Venue News: Cobb County Approves New Atlanta Braves Stadium; Arthur Ashe Stadium Roof Will Be Complete by 2016

Cobb Commissioners voted unanimously, 5-0, on the operating agreement that will bound the county to borrow up to $397 million to build the Atlanta Braves a new stadium scheduled to open in 2017, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Commissioners also approved several other aspects of the deal that will keep the Braves in the new stadium for 30 years. Public comment was dominated by stadium supporters, angering those who showed up at the meeting to protest parts of the deal and how it was conducted. They were not granted a chance to speak. The vote culminates months of negotiations between county and team officials, which followed commission approval of a preliminary agreement in November…

…The road to building a new retractable roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium had project officials questioning their sanity, one U.S. Tennis Association official says. After more than a decade of studying the issue, the path is clear for a three-year, $150 million project to be completed in August 2016, in time for the US Open, writes SportsBusiness Journal. Rain has interrupted play at the U.S. Open for the last five years, but officials have studied the roof issue since 2003. Early on, the high costs to put a roof over the 23,000-seat stadium were well beyond what the USTA could afford and did not fit with its mission. Working with sports architect Rossetti, the original design firm, and structural engineer WSP, the tennis group found a solution for a lightweight roof that won’t put too much stress on the structure…

…FIFA may not be able to fully test the Sao Paulo stadium with a capacity crowd before the World Cup opener in two weeks, writes the Associated Press. Only 40,000 tickets are being sold for Sunday’s Brazilian league match being played at the venue because sections of temporary seats recently installed have not yet been certified by local building authorities. FIFA wanted the stadium tested at full capacity at least once before nearly 70,000 people arrive for the tournament opener between Brazil and Croatia on June 12. The temporary seats also weren’t used in the first official test event at the Itaquerao earlier this month, when less than 37,000 people attended…

…The Japan Sport Council has released a basic design proposal for the new National Stadium in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, which will serve as the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, according to AsiaOne News. The total floor area is about 211,000 square meters, reflecting a reduction of more than 20% from the initial design proposal in 2012. The new proposal, released Wednesday, also gives consideration to the protection of the surrounding environment and landscape. Under the initial proposal, construction was set to cost as much as about ¥300 billion (3.7 billion USD), more than double the original estimate. The project was met with growing criticism for being too large, so parts of the stadium, including aisles, were scaled down and the cost was reduced to about ¥162.5 billion. The new stadium is scheduled to be completed in March 2019…

…The Sacramento Kings NBA franchise is one step closer to having a new home by September 2016, writes Forbes.  On May 20, the Sacramento City Council approved (by a 7-2 vote) a plan to develop a new Entertainment and Sports Center, which includes an arena for the Kings to host its NBA home games.  The approval includes an arena financing plan, the facility’s development agreement, design elements and the creation of an environmental impact report.  Most importantly, the developer can begin arena construction in the area adjacent to Sacramento Downtown Plaza…

…Work has already begun on a project to enhance fans’ experience at University of Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium this fall through the addition of a high density WiFi network and IPTV system, according to a university press release. Crews have begun the process of installing infrastructure for the high density Wi-Fi network, which will allow fans to connect wirelessly in the stands, suites, clubs, ticketing, media and concession stand areas. The project involves the installation of 10 Gigabit switches, accompanying wireless controllers and more than 750 access points throughout the stadium and outlying areas. The result will be an enhanced WiFi system for a better network experience to surf the Internet, check scores, and share on social media sites in the 80,000-plus seat stadium.

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