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NBA plans ‘The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort’

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The NBA is going to Disney World. The league says it is developing ‘The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort‘, which will be located at Disney Springs in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort is going to be a one-of-a-kind destination featuring hands-on activities that put families and guests of all ages right in the middle of NBA game action. Visitors will be able to explore inside the world of professional basketball with numerous interactive experiences and enjoy a restaurant and retail store.

Commissioner Adam Silver says the league “can’t wait to bring the magic of Disney and the excitement of the NBA to guests from around the world.”

Disney Springs, the largest expansion in Downtown Disney history, is set for completion in 2016.

The Walt Disney Company and the NBA made the joint announcement last week and also shared that initial development work has just begun, although no opening date has been confirmed.

Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, said:

We’re excited to join the NBA in offering this unique form of family entertainment. It will be a terrific addition to the world-class lineup of shops and restaurants coming to Disney Springs.

The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort will be one of more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment venues at Disney Springs.

Oakland’s ‘sport city’ project promised new investment soon

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The Coliseum City development project that is designed to keep Oakland’s professional sports teams in the city, remains in the balance but a group of investors has been given a chance to bring finance to the table.

Oakland City Council has granted a 90-day extension to the Coliseum City stadium development group of its exclusive negotiating agreement with the city. San Diego asset manager adviser Floyd Kephart, chairman of the board of Renaissance Cos., is expected to take the lead role in a newly reconstituted group, New City Development LLC.

The group is seeking an additional developer and approvals from the Raiders and NFL, the city and Alameda County before it can begin detailed planning for a new football stadium. The stadium would be the centrepiece of a development that would also include housing, retail, offices and perhaps a ballpark for the A’s.

Mayor Jean Quan said:

This is an important step forward in the work we kicked off three years ago [to keep the Raiders playing in Oakland]. There is room for all three teams in this project.

The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority (JPA), the public agency that manages the Coliseum and the Oracle Arena, in August voted unanimously to approve a ten-year license agreement with the Oakland A’s.  The Warriors have announced plans to move to San Francisco’s Mission Bay.

Photo credit: Coliseum courtesy of Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority.

Refurb, not new build, for Target Center

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A $97 million ‘sensible option’ refurb of Target Center will start as soon as the Minnesota Timberwolves complete their 2013-14 season. The Minneapolis City Council has approved the project terms and a six-member design group will develop separate requests for proposals for an architect and a construction manager at risk to design and build the project. The RFP for design services could be out by the end of the year, with construction starting in 2014. The entire project is expected to last up to two years, with the building remaining open for most of the time. Funding will come from the city ($48.5m), the Timberwolves ($43m), and Anschutz Entertainment Group ($5.5m), the arena’s operator.

The project includes: fan/public spaces – the box office, lobby, stairwell, bathroom, food court and bowl seating upgrades ($27.2m); technology – sound, acoustics, scoreboard, cable, ribbon board and control room ($16.6m); premium spaces and suites – club space improvements on Levels 4 and 5, new club spaces on Levels 1 and 2, and renovation of suites ($13.93m); outside building shell ($13.5m); building operations and back-of-house improvements – energy conservation upgrades ($6.4m); basketball lockers and facilities ($933,000); consultants – architecture and engineering fees and insurance ($9m); project contingency ($6.7m). The Target Center deal keeps the Timberwolves and the Lynx in the building through 2032. Over the life of the deal, the city will spend at least $50m to maintain the building.