• Blog: No More Dumping on My Cathedrals, Please

    by Andrew Cohen June 2011

    Peter Gammons made a few headlines last week by declaring Chicago's Wrigley Field "a dump." Really, it was more Twitter-worthy; he was just trying to make the (only half-valid, in my opinion) point that an old ballpark that is undersized for its market and lacks many of the revenue-generating amenities that have become standard in modern stadiums (I prefer the term, "extractors of fans' cash") is a liability for new owner Tom Ricketts.

  • Philadelphia Eagles and University of North Texas Invest in Wind Turbines

    by Paul Steinbach June 2011

    In 2003, the year Lincoln Financial Field opened, Philadelphia Eagles employees were given blue recycling bins to slide under their desks.

  • Is Jury Still Out on Recyclable Synthetic Turf?

    by Joe Bush June 2011

    The year 2010 saw the first synthetic turf field to be fully recycled.

  • New Projects: University of Minnesota; Tufts University; TD Ameritrade Park Omaha

    by Nicholas Brown June 2011

    In May, shovels broke ground at the University of Minnesota for the 145,000-square-foot expansion of the University Recreation Center, built in 1993.

  • Dirtless Diamonds Give Teams Real Home-Field Advantage

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor April 2011

    More synthetic-turf baseball fields are being installed these days, but many of them still use real dirt on and around the base paths, home plate and pitcher's mound. Which is why some facilities are getting lots of attention this spring for using absolutely no dirt. Instead, brown and white turf doubles as dirt and chalk.

  • Akron Aeros Introduce Meaty Concessions Lineup

    by Paul Steinbach March 2011

    Earlier this week, the minor-league Akron Aeros unveiled two new concessions items: the half-pound "Wonderdog" and its even heftier cousin "The Eighth Wonder of the World," which weighs in at a full pound. Akron's first-year director of food and beverage Jason Kerton arranged for a sausage company in Cleveland to custom-make the foot-long-and-then-some franks.

  • Blog: Every Surface Offers a Level Playing Field

    by Mary Helen Sprecher February 2011

    The Super Bowl brings people together for the great patriotic tradition of watching football, hooting at beer commercials and eating anything that gets in the way of their heads. At some point during the game, when the commentators are trying to fill a few moments of air time and have run through their repertoire of useless trivia (the attendance numbers, the fact that it's warmer in Texas than it is in Pittsburgh or Green Bay, and so on), they're bound to bring up the playing surface. Specifically, this game will be played on synthetic turf, while Heinz Field is natural grass and Lambeau Field's surface is a hybrid of both natural grass and synthetic fibers, and for a few moments, the question will be bounced back and forth as to whether this constitutes an advantage for the Packers. At least the Cowboys Stadium turf isn't crimson or blue, otherwise we'd be hearing even more pithy observations as to what is more jarring for a visiting team. NFL officials have long held that the surface shouldn't have any influence on the outcome of the game. And really, it doesn't, considering the variety of natural, synthetic and hybrid fields in use by NFL teams, both in indoor and outdoor competition and practice facilities. In fact, both the Packers and Steelers practice on synthetic turf. So, here's my pithy observation: The team that plays better will have the advantage. I'm reminded of the time that Dan Jansen slipped in the 500-meter speed skating event at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer. Afterward, a reporter approached Peter Mueller, Jansen's coach, and asked whether the ice on the track oval had been too slippery. Mueller, looking irritated, snapped, "Ice is always slippery." With any luck, when the last of the confetti settles on Sunday, nobody will stick their heads into the silent tomb that is the locker room of the losing team and ask whether the grass on the playing field was too green, or not green enough.

  • Blog: Australian Open's Dead Spot Sparks Lively Discussions

    by Mary Helen Sprecher January 2011

    Nothing like a bump in the road to make you complain about the whole road ... for days. When Maria Sharapova's tennis ball hit a dead spot on the court at the Australian Open, it was the bounce (or non-bounce) felt 'round the world. YouTube and Yahoo were all over it. Pictures were everywhere, particularly that shot of the lineswoman throwing the ball down and having it stick to the spot as though the court were magnetized. It made news, that's for sure. The question is, was it news?

  • Oregon's New Basketball Court Gets Glaring Reviews

    by Paul Steinbach January 2011

    Football uniforms are easy to change, and the University of Oregon does it often. But the school's new basketball court is another matter.

  • Digital Signage Helps Arena Managers Monetize Concourses

    by Paul Steinbach January 2011

    Some within the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment ranks refer to it as the Gate 1 Spectacle - a 42-screen digital signage mosaic just inside the doors of Toronto's Air Canada Centre.