Venue News: Santa Clara Officials Endorse 49ers Deal; Qualcomm Stadium Gets New Name for 10 Days

Santa Clara leaders enthusiastically endorsed the deal to fund and build a new 49ers stadium, leaving one final obstacle before pro football comes charging into the South Bay: a huge cash infusion from the NFL. City Council members, acting as the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, unanimously voted to tap $850 million in bank loans to begin construction within the next year, as dozens of supporters — including business groups, unions, and fans in 49ers jerseys — wildly applauded. Despite the elation from the team, city officials and other supporters, the deal isn’t done just yet: Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and U.S. Bank won’t agree to the loan until the NFL commits to finance at least $150 million to pay for the rest of the $1 billion stadium. Although the NFL is widely expected to help pay for the project, the question is when — with the answer dictating how soon construction can start. The 49ers are competing for the funds with several teams, including the Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers, and the developers of a proposed stadium in Los Angeles. The amount the team needs would tie an NFL record for stadium financing…

…Qualcomm Inc. plans to rename the Chargers’ football stadium in San Diego for 10 days this month, seeking to bring more attention to its chips for mobile devices as competition heats up in that market. The San Diego semiconductor company, which popularized technology for mobile phones, has owned the naming rights to the stadium since 1997. As part of its recent push to attract consumers to its Snapdragon chip technology for smartphones and tablets, Qualcomm plans to rename “Qualcomm Stadium” as “Snapdragon Stadium” from Dec. 18 to 28, during which some nationally televised football games will take place…

…Tom Gola Arena, home to the La Salle men’s and women’s basketball teams, now boasts two state-of-the-art LED video displays.  Located in each corner of the court, the 7 feet, nine inches high by 13 feet, nine inches wide displays provide superb image clarity and wide-angle visibility for excellent viewing throughout the arena. Featuring the latest industry-leading LED technology, the video board can operate as an independent display showing single large images or be divided in multiple zones (windows) to show a wide variety of statistics, information graphics, animations, sponsor information, and live and recorded video. La Salle fans are also informed of game in progress information by a custom scoreboard complete with low power, high-brightness LED digits and programmable team name displays…

… As part of the celebration surrounding the University of Houston’s upcoming move from Conference USA to the Big East, Nelda Blair, chair of the school’s board of regents, announced that Houston plans to build a new football stadium and officials hope to break ground within 10 months. According to athletic director Mack Rhoades, Houston has about $60 million pledged for the stadium and will need between $80 million and $85 million to build it. The Cougars currently play in Robertson Stadium, a 32,000-seat stadium that opened in 1942. They’ll demolish that stadium and build the new one on the same site, which could leave the team without a home stadium for as long as a season. Where they would play during construction hasn’t been determined, but Rhoades said they’ve had discussions with officials of Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Houston Texans. The school expects the new stadium to be ready for the start of the 2014 season…

…Miami-Dade County’s inspector general is asking questions about the integrity of structural elements of the sliding roof on the new Miami Marlins stadium in Little Havana, after learning that a subcontractor allegedly falsified inspection reports on some critical welds. According to internal letters and documents collected by the IG’s office, the Marlins and their engineers embarked on a flurry of re-inspections after being alerted to the apparently falsified inspections more than a year ago. Some of the re-inspections led to repairs of welds that were substandard. In their most recent letter to the IG, dated Nov. 29, the team and its engineers say they are satisfied there are no safety or structural issues with the steel roof supports, but are conducting further tests of the welds in question “in an abundance of caution.’’

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