Venue News: Cause of Candlestick Park Blackout Determined; Sens Score New Video Boards

The blackouts that left Candlestick Park in the dark during a much-anticipated Monday Night Football matchup also dimmed the spotlight that would have otherwise been shining on the San Francisco 49ers as they look to host a playoff game next month as NFC West champions. Rather than focusing on the team’s success, talk has turned to the many failings of the 51-year-old stadium and the 49ers’ plan to move outside of the city limits and build a new stadium in nearby Santa Clara. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has called the incident a “national embarrassment.” PG&E said the first outage was caused when a splice in distribution wires outside the stadium failed and the resulting split fell to the ground. The utility said it took several minutes for the back-up power to start, accounting for the delay. The cause of the second outage is still under investigation…

…The Ottawa Senators, along with partners Bell and Scotiabank, announced that a new state-of-the-art scoreboard is on the way to Scotiabank Place later this month. Installation of the center-hung showpiece, entitled the Bell HD Screen and features four huge high-definition LED videoboards, is set to begin at the end of next week. The videoboards on the Bell HD Screen are expected to be functional for the Senators’ home game against the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 27, with the two custom-designed LED rings to be completed with the following month. A new control room, which will allow Scotiabank Place to unleash the new board’s full capabilities, won’t be installed until February. With more than 2,170 feet of viewing space, the LED screens offer a 441% increase in size over the current scoreboard, which includes 7.5 x 10-feet standard definition screens…

…As of Jan. 1, Pizza Hut will no longer be sponsoring FC Dallas and Pizza Hut Park. The complex, which includes the stadium and 17 adjacent soccer fields, will officially be re-branded FC Dallas Stadium after the Football Championship Subdivision title game Jan.  7. Already seeking a jersey sponsor, FC Dallas will now add a stadium sponsorship to the ongoing sponsor search. Removal of Pizza Hut signage from the soon to named FC Dallas Stadium should began in the next few weeks…

…The Toronto Raptors are teaming with Danish-based LogoPaint to become the first North American pro team to use 3D technology on their court. The 3D mark featuring the team’s name was painted on the Air Canada Centre baseline as the new court went down last week and made its debut during the team’s preseason game against the Celtics Sunday. Per league rules, only team and NBA logos are permitted to be permanent fixtures on the court. The team brand appears slanted to those sitting in the arena and the players closest to the mark. To others further from the court and over broadcast, the mark appears 3D…

…London’s Olympic Stadium may become a multi-purpose arena following the 2012 Summer Games, after an attempt to lease the site to soccer club West Ham failed because of legal challenges. Bids to use the Olympic Stadium, which will host the 2017 World Athletics Championships, as a venue for a “full array of sporting, cultural, and commercial events” are now open until March, according to the Olympic Park Legacy Company. The OPLC, which will announce the winning bidders in May, said it is “seeking to deliver a commercially viable combination of uses that achieves both year-round community access and public benefits.” When London won the bid to hold the Olympic Games in 2005, organizers promised to retain an athletics track inside the 537 million-pound ($840 million) stadium. The London Olympics start on July 27. After the Games, the facility will be retained by the OPLC as a public asset, with a proposed joint venture with Newham to operate the stadium.

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