Venue News & Notes: MLS Cup Stays Neutral

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber announced this week that the league’s championship game will remain at a neutral site for the 2010 season. “Following a detailed review and careful analysis of both options, we have elected to continue with a neutral-site format for MLS Cup 2010,” he said. “We believe this format will provide an exciting environment for our fans while also allowing the necessary planning time for our key constituents.” There was discussion of moving the MLS Cup to the site of the higher-seeded of the two finalists, but that won’t be the case for the upcoming season…

…Despite frigid temperatures, baseball was definitely on the minds of the Minnesota Twins this week. The construction company that built the Twins’ new home handed over the keys to the stadium on Monday, having completed the project two months ahead of schedule. Slated to open in about three months, Target Field cost about $550 million…

…Reading, PA, officials have voted to take out a $3.25 million loan as part of a $10 million makeover of FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Reading Phillies. The work will get under way in the fall. The minor-league baseball team will repay the loan, under the agreement approved Monday by the city council. The work includes a new main entrance through an expanded concession area along right field, upgraded field lights, a padded outfield wall, renovated locker rooms, and a 450-space parking lot…

…For the last few months, we’ve heard on-again, off-again rumors about the NHL’s interest in bringing the Winter Classic to Yankee Stadium in 2011, but the Yanks have made a December commitment to the NCAA. Over the next few years, the stadium is due to host a bowl game. Because of the lead time the NHL requires — seven to 10 days — for the venue hosting the Classic, the bowl game may preclude the Winter Classic’s being held at Yankee Stadium.