Venue News & Notes: Making Use of the Snow in DC

Washington, DC, has seen enough snow in the past few weeks to host the Winter Olympics, and it now appears that the nation’s capital might be home to at least one Olympic sport next winter. The Washington Convention Center and Sports Authority has expressed interest in hosting the NHL’s Winter Classic, an annual outdoor game that has re-energized hockey fans in Buffalo, Chicago, and Boston in recent years. The New England Hockey Journal, citing sources, recently reported that DC is a favorite to host the game, at either Nationals Park or RFK Stadium…

…The home ice of the NHL’s Nashville Predators is expected to get a new name from another local company. The current Sommet Center in downtown Nashville will become Bridgestone Arena under a naming-rights contract pending approval by the Nashville Sports Authority, team officials said this week. Bridgestone Americas Inc., the North American subsidiary of Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corp., has headquarters in Nashville. Financial terms of the deal were not released. “We are excited to have a locally based partner with the global brand equity and recognition of Bridgestone,” said Ed Lang, the team’s president of business operations…

…A pinch of Boston. A dash of Florida. A bit of homage to Fenway Park. A nod of appreciation to Southwest Florida traditions. Those are all apparent in the preliminary drawings for the new Boston Red Sox spring-training facility unveiled this week. “It’s still a work in progress, so people shouldn’t leap to conclusions about it,” said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino. The project is expected to be done in time for 2012 spring training. The total price tag for Lee County — which includes purchasing 106 acres on Daniels Parkway a little more than a mile east of Interstate 75 — is about $75 million…

…The Florida State Fairgrounds may not be the best location for a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium, according to the business group that evaluated the team’s future in the region. But it does have a couple of things going for it: a prospective developer with a history of big-money deals and backers with political pull. An attorney for a group hoping to bring a hotel and entertainment complex to the fairgrounds identified his client Tuesday as Republic Land Development of Fairfax, VA. The group is part of a family of companies that have developed and invested in real estate transactions nationally through the years valued at more than $4 billion, its Website says.