Venue News: Goodell Establishes Rules for NFL Team Relocation; Dodgers Stadium May Get Upgrade

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, SVG

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo about Los Angeles to the league’s 32 teams Friday — one that surely resonated with the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, and any others that might be considering relocation to the nation’s second-largest market. The purpose of the memo does not appear to be driven by any plans that might be imminent. Rather, NFL insiders say, the commissioner felt it was appropriate to set and restate some ground rules, foremost among them: It’s the league — and not an individual team — that will control the relocation process. In making that point, Goodell put in writing what was discussed by owners at a May meeting in Atlanta and established rules for moving back to a market that has been without an NFL franchise since the Raiders and Rams left after the 1994 season…

…Dodger Stadium, which opened in 1962, is the third-oldest in Major League Baseball, behind Fenway Park (1912) and Wrigley Field (1914). While the views of the mountains and downtown Los Angeles are unparalleled, the ballpark itself — like the Dodgers’ reputation after the McCourt years — is in need of a remodeling. According to team president Stan Kasten, the new ownership group will look to add modern amenities, like kids’ areas, bar and hangout restaurant areas, and more. The ownership group hit the ground running by lowering parking prices from $15 to $10 on their first day. Kasten said they have worked to decrease the lines at concession stands and have held focus groups and a town hall meeting to figure out what their customers want — besides the obvious, which is a winning team. Kasten said there is “no real thought” of building a new one, but he didn’t rule it out…

…For the first time, members of the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Stadium District and area journalists toured the south endzone expansion of Lambeau Field, where nearly 7,000 new seats are being installed. The tour group was treated to a brief glimpse of highlight film footage on the 48-by-108-foot scoreboard screen on the opposite end of the field. The expansion will improve the experience for game-goers, but it also will have significant economic impact on the community, according to board chairwoman Ann Patteson. The addition of nearly 7,000 new seats will mean the equivalent of an entire additional home game’s worth of attendees per season, she said. The tour showed work progress on the north endzone rooftop viewing area…

…In just over a year, Northeastern State University will have a 78,000-square-foot event center, which will be the new home of the basketball programs and most of the athletic department offices. The $14.4 million project was approved in February by the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges, which governs Oklahoma’s six regional universities. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on May 3. Construction is expected to be done by August 2013. The event center is funded by private donations, student-approved fees, and institutional reserve funds for capital projects, according to NSU President Steve Turner. The 1.07-acre site is just south of the indoor sports facility and Doc Wadley Stadium, where the NSU football team plays.

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