Facilities: Stadium & Arena
- USF Announces Results of Stadium Feasibility Study
by Courtney Cameron August 2017
On Tuesday, the University of Southern Florida announced the findings of a $75,000 feasibility study to examine potential locations and construction costs for a new on-campus stadium.
- 2017 CrossFit Games: A Venue Transformed
by Andy Berg August 2017
The 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games were held Aug. 3-6, in Madison, Wis., at the city's Alliant Energy Center. The venue features five main areas, including four primary structures and a 29-acre outdoor venue. CrossFit Games organizers added a number of temporary structures for food and merchandise vending, a two-story VIP lounge, an obstacle course, a Cyclocross course and other outdoor event areas. Here's an in-depth look at how one venue was transformed to host some of the fittest athletes on the planet.
- Diamondbacks Trying to Slither Out of Chase Field Deal
by Andy Berg August 2017
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ dispute with Maricopa County over the state of Chase Field may have reached a tipping point.
According to a report from Yahoo Sports, Leo Beus, the Diamondbacks attorney, told a Superior Court Tuesday that the team may have to move if Maricopa doesn’t pony up the funds to make repairs to Chase Field. Beus said Major League Baseball is very concerned about the situation. “If Major League Baseball decides they want to create issues for us, there might not be baseball at all in Arizona.,” Beus said. “We’d like to keep the franchise in place. We’d like to make peace with Major League Baseball, not that we’re at war.”
The Diamondbacks have been seeking to get out of their lease and find a new home for some time, as Chase Field – home of the 2011 All Star Game – has fallen into disrepair over a dispute about who’s responsible for upkeep on the 22-year-old facility.
In March, the Diamondbacks sued Maricopa County, which owns Chase Field, for $65 million to cover outstanding repairs to the stadium. The Diamondbacks say Chase Field has recently seen broken sanitation pipes and an air-conditioning failure during a power outage.
Maricopa County officials argue that as “the facility manager,” the Diamondbacks are responsible for upkeep of the facility.
Cameron Artigue, an attorney representing Maricopa County, said the Diamondbacks are trying to paint the county as bad landlords. "This (lawsuit) has nothing to do with the water leaks and the merits of Chase Field," Artigue told AZcentral.com. "The Diamondbacks are the facility manager. When a pipe breaks, that is a Diamondbacks problem. And that is, in fact, what happened. They got out the mops and they mopped it up, and life goes on. It's a big facility and sometimes pipes break. So what?"
The judge overseeing the dispute, Karen Mullins, told the Arizona Republic that she’ll make a decision on whether to send the matter to trial or arbitration within the next two weeks.
- Pro Stadiums Tapping Taxpayers for Renovations
by Paul Steinbach July 2017
Renovation of an existing stadium is the frugal alternative to building one from scratch, but it does come at a price — and, as MarketWatch reports, taxpayers often help pick up the tab.
Within the past eight years, 17 professional sports stadiums have undergone renovation, and 15 of those projects used public money.
For example, Tampa taxpayers are footing 25 percent of the $100 million used to update Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the public paid $193 million to build the stadium in 1998. Moreover, the $100 million in improvements are roughly 10 percent of what it cost to build the Minnesota Vikings' U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened last year.
One exception to the facelift-through-public-financing rule is the Miami Dolphins' Hard Rock Stadium, a 30-year-old facility recently infused with $500 million of team owner Stephen Ross's own money. To put that figure into perspective, $500 million exceeds the cost of nearly every stadium built before 2008 but is half the average cost of every stadium built since 2009.
- Two Dead in Stampede as Fans Enter Soccer Match
by Andy Berg July 2017
A soccer match in South Africa turned deadly over the weekend after a stampede ensued while fans were entering the 87,000-seat FNB stadium in Johannesburg.
The match between the Orlando Pirates and the Kaizer Chiefs was eventually played but not before two people died and 17 people were injured, one critically, when people pushed their way through stadium gates.
Public safety official Michael Sun tweeted sympathies over the fatalities and noted that all the gates to the stadium were open to ensure crowd safety.
ABC News reported that the disruption that caused the crush was the result of people selling fake tickets outside the stadium.
@blacklabelsa CUP STATEMENT: We are saddened by the fatalities this afternoon due to a number of people attempting to push through the gates— Orlando Pirates FC (@Orlando_Pirates) July 29, 2017
The match was eventually played, and the Chiefs won 1-0.
The BBC reports that the Pirates and Chiefs are no strangers to these kinds of accidents. In April of 2001, the two teams saw 43 fans die in a crush during a match at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg. Ten years prior, 42 people died in a stampede between the same two teams at Oppenheimer Stadium in the city of Orkney.
Formerly called Soccer City Stadium, FNB Stadium has a long history. Nelson Mandela gave his famous speech there after being released from prison in 1990. The venue was later rebuilt for the 2010 World Cup and was the site of the final that year between Spain and the Netherlands.
- Opinion: Enough is Enough on Turf Safety Debate
by Art Dodge, Rom Reddy, Darren Gill July 2017
In any “debate” there is a point when the evidence must be considered sufficient to declare the case closed. When it comes to the specter of health concerns associated with the recycled rubber infill found in synthetic turf fields and playgrounds, we have reached and passed that stage.
- MSU Prepares to Unveil Athletics Facility Upgrades
by Courtney Cameron July 2017
Michigan State University is on track to debut a series of athletics facilities upgrades with the start of the new school year.
- Suit Filed Against Beckham's MLS Stadium Deal
by Jason Scott July 2017
David Beckham's plans to build a Major League Soccer stadium in Miami hit a new legal snag this week as a wealthy landowner filed suit over the sale of land the would-be stadium would rest on.
- Repair Work Set to Begin on U.S. Bank Stadium
by Jason Scott July 2017
U.S. Bank Stadium has earned plenty of headlines in its first year of operation for both its architectural accomplishments and oddities. The same stadium that incorporated the world’s largest ETFE roof also posed a unique threat to birds.
- Texas HS Completes Design of $48M Athletics Facilities
by Andy Berg July 2017
A school district in Texas is going big with its new athletics facilities.
Prosper Independent School District, in Prosper, Texas, has completed design on a $48 million, 12,000-capacity stadium and natatorium complex.
According to a post on the Prosper ISD website, the project, which was designed by the architectural firm Huckabee, was approved and will be funded from a $710 million bond issue that was passed nearly 10 years ago.
The project was scheduled to be completed about seven years ago, but the economy turned sour and the district had to put it off. The district says now is the time. “Since we are not opening any new schools this year due to the uncertainty of public school funding, we have a window to insert these facilities that are needed and long overdue but do not carry any significant staffing costs as do schools,” read a statement on the completion on the design.
The Prosper ISD website says the district continues to grow about 100 percent every five years, identifying itself as one the top five fastest-growing school districts in the state of Texas out of 1,100-plus school districts.
“We have designed a facility that will meet the needs of PISD for many years to come while engineering it in a way that comes in at price tag $15 million to $20 million less expensive than recent similar projects in the metroplex and across the state,” the website states.