louis Rams would be decamping to Los Angeles, leaving behind its 20-something football stadium for a shiny new one. The St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority is still paying off a portion of the $259 million in bonds it issued to build the Rams a new stadium when they moved from L.A. in 1995.

    It's not the only issuer paying off 30-year debt for a project that didn't make it the full life of the bond. In Georgia, the Atlanta Falcons are moving to a new stadium next year even though the Georgia Dome is less than 25 years old. The San Antonio Spurs left the Alamodome in 2003, just 10 years after it was built.

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    Tuesday
    Jul242012

    Neighborhood economy thrives on rising Nationals attendance

    Liz Farmer, Examiner Staff Writer
    The Examiner (Washington, DC) July 6, 2012

    A few blocks from the Nationals Park, the crowds at Justins Cafe on First Street Southeast are buzzing.

    "The vibe is definitely more fun, said owner Justin Ross. Its definitely more dominated by Nats fans this year."

    After years in which the economic promise of locating a major league ballpark downtown was unfulfilled, the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood near the stadium is experiencing an upswing in nightlife that matches the rising fortunes of the baseball team.

    Ross has seen the biggest difference when the team is away and people come to Justins to watch the game on TV. "When youre 20 [wins] below .500, thats not really happening," Ross said.

    Nearly a quarter-million more people have flocked to the ballpark so far this year, and total attendance for the season heading into Thursday nights game is up 28 percent compared with the Nationals first 36 games last year. Once largely a 9 a.m.-to-5 p.m. neighborhood, Capitol Riverfront now hops on game nights, bringing a windfall to the few businesses equipped to handle thirsty fans.

    Retail activity is expanding quickly and will soon catch up with the burgeoning crowds. Michael Stevens, executive director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, said nine restaurants are slated to open within the next 14 months, in addition to a Harris Teeter store with residences and a gym on the upper floors.

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    Monday
    Jul162012

    A slowdown in slowpitch softball sponsorships in Maryland

    The Daily Record (Baltimore, MD) September 2, 2010
     By Liz Farmer
    Daily Record Business Writer
    It's a rare night during the early summer if the outdoor patio at Clyte Franklin Jr. 's Angle Inn restaurant and bar isn't jammed with men and women wearing dirty softball jerseys and recapping the latest game-changing plays and close calls.

    Softball is practically a way of life at the 50-year-old Dundalk establishment. Inside, towering trophies glint in the low-lit bar, and display cases packed with photos and team memorabilia recall dozens of memories. The collection is a mere sampling from the many teams Franklin's business has sponsored over the last four decades, a business expense he simply calls his "sports program. "

    Angle Inn sponsors 14 softball teams spanning all levels of play, from a senior's league team to highly competitive men's slowpitch teams. Although he doesn't like to say so, each year Franklin spends between $75,000 and $100,000 sponsoring the softball teams, a kickball league team and a bowling league.

    "That sounds like bragging," Franklin, 66, said. "It doesn't suit me well. "

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    Sunday
    Jul152012

    Work Farce Initiative: March madness hits the workplace

    Posted: 6:55 pm
    Thu, March 18, 2010
    By Liz Farmer 

    They call it March Madness for a reason — and it’s not always about what happens on the basketball court.

    During the first two days of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which started Thursday, offices around the country are transformed, and otherwise normal employees can become strangely insane.

    Conservative business attire is ditched for unfashionably bright team colors, pizza and other junk food replaces the well-rounded lunch, and the only conferences going on in conference rooms are during commercial breaks to discuss how everyone’s bracket predictions are faring.

    The tournament can create quite a dilemma for people when normal life interferes with their alma maters’ games.

    Richard Jaklitsch of the Jaklitsch Law Group in Upper Marlboro faced that problem when he and other co-workers wanted to watch the University of Maryland take on the University of North Carolina-Wilmington in the first round of the tournament. It was 2003 and they were attending an Anne Arundel Bar Association event, and he had convinced the hotel bar manager to put the game on the television.

    But the manager refused to play it with sound because the hotel had hired a singer to entertain its bar crowd.

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    Sunday
    Jul152012

    Strasburg’s arrival translates into sellouts, TV ratings for Nats  

    Posted: 8:17 pm Mon, June 7, 2010
    By Liz Farmer 
    Daily Record Business Writer

    How big is Washington Nationals rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg?

    He’s big enough to sell out Nationals Park days in advance of his scheduled major league debut Tuesday night.

    The 100-mph-fastball pitcher is big enough to catapult ad sales — and rates — on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network for his expected starts this month.

    The 21-year-old phenom is even big enough to inspire 249-year-old Strasburg, Va. to rename itself (if only temporarily) Stephen Strasburg, Va.

    Simply put, expectations have soared beyond Earth’s gravitational pull and the money is already flowing — all before Strasburg throws his first big league pitch.

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