Venue News: Marlins Keep Stadium Name Simple; UTA Unveils New Basketball Arena

The name of the Miami Marlins’ new ballpark is apparently not changing anytime soon. For now, it’ll remain Marlins Park.  Team president David Samson told the team’s flagship radio station WAXY that he “didn’t want to pressure anyone or myself” into rapidly closing a complex naming-rights deal before the start of the 2012 season.” Samson says the team is “happy to start ‘Marlins Park’ and see what happens.” He made the comments Wednesday in his regular weekly appearance.  The team has referred to the building as Marlins Park in press releases since at least Jan. 13…

…The University of Texas at Arlington has erected a stately $78 million, 7,000-seat, 218,000-square-foot arena for the men’s and women’s basketball teams and volleyball team. College Park Center, located on the east side of campus, puts UTA on a different tier and with new peers on the NCAA Division I landscape. College Park Center not only has spacious locker rooms for each of the three home teams, it also has video production and viewing rooms, cutting-edge sports medicine and weight rooms, and practice courts. College Park Center replaces Texas Hall, the combination theater and events center that had been the home of the school’s indoor sports…

…The Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board is mulling a proposal to purchase naming rights for the New Orleans Arena. Ewell Smith, executive director of the marketing board, said the New Orleans Hornets could soon play in the Louisiana Seafood Arena.  According to Smith, it is too early to speculate the value of the deal. Other naming-rights deals for NBA venues include the $5.4 million contract between Compaq Computer Corp. and the Houston Rockets in 1997, to the $195 million American Airlines paid for 30-year naming rights for the Dallas Mavericks in 2001. BP gave the state’s Seafood Marketing Board $30 million to offset the damaged perception consumers had of Gulf of Mexico-harvested seafood in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill in April 2010. Should the naming-rights deal go through, it would not be the first time the Seafood Board and the Hornets worked together. Prior to the spill, the marketing board opened a Louisiana seafood vendors’ booth at the arena, which Smith said was “a tremendous success.” Since the spill, the group has bought signs in the arena, and the Hornets agreed in February to exclusively serve locally produced seafood…

…The Coastal Carolina University baseball and softball programs have received approval from the State of South Carolina, including finalized architectural renderings, for a $10.2 million renovation that will put both programs’ facilities among the nation’s upper echelon. The preliminary plan is to start construction on both stadiums after the 2012 season, with both the Coastal softball and baseball teams playing their home games at other local venues for the 2013 season before returning to their new confines in 2014. The renovations will keep the current playing surfaces intact while building new grandstands, restrooms, concessions stands, coaches offices, student-athlete locker rooms and lounges, team meeting space, state-of-the-art scoreboards, video instruction system, athletic training rooms, laundry facilities, premium fan areas, and media areas. The 33,000-square-foot baseball project expands the 850-seat Watson Stadium to include 2,500 permanent seats, with the potential to accommodate between 5,000-6,000 for events like an NCAA postseason tournament. The current configuration will accommodate the extra 3,000-plus fans as a result of grass berms down the right and left field lines and a boardwalk around the outfield wall.

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