Venue News & Notes: Madison Square Garden Makeover Scheduled

A renovation that will modernize the 42-year-old Madison Square Garden arena will move into high gear next year with the first of three summer shutdowns. Each year, construction will start with the end of the Knicks’ season or the Rangers’, whichever comes later. Turner Construction is renovating the arena and needs about 20 consecutive weeks from the end of play. A deep postseason by either team would probably affect the Rangers more, because their season starts first in the fall and they would be required to play on the road for an extended period to accommodate construction…

…Planners don’t expect a proposed Lincoln, NE, sports and entertainment arena to turn a profit. Not for a long time, if ever. That’s partly because Lincoln would be entering a competitive market. It’s also because about $3 million of parking fees and premium seating sales would be diverted for three decades to help repay construction debt. In other cities, those revenues often are used to underwrite arena operations. Projected operational losses are small-scale compared with the predictions of economic growth tied to the project…

…The bill to help fund a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings was introduced this week, and, predictably, discussions surrounding the measure were turbulent. Even the Vikings themselves seem skeptical about a plan to build a $791 million stadium with their lease at the out-dated Metrodome set to expire following the 2011 season. Interesting in the whole deal: the Vikings are hoping for an outdoor stadium. The current plan, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, calls for the Vikings to foot a healthy share of the bill: $264 million. The rest of the cash would be generated via taxes on hotels, rental cars, and NFL merchandise…

…A Santa Clara County, CA, judge has tossed out one of the legal attacks on Santa Clara’s stadium deal with the San Francisco 49ers. In a brief order filed this week, Superior Court Judge William Elfving rejected the arguments of the corporate owners of Great America theme park that the June 2009 term sheet between the city and the team did not comply with California environmental laws. The judge determined that a non-binding agreement was not yet subject to environmental-impact regulations, effectively dismissing a lawsuit filed late last year by Cedar Fair Entertainment.

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