Venue News: NFL Fans To See In-Stadium Replays; Sacramento Arena “Plan B” Is Dead

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, SVG

Fans at stadiums around the NFL could one day get to listen to referees discuss plays under review. In the meantime, at least they will get to see exactly what the replay official is looking at under the hood. It’s one of many ideas undertaken this offseason to improve the in-stadium experience for fans. Home teams can no longer fail to show replays on the big board that might not be favorable. Fans will get to see the exact angles the refs sees. The league made all scoring plays reviewable last year and will do the same with turnovers. There was concern that all these new reviews would slow down the pace of play, but the average time of games was only one second slower in 2012…

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s “Plan B” to build a new sports arena is dead. The second option for a new arena for the Sacramento Kings — or any other professional sports tenant — never really took shape. Johnson said Tuesday that the city and arena operator AEG have concluded that the financial model is not viable for the region without an anchor sports tenant. Kings owners Joe, Gavin, and George Maloof pulled out of a plan to help finance an arena earlier this year, saying it didn’t make financial sense for the franchise. The team has not commented about any arena project since but has maintained the franchise intends to stay in Sacramento…

…A steady stream of traffic moved smoothly into the Kentucky Speedway all day Saturday for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 – a sharp contrast to last year’s inaugural race, where mismanaged and inadequate parking resulted in hours-long traffic jams that caused more than 10,000 fans to miss the race entirely. The Kentucky Speedway and the state spent $11 million over the past year to make sure that didn’t happen again. Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger attributed Saturday’s smooth operations to those improvements and to the successful execution of a traffic management plan that was a year in the making. Attendance likely was a factor. Crowd estimates weren’t immediately available, but attendance was clearly lighter than last year’s sellout…

…Lindenwood University has signed an agreement with Daktronics for a new scoreboard, a video display, and a video scorer’s table for Hyland Arena. The new LED scoreboard is a major upgrade over the existing 16-year-old scoreboard, which was among the oldest in Missouri. The 10′ x 15′ 10mm video display and the 40′ 10mm video scorer’s table will significantly enhance the environment in Hyland not only for basketball, but volleyball, wrestling, and other Hyland Arena sports. The crow’s nest in Hyland Arena will become the control room for the video products, and the athletics department will work hand-in-hand with LUTV to provide superior video coverage of all Lindenwood men’s and women’s basketball games…

…The provincial government of Saskatchewan says it will give the City of Regina $80 million to build a new stadium for the Saskatchewan Roughriders (CFL). Although it’s the first major cash commitment from a senior level of government, it falls far short of the $230 million the city had been seeking from the province for a proposed stadium/downtown redevelopment project. Under the city’s original plan, the stadium would be one part of a $1-billion development that also includes housing, commercial and office space. The private sector is supposed to come up with about $600 million of that. The new stadium would be built by 2016 in Evraz Place, which is home of the fair grounds and a hockey arena, west of the current location. The city is pushing for an open-air facility, as Mosaic stadium is now. However, the province says it wants a roof-ready stadium — it doesn’t have to be covered right away, but it should be an option at some point.