Venue News & Notes: Nashville Sports Arenas Flooded

The massive amount of recent rain and bulging rivers in Nashville, TN, are playing havoc with area sports arenas and athletic fields. At about 3 p.m. Monday, water began to rush onto LP Field’s playing surface, reaching approximately 6 ft. high and nearly reaching the first row of seats. “I am certain there will be some sort of water damage to all areas of the field service level,” said Robbie Bohren, the Titans’ director of media relations. Bridgestone Arena has 2 in. of standing water throughout the event level, according to Predators SVP Gerry Helper. “It seems to be coming in faster than we can pump it out,” Helper said. “My understanding is that the water is actually coming up from below, up through the drains. It’s not like it’s coming from street level and down”…

World Cup organizers thanked South Africa’s stadium-construction workers by giving them free match tickets on Monday but also warned that their work is not quite done. FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke recognized the contribution of the country’s 27,000 builders on a rainy day at Soccer City in Johannesburg. Outside the site of the World Cup opener and final, there still was much to do, as dirt and bricks lay in piles and one of the access roads was flooded. South Africa has built five stadiums for the tournament, which runs June 11-July 11, and Soccer City has been given a $200 million overhaul. The event’s first African host has spent $1.3 billion on its 10 venues…

…AEG, the owner of London’s O2 arena, has emerged as a contender to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Olympic Games. The American sports and entertainment company is one of 106 parties to have expressed an interest in assuming control of the venue after 2012. Potential bidders have until 17 May to register their interest in the 80,000-seat stadium. A short list of about 30 is expected to be drawn up, with a final decision to be taken in July…

…The big screen outside Pittsburgh’s Mellon Arena will pale in comparison with what you’ll find inside the Penguins’ new Consol Energy Center when it opens later this year. But the massive, four-sided high-definition scoreboard is just one of the treats for fans. The Consol Energy Center promises a fan experience second to none in the world of sports. The new arena will be replete with the latest technologies, including its centerpiece scoreboard, which features four 25- by 15-ft. HD screens suspended from the roof…

…A stadium proposal for the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, CA, apparently plans a facility that could fit two home teams, according to KGO-TV San Francisco, leading to speculation that the Niners and Oakland Raiders could move to Santa Clara together. This could make the proposal more attractive to Santa Clara voters, who would have to put fewer of their tax dollars into the stadium if another team were there to offset some of the supposed $937 million in costs it will take to erect the thing. “We have no plans to share the Santa Clara stadium with another team,” 49er spokesperson Lisa Lang told KGO-TV. “That’s just not something that we plan to do and we’re not working on it”…

…The first step in solving the Columbus, OH, Blue Jackets’ financial woes — and ultimately keeping the NHL team in town — could involve Nationwide Arena’s competition just a few miles north. Xen Riggs, associate VP in Ohio State University’s administration and planning department, told Columbus Business First that the Jackets and OSU are likely weeks away from striking a deal that will put the university in charge of booking and day-to-day administrative options at the arena. That would put OSU’s Jerome Schottenstein Center and Nationwide Arena under one management roof. Should OSU step in to manage the arena, Nationwide Realty Investors Ltd. wouldn’t renew ties with SMG, the Philadelphia company that has run booking since the facility opened in 2000.