Venue News: Can Soccer Save NFL Stadiums?

NFL owners have locked out the players. NFL players are suing the owners. And, with football’s future looking increasingly uncertain, there sits in East Rutherford, NJ, the $1.6 billion stadium the Giants and Jets built. Thank goodness for futbol. When the U.S. national team takes on Argentina’s national team at 7 p.m. Saturday in New Jersey, they’ll do it in a New Meadowlands Stadium that kept futbol — a.k.a. soccer — a consideration in its building only a tad less than American football. Soccer’s sightlines were weighed by the architects, the seats in the corners were made removable to leave room for corner kicks, and the bidding to be one of the country’s prospective World Cup sites began before construction was complete…

… As part of a continuing investment to support growing demand for wireless devices and services, AT&T has expanded its mobile-broadband coverage at New Meadowlands Stadium by completing the installation of a new Distributed Antenna System to serve customers throughout the facility. Soccer fans attending the U.S. Men’s National Team match against Argentina on March 26 will be among the first to benefit from the upgrade…

…Even though the labor crisis has the NFL at a standstill, the effort to bring a pro football team back to Los Angeles is moving forward. AEG, proposing to build an NFL stadium/event center in downtown L.A., has taken another step in that direction by selecting Gensler to design the estimated $1 billion venue. L.A.-based Gensler was one of three finalists, with the other two being the firms HNTB and HKS. It’s something of a coup that AEG chose Gensler, which has never designed an NFL stadium, considering that HNTB is responsible for Invesco Field in Denver and HKS drew up the plans for Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX…

… Sacramento, CA, has buzzed this week on a shadowy, vague plan to keep the Kings in the city they have called home for 26 years, even as relocation to Anaheim looks inevitable. KTXL-TV sports anchor Jim Crandell reported only the slightest details on the plan Wednesday; Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee divulged more on Friday. Two men who were heavily involved in the Kings’ move to Sacramento from Kansas City a quarter century ago are working on a plan to keep the team in town.