Venue News: San Jose Paves Way for A’s; NFL Tightens Stadium Security

After years of purchasing land for a downtown ballpark, the city of San Jose is prepared to sell about five acres of prime downtown real estate to the Oakland A’s for $6.9 million — almost a quarter of what the city originally paid for the land and $7 million less than it’s worth on the open market. The major league discount is detailed in new documents released Wednesday that give the A’s exclusive rights to the land if they build a new stadium near HP Pavilion and Diridon Station. A’s co-owner Lew Wolff has said the team will not purchase the land unless Major League Baseball allows the A’s to relocate to San Jose. City leaders say they’re determined to make sure that Wolff can purchase the land as soon as MLB finally clears the way for the move, the City Council puts it on the ballot, and voters approve the land sale…

…Security personnel at NFL games will begin using handheld metal detectors at stadium gates throughout the league as part of the screening process before fans enter the stadiums. The Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns already use handheld metal detectors, and the devices will be phased in around the NFL beginning on Nov. 20. The NFL has used handheld metal detectors at every Super Bowl since 2002 in New Orleans. In addition to fans, media and working personnel will be subject to the screenings…

…In one of the more significant improvements to Morehead State’s Johnson Arena, the school is installing Daktronics 47-foot video boards on each end of the arena. The boards, which include a 16 x 9 video display plus advertising space, are expected to be ready for use by the Eagles’ exhibition doubleheader opener on Nov. 3.  They will also serve as scoreboards, and the current center-hung scoreboard above the playing court will be removed. The boards will be able to show highlight videos and sponsor advertisements and provide an interactive experience for fans. As part of the improvement package, Daktronics is also installing new LED displays on the backboards and new shot clocks above the backboards…

… Kansas City’s Kemper Arena would be razed and replaced with an Agricultural Events Center under a proposal announced Tuesday. The new center, designed by Kansas City-based Populous, would seat 5,000 and accommodate “dirt” events as well as provide space for animal stalls, a covered and open-sided show ring, and an area for the barbecue contest, according to the American Royal Association and the Kemper family. The American Royal Complex would remain and be upgraded. Arena demolition and upgrades to the American Royal facility are expected to cost $10 million; the new construction has a $50 million price tag. AEG — which also manages the nearby Sprint Center — has managed the Kemper Arena since Jan. 1, 2008.

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