• Atlanta's New Stadium Ready — Except for the Roof

    by Paul Newberry August 2017

    The goal posts are up. The end zones are painted. The concession stands are ready to dish out all sorts of food and drink. With less than two weeks to go before Atlanta's $1.5 billion stadium hosts its first game, there's only one major issue to address. That pesky retractable roof.

  • Minor League Park to Become Temporary Golf Course

    by Amy Moritz August 2017

    Coca-Cola Field will again be turned into a golf course, of sorts, with the return of the "The Links at Coca-Cola Field," from Sept. 15 through Sept. 17.

  • Chick-fil-A Stand Closed for All But One Falcons Game

    by Paul Steinbach August 2017

    It’s now the norm for professional stadiums to offer fans food options from franchised brands, and the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is no different.

    However, one concessions stand will be closed for all but one of the Atlanta Falcons’ eight home games the the stadium’s inaugural season in 2017. According to ESPN, Chick-fil-A will fly the MBS coop seven times — exercising its corporate policy of closing on Sundays and leaving fans only a Thursday night game between the Falcons and the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 7 to purchase the chain’s signature chicken sandwich. For the remaining games, the stand’s digital signage will promote stadium concessionaire Levy’s non-branded food and beverage items.

    From AB: Concessions Contracts Capitalizing on Brand Loyalty

    Headquartered in Atlanta, Chick-fil-A is the highest grossing restaurant franchise in the United States, with each store generating $4.4 million in annual revenue, on average, according to QSR Magazine, an industry trade publication.

    The policy of closing one day of the week for rest and worship, mandated by Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, is also in play for Atlanta United’s MLS games scheduled for Sundays at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, as well as at the Atlanta Braves’ new SunTrust Park.

    A separate stand at MBS, run by former Top Chef contestant Kevin Gillespi, will offer a “Closed on Sundays” chicken sandwich, featuring a knockoff of the Chick-fil-A standard fried chicken and pickle on a buttered bun.

  • County Hopes to Lure MLB's Brewers for Spring Training

    by Ryan Finley August 2017

    Pima County officials sent a 17-page package to the Milwaukee Brewers last week, touting Kino Sports Complex and Kino Stadium. The letter concluded with an invitation for Brewers executive vice president Bob Quinn to visit for a tour. Kino served as the Chicago White Sox's spring home from 1998-2008, and hosted the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998-2009.

  • Virginia Beach Arena Developer Given Deadline for Loan

    by Alissa Skelton August 2017

    City Manager Dave Hansen on Tuesday gave the developer of a proposed arena more time to close on a loan after being asked for an extension.

  • Could Mercedes-Benz Stadium Host World Cup Games?

    by Doug Roberson August 2017

    Mercedes-Benz Stadium was constructed with at least three advantages for possibly hosting a World Cup. Coincidentally during a tour of the $1.5 billion stadium Tuesday, the Joint Bid Committee, representing the U.S., Mexico and Canada in its effort to land the 2026 World Cup, released the list of cities that could be host sites. Atlanta, with Mercedes-Benz Stadium, was included.

  • College Athletics Departments Tap into Beer for Revenue

    by Diana Kruzman and Sophia Tulp August 2017

    Universities, seeing the potential for profit, are starting to agree to beer sponsorships and relax their stringent alcohol policies in many stadiums.

  • AB Spotlight: Nashville MLS Stadium

    by Andy Berg August 2017

    Investor John Ingram and his team released the first renderings, drawn up by HOK architects, of a proposed Major League Soccer stadium for Nashville. Music City has seen success hosting MLS games at the existing Nissan Stadium. The initial design for the new stadium makes room for 30,000 seats.

    AB Stadium Spotlight

  • Notre Dame Football Stadium Gets a New Look

    by Margaret Fosmoe August 2017

    This is not your grandfather's Notre Dame Stadium. That much was evident Friday during a tour for news media of the $400 million Campus Crossroads project that added three buildings to the exterior of the 87-year-old football stadium, as well as premium fan seating atop those buildings.

  • Injury Prompts Call for MLB to Examine Safety of Bases

    by Paul Steinbach August 2017

    In all kinds of climatic conditions, a baseball diamond is pampered like few other sports surfaces. The infield dirt gets watered and raked even in good weather, and covered during extended periods of rain. But one surface area — the desired destination of every offensive player on the field — doesn’t get enough attention, according sports agent Scott Boras.

    Boras, considered the world’s most powerful sports agent by Forbes magazine, called on Major League Baseball to consider bases a hazard when wet after one of his clients, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, slipped on first base during the first inning of a game Saturday night and suffered a deep bone bruise.

    “We go to great lengths with the soil to make sure it’s not wet and there are drying agents on the ground,” Boras said, as reported by ESPN. “I don’t know what technology we apply or the studies that have been done on the composition of having a wet base. That’s certainly something we need to look into. This injury was directly related to inclement weather and a player putting his cleat on the bag and it slipping across because the surface was slick.

    “In the NBA, when a player hits the floor and there's perspiration on the floor, they clean it up immediately so the surface isn't slick. In baseball, we have no one cleaning the bags between innings during inclement weather. Is there observation as the game goes where they would stop and make sure the bag is dry? We don’t do that. We don't take measures like that for player safety that could easily be accomplished by the grounds crew and the umpires’ observations."

    From AB: How to Properly Maintain Baseball and Softball Infields

    MLB Rule 1.06 states that bases are “marked by white canvas or rubber-covered,” and are “securely attached to the ground.” A change in composition of bases used by Major League Baseball would come from the league’s joint Safety and Health Advisory Committee. The committee, which includes representatives from Major League Baseball and the Players Association, addresses health and safety issues as they arise and monitors the safety of working conditions for players, according to ESPN’s report.

    “We’re placing players in peril when they have no notice or familiarity with the surface they’re playing on,” Boras said. “There may be a better solution where you have a base that has a less slick surface in response to precipitation.”