Venue News & Notes: Rays Owner ‘Not Involved’ In New Stadium Talks

Stuart Sternberg, principal owner of the Tampa Bay Rays, says he knows no more about any ongoing discussions to build the Rays a new stadium than anyone else following recent media reports. Sternberg said this week that he and the team were “not involved” in any of the current talks and “haven’t talked to anybody.” Having tried – and failed – to get a new stadium on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront two years ago (and creating what he termed “a lot of discord in the community”), they’ll wait and watch for now, he said as the team opened spring training. “When something is proposed, and there are some concepts out there and people want to move the ball forward, I’ll be involved…”

…The board that controls the Oakland Coliseum complex officially ordered a study to look into the possibility of building a new football stadium. The so-called “feasibility” study – approved by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority’s board of commissioners this week – will be performed by Conventions, Sports & Leisure International, a consulting firm specializing in the sports and entertainment industries. CSL, which bid for the project, will receive $125,000…

…More than 100 followers of the Dynamo Supporters’ Alliance gathered on Saturday at the intersection of Capitol and Bastrop to support a downtown site for a Major League Soccer stadium. Former Mayor Bill White proposed $10 million in redevelopment money toward the project, and $10 million more in county property taxes to supplement the Dynamo’s pledge to use $60 million to build the stadium. But fans at the rally on Saturday blamed Harris County officials for holding up the deal…

…Spring is still several weeks away, but a new field is “growing” at Gillette Stadium.  This week, work crews began the task of replacing the stadium’s three-year-old FieldTurf artificial surface with a new covering, manufactured by the same company, that will apparently help the stadium receive the blessings of FIFA to play host to major international soccer matches including the World Cup. The new playing surface of Gillette Stadium will be FieldTurf’s Duraspine PRO system, which is the latest generation of surfaces developed by the Tarkett Sports Group. It will replace a surface that was put down midway through the 2006 NFL season.

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