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March 23, 2017: Waldorf Astoria Closure Opens New Venue Window for Event Planners, N.F.L. Will Reduce Commercial Breaks to Speed Up Games, Paris Won't Settle for 2028 Olympic Bid

1. WALDORF ASTORIA CLOSURE OPENS NEW VENUE WINDOW FOR EVENT PLANNERS: As the Waldorf Astoria was the go-to venue for New York charity dinners, galas, and other social events, its temporary closure has forced planners to scout other high-profile venues to hold annual events. The New York Times: "'It was almost like a starter’s pistol,' said Richard Martin, the director of development at the Ronald McDonald House of New York, of the June 2016 announcement of the hotel’s temporary shutdown. The charity has held its spring fund-raiser at the Waldorf for nearly a quarter-century. Starting from late June, Mr. Martin scoured the city for comparable spaces that could handle more than 1,000 guests. He eventually settled on the Empire Ballroom at the Grand Hyatt New York. 'We could fit into the space, and we liked the look of the location,' he said. 'And they had a good price for us.' Not everyone felt so lucky. Melissa Meredith, the director of strategic events at the International Rescue Committee, had more difficulty finding a suitable alternative to the Waldorf for the organization’s annual event. 'Our dinner is the first Wednesday in November,' she said. 'It’s been that way for a long time, and it’s what our audience expects.' … Size and location were also concerns for other event planners. 'We typically go over a thousand people,' said Meredith Forbes, the senior director for special events at the Hospital for Special Surgery. That meant smaller spaces like the Mandarin Oriental and the Metropolitan Club were out. Instead, her team looked at Cipriani Wall Street, Chelsea Piers and the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the Far West Side. But those locations are hard to reach from the hospital, which is on 71st Street near the East River. 'We like to make it so our physicians and surgeons can be home at a reasonable hour,' she said. Ultimately, they went with the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side."

2. N.F.L. WILL REDUCE COMMERCIAL BREAKS TO SPEED UP GAMES: The N.F.L. is planning to speed up games by reducing the amount of commercial breaks during TV broadcasts starting this year. USA Today: "In the coming days, the league will roll out its plans for not only revamping the commercial structure within TV broadcasts, but also tweaking in-game timing, replay reviews and more—the product of experimentation and research the NFL took directly to fans before last season to find out what they liked and disliked, both in the stadium and on the couch. Commissioner Roger Goodell said the changes aren’t tied to a pre-election TV ratings dip last season. But he acknowledged the expiration of the NFL's current TV deals in 2022 amidst a changing media landscape is 'top of mind for us on the broader picture' as the league continues to seek the best way to deliver a valuable commodity: three hours of content many viewers still consume live. Beginning with the upcoming season, there will be subtle changes to the timing of the game itself, including standardizing the start of the clock after a player goes out of bounds and the duration of halftime. A play clock will be instituted after extra points (and perhaps after touchdowns, though that’s still under discussion). A vote is expected at the league meetings next week on a centralized replay system in which referees review plays on tablets, rather than sideline monitors, and provide input to officiating headquarters in New York, where the final call would be made. At times, a double box allowing viewers to see inside the stadium while an ad plays, or a sponsored break featuring one brand, could replace standard commercials. Some in-game promotion for NFL and partner initiatives will be replaced by more analysis, highlights and other content."

3. PARIS WON'T SETTLE FOR 2028 OLYMPIC BID: A member of Paris's 2024 Olympic bid has told the International Olympic Committee that the city won't wait until 2028 to host the Summer Olympics. Paris is competing against Los Angeles to host the 2024 Games. Bloomberg: "'It’s not possible,' Tony Estanguet, an IOC member and co-chair of the Paris bid committee, told reporters in London. 'Either the IOC family wants to choose Paris for ’24 or we will not come back for ’28.' Paris and Los Angeles are the only two cities still bidding for the 2024 Olympics, and the IOC is considering splitting the difference—awarding the next two games to the cities when the organization votes at its September meeting. The IOC typically only assigns one Olympics at a time, but with fewer cities vying to host, its president, Thomas Bach, sees a chance to secure two good locations at once. That, however, would strip IOC members of the chance to exercise their influence in an election. Paris has emphasized a technical problem that would make hosting in 2028 difficult. Its rights to the land proposed for the athletes village—one of the centerpieces of the Olympics—don’t extend beyond 2024. 'The project is only possible and guaranteed for ’24,' Estanguet said. 'Secondly, we still believe that we are the best partner for ’24. Paris is the right city, at the right time.' Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has been equally cool on the idea of hosting in 2028. 'We are competing for 2024, full stop,' he told Inside the Games, a trade website that is closely followed by the Olympic movement. 'I would love to visit my friends in Paris in 2028.'"


CHICAGO:  This year's Pilsen Food Truck Social will take place June 10-11 on 18th Street between Racine and Throop. The event, which will feature more than 25 Illinois food trucks, benefits the Illinois Food Truck Owners Association, Saint Procopius Church food pantry, and Yollocalli Arts Reach.

LAS VEGAS:  Tropicana Las Vegas has appointed Mike Thoma vice president and assistant general manager.

LOS ANGELES:  The band Chicago is slated to perform at the 24th annual Race to Erase MS Gala on May 5 at the Beverly Hilton.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  BMF Media's Music Lounge for Miami Music Week will run today and Friday at the W South Beach. The lounge is presented in partnership with iHeartRadio, Y100, and Remix Top30.

NEW YORK:  The Academy of American Poets' Poetry & the Creative Mind event, the nonprofit organization's 15th annual benefit, will take place April 19 at Lincoln Center. In celebration of National Poetry Month, actresses Meryl Streep, Meg Ryan, Uzo Aduba, and more will read their favorite poems.

The annual Donut Dash 5K run and walk will take place May 7 from Pier 62 to Pier 84. The event, which offers a spread of doughnuts after the race, benefits Ambassadors for Sustained Health.

This year's Lincoln Center Festival will take place July 10-30, offering 20 international productions and 43 performances highlighting dance, music, theater, and film.

The J. Paul Getty Trust will present the annual J. Paul Getty Medal to artist Anselm Kiefer and writer Mario Vargas Llosa at a dinner at the Morgan Library on November 13.

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Orange County Brewers will open in May in downtown Orlando. The 3,400-square-foot facility will have a brewery, cocktail bar, indoor and outdoor seating, and a craft pizza kitchen called Orlando Pizza and Wing Co.

Universal Orlando may build a 4,000-room resort on the former Wet 'n Wild property. Orlando Business Journal:

TORONTO:  The Supermodel Canada Search Finals kickoff cocktail party takes place tonight at Toula Restaurant & Bar at One Harbour Square. The event is hosted by the Toronto Fashion Academy and Clarion Medical Technologies.

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With contributions from 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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