Venue News: AT&T, Superdome Boosts Wireless Coverage; ‘Canes Arena Gets New Name

AT&T is beefing up wireless coverage inside the New Orleans Superdome in advance of the Jan. 9, 2012 national-title matchup between LSU and Alabama. According to Larry Lovell, a spokesperson for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, AT&T is currently installing a Distributed Antenna System (DAS), which consists of small antennas that connect to mobile phones the same way as big cellular towers do. By placing a lot of small antennas inside the Superdome, AT&T should be able to provide much better service to the expected packed house for the BCS title game. The AT&T DAS install at the Superdome is slated to be finished by Dec. 23 and activated by Dec. 26, in time for a test run at the Sugar Bowl game on Jan. 3, 2012, followed by the BCS Championship the following Monday. Although the Superdome already has an extensive Wi-Fi network, it is used for internal communications and services (like ticketing) and for media use, not for the general public. According to Lovell, the Superdome and AT&T are exploring the possibility of installing a public Wi-Fi network at a later date…

…Raleigh’s RBC Center will soon going by a new name — PNC Arena. According to officials, the Centennial Authority has preliminarily approved a request by The PNC Financial Services Group to rename the local sports and entertainment venue. The naming rights agreement, which would replace the “RBC Center” name, is expected to take effect in March 2012. It follows PNC’s buyout of RBC Bank back in June.  The 19,000-seat arena, which opened in 1999, averages 1.5 million guests and 150 events per year. The RBC Center currently hosts the Carolina Hurricanes hockey games, NC State basketball games, music concerts and more…

…Seattle city officials have been approached by a private group looking to build a basketball arena in the Sodo District near Safeco Field in the hopes of attracting an NBA franchise, according to two sources who have been briefed on the talks. The proposal involves an investor who has acquired property, apparently south of Safeco Field, although at least one business owner has declined to sell, according to the sources. Mayor Mike McGinn has been working with the group for several months to explore how the city can aid the effort, including help with financing, the sources said. The proposal, the most detailed to surface since the Seattle Supersonics left in 2008 for Oklahoma City, appears to be yet another attempt to revive the dream of an NBA team in the region. McGinn has expressed an interest in the city playing a role in the financing, one of the sources said, noting the controversy that would generate. In 2006, Seattle voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative that says the city must make a profit on any investment it makes in a sports arena. A new arena has been considered essential to acquiring an NBA team. If an arena site were found and financing for the project obtained, investors would have to work with the NBA to attract a new franchise or buy an existing team, such as financially struggling teams in Sacramento and New Orleans…

… The Olympic Stadium could have retractable seating installed over the running track after the London 2012 Games to make it more attractive to football fans. West Ham, who are favorites to be chosen as the tenants, are looking at having the retractable seating as part of their new bid for the stadium. The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) are expected to stipulate that any bids must guarantee that the running track remains in place to allow athletics events to take place, including the 2017 World Athletics Championships, which will be hosted at the stadium. That has led to some opposition from football fans who fear they will be too far away from the pitch. West Ham have asked designers to come up with a plan for seats that cover the track so that fans are closer to the action. The seats could then be removed from the track when athletics events are to be staged. The cost of retractable seating could be as little as £10million…

…The Houston Dynamo’s new soccer-specific venue will be called BBVA Compass Stadium. The team has entered into a multiyear naming-rights agreement with banking giant BBVA Compass. The 22,000-seat stadium will be Major League Soccer’s 14th soccer-specific venue with a naming rights partner. The $95-million stadium is currently under construction in downtown Houston, near Minute Maid Park and the Toyota Center. It is scheduled to open on May 12. The open-air stadium will also hold concerts, festivals, boxing, high school sports, soccer “friendlies,” sports championships, community and special events. The Dynamo has been playing at Robertson Stadium, on the University of Houston campus.

Password must contain the following:

A lowercase letter

A capital (uppercase) letter

A number

Minimum 8 characters


The Latest in Sports Video Production & Technology
in Your Inbox for FREE

Daily Email Newsletters Monday - Friday