Venue News: Suns, D-Backs Launch Digital Outdoor Showpiece

The Phoenix Suns and the Arizona Diamondbacks are launching a rare joint venture that will develop a multimillion-dollar, technology-fueled digital outdoor marketing showpiece in downtown Phoenix. The teams have created Legends Entertainment District, with both teams investing in an effort to build 55,000 sq. ft. of outdoor digital and static billboard signage in the downtown corridor, beginning with a six-block area that connects the Diamondbacks’ Chase Field and the Suns’ US Airways Center. The plan is designed to develop new revenue for both teams, while using the digital marketplace to promote ticket sales and other team offerings and events…

…A rare piece of good news has emerged in Minnesota regarding the Vikings. The team-branded scratch-off lottery game reportedly “cleared” $12 million in its first year. A statement issued this week by the team is a bit unclear as to whether the program generated $12 million in sales or whether the program generated $12 million in profit. Making it even more significant is the fact that the Vikings would like to use the money generated by the lottery program to help fund a new stadium. With the public contribution expected to be in the range of $40 million-$60 million per year, a $12 million chunk from the Vikings lottery game could account for a healthy chunk of the target amount.

The Ramsey County Board this week decided to pursue negotiations with the Minnesota Vikings on building a publicly owned stadium on the site of a former ammunition plant in Arden Hills. A resolution, approved 6-1, authorizes the county manager to negotiate with the Vikings and others and to develop a budget to analyze the former Twin City Army Ammunitions Plant site. Commissioner Janice Rettman opposed the action.

The likely spot for a stadium would be a portion of 430 acres near the junction of Interstate 35W and Hwy. 10…

…With a taxi strike and an ice storm, followed by snow and more snow, and very little local equipment to remove the ice and snow, there was no shortage of talk about the weather and hosting a Super Bowl in and around Dallas. Consequently, whether and when Dallas will get another Super Bowl was easily the most discussed issue of the weekend. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he believes Cowboys Stadium is still in line to host another NFL championship as soon as five years hence. Industry consensus was that whether the Super Bowl returns will be the ultimate test of how much influence Jones has in league circles…

..Add media executives to the chorus of people who don’t want the Super Bowl to return to Dallas for a long time. It’s not about the production of the game or the sight lines at Cowboys Stadium, or anything like that. It’s about hospitality. Network executives almost unanimously described Dallas as unprepared to host such a big event, particularly after the weather turned. “The city just isn’t set up to entertain in a winter environment,” said one media executive, who asked not to be identified. Networks use Super Bowl week to entertain clients that have financially supported league broadcasts. Fox, the host broadcaster, and ESPN each had hundreds of their best advertisers, vendors, and cable/satellite operators in Dallas and Fort Worth. Their hospitality plans in both cities turned into a fiasco…

…Most sports arenas being built these days are big on luxury boxes, video boards, and retro architecture. The conventions of the medium have become so entrenched that, if you’re not looking at the team names on the scoreboard, it may be difficult to know what city you’re in. Unless, of course, you walk into a college hockey arena. For a number of reasons, this niche sport, which is concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest, has become a showplace for unusual stadium architecture — and, on many campuses, the best fan experience going.