Venue News: NFL Awaits Environmental Report for Proposed LA Stadium; Amway Arena Slated for Implosion

According to Anschutz Entertainment Group, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has made it clear that no teams will commit to move to L.A. until an approved environmental impact report (EIR) is completed for the proposed downtown stadium. AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke says he’s confident AEG will release the EIR in February, putting it on track to be approved by the City Council by July. Once AEG receives approval, it will be up to the NFL to decide whether or not to award Los Angeles with an NFL franchise, thus giving AEG the guarantee it needs to begin construction…

…Orlando’s old Amway Arena will go out with a bang after all. Developers of the site where the arena sits have revised their demolition plans and now say they’ll use explosive charges to implode the entire building sometime in March. In August, the developers of the Creative Village and city officials announced that the 23-year-old former home of the Orlando Magic would be carefully dismantled, with much of its materials recycled or reused. But last week, they hired a demolition contractor who recommended implosion. According to Shawn Flanagan of ZMG Construction, a company working for Creative Village Development, contractors planned to use charges to drop the roof “like a bad soufflé,” then use heavy equipment to tear down the walls piece by piece over several months. However, the company believes that demolition will be safer and more appealing…

…The Texas Rangers provided local media a first look at $12 million in improvements to the city-owned stadium, which hasn’t been significantly renovated since it opened in 1994. A new sports bar and concession stands, air-conditioned children’s play area and additional club seating with spectacular views of the field are among new fan-friendly features under construction at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. A taller railing in front of the seating sections and renovations to Vandergriff Plaza, as well as the first floor of the office building in centerfield, are expected to be complete by Opening Day April 6, according to team officials. To help give fans relief from the elements, the Rangers are adding 23,000 square feet of indoor, air-conditioned space, which includes a two-story restaurant and sports bar with views of the field, a kid’s zone to replace the outdoor Vandergriff Plaza Sports Park, and a 100-seat Batter’s Eye Club on top of Greene’s hill in centerfield…

…Governor Mark Dayton is giving Minneapolis and Ramsey County until next week to submit final proposals on a new Minnesota Vikings stadium, and he said Thursday that a location for the much-debated project soon will be “clear cut.” While the Vikings have insisted for nearly a year that they want to build in Arden Hills, team spokesman Lester Bagley acknowledged Thursday that others will influence the decision. Says Bagley, “If the public is going to put in approximately 60% of the deal, the public’s going to have a fair amount to say about the site. Who chooses? Do we choose? Who chooses?” Sounding a note of urgency, Dayton set a deadline of 5 p.m. Thursday and said he wants to choose a stadium site and funding plan by the time the Legislature convenes Jan. 24.