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Master planned sports and entertainment complex planned for Panama

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Former NBA Star Rolando Blackman Forms Innovative Alliance To Offer New Perspectives on Sports and Entertainment Districts Worldwide

DALLAS, LOS ANGELES and BOSTON, May 1 PRNewswire — Rolando Blackman, the four-time NBA All-Star, and his consulting firm Blackman Cunningham, along with RTKL and G2 Strategic, today announced the formation of an innovative design and development consultancy targeting sports and entertainment districts worldwide. The three-party alliance will leverage its collective experience to assist governments, club owners, leagues and private developers considering urban developments anchored or sparked by sport and entertainment venues. Collectively, Blackman Cunningham, RTKL and G2 Strategic offer a comprehensive range of skills all focused on this complex development type that has emerged as a critical element in the economic success of cities and municipalities across the globe. All three firms are well-known within the sport and entertainment industry.
As sport and entertainment venues become engines of urban regeneration internationally, combining the businesses of sport, brand, media and real estate, this alliance brings together, for the first time, expertise in urban planning and architecture, economic, marketing, political, and sports business skills that will provide clients with a unique set of perspectives and insight.

The alliance will target stadium and arena projects in the United States, Europe, South America and Asia that are part of larger mixed-use urban districts, tapping into the real estate, media and smart growth opportunities these developments can generate. Increasingly, sport and entertainment venues offer cities the competitive edge in economic development and a well-spring of civic pride, and cities around the globe have begun to realize the value of that larger development context.

Blackman Cunningham, a partnership of former NBA All-Star Rolando Blackman and sports and entertainment executive Louis Cunningham, is based in Dallas. Blackman, a four-time NBA All-Star and business executive, helped guide the 2006-07 Dallas Mavericks to the NBA Finals and, along with Cunningham, manages business interests worldwide. Cunningham, responsible for marketing, sponsorship and new business development, created over $50 million in new revenue sources for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, and was also responsible for the negotiation of TV rights and sponsorship packages for the Nokia Sugar Bowl. Blackman Cunningham recently teamed up with RTKL and proposed a comprehensive master planned sports and entertainment complex for the Republic of Panama.
RTKL, the architecture and planning firm, is represented by sports design pioneer Ron Turner. Based in Los Angeles, Turner was a founding principal of NBBJ sports and is well-known for designing dozens of iconic sports venues, including Staples Center (Los Angeles), Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati), Miller Park (Milwaukee), Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia),Atlanta's Olympic Stadium (now Turner Field), the Saitama Super Arena(Japan) and the David Beckham Academy (London). RTKL was the firm responsible for the planning and urban design of Baltimore's Camden Yards, the project often heralded for sparking the urban renaissance of sport venues.

G2 Strategic, led by CEO Marshall Glickman, is based in Boston. Glickman oversaw the development of both the major spectator venues in Portland, Oregon- the $262 million Rose Quarter and the $38 million renovation of Civic Stadium (now PGE Park)-and provides strategic business and venue development advice to a broad range of sports and entertainment clients in the United States and Europe. G2 and RTKL recently teamed up to develop a comprehensive master plan for the proposed Moscow Sports & Entertainment Complex, under an agreement with CSKA Moscow.

Blackman Cunningham partner Louis Cunningham said, "Rolando and I have been pursuing venue projects in several markets, including Rolando's home country of Panama, where we hold exclusive development rights for Flamenco Island and other nearby parcels. Since retiring from the NBA, Rolando played in Greece and Italy, and was involved in sports in several other countries. As a result of his international experience and my global experience in sports sponsorship and entertainment marketing, we began to understand that sports and entertainment venues can be the catalyst to the economic viability of communities around the world, which led to the formation of our company. By partnering with RTKL and G2, we now have rounded out our team and brought additional experience, creativity, vision and ingenuity to our global projects."

The alliance will partner with local designers, government relations specialists, financial advisors, investment bankers, venue operators, food and beverage consultants, construction managers and engineers, depending on the characteristics of each individual project.

"Our group shares a common view that large spectator venues should be designed from the outside in," said RTKL vice president Ron Turner. "When venues are simply dropped into a pre-existing district, this inevitably results in negative outcomes. Our group looks at it differently, believing that these venues should fit seamlessly into the context of their neighborhoods and be used to anchor other mixed-use development and public infrastructure improvements. Over the years, I have learned that design is inextricably linked to economics, financing structures, public/private partnerships and market-specific characteristics — this is why this new alliance offers such a potent combination for municipalities, club owners and private developers interested in successful urban development."

G2 Strategic CEO Marshall Glickman added, "I have always admired Ron's resistance to designing cookie-cutter venues, and his ability to 'get it' from the perspective of economics, politics and contextual design. With Rolando and Louis, we can offer an entirely new twist because of extensive international exposure and Louis' sports business background. In the U.S., we have witnessed an explosion of venue development activity in the last 15-20 years; we expect that a similar pattern will emerge in Europe, Asia and South America, along with a new cycle of major renovations and new venues here in the States."

About Blackman Cunningham

Blackman Cunningham, an international consulting and management firm, is providing strategic evaluations and unique business opportunities and solutions around the world. Whether it's investment opportunities in real estate, athletic teams or venues, entertainment/media events, or developing athletic and basketball programs, Blackman Cunningham offers firsthand knowledge and experience to its clients and strategic partners.

Blackman Cunningham's strength is bringing years of hands-on knowledge and experience to companies seeking to build, invest or acquire sports and entertainment properties, events or venues. Through its vast network of strategic partners, Blackman Cunningham brings together a variety of businesses to help their clients and partners achieve their objectives.

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About RTKL

RTKL is a worldwide architecture, engineering, planning and creative services organization. Founded in 1946, the firm specializes in providing its services across the full development cycle to create places of distinction.

The firm's Entertainment/Sports studio includes a comprehensive team of professionals who have collaborated on projects for more than 16 years. These individuals have been responsible for many of the industry's most creative and technologically advanced entertainment venues.

With projects around the globe, RTKL offers a complete package of expertise and creativity, from venue design, architecture and planning to environmental graphic design and branding. The firm's experience covers the entire range of sports facility design for professional sports, college sports, recreational and training facilities at the professional and amateur levels. RTKL has the technical expertise and global reach to deliver services anywhere people play sports, go to concerts or attend trade shows. The firm has developed a reputation for creating design solutions that perform at the highest level operationally, urbanistically and architecturally.

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About G2 Strategic

G2 Strategic, LLC provides global sports business solutions, addressing a broad range of issues and opportunities faced by the sports and entertainment industries. G2 stands for "Glickman Global," as an acronym of its founder and CEO Marshall Glickman and the firm's focus on an international client base.

G2 Strategic was launched in June 2004, and is based in Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Glickman is the former president of the NBA Portland Trail Blazers and Oregon Arena Corporation, where he quarterbacked the $262 million Rose Quarter complex. He also has served as Chairman and CEO of Portland Family Entertainment, a firm he founded to undergo a $38 million renovation of historic Civic Stadium (re-named PGE Park following execution of one of the largest naming rights deals in Minor League Baseball history), which was transformed to a modern, multi-purpose outdoor venue while maintaining its old school charm.

Since 1995, Glickman has served as a consultant to a range of clients, including architects (Ellerbe Becket, NBBJ), sports franchises (Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors), construction companies (Clark Construction Group), hedge funds (GSO Capital Partners), developers (Bechtel), federations (Tennis Canada) and leagues (Euroleague Basketball.) Since the launch of G2 Strategic in August 2004, Glickman has focused on formulating business and venue development strategies for an expanding client base, which includes the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Euroleague Basketball (which is the top pan-European basketball league), the French Tennis Federation (Roland Garros), Groupe Gones & Sports and CSKA Moscow (the Red Army team of Russia), where Glickman recently teamed with RTKL to develop the master plan for the Moscow Sports & Entertainment Complex.

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