Venue News: Olympic Stadium Finally Lands Tenant; Sacramento Announces Plan to Keep Kings from Moving to Seattle

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

Premier League club West Ham will move into London’s Olympic Stadium, ending the drawn-out negotiations over the future of the £486 million ($737.4 million) venue. Under the 99-year deal announced Friday, West Ham will make the short move from its 35,000-capacity Upton Park stadium to the revamped Olympic arena in 2016. The 80,000-seat stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies and the track and field competition at the 2012 London Games, will be downsized to 54,000 seats and reconfigured with a new roof and retractable seats…

…Sacramento officials announced on Saturday that they had reached a $450 million deal with private developers to build an entertainment and sports complex they hope will keep the Kings basketball team from leaving town for Seattle. A private investor group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen is seeking to buy the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle. But the NBA must approve the deal and Mayor Kevin Johnson has lined up investors to make a counter offer. That group includes billionaire supermarket mogul Ron Burkle, 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrovm and Tibco Software Inc. chief executive Vivek Ranadive…

…When the San Francisco 49ers’ new stadium opens for the 2014 NFL season, the team hopes to have the best publicly accessible Wi-Fi network a sports facility in this country has ever known. The 49ers are defending NFC champions, so 68,500 fans will inevitably walk into the stadium for each game. And every single one of them will be able to connect to the wireless network, simultaneously, without any limits on uploads or downloads. Smartphones and tablets will run into the limits of their own hardware long before they hit the limits of the 49ers’ wireless network. Until now, stadium executives have said it’s pretty much impossible to build a network that lets every single fan connect at once…

…Brazil’s government has called an emergency meeting to be held in the next few days to find a solution for the funding of a soccer stadium that’s scheduled to host the opening match of the soccer World Cup 2014 in Brazil. The Corinthians soccer team in São Paulo has threatened to suspend construction of the stadium, which will also be its new home, unless the government-run National Bank for Economic and Social Development, or BNDES, pays out some $202 million in loans that have already been approved but not yet disbursed. The total cost of the stadium is estimated at $412 million…

…When Carlos Gimenez was a Miami-Dade County commissioner in 2009, he opposed public financing for the Marlins’ new baseball stadium, a deal considered by many to be one of the worst giveaways in sports. Now the county’s mayor, he is taking a wary approach to a proposal to use $200 million in taxes to help the Dolphins renovate their stadium. Never mind that the Dolphins are asking for one-third as much money as the Marlins, and that they promise to pay half the cost. The trouble, Gimenez said, is that voters are still angry that lawmakers agreed to use taxes to pay for three-quarters of the Marlins’ stadium, and that the Marlins and their owner, Jeffrey Loria, repaid the favor by trading away many of their best players within a year of moving into their new home.

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