Venue News: Rose Bowl Renovation Behind Schedule; USTA Venue Upgrades Do Not Include Ashe Roof

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Assistant Editor, SVG

The price tag for renovating the Rose Bowl is $35 million over budget and the project is now behind schedule because of unexpected construction setbacks, Pasadena city officials said. Rose Bowl officials said last week that it may now take them until late 2014, about a year longer than planned, to finish remodeling the famed stadium, home of the annual Rose Bowl game and UCLA Bruins football. The renovation, which includes widening tunnels, new electrical systems and a remodeled press box, began in 2011 and was supposed to conclude late next year. Officials with the city of Pasadena, which controls the Rose Bowl Operating Co., said they are unhappy about the cost overruns and delays but intend to complete the renovations. The bulk of the unanticipated costs are linked to cost overruns on upgrading the stadium’s technology and electrical systems…

…The United States Tennis Association will spend an estimated $500 million through the coming decade to build a new Louis Armstrong Stadium, a new grandstand on unused land at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, and a double-deck viewing area for fans to watch players practice during the United States Open. But the plans do not include a roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium or the new Armstrong facility. Rain delays have caused the United States Open men’s final to be played on a Monday for the past four years, increasing calls for the Open to join the other three Grand Slam events in adding a roof on at least one showcase court…

…More than 14 hours before the Thunder takes the court for Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Jose Flores already is taking to the Chesapeake Energy Arena carpets. Armed with a worn-out yellow broom, Flores, 40, is busy sweeping the arena’s entryways. He’s one of a small army of workers who will spend the day helping prepare the building for its biggest game yet. They include janitors and cooks, broadcasters and basketball executives, security guards and ticket sellers. Their work began before dawn and will go on long into the night. NewsOK provides a chronological timeline of how an NBA venue prepares for the biggest event it has ever hosted.

…Queens elected officials are panning the city’s new proposal for the Willets Point site as the mayor gears up for a major unveiling in Queens on Thursday. Mayor Bloomberg is set to reveal the details for a 1 million-square-foot mall near Citi Field — a joint venture between Sterling Equities and Related Cos., sources told the Daily News. Details for the first phase of Willets Point development, which will include a hotel and 30,000 square feet of retail space, will also be announced, sources said…

…Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs agreed Wednesday to work on a tentative deal that could start construction on long-stalled Citrus Bowl renovations as early as 2014. At an unusual public “stadium summit” Wednesday morning, Dyer and Jacobs agreed to solve several relatively minor snags keeping the $175 million project from starting and directed their top aides to spend the next two weeks working out thorny financial details. The plan for the delayed stadium renovation was approved in 2007 as part of a larger community venues package that included the new Amway Center and a new downtown performing arts center. Construction on the Citrus Bowl was to have started in 2009, but the recession caused a severe drop in tourism. That caused tourist tax collections — the main source of funding for the stadium upgrades — to plummet. Under Orlando’s current projections, tourist tax money won’t become available for the Citrus Bowl before 2015-2016…

…A Los Angeles city councilman is calling on the developer of a proposed downtown NFL football stadium to be more specific on how it would reduce traffic congestion and the project’s effects on nearby neighborhoods. In a letter to Anschutz Entertainment Group on Monday, Councilman Bill Rosendahl asked the developer to make clear how it would minimize car trips to the stadium on game days and make firm commitments to create park-and-ride facilities and ticket bundling programs, which would include public transportation fares in game ticket packages. He complained in an interview that a draft environmental impact report commissioned by the developer “is too vague and doesn’t get into the specifics” on those matters. Rosendahl is one of several members of a special stadium review committee that took up AEG’s environmental analysis Monday.