Venue News: Metrodome Roof Replacement To Cost $18M

The commission that operates the Minnesota Vikings’ home field is expected to be told this week that the Metrodome roof needs to be replaced entirely, a project that will cost $18 million, the Star-Tribune reported, citing a source close to the situation. The stadium’s roof collapsed during a blizzard in December, forcing the Vikings to play their final two home games at alternate sites, Detroit’s Ford Field and the University of Minnesota’s outdoor stadium. Four panels in the roof were damaged during the storm, and a fifth was opened on purpose to relieve pressure from masses of ice and snow…

…Leagues have a message for teams: make fans believe they get their money’s worth. With the economy crimping ticket sales and fans having improved viewing options at home, teams realize they must boost the in-game experience and show value. For teams, improving the in-game experience not only demonstrates value to fans but also provides opportunities to increase revenue. “The in-game experience has gone from being overproduced to finding a balance between the basketball and entertainment,” said Shelly Driggers, director of event presentation for the Orlando Magic. “We have scaled back on the number of fan prompts, while the number of replays shown on the scoreboard has gone far beyond what we have done in the past. We let the game be the game…”

…Verizon Wireless is paying the cost to install about 600 small antennas at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore to improve coverage for cellphone users. The project, valued at seven figures, will put a distributed-antenna system in place at the NFL facility to accommodate 4G phone users and a much larger number of fans using smartphones in general, said Roy Sommerhof, the Ravens’ VP of stadium operations. The new system should resolve issues that stadiums experience with providing adequate cell coverage when they are filled with 70,000 or more fans, many using mobile devices, Sommerhof said…

…Anschutz Entertainment Group has begun negotiating with the Los Angeles City Council on its $1.35 billion downtown stadium project meant to attract an NFL team to the L.A. area for the first time since the Rams and Raiders departed after the 1994 season, the Orange County Register reported. AEG also is in final negotiations with an architectural firm to design Farmers Field, a 64,000-seat, retractable-roof stadium planned to be placed on the site of part of the Los Angeles Convention Center…

…The dazzling Feb. 1 presentation by a development group promising to not only build a 40,000-seat domed stadium at UNLV but remake its campus appears to have hit its first significant hurdle. A separate group, International Development Management LLC, aims to construct a three-venue sports complex downtown and is lobbying the Board of Regents to vote against approving an exclusivity negotiating agreement for the UNLV venture. The regents have called a special meeting for this week to discuss whether to enter into such an agreement with a group led by Southern California billionaire builder Ed Roski and Silverton Casino President Craig Cavileer.

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