Venue News & Notes: World Cup Running Behind

Construction of one of South Africa’s 2010 World Cup stadiums will miss its completion deadline
after hundreds of workers were fired for going on an illegal strike, a spokesman
for the contractor said Thursday. The delay comes ahead of Friday’s start of
ticket sales for the event, which is being held in Africa
for the first time. Eugene du Toit, spokesman for the Mbombela Stadium Joint
Venture, said the stadium in the eastern town of Nelspruit would not be completed by April as
planned. Instead it would now be finished toward the end of the year, six
months before South Africa
is to stage the event…

…Even as Minnesota legislators
grapple with numbing economic news and most discussions at the State Capitol
involve budget deficits, proponents of a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings
have been quietly trying to rally interest in the project. Over the past two
weeks, labor leaders and the Vikings have met privately with legislative
leaders, and while the odds of a publicly subsidized stadium proposal advancing this year
remain long, the idea is showing some signs of life…

…D.C. United took their search for a new home to Maryland this
week, where team officials appeared with politicians who have introduced a bill
that would build a new stadium in Prince
George’s County. “Our search for a stadium of our
own has been a long and arduous one,” team president Kevin Payne said. “The
introduction of this legislation is a great step toward achieving that
dream…”

…The operative word for the Charlotte Sports
Park, previously known as
Charlotte County Stadium, is new. New seats, new buildings, new clubhouse, new concessions and
new amenities, all of it costing a tidy $27.2 million, all of it a
reflection of its spring inhabitants, the American League champion Tampa Bay
Rays. For fans, “wow” factors resonate, from the 69-person
full-liquor tiki bar in left-center field to the 19,000-square-foot wooden
“baseball boardwalk” stretching foul pole to foul pole…

…The Oakland A’s suddenly are putting the brakes on a move to
Fremont in the face of vociferous opposition from residents who live near
the team’s favored stadium site close to a planned Warm Springs BART station. The
team canceled presentations to the Fremont Chamber of Commerce and City Council
scheduled for Tuesday. The discussions were to have included comments from the
chief operating officer and president of Major League Baseball, Bob DuPuy.