Venue News: FIFA Tests Hawk-Eye Technology; Golden State Warriors Face Arena Hurdles

FIFA says the Hawk-Eye goal line technology system will be tested at Wembley Stadium when England plays Belgium in a June 2 exhibition. It’s the final scheduled test of Hawk-Eye in a recognized match before FIFA’s rules-making panel meets July 2 in Kiev. The panel, known as IFAB, is considering whether to approve the English camera-based system and the Danish project GoalRef for use. GoalRef, which uses magnetic sensors to track the ball’s path, is being tested in Danish league matches. FIFA says test results are not available to match officials and will not influence the result. Hawk-Eye has been tested at a semiprofessional match played at Southampton’s stadium last week…

…Peter Guber, co-owner of the Warriors and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, cautioned Tuesday that his efforts to build a new Golden State Warriors basketball arena atop San Francisco’s Piers 30-32 are in the very earliest stages. It’s yet to be seen whether this particular production will be a feel-good story, as the Warriors and city officials pledge, or a heartbreaker like so many previous efforts to develop the 13-acre patch of crumbling concrete and pilings just south of the Bay Bridge. Lack of money and frustrations with the politics of San Francisco have sunk at least five previous efforts, some with major players behind them like Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison, who backed out of a plan this year to build on the piers as part of the America’s Cup sailing race deal. Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, known as a pragmatic fiscal hawk, said this time around, the Warriors’ owners’ intense enthusiasm in the face of the piers’ structural problems and the city’s politics may prove the difference…

…The Astrodome was once the envy of other cities, a fully air-conditioned stadium that had a translucent roof to keep out the heat and humidity, the first synthetic grass — and the power to make Houston into a sports-entertainment destination. Then stadium designers began building venues with retractable roofs. And the Astrodome, in its heyday the proud host to everyone from Muhammad Ali to Madonna, rapidly became a relic of the past. Now, after years on the sidelines, the Astrodome is in the spotlight again. The agency that runs the facility planned to render a recommendation this week on its future. One option could be a fate that other domes have met — demolition…

…A proposed basketball and hockey arena in Sodo wouldn’t have a profound effect on traffic, according to a study released today by the Seattle Department of Transportation. The new arena would add about 6,000 vehicles to the area on 52 nights a year when the arena is the only event going on in Sodo, the study says, concluding that “these are well within the existing parking/traffic/transit capacity in the area.” Things get more complicated on nights when there is an event at the arena and at one of the neighboring stadiums for baseball, football, and soccer, the report says. That could happen as many as 15 weeknights a year if one of the teams makes the playoffs, but the study said that would bring in about 40,000 visitors, no more than in 2002 when 40 weeknights games had more than 40,000 patrons…

…Bruce Ratner gave USA Today Sports the final media preview of the 675,000 square foot Barclays Center before it closes until its grand opening Sept. 28 with a concert by partial Nets owner Jay-Z. About 75% of the construction is done. The new arena will offer: street-level entrances; a tighter, steeper seating bowl; “Vault Suites” designed by Jay-Z that will be floor level; 100 luxury suites; four bars/lounges including a “champagne bar;” three clubs; a restaurant; and food from local restaurants. The glassed-in “grand entrance” at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues will invite pedestrians to look inside all the way to the scoreboard. There’s a practice floor where ticketed fans and restaurant customers can watch players.