Wednesday, September 5, 2012

License-TWC, Run-DNC

Welcome to the Route 30 Detour! US Route 30 intersects at I-95 in Philadelphia and goes from coast to coast, including passing through Pittsburgh and the home of Drexel University SMT student and blog contributor, Bryan Fyalkowski (@fyalkowski)...

Thus far, the most breathtaking part of the 2012 Democratic National Convention has actually not been Bill Clinton's speech. It is that fact that the Time Warner Cable Arena, home of the Charlotte Bobcats, can be filled to more than 77.4% of its capacity.

But in all reality, TWC Arena has served as a great venue for the DNC and a great venue for the City of Charlotte, NC since 2005. You may be wondering, "How did a basketball arena transform into a political event hotbed in such a short amount of time?" However, the DNC has been over 19 months in the making.

By taking a look at the Arena License Agreement of the DNC that was signed on February 1, 2011, we can see how this event materialized and what actually goes into holding a non-traditional event at a traditional sports venue. Of course the Agreement is 36 pages long, so I will simply just go over a few things that stuck out to me...

1.1: The Arena Company grants the Host Committee limited license for use of any of the properties it owns within the area, including TWC Arena, surrounding buildings, parking lots, etc.

4.4: The Arena Company has all rights to sell concessions, but must keep them at prices no higher than they were at opening day of the 2011-12 sports season. The Host Committee may close any concession stands that interfere and may limit menu items.

4.7: The Host Committee can ask the Arena Company to cover any signage that does not include Time Warner Cable and may use the video scoreboard at their discretion. In addition, the Host Committee can place its own signage on the inside and outside of TWC Arena with the approval of The Arena Company.

4.9: The air conditioning in TWC Arena cannot be higher than 72 degrees Fahrenheit with indoor humidity not to exceed 50%. (SO WEIRD!)

5.1: The Host Committee pays the Arena Company a licensing fee of $5 million. 10% paid by June 30, 2011, 40% wired by July 13, 2012 and the remaining 50% by August 29, 2012. (The final fee had to be paid three days before the beginning of the DNC!)

5.2: Additional cost include: Arena Company Relocation Costs, Costs of Seating, Multimedia Facilities, Arena Company Signage and Electrical.

6.1: There are 8-9 pages of consisting of Facilities/Amenities to be Provided by the Host Committee, including: Directional Signage, Photocopy Room, Security Offices, Merchandising Space, etc. (Pages 11-19)

12.1: The Host Committee can terminate the Agreement if they report a material breach and the Arena Company does not remedy it within 30 days. If terminated, the two sides have the option of any remedy applicable by law, including injunctive relief and specific performance.

...Well, skimming through a 36-page document is not always interesting, but sports venue contracts occasionally tickle my interest. Do you notice anything in the Agreement that stands out? Let us know in the comments below, or take it up with your local Democratic representative!

Enjoy your trip back to I-95 and I'll see you next week!


  1. This is actually quite interesting. Thank you for skimming for us...It might be interesting if you have a lot of time on your hands(which I'm sure you don't) to compare the RNC and DNC agreements to see what the different preferences and details are.

    Also, "The air conditioning in TWC Arena cannot be higher than 72 degrees Fahrenheit with indoor humidity not to exceed 50%. (SO WEIRD!" I guess no one wants to see a sweaty Bill Clinton...except maybe Monica Lewinsky(too easy?)

  2. The AC/humidity clause is pretty good. I haven't really looked through too many of these agreements, but I would guess that it's part of them normally? It does make the Clinton jokes pretty easy. Great stuff Bryan, some nice investigative stuff here.

  3. I actually found the agreement between the City of Tampa and the RNC, but obviously a very small percentage of that agreement would have to do with SportsBiz. Looking at agreements like these, most the of them have the same components, but it is interesting to see which side takes on which responsibilities in the different contracts.

    And dude, Bill Clinton did not drop one bead of sweat from his perfect, face-lifted face during that entire 50 minute speech. It was glorious.