Venue News: Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park To Host 2015 All-Star Game; Oilers Reach New Arena Deal

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

Amid a large crowd of Reds owners, players, management, fans and local corporate and civic leaders, Cincinnati heard the words Wednesday it has long hoped would come from the mouth of Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. The Reds will get to serve as hosts of the 2015 All-Star Game. It will be the fifth All-Star Game played in Cincinnati, having previously been at Riverfront Stadium in 1988 and 1970 and Crosley Field in 1953 and 1938. Great American Ball Park, which opened in 2003 and seats more than 42,000 fans, was built next door to its predecessor — Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field — along the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati…

…The Edmonton Oilers are getting a new downtown arena. The NHL team and city councilors agreed Wednesday to resurrect a previous deal that collapsed three months ago when Oilers owner Daryl Katz demanded $6 million more a year from taxpayers. Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel says the new deal is airtight. Katz dropped the demand for the extra $6 million a year and abandoned a demand that the city break its tendering policy and move its staff into a proposed new Katz office tower beside the rink. In return, city councilors agreed that taxpayers, instead of the Oilers, will be on the hook for major repairs and renos at the $480-million facility…

…Until a new arena is ready, the Seattle Sonics will play at their former home. They will play at the Key Arena, where the team played for 40 years until they were relocated in 2008. Before the team can start playing at the arena, the venue will have to be renovated, and there is now money to fix it. Officials at Key Arena said that they have been working with the Chris Hansen group, and they said the infrastructure and personnel are ready to host NBA basketball.With the new deal, $7 million will go to improvements, and $5 million of which would follow the Seattle Storm if they eventually follow the Sonics to the new arena…

…The NFL desperately wants to enhance the in-stadium experience, but continues to resist an innovation that would make watching the game in person a lot more like watching it at home. For years, the technology has existed to implement a laser system that would make the line to gain visible to everyone in the stadium — including the players, the coaches, and the officials. Now, with more and more fans choosing to watch on TV, this system helps duplicate the technology that is available during the broadcast of every game. According to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, the league is open to further discussions after the season. The laser is embedded in the orange sticks separated by 10 yards…

Video appears to show extensive damage to the roof of the Pontiac Silverdome. Earlier this month, the huge inflatable roof was deflated as part of what officials said was a renovation plan. However, the video appears to show that some of the roof panels were shredded and in tatters. According to Silverdome officials, since they let the air out the roof has been tearing because of the wind and snow. They also say they expected tearing to happen…

…Connected Everywhere created an infographic demonstrating the benefit gained by providing a WiFi service that engages  fans of a sports brand, using the Indianapolis Colts as an example.