Venue News: UCLA Transforms Sports Arena; Bradley Center Feels Lockout’s Pinch

Although just a temporary home, UCLA has added a personal touch to the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena while Pauley Pavilion undergoes renovations. The 52-year-old venue is now lit in neon blue, and inside, had been completely repainted in blue and gold with every arena sign, fixture, pillar, and post either redone or repainted in UCLA colors. A new scoreboard, two video boards, and four corner LED scoreboards were added to the building. The blue and gold court and baskets the Staples Center uses for the Los Angeles Sparks and the Pac-12 Tournament were brought in and remade to look like UCLA’s home court. 3,500 UCLA seat covers were put on the red seats in the lower bowl of the arena, and the school’s 11 national championship banners from Pauley Pavilion are now hanging from the rafters of the Sports Arena. The Sports Arena even added blue carpeting around the courtside area, and players and coaches were pleasantly surprised by remodeled locker rooms, which included leather couches, a flat screen television, a lounge area, and separate locker room areas for the players and coaches. The total cost of the renovations was $200,000 and took just six to eight weeks to complete…

…The Bradley Center and the Milwaukee Bucks have reached agreement on a new one-year lease that covers last season, but contains a provision in which the NBA team won’t get any money until professional basketball resumes. The Bradley Center owes the Bucks $9.5 million, but in the new agreement, those payments have been extended further to as late as 2019. The agreement, announced last week, is a reflection of reality given the inability of the players’ association and NBA owners to find a way to end their lockout, as well as the Bradley Center’s own challenged financial condition. The new Bradley Center-Bucks agreement establishes a prorated payment plan on all concession, catering, and suite-shared revenue payments to the Bucks based on the actual number of games played. At all events at the Bradley Center, the Bucks receive 27.5% of concession sales and 13.75% of food beverage sales in the suites. The team also receives 30% of all merchandise sales at Bucks’ games. The Bucks pay no rent at the facility…

…After years of anticipation, Santa Clara and the 49ers are finally ready to start spending serious money toward building a new stadium. City leaders expect to approve $10 million in current and future tax funds this week, but the money won’t pay for any bleachers, locker rooms, or goal posts. Instead, it will support a five-month project to begin in January that will include everything from moving utilities to installing sidewalks — all the work required to make the site set for stadium construction at the start of 2013. While city leaders are spending a mere fraction of the $987 million cost of the project, $10 million is no small chunk of change for the cash-strapped government; the city has to borrow at least $6 million from the team since it doesn’t have enough tax funds to complete the work on its own. Critics argue that, if the stadium never gets built, the city would have spent $10 million for unnecessary prep work. Currently, the 68,500-seat home field is slated to open in 2015…

… According to Ramsey County officials, a $28.5 million deal has been struck with the military to purchase the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant land in Arden Hills for the proposed $1.1 billion Minnesota Vikings stadium. The purchase price reportedly includes cleanup costs and quashes speculation that the cost and cleanup of the site could run as high as $70 million. Included in the 430-acre offer is 123 acres of natural area north of the proposed stadium site bordering the Rice Creek Wildlife corridor. Most of the land would remain wildlife area with access roads. The board will vote on the offer this week, but no huge sums would change hands without a stadium agreement in place between the state and the Vikings, or, alternately, some form of state financing for cleanup.

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