Venue News: UCF Unveils ‘Blacktop’ Court; University of Cincinnati Stadium Renovation Plans Approved

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

University of Central Florida recently unveiled its new “blacktop” court after a seven-month process in which the school nearly gave up on the subtle, standout design. The black-stained court proved harder to produce on actual hardwood than in computer mockups. From the photos on UCF’s Twitter account, the court’s brightness seems to vary based on the angle, which could be a cool effect on TV. The only potential concern is a greater-than-usual reflection from the house lights, but that shouldn’t be a problem from the standard TV vantage point…

…Proposed renovation and expansion plans for the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium have been formally approved by the UC Board of Trustees, director of athletics Whit Babcock announced Tuesday. The renovation and expansion project, which is estimated to cost $80-85 million in total, will utilize private donations and premium seating revenues to fund the project over a period of years. No University general funds will be allocated. Construction on both the west and east sides of the stadium is due to begin in December 2013 and is scheduled for completion in August 2015…

…Since 1980, the basketball team at DePaul University, the largest Roman Catholic college in the United States, has played its home games in the suburb of Rosemont, IL, at a nondescript and, lately, mostly empty arena. In May, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the university announced a proposal for a 10,000 seat, $173 million arena near McCormick Place, a convention center along the lakefront south of downtown. DePaul and the quasi-government agency that runs McCormick Place would chip in $70 million each for the publicly owned venture. The city’s tab would be $33 million, and that has created a bit of a stir. The unveiling of the plan, which came six days before the Board of Education voted to close 50 public schools because of a $1 billion deficit and underutilization issues, has troubled some…

…The San Francisco Giants held the grand opening of the @Cafe, the new @SFGiants Social Media Headquarters at AT&T Park on Monday, June 17, where Giants president and CEO Larry Baer shared the vision and passion behind this innovative experience. Located in the Fan Lot behind the centerfield bleachers, @Cafe is the game time spot for Giants fans and a place where they can follow and participate in worldwide social conversations about all things involving the Giants. @Cafe was established in response to the fans’ and team’s desire to connect through social media. According to the organization, AT&T Park led all sports venues in social check-ins and Instagram photos in 2012, and the hashtag #SFGiants was the top sports themed hashtag on Twitter…

…Check out a sneak peak of the Denver Broncos’ new scoreboard and control room, recently installed at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.