Venue News: Rain Wreaking Havoc on MLB; Thrashers’ Move to Winnipeg Not Yet Official

Many factors have been considered when addressing the decline in attendance early on in the 2011 Major League Baseball season. The biggest culprit, however, could be Mother Nature. A total of 30 MLB games have been rained out through May 23, which is already nine more than all of last season and on pace for the highest total in the past decade. Walk-up ticket sales have been greatly affected as a result: according to MLB, teams typically chart 10% of total attendance from walk-up crowds. MLB attendance overall is down 2.1% through May 17…

…While the Globe and Mail’s reported date for an official announcement came and went Tuesday, signs continue to indicate that a sale of the Atlanta Thrashers could result in a move of the NHL franchise to Winnipeg, MB. True North Sports and Entertainment Ltd. and the owners of the Atlanta Thrashers have yet to officially finalize the sale, but the Winnipeg Free Press says the deal is imminent. A new NHL franchise would likely play in the 15,000-seat MTS Centre, which is currently home to the popular AHL team, the Manitoba Moose. The St. John’s Telegram is reporting that the Moose would be moved to St. John’s, NL, should the Thrashers relocate…

…Officials of the MLS’s Houston Dynamo say they came home with new ideas for their proposed stadium project following a trip to Europe to tour two German soccer venues. Team executives, including President of Business Operations Chris Canetti and Senior Director of Operations Paul Byrne, had the chance to attend games at Veltins Arena, a 61,673-seat stadium that opened in 2001, and Schauinsland-Reisen Arena, which has about 23,000 seats and opened in 2005. The group was invited by SedaSport, a Slovakian seating manufacturer competing for the Dynamo’s business…

…Drake, a non-scholarship program from Des Moines, beat the CONADEIP All-Stars, 17-7, in the Global Kilimanjaro Bowl on Saturday in the first collegiate American football game on the continent of Africa. Officials had hoped to pack the 20,000-seat Sheikh Amri Abeid Memorial Stadium in Arusha, Tanzania, but tight security measures held up lines of fans and kept the stadium rather empty at kickoff, according to Drake coach Chris Creighton. The Associated Press reports that the stadium, which normally hosts soccer, quickly filled up over the course of the first quarter. The event took more than a year of planning by Global Football, a company that has been taking U.S. college football teams around the world for nearly 15 years.