Venue News: London’s First Olympic Venue Open, Named ‘Best in the World’

Five years and eight months after London was awarded the Olympic Games, organisers reached a milestone this week when the first venue on the site was opened and immediately acclaimed as the “best in the world.” But there is also widespread agreement that the Olympic velodrome, opened on time and on budget, is likely to be the organisers’ smoothest ride, with trickier handovers ahead including the overbudget aquatics centre and the controversial main stadium. Constructed over a period of 23 months, the £94m velodrome – dubbed the Pringle because its curving roof resembles a crisp – will provide an intense focal point for British hopes in 2012 and will seat 6,000 spectators per session for those lucky enough to get a ticket when applications open on 15 March…

…The Atlanta Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center insist they have merely reached a memorandum of understanding on building a new stadium for the Falcons and it is not a done deal. What is suspicious is that they already know how many seats the stadium will have, how many temporary seats, and how many suites will be in the palace, which they have already priced at $700 million. It is not clear how much owner Arthur Blank and the Falcons will pay toward the publicly funded stadium, but it should be significant considering how other deals have been struck with NFL teams…

…For the third straight year, the Texas Tech-Baylor game will be held at a neutral site location.  According to the Dallas Morning News, the Red Raiders and Bears will meet at Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington in 2011. The specific date of the game has yet to be determined, although it will be considered a home game for Baylor. Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers is expected to meet with the media and discuss the latest neutral site game in the series…

…The Washington Convention and Sports Authority has scheduled a Howard University football game at RFK Stadium in September, an event that could impact the quality of the playing surface during D.C. United’s season. United is scheduled to play Chivas USA on Sept. 21, 11 days after the football game between the Bison and Morehouse College. The MLS club has three additional regular season matches in September and October.

The WCSA will also stage football games at RFK in early September in 2012 and ’13.