Venue News & Notes: Pittsburgh Arena on Track, on Budget

Pittsburgh’s Uptown hockey arena is on track to finish construction within its $321 million budget, according to Mary Conturo, executive director of the Sports & Exhibition Authority, a city-county agency. Although staffers still are tallying contract close-out figures for Consol Energy Center, Conturo said she is confident the project won’t exceed the final budget. The arena is scheduled to open with a Paul McCartney concert Aug. 18. A spokeswoman for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who helped shepherd a deal to keep the Penguins hockey franchise in Pittsburgh, said city officials see the arena as a step toward revitalizing the adjacent Hill District neighborhood…

…Authorities say the roof of the Arizona Cardinals’ stadium has been slightly damaged by a thunderstorm packing high winds. TV news helicopters showed several tears in one section of the white, canvas-like fabric that stretches across the roof’s steel girders. University of Phoenix Stadium spokesman Scott Norton says it’s possible that wind gusts last week got under the structure’s metal skin, flipping a piece of it onto the roof and causing the fabric to puncture. Norton says water and debris such as insulation fell onto the stadium floor. He says there are no reported injuries…

…There was hope four years ago that a great dream that had passed through generations was becoming real. There were hurdles to be crossed, sure. Arrowhead Stadium needed a retractable roof. The city needed to upgrade its amenities. But the point was that it was possible: a Super Bowl in Kansas City. Then a tax referendum failed, and the idea of what was known as the “rolling roof” withered and died. So, it appeared, did talk of a Super Bowl, of bringing the NFL’s championship game to the backyard of Lamar Hunt, the man whose persistence four decades ago helped make the Super Bowl possible…

…A Glendale, AZ, delegation will travel to New York on Labor Day weekend to present a bid for the city’s University of Phoenix Stadium to host some of the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup games. The World Cup, which lasts about a month, is held every four years, and the U.S. is bidding for future tournaments. The U.S. hosted the cup in 1994, but no games were held in the Valley. The Phoenix-Glendale bid comes at a pivotal time for Arizona, which is in the middle of a firestorm surrounding the state’s controversial new illegal-immigration law — an issue some Hispanic leaders say could be a hindrance in the Valley’s quest to attract the global sporting event, which has a strong Latino following…

…The San Francisco 49ers spent close to $5 million to win the election to build a stadium in Santa Clara, CA — a typical amount to pay a star player in a given year but a record-shattering level for a Silicon Valley local political campaign. The backers of Measure J, the Santa Clara stadium ballot measure, disclosed they spent about $4.5 million this year, after the campaign was fully launched, to gain voter approval for a 68,500-seat stadium adjacent to Great America theme park. The stadium backers spent close to $400,000 last year, as they began the push for the $937 million project, which city residents overwhelmingly endorsed in the June election.

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