Venue News: Aurora Shootings Prompt Security Concerns at Sporting Venues; London Olympics Focused on Sustainability

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

The mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater rattled the nerves of some other moviegoers with opening weekend tickets for the new Batman film and led some cinema chains to add more guards. Experts say it’s unlikely, though, that venues will implement even stricter security measures because it would significantly alter the experience of going to a film, concert or game. At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, where the Cardinals were hosting the rival Chicago Cubs for three sold-out weekend games, security officials were on alert Friday. According to Joe Abernathy, vice president of stadium operations, there were no major security changes planned because the team feels it’s already doing everything it can to keep fans safe. Police officers man stadium entrances, and there are nearly 150 security cameras at the ballpark. All bags are checked at the entrance. And costumes, in which someone might hide a weapon, aren’t allowed, not even masks. Fans have generally embraced the changes…

…From the beginning, Olympic games have left behind physical traces, whether in the form of the ruins at Olympia in Greece or, in modern times, in host cities dotting the world. Stadiums, stands and podiums often stay in place long after the last competitor has left the locker room. The New York Times recently reported on the unused and dilapidated Chinese venues, which, just four years ago, during the 2008 Beijing summer games, seemed so shiny. The ultimate sustainable architectural mark of the Games may be not leaving a mark at all. The 2012 London Games, which has made sustainability one of its watchwords, is focused on reducing the lasting imprint of the venues that house the events…

…A Louisiana state-financing panel recently gave the final approval needed for LSU to begin a planned expansion to Tiger Stadium that will add new seats to the stadium’s south end zone. LSU has said construction will begin this fall with completion scheduled for the summer of 2014. The stadium plans include adding 60 suites, approximately 3,000 club seats and general seating for up to another 1,500 people above the existing south end zone seats for Death Valley, where the LSU Tigers regularly play to sold-out crowds. Along with the new seats, the scoreboard and video board currently atop the south end zone seats will be removed and replaced with two new video boards…

…Huahong Investment and NBA China have reached a partnership through which the NBA will consult on the design and development of a multi-purpose, NBA-style arena in a new entertainment district in Xiamen’s Jimei District. This partnership to build an arena consistent with NBA standards in Xiamen represents the first-ever state-of-the-art, multi-purpose sports and entertainment arena in Fujian province. The arena is expected to be operational in early 2016 and is expected to host a variety of sports and entertainment events. The NBA will consult on the development of the arena’s design with partner Huahong Investment, who will oversee the marketing and promotion of the venue. The arena will incorporate standard features of an NBA-style venue such as a center-court jumbotron, 360-degree LED signage, luxury suites, concession stands, VIP lounges, and restaurants…

…Baylor regents have given their approval to building a $250 million on-campus football stadium along the Brazos River. University regents unanimously approved the plan, contingent on the Waco City Council approving $35 million in public funds. City officials scheduled an Aug. 7 final vote on a measure to use tax increment financing zone funds. Baylor hopes to have the 45,000-seat facility ready for the 2014 season. The Bears currently play at Floyd Casey Stadium, which was built in 1950 and has maintenance issues.