Venue News: Chicago Alderman, Cubs At Odds Over Proposed Video Board; Celtic Park Taps Cisco for High-Density WiFi

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

On the eve of the first City Hall hearing on the plan to rehab the aging but iconic Wrigley Field, Alderman Tom Tunney spelled out his list of demands. Wrigleyville’s alderman sent a letter to the Cubs saying that if the organization wants his support for the plan, it will need to cut by one-third the size of a left field video scoreboard and greatly reduce the size of a requested right field advertising sign. In response to Tunney’s letter, Cubs spokesman Julian Green reiterated the team’s position that if the Ricketts family is to invest $300 million in the restoration and modernization of Wrigley Field, plus another $200 million for a hotel across the street, “all elements” of the sprawling plan must be in place…

…Celtic has teamed up with sports media and digital marketing agency Sports Revolution and Cisco to provide WiFi to the club’s Celtic Park stadium, through Cisco’s Connected Stadium WiFi network. The hi-density network is one of the first of its kind to be installed in the UK. It is already installed in Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium and Manchester City’s Etihad stadium. An exclusive app called ‘Celtic Live’, built on Sports Revolution’s StadiumLive platform, is also being developed by Celtic and Sports Revolution. The app will enable users to view and interact with a wide expanse of club content. The new network is in the process of being installed and is hoped to be in place early in the 2013-14 season…

…With students and faculty on vacation until early August, Pepperdine University took advantage of some quiet time to improve its athletic facilities at the Charles B. Runnels Sports and Recreation Village. Several major renovations are underway including a new wood floor on the basketball court at Firestone Fieldhouse, an expanded soccer field and significant refurbishments to the Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool. Firestone Fieldhouse will be receiving a considerable facelift with a new maple wood floor being installed, new video scoreboard, new basketball standards, and new floor seating for the teams and fans. The video scoreboard replaces the old scoreboard, which has been in use since 1988…

…CFL stadiums are being replaced or refurbished at a pace probably unmatched in league history, starting this season with the opening of a new home for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. In 2014, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will move into a new facility while the expansion Ottawa Redblacks are projected to call a revamped Frank Clair Stadium home. And in 2017, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are scheduled to move into a new open-air venue to replace Mosaic Stadium. Existing facilities in Calgary and Edmonton get upgrades this season to make the game-day experience nicer for their fans…

…By a 7-2 vote, the Sacramento City Council agreed to set aside $6.5 million in public funding on a new downtown arena for the Sacramento Kings – the first large investment in a facility that city officials have touted as the most significant redevelopment project in the history of downtown. The decision was the first push forward on a preliminary, nonbinding plan approved by the council in March to help finance a $448 million arena at the Downtown Plaza. That term sheet will not be formalized until the City Council votes on a final spending plan next year, following the conclusion of an environmental review of the arena project.