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May 19, 2016: Why a New Stadium Will Offer Cheap Concessions, Japanese Olympic Committee to Investigate Corruption Allegations, U.K. Festivals to Ban Flares Next Year

1. WHY A NEW STADIUM WILL OFFER CHEAP CONCESSIONS: When the Mercedes-Benz Stadium opens next year, football fans at Atlanta Falcons games will be able to enjoy $2 hot dogs, $3 pretzels, and $5 beers—much cheaper than average concession prices. The team believes that lower prices will encourage fans to buy more at the stadium, as fans at Georgia Dome games currently buy more food outside of the stadium to avoid spending money. Bloomberg: "To make this possible, the Falcons had to sign a new deal with Levy Restaurants, which runs concessions at the stadium. Most teams contract with a company like Aramark or Levy to run concessions and share the revenue, in which case, the concessionaire has no incentive to keep prices low. Profit margins on food and drink can run to 77 percent. This time, the Falcons will pay Levy a fixed amount, and the franchise will keep the revenue. This gives the team the power to set prices. It will bear the brunt of any underperformance. … The new arrangement also requires local vendors to charge the same prices inside the stadium as they do at their restaurants, and the pricing will be the same for any event at the stadium, including college playoffs, soccer games and concerts."

2. JAPANESE OLYMPIC COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS: The Japanese Olympic Committee has announced it will form a commission to investigate corruption allegations in the awarding of the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo. The announcement comes after news broke last week that French authorities were investigating suspicious money transfers possibly linked to Tokyo's win; the city beat rival Olympic bids from Madrid and Istanbul in 2013. The New York Times: “Le Monde, a French daily, on May 12 quoted French financial prosecutors as saying that investigators were examining money transfers totaling about $2 million made by a Japanese bank to Black Tidings, thought to be linked to a son of Lamine Diack, the former head of the International Association of Athletics Federations, which governs track and field events. The transfers were apparently discovered after the French authorities began a criminal investigation last year of the elder Mr. Diack—who was also a member of the International Olympic Committee until 2013—on suspicion of having accepted more than $1 million in bribes to cover up positive drug tests. … The International Olympic Committee said in a statement that its chief ethics and compliance officer, Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, has been in contact with the French magistrates in charge of the investigation on the IAAF case, and with WADA, since its start’ and that she would ‘continue to be in contact with all interested parties to clarify any alleged improper conduct.’ It declined to make any further comment on the Tokyo allegations.”

3. U.K. FESTIVALS TO BAN FLARES NEXT YEAR: The U.K. government has announced that pyrotechnics including flares, fireworks, and smoke bombs will be banned from live music events starting next summer. Currently, it’s legal to bring flares into concerts and festivals. BuzzFeed: “But ministers said hundreds of revellers were at risk of being “maimed” every year and have announced a ban by next year’s festival season. Tory MP Nigel Adams has tabled an amendment to the policing and crime bill currently making its way through parliament that the government has agreed to accept. … The new offence would allow courts to impose fines or short prison sentences on those found guilty of bringing pyrotechnics into music events, in line with the penalties at football matches. The move has been backed by concert promoter LiveNation, trade body UK Music, Bestival, and the Association of Independent Festivals.”


SpinGo has introduced the Must Go Award, a monthly award recognizing outstanding upcoming events in the U.S. 


ATLANTA:  Delta will not renew its sponsorship of the Fox Theatre after the venue held a Jennifer Lopez concert to celebrate rival Qatar Airways' new flights out of Atlanta. Atlanta Business Chronicle:

CHICAGO:  The Onion and A.V. Club's third annual 26th Annual Comedy Festival will take place June 1-5. Performers will include Tracy Morgan and Sarah Silverman at the Civic Opera House.

LAS VEGAS:  Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will celebrate the completion of its steel construction—part of its 18,000-square-foot expansion for meetings and convention space—with a topping-off ceremony on Monday.

To recognize World Hunger Day on May 28, Las Vegas Sands Corp. has partnered with local nonprofit Three Square Food Bank for the third annual "Hunger is Not a Game" food drive; it will take place May 20-June 20.

LOS ANGELES:  Rioja Wine and Tapas Festival, presented by Wines from Rioja, will take place Saturday at Union Station. The event will have samples from more than 30 winemakers and 25 U.S. chefs.

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Luxury travel trade show LE Miami will take place June 6-9 at Miami Beach Convention Center.

NEW YORK:  Loews Hotels has named George Fleck, a former Starwood executive, as senior vice president of brands and marketing. The company also has promoted John Cottrill to chief operating officer and Matthew Brenner to chief financial officer.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music's fourth annual Pride celebration, "Everybooty," will take place June 25 at BAM Fisher.

The 11th annual Jazz Age Lawn Party will take place June 11-12 and August 13-14 at Governors Island.

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

SAN FRANCISCO:  The San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz will take place August 21.

TORONTO:  The 17th annual Toronto International BuskerFest for Epilepsy will take place September 2-5 at Woodbine Park.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Marbella Event Furniture and Décor Rental will expand with a fourth location in Washington, D.C., which is slated to open this fall. The location will have an office space, showroom, warehouse, and a printing and design center.

Peterson Companies has partnered with MGM National Harbor, Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, and Tanger Outlets to form Visit National Harbor, the community's official convention and visitors' association.

CTIA Wireless Foundation held its Honors program Wednesday at Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery, where it presented House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton with its Wireless Champion Award, and Congressman Frank Pallone with its Mobile Life Award. The event featured design by Dufour & Co. and catering by Occasions Caterers. CTIA member company Samsung provided kitchen equipment for a chef-attended station that served savory waffles.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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