Venue News: Lucas Oil Stadium Preps for Super Bowl Data Demand; Alabama State Eyes FBS

In preparation for February’s Super Bowl at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and the anticipated demand for wireless, cellphone companies are working to expand the data bandwidth for wireless devices that will be available. Wireless providers are studying data use from this year’s Super Bowl to determine what infrastructure is needed at the three-year-old Lucas Oil Stadium, and the NFL will continue to monitor the situation leading up to the game. About 70,000 fans will be at February’s Super Bowl, along with more than 4,500 media members – 20 times more than a regular-season NFL game. Wireless carriers involved hope to have the system upgraded in time for the Big Ten Football Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on Dec. 3. Recently, NFL and large college stadiums surpassed airports venues with the highest usage of data per square foot…

… Alabama State University is building a new $50 million football stadium on campus, a key piece of the school’s long-range plan to become the first historically black college to compete at the Football Bowl Subdivision level. Alabama State hired GSP Consulting of Pittsburgh to sell the stadium’s 18 suites, 750 club seats, and 25 eight-seat loge boxes. In turn, GSP partnered with Bruno Event Team of Birmingham to help market premium seat inventory for the 30,000-seat facility. GSP and Bruno are also teaming up to sell stadium sponsorships. Collectively, they are pitching a 10-year, $5 million naming-rights deal and four founding partnerships tied to naming rights for the field, suite level, loge level, and the east gate facing campus. The new stadium, plus other new venues for baseball and softball and the football team’s new $7 million training facility and academic center, are part of $250 million in campus construction. Over the next 30 years, Alabama State is targeting $600 million in new projects…

…Oakland’s new mobile event parking system, introduced at the Raiders’ home opener, will be in place for almost all events at the Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum moving forward, according to the venues. The new Wireless Carpark  revenue control system quickly processes cash and credit card parking transactions while tracking vehicle ingress over cellular communication. A system of 30 handhelds and printers will be used by Pro-park America’s parking staff, and credit card payments will be available at all Oakland Raider and Golden State Warrior games. The Oracle Arena and Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Complex is jointly owned by the City of Oakland and Alameda County and managed by the Oakland Coliseum Joint Venture (OCJV)…

…Even as the Minnesota Vikings move ahead with plans to build a new stadium in Arden Hills, a third possible site for the project has emerged in downtown Minneapolis. An informal group of business leaders, who remain largely unknown, is pushing a 41-acre site not far from another proposed stadium location that includes the city’s Farmers Market. Both sites are close to the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field and on the other side of downtown from the Metrodome, which is the preferred site for city officials. City officials said the proposal’s biggest draw is that the city and Xcel Energy own about 75% of the site, making it a potentially less complicated project. The Vikings, however, were dismissive of the plan, calling any discussion of a Minneapolis-based stadium “counterproductive” as they await the results of a feasibility study conducted on the Arden Hills proposal.