Venue News & Notes: $400M Arena for Quebec City Would Host Olympics, NHL

A proposal to build a $400 million, publicly financed hockey arena in Quebec City is expected to take a major step forward this week, leaving Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government stuck between its political ambitions in the province and its cost-cutting mandate. Quebec Premier Jean Charest is scheduled to play host to Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume, along with a key business leader exploring the arena’s viability, in his office this week. They are set to discuss a recently completed but unreleased feasibility study on the arena — a locally popular project that’s a linchpin for the city’s bids for both the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and a National Hockey League franchise…

…The San Francisco 49ers may be preparing for next Sunday’s opening game, but their front office will also be devoting this week to the continued push to build a new stadium in Santa Clara, CA. On Wednesday, the city’s planning commission is scheduled to consider zoning changes for the city’s entertainment district that would be needed for the 49ers’ proposed $937 million stadium adjacent to Great America theme park, as well as approval of the architectural design of the 68,500-seat facility…

…The WNBA’s New York Liberty will play its home games at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, the next three seasons while Madison Square Garden is being renovated. The extra tenant is a bonus for the Prudential Center, which opened in 2007 and whose main tenants have been the Devils and the Seton Hall basketball team. The Nets will play in Newark for the next two seasons before moving to an arena being built in Brooklyn. The Liberty leads the league in attendance, at more than 11,000 fans a game at the Garden, which is undergoing a transformation that is expected to cost as much as $850 million…

The University of Miami has entered talks about playing a football game at Yankee Stadium in 2013. Hurricanes Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt met with the Yankees on Tuesday about the possibility. Miami already has five home and five road games scheduled for that year, leaving two slots on its schedule. The Hurricanes plan to host longtime rival Florida on Sept. 7, 2013. Miami is scheduled to visit South Florida on Nov. 30 of that year in Tampa, the Yankees’ spring-training home…

…Florida Atlantic University officials are counting down the days to a possible final step for securing a 30,000-seat on-campus stadium. Still, nothing is assured. “It’s been a long time coming, but we’re still holding our breath to see how it turns out,” Athletic Director Craig Angelos said before Thursday’s season opener at University of Alabama at Birmingham. “We are cautiously optimistic. I am not getting my hopes up, not until after that date. We still have a little bit of ground to cover.” That date is Sept. 16, when the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state university system, will vote to grant the final approval of the stadium…

…Christchurch, New Zealand’s Lancaster Park, one of the venues for next year’s rugby World Cup, has been closed to check for damage from Saturday’s earthquake, New Zealand media report. A $43 million facelift on the stadium has been put on hold while engineers survey potential structural damage at the ground where five World Cup pool games and two quarterfinals will be played, the Sunday Star Times reports. “There is a lot of damage and breakage to fixtures and fittings,” says the venue’s chief executive, Bryan Pearson…

…Amway isn’t the only corporate name behind Orlando’s new arena. The city of Orlando is selling naming rights to everything from bars to parking garages to bring in extra money. The Amway Center’s neighbor, an 1,800-space parking garage, will soon have a name all its own, the Geico Garage. Although the Orlando Magic won’t reveal what the total sponsorship deal is worth, the mayor’s office says the city stands to make $125,000 each year for the next four years of the deal, or $1.5 million. Inside the Orlando Magic’s new home, sponsorships from other companies, such as AirTran, Budweiser, and Pepsi, will guarantee the city another $1.75 million a year. Those sponsorships will increase 3% a year.

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