Venue News: MLB Sees Future in Europe; Kings Owners Skeptical of Arena Plans

Major League Baseball officials have been watching the NBA, NFL and NHL play games in Europe. Now, stadiums in London and the Netherlands could provide the chance for baseball to follow suit. The biggest obstacle for MLB in Europe has been to find a facility with the right dimensions and seating capacity, and London’s Olympic Stadium is under consideration. West Ham soccer club is among the bidders vying to take over the stadium after the Olympics, and Russell said MLB is also talking to the games’ legacy committee. The London stadium will seat 80,000 spectators for the Olympics. After the games, it will be downsized to a 60,000-capacity multipurpose venue that includes track and field. Another option is a new $20 million stadium being built near Schipol airport in the Netherlands, which will have 3,000 permanent seats but room for temporary seating of 25,000. It’s expected to open in early 2014…

…Building a new arena for the Sacramento Kings by the 2015 NBA season opener is fraught with challenges, the greatest of which may be the increasing skepticism of the team’s owners that it can be accomplished. Documents reviewed by the Los Angeles Times show Kings owners Joe, Gavin and George Maloof dispute that they have a firm agreement to participate in a new entertainment and sports complex in the city. A year removed from the Maloofs wanting to move the Kings south to Anaheim’s Honda Center, that notion is back in play, according to a Maloof spokesman said. Meeting the timeline requires navigating a perilous path of environmental requirements, possible additional expenses and legal challenges…

…Constructed in 1977, University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Trask Coliseum recently benefitted from a $2 million makeover that included new floors, seating, scoreboards, a new video board, and a new high-intelligibility sound reinforcement system. Daktronics designed and installed the multi-purpose arena’s new A/V system, which includes Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers. Daktronics chose the Danley SH-100B and SH-100 boxes based on their exceptional intelligibility, pattern control, and value. The arena’s old sound system was a center cluster that was abundantly loud but of remarkably low intelligibility. Daktronics vastly improved on the old system by including a delay ring that would keep the sound source proximate to the fans. Six Danley SH-100B full-range loudspeakers with integrated subwoofer support comprise the new center cluster. Sixteen Danley SH-100 full-range loudspeakers augment them in the new delay ring. Trask Coliseum also benefitted from Daktronics’ new scoreboards and video displays. A 21- by 15-foot video board hangs in center-court and sports a brilliant 17- by 10-foot LED screen that the school will use for advertising, replays, and other creative content…

…This December, wrecking balls will hit Robertson Stadium, tearing down a University of Houston facility that has been standing since 1941 in order to construct a new one. Robertson originally was a high school stadium, but it was renovated in the late 1990s to increase seating capacity to 32,000 and has served as the University of Houston’s home football stadium since. UH will hire a design firm and a construction manager, then immediately begin stadium design. Athletic director Mack Rhoades estimated those decisions could be made within the next three weeks. The Cougars will play one final season at Robertson this fall before demolishing the stadium and beginning construction in December. Construction is projected to take 18-20 months, with completion targeted in the summer of 2014. With no final decisions being made regarding the 2013 season, the possibility of UH playing its home games at Reliant Stadium remains the most likely option at this point. In 2014, the Cougars will host their first game in a new 40,000-seat stadium with a price tag north of $100 million.