Source: American Gaming Association
The AGA has released the 2012 State of the States survey, which provides national and state-by-state economic impact data, such as gaming revenues, tax contributions, and employment and wage figures for the 22 U.S. commercial casino states operating in 2011. A special section of the report showcases a poll of elected officials and civic leaders in gaming jurisdictions.
Source: Home Office
The Home Office is responsible for ensuring the 2012 Olympic Games is safe and secure. Find out about our plans for Olympic security and other work to make the Games a success.
Source: Natural Resources Defense Council
NRDC’s annual analysis of water quality and public notification data at coastal U.S. beaches found that the number of beach closing and advisory days in 2011 reached the third-highest level in the 22-year history of our report, totaling 23,481 days (a 3% decrease from 2010). More than two-thirds of closings and advisories were issued because bacteria levels in beachwater exceeded public health standards, indicating the presence of human or animal waste in the water. The portion of all monitoring samples that exceeded national recommended health standards for designated beach areas remained stable at 8% in 2011, compared with 8% in 2010 and 7% for the four previous years. In addition, the number of beaches monitored in 2011 increased slightly (2%) from a five-year low in 2010. The largest known source of pollution was stormwater runoff (47%, compared with 36% last year). The 2011 results confirm that our nation’s beaches continue to experience significant water pollution that puts swimmers and local economies at risk.
NRDC continues to push for improvements in beachwater quality standards and test methods. Most recently, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed an action that could leave the public inadequately protected if it is not strengthened—one establishing recommended standards for beach officials to use to keep people from being exposed to unsafe levels of disease-causing bacteria and viruses. While beachwater quality standards are critical, ultimately the most important long-term action is to adopt 21st-century solutions that address the sources of beachwater pollution, particularly stormwater runoff. The most important of these solutions remains incentivizing and implementing green infrastructure in our cities, such as green roofs, porous pavement, and street plantings, which stop rain where it falls. Green infrastructure effectively reduces the amount of runoff that makes its way into beachwater or triggers harmful sewage overflows, transforming potential beach pollution into a tremendous local water supply resource.
As flip flops and shorts replace suits and ties, you know summer is here. And while many flock to beaches and cabins in the woods, 104 million people are planning a trip to the city. That is one third of Americans who will be hitting the streets of a city near you. Of those who plan to visit a city, nearly 60 percent (57 percent) or 62 million people nationwide plan to use local public transportation on their vacation this summer, according to the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) 2012 “Travel like a Local” Summer Travel Survey.
The survey, conducted in mid-May, shows that cost and convenience are two strong factors that will motivate city visitors to use public transportation. Among those travelers who will be using public transportation during their city trips, 71 percent said using public transportation relieves them from the worry of finding parking for their vehicle, while 68 percent believe that it is less expensive than taxis and rental cars. Sixty-seven percent will use public transportation to save money on parking and 52 percent responded they can save money on gas for their vehicle.
Travel experts at AAA note that this year Americans will be staying closer to home and the APTA survey reveals that heading to a city this summer will be a prime destination. The survey also notes the top ten city destinations.
The Current State Of Sports Facility Naming Rights
Source: Sports Facility Reports
With approximately four decades of use, it is safe to say that the concept of selling overall facility naming rights for stadiums and arenas has become well-established in the industry. Every facility that comes on line these days seemingly either has an overall corporate naming rights sponsor, is pursuing one or publicly discloses that it is choosing not to pursue an overall corporate sponsor for any number of reasons. The latter scenario is especially true in situations where public financing for the facility is involved.
Like many other sports organization revenue streams, the market for naming rights at the start of the 2010 calendar year was facing numerous challenges. The stagnant economy was a substantial drag on the market with traditional sponsor sectors such as airlines and financial institutions enduring significant economic problems.
As a result, a variety of newspaper articles and media pieces appeared discussing the problems the naming rights industry was facing at the time. The gloom and doom scenarios posited by these articles, while accurately reflecting the thoughts of many industry observers at the time, likely only added to the perceived problems facing the market. It can reasonably be argued that this period was among the toughest naming rights markets since the concept really took off in the early-1990s.
However, it is often stated that it is darkest before the dawn. This definitely appears to be the case with the sports facility naming rights market as over the past twenty months the industry has witnessed a significant turnaround with a variety of positive developments being seen across the board. For example, as of August 2011, eighteen major league facilities have announced new or extended naming rights agreements since the start of the 2010 calendar year. In addition, the resurgence appears to be broad in scope as all five major leagues have seen deals completed and the corporate partners for these deals have come from a variety of sponsor classifications. This resurgence has also extended to the lower levels of sport as approximately twenty agreements have been completed for minor league, college and high school athletic facilities across the country.
To be sure, the recent market does not feel like the rush felt during the heydays of the 1990s. But, it would be virtually impossible to duplicate that market for any number of reasons. One key reason being that the playing field was virtually wide open during that time and like a stereotypical gold rush scenario. In fact, it can be argued that the recent resurgence of the naming rights industry is likely more beneficial for the sports industry over the long haul as it seems to reinforce the concept of sports facility naming rights usage and provides stability for this key revenue source.