Venue News: The Future of London’s Olympic Venues; MLS Close to Queens Stadium Deal

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

Olympic host cities have long struggled with putting stadiums to use after the games have come and gone. Athens spent $15 billion on permanent stadiums for the 2004 Games, according to the Christian Science Monitor, and now many are abandoned and in various states of disrepair. Beijing’s stadiums aren’t decaying like those in Athens, but they are losing money because of an inability to secure long-term tenants. But it appears as though London will avoid this sort of catastrophe by building venues that are dynamic and temporary. It’s a departure from the past, and a blueprint for how future host cities can build venues that are both sustainable and cost-efficient in the long term. Business Insider offers an insight into the future of London’s Olympic venues…

…Major League Soccer is close to securing a $300 million stadium in the Flushing Meadows area of Queens. The stadium, which would be completely financed by the league, is awaiting approval from city and state officials but so far both have been very supportive. If the legislation goes through, it is expected that construction could start in 2013. MLS has made no secret of its desire to have its 20th franchise be a second team in New York. The league has received countless offers from cities across the United States and Canada but has remained focused on New York…

An $80 million expansion has dramatically changed the Pac-12’s most modest football stadium, and is expected to pump $3 million more into Washington State Cougars. The new addition to Martin Stadium contains luxury seats and a new press box, and completely changes the profile of the 35,000-seat bowl and replaces a much more low-profile press box structure. Designed and built in just 18 months, the privately funded addition will be ready in time for the home opener Sept. 8 against Eastern Washington, associate athletic director John Johnson said. The project became a reality after the Pac-12 signed a huge $3 billion television contract last year, providing each team with more than $20 million in new money each season…

…The San Francisco 49ers have reached a “settlement in concept” with a Santa Clara County oversight board about $30 million in redevelopment money the city of Santa Clara promised the team for its new Silicon Valley stadium, records show. The oversight board, which has responsibility for the remaining redevelopment funds after Gov. Jerry Brown dismantled redevelopment agencies this year, decided in June that the community had more important uses for the cash, including schools, than the planned $1.2 billion stadium. The Niners sued, with both the team and the city arguing that the money was earmarked for the stadium in a 2010 city vote and that the county has no right to keep the cash. Although the city had promised $40 million in redevelopment funds for the stadium, it had paid the 49ers $10 million before Brown closed the state’s redevelopment agencies.