Venue News: AT&T Stadium Transforms for Final Four; Wrigley Field Continues to Pursue Renovations

Final Four organizers have less than a week to finish transforming AT&T Stadium into a working basketball arena as the tournament’s home stretch approaches. With just days left, parts of the field level resembled a busy warehouse rather than any sports venue, according to the Dallas Morning News. Forklifts — not point guards — maneuvered through traffic on the floor, and a temporary cluster of video boards rested on the ground. Pallets of supplies and construction material made the floor maze-like. A crew of about 60 is installing 16,500 new seats that extend from the lower bowl to the stadium floor. The system is virtually identical to the one installed last year when the South Regional was held in Arlington…

…Ask Ernie Banks about Wrigley Field’s place in sports history, and the greatest living ex-Chicago Cub puts the ballpark on equal footing with the Seven Wonders of the World, writes SportsBusiness Journal. Multiple generations of Cubs fans feel the same way that Mr. Cub does about the historic Chicago ballpark. But that reverence for Wrigley has also slowed the Cubs’ attempts to completely renovate the facility and, in turn, generate more revenue to improve their on-field product. Over the past 10 years, the Cubs have dealt with many roadblocks for upgrading Wrigley, including the city of Chicago’s approval of landmarking several parts of the ballpark, which prevented them from doing things such as installing more advertising signs in the outfield. The Cubs opposed the landmark status move “all the way to the end” until the city amended those restrictions last summer, allowing the team to put up more signs, said team President Crane Kenney…

…Outside consultants studying UNLV’s proposed new football stadium are recommending a “multi-purpose stadium” with 50,000 to 60,000 seats, including three tiers of premium seating, writes Las Vegas Sun. After conducting community surveys and market research, Conventions, Sports and Leisure International is starting to recommend parameters for a new UNLV stadium, to be located on 60 acres northeast of Swenson Street and Harmon Avenue. CSL is recommending a 1 million square-foot stadium with up to 60,000 seats, including up to 2,000 club seats, 30 loge boxes and 60 luxury seats…

…Newly elected San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer and the San Diego Chargers have started the process of establishing a dialogue that both sides hope will ultimately lead to a new stadium project that keeps the team in the city, according to ESPN. In his first comments on the subject since taking office on March 3, Faulconer reaffirmed that he remains committed to keeping the Chargers in San Diego, but he said he will not do so at the taxpayers’ expense. Although Faulconer has not had formal talks with the team, preliminary conversations involving the Chargers’ stadium proposal have taken place between the mayor’s office and representatives of the team…

…Another hurdle has been cleared to met the goal of bringing Major League Soccer to central Florida, writes WESH Orlando. The Orlando City Lions ownership has been working for months on the finer details of the construction and operations agreement with the City of Orlando to build an MLS stadium with at least 18,000 seats. On Monday, city commissioners approved the plan to build an $85 million facility on land just west of the Amway Center.

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