Venue News: Dolphins’ Owner To Pay for Sun Life Stadium Renovation; CFL’s Argonauts Eye Stadium Expansion

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has offered to pay the entire tab for up to $400 million in stadium renovations in exchange for a property tax break, according to the Associated Press. The upgrades would help keep South Florida competitive in bidding for Super Bowls and college football’s championship games. Stymied last year in his efforts to secure public money, Ross has agreed to pay for the project himself, two people familiar with the situation said Monday. Both people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the billionaire hasn’t spoken publicly about his new financing plan…

…Reliant Stadium could have a new name by the time Super Bowl LI arrives in Houston in 2017, reports SportsBusines Journal.  NRG Energy, which bought Reliant Energy in 2009, merged with GenOn Energy in 2012 and was integral to the local push to bring the Super Bowl back to Houston, now wants to change the signage on the Houston Texans’ stadium, the company confirmed last week. NRG, which has dual headquarters in Houston and New Jersey, is requesting authorization from the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp. to change the name of Reliant Park (which includes the stadium property) to NRG Park and Reliant Stadium to NRG Stadium…

…Toronto taxpayers are being asked to pay $10 million toward a $120 million makeover of BMO Field, according to a report before the city’s executive committee on Wednesday. It is considering a proposal from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) that would give the Toronto Argonauts a new home at Exhibition Place and rely on matching $10 million contributions from the province and Ottawa. MLSE itself would pay $90 million toward the expansion that would include an additional 8,500 seats, bringing the stadium’s permanent seating capacity to 30,000. It would also add another 10,000 temporary seats, a partial roof to cover the seating and it would reconfigure the field to meet CFL standards. As part of its letter of intent, MLSE says it would enter into a long-term stadium user agreement with the Toronto Argonauts…

…Beyond the geography, many ACC fans will get new in-house experiences at the 2016 and 2017 ACC men’s basketball tournaments. In 2017 at the Barclays Center in New York, if the tournament lands there as has been reported, fans would be able to see views of the game from behind the rim and in other locations through the arena’s WiFi. The Verizon Center in Washington, site of the 2016 ACC tournament, has installed 30 iBeacons, the same technology that Major League Baseball plans to roll out in its ballparks nationwide…

…On Sunday, one final piece – a rather large cement block that stood tall in what was once the Metrodome –  came crashing down just hours into the day, leaving absolutely no trace of the once famed venue. The Minnesota Vikings will play the next two seasons at the University of Minnesota while construction takes place on their new stadium, which will be the first fixed roof venue built in the NFL since the Detroit Lions opened Ford Field in 2002.

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