Venue News: Roger Goodell Supports New San Diego Stadium; Buffalo Upgrades Alumni Arena

While in San Diego for a benefit, Roger Goodell met with San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders to discuss the city’s efforts to build a new stadium and keep the Chargers from leaving from leaving San Diego. After initially downplaying his meeting with Sanders, Goodell bristled at the suggestion that meeting the mayor is an insignificant event. The leader of America’s most popular professional sport made clear he stands behind the team’s belief Qualcomm Stadium is not a viable home, saying that California’s three stadiums do not meet the standards achieved by the rest of the league. Mark Fabiani, the Chargers’ point man on their decade-old effort to get a new stadium, recently said the team’s downtown joint stadium and convention proposal is the “last and best chance” to get something done in San Diego. Goodell spoke of Los Angeles, which has two factions vying to build a stadium and land a team. Goodell said a team in L.A. is “not necessarily” a given…

…The University of Buffalo’s Alumni Arena will have a new look and game-day atmosphere as the winter athletics season gets under way with the completion of renovation work and upgrades, including state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, and a new video scoreboard in the main gym. The multi-phase project began in late May. The first phase of the project involved structural reinforcement of the arena; the second phase included installation of state-of-the art sound and lighting systems to accommodate the multi-purpose use of the arena. The sound system features setups for both athletic and special events, with speaker clusters, new amplifiers, and acoustical panels to improve the quality and consistency of the sound. The lighting system features lighting elements that dramatically increase candle power and environmental efficiency, while decreasing operating costs. The third phase of the project is the addition of an integrated video and scoring system in the main gym. A new four-sided, center-hung, 8 ft. by 14 ft. LED display will provide live video, instant replay, and animations and debut in early January…

…Katz Group could choose the design consultant and architect for the proposed downtown Edmonton arena, despite the fact the city is footing the design bill. In a report released Wednesday, the city said that it reviewed the process the Katz Group used to select those experts and is happy with those choices. The Edmonton city council approved spending $30 million for a downtown Oilers arena design plan last month; the $450-million arena will be paid for by the city, the Katz Group, and a user fee. Funding for the project is still $100 million short, and the city is hoping the province will chip in the difference…

…Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is facing a potential backlash from supporters after the announcement that St. James’ Park is to be rebranded as the Sports Direct Arena as part of the club’s plan to sell the naming rights to the stadium. In a move that ends 119 years of history, Ashley has temporarily renamed the ground after his company – at no financial benefit to Newcastle – and invited external backers to purchase the rights. By following Arsenal and Manchester City, the club believes it will become “financially self-sufficient” in the long term. Despite occupying third place in the Premier League, the announcement may potentially antagonize relations between the board and the fans of the team, which had been improving due to the team’s performances.