Regional Roundup – 02/21/2008

Cash celebration in Corona
Friends, family and fans alike of legendary musician Johnny Cash will be marking his birthday this weekend with a 3-day celebration at the Fender Museum of the Music & Arts.

The event, which begins Friday evening, will include music, movies, videos and a special exhibit chronicling Cash’s career, including items on loan from a Corona resident.

Fender Museum

California Speedway

Montclair Plaza

Also on hand will be members of Cash’s family, including daughter Cindy Cash and son John Carter Cash, who was an executive producer on the 2005 movie “Walk the Line.” Both will be participating in Q&A sessions along with other special guests.

“Cash: An American Icon” begins Friday at the museum located at 365 N. Main Street, just north of the 91 Freeway in Corona.

New name for California Speedway
With the first of this year’s two NASCAR weekends at the track set to begin, the California Speedway in Fontana is about to get a new name. The Roger Penske-designed track, which opened in 1997, will soon go by the name “Auto Club Speedway of Southern California.” Although figures have yet to be officially released, the 10-year deal is reportedly worth between $50 to $75 million.

We admit our initial reaction to the news is mixed. Sure, it will bring additional revenue to the facility, but at what cost to the track’s eventual legacy?

And, though we realize naming rights are a seemingly necessary evil in today’s costly sporting/entertainment venue environment, such name changes can often lead to obtusive, sometimes strange combinations (e.g., EnergySolutions Arena, Arena, Izod Center, Pengrowth Saddledome, TD Banknorth Garden, Quicken Loans Arena).

Let’s hope this is not the beginning of successive names for the Fontana facility, which may eventually require the use of asterisks in the racing record books. Fortunately, it’s highly unlikely that the Auto Club will become the next Enron and simply disappear overnight, leaving a rather odd naming legacy for the track (e.g., Enron Field in Houston).

Details released for Montclair mall renovation
General Growth Properties released more details this week on the renovation and eventual expansion of the 40-year-old Montclair Plaza.

The renovation is intended to add a softer touch to the mall’s industrial-looking interior with the use of new wood-like flooring, accent lighting, glass railings and furniture.

Also included in the project will be the demolition of the 1968 building that originally housed The Broadway (Macys), which has been vacant since the 2006 merger of Robinson’s-May with Macys (and subsequent relocation of Macys). Although we’re glad to see the mall renovate and expand, we’re sad to see yet another 1960s-era department store building meet the wrecking ball.

The renovation is slated to kick into full gear by June with completion expected before the upcoming holiday shopping season.



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