Venue News & Notes: Breaking Ground in Omaha

While financial constraints have many cities rethinking their plans for stadium construction, Omaha, NE, broke ground this week on the new home of the NCAA College World Series. The $128 million stadium is composed primarily of metal, brick, and glass, and the building’s base is set apart by a combination of brick and translucent glass. During the day, this will allow for visitors approaching the stadium to see the activity within, and, at night, the glass will glow.

Omaha’s newest downtown attraction broke ground this week. The Omaha Baseball Stadium, created by a team led by Omaha-based HDR Architecture as architect and engineer of record, with HOK Sport as design architect and DLR Group as associate architect, will serve as the new home of the NCAA College World Series for the next 25 years. The $128 million project boasts 24,000 seats with increased width and tread depth, 26 luxury suites, and 1,000 club seats.

…The Indianapolis Capital Improvements Board this week revealed that its financial problems are far worse than originally projected — with a projected deficit by 2010 of $43 million — and are too large for it to solve alone. Whether that means the board will attempt to renegotiate better deals with the sports teams that use the stadiums it operates or ask city taxpayers for more money has not yet been discussed. The CIB manages Lucas Oil Stadium, Conseco Fieldhouse, Victory Field, and the Indiana Convention Center…

…The State of Hawaii has rejected the first offer from the NFL that would guarantee that two of four Pro Bowls starting in 2011 would be played in Hawaii. Citing uncertainty about exactly when the game will be played in Aloha Stadium, the board of the Hawaii Tourism Authority voted late last week to reject the NFL’s offer, and negotiations won’t begin again until late February, further clouding the future of the NFL All-Star game that has been played in Honolulu since 1980…

…The Louisiana Superdome authority has sued Merrill Lynch over a $238 million stadium bond issue that exploded in interest costs after the market for the bonds dried up last year. The suit, filed by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District in state court this week and in federal courts last week, claims that the authority was led astray by Merrill Lynch over the potential volatility of the auction-rate bonds if not enough buyers could be found…

…The Chicago 2016 Olympics bid committee was able to announce this week that its competition-venue plans had been approved by all 26 international federations with sports on the Olympic program after bid officials moved the shooting venue closer to the city. Those approvals are a critical part of the candidacy files that the four finalists for the 2016 Games must submit to the International Olympic Committee by Feb. 12…

…The city of Rochester, NY, has received approval on a $4 million state grant for its downtown soccer stadium to complete the luxury suites and press box. The grant was initially issued more than three years ago. But it never received the proper approval to be used. That prevented completion of the three-year-old Rochester Rhinos Stadium.

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