Venue News: Barclays Center Off to Successful Start; Cavs Eye Massive Video Board for Quicken Loans Arena

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

In the nearly five months since the Barclays Center opened in September, in spite of years of vitriolic opposition from many residents in the surrounding brownstone neighborhoods, the 19,000-seat arena at the heart of the borough has enjoyed a remarkably smooth debut. Most basketball fans and concertgoers visiting the arena, it has turned out, really do come and leave quickly by one of the 11 subway lines that stop at Barclays or by the Long Island Rail Road. In the three months after the arena opened, the four subway stations in the area had 6,400 more riders on average after Nets games and concerts than on nonevent days, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. As a result, residents say, the traffic flows as smoothly — or as sluggishly — as ever, with extra traffic agents posted to prevent gridlock…

…Quicken Loans Arena could soon receive a facelift — starting at the top. Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wants to replace the scoreboard inside the Q with a larger, high-definition model similar to the massive 25-foot by 58-foot Panasonic scoreboard inside the Toyota Center that was on display during All-Star weekend. Gilbert said he’d like to have a new scoreboard in place “hopefully in the next year or two.” It’s one of a number of changes he envisions coming to the arena, both inside and outside…

…The commissioner’s office has provided the Oakland Athletics with tentative guidelines for a potential move to San Jose, according to three people familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it. The existence of the guidelines does not necessarily mean the A’s will move to San Jose soon, or at all. However, if the A’s can satisfy the concerns of the league office, Commissioner Bud Selig could let club owners decide whether to approve the move. The San Francisco Giants hold territorial rights to San Jose and oppose the proposed move there by the A’s. The discussions between the A’s and Major League Baseball do not affect the Giants’ ability to challenge such a move…

…Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn promised nearly a year ago to deliver a plan for “transformational” facilities upgrades in and around Folsom Field and Wednesday he and chancellor Phil DiStefano finally delivered. The two men outlined a plan for approximately $170 million in upgrades at Folsom Field but did not provide a specific timetable for when the projects will begin. The plan includes both renovations to current facilities and new construction, including a new student-athlete academic center, a new permanent indoor practice facility and eventually a new soccer and lacrosse field…

…Madison Square Garden has been operating without a zoning permit for three weeks and will keep doing so in the near future. On Jan. 24, 1963, the Board of Estimate – then the city’s most powerful governing body – granted a special permit to allow construction of a new Madison Square Garden arena, with 22,000 seats, directly atop the Pennsylvania Station passenger concourse. The permit was required, in part, because the arena exceeded the 2,500-seat limit that zoning rules imposed on the site. It was to set to expire 50 years after approval. Yes, for those doing the math at home: The expiration date has come and gone. Now, the Garden is not in violation of the city’s zoning law. It has already applied for an indefinite extension of its permit, and the Buildings Department has been granting temporary certificates of occupancy…

…Wish you could sneak into the locker room of your favorite NFL team or see what it’s like to run out of the tunnel on game day? Google announced on Friday it’s bringing NFL stadium imagery to Google Maps, starting with an inside look at where the Indianapolis Colts play. By searching for Lucas Oil Stadium — with keywords such as, appropriately, “Lucas Oil Stadium” or “Colts Stadium” — in Google Maps on your web browser or app (iOS or Android), fans are treated to a 360-degree interactive photo tour. Although Lucas Oil Stadium is the only NFL venue working with Google Maps for now, the company said it will likely roll out stadium imagery with more franchises in the future.