Venue News: Oregon Opens Stunning New Football Facility; Sacramento Kings Select 49ers’ Construction Firm for Proposed Arena

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

Oregon football moved into its new, state-of-the-art, Phil Knight-funded facility this week. It cost a reported $68 million to build, and the sheer extravagance of the 145,000 square-foot building sets a new standard for college football facilities across the country. Facilities are a big-time recruiting tool. While it’s nice to have fancy facilities, write Business Insider, the real reason Oregon spent so much on this is to blow away 17 and 18-year-old kids who come to visit…

…The new owners of the Sacramento Kings have chosen one of the nation’s top construction firms to build the downtown arena. Turner Construction was one of five companies or joint ventures seeking the job. Turner built Sacramento International Airport’s Terminal B and is currently working on Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, the new home of the 49ers. Turner plans to shift key staff from the stadium project in Santa Clara and will rely on its network of 3,000 vendors and subcontractors in the Sacramento area…

…The San Jose Earthquakes announced that due to unforeseen conditions at the stadium site, the team is pushing back the opening date of their new stadium to the second half of the 2014 season. With the change in opening date, the team will play eight games at Buck Shaw Stadium, one game at Stanford Stadium and nine games at the new stadium next season. During the demolition phase, the construction team uncovered numerous concrete vaults deep in the ground, used munitions from the FMC factory, steel beams and hundreds of concrete pilings. Due to the high water table at the site, the excavated vaults also had to be drained of water, causing more delays during the grading process…

Changes are coming to FirstEnergy Stadium this fall. Some improvements are under way when it comes to the fan experience at the home Cleveland Browns games. There will be differences inside the stadium and outside of the stadium. According to Browns Team President, Alec Scheiner, there will be 44 new screening lines and 20 more turnstiles. In addition, there are plans to ramp up the pregame festivities at the game…

…Churchill Downs on Tuesday said its new grandstand seating near the Kentucky Derby starting gate will add 2,400 seats as part of a $14.5 million project to improve food, beverage and bathroom accommodations. The board of Louisville-based Churchill Downs Inc. approved the plans Monday. An earlier version of the plan — then called the Rooftop Garden — was filed earlier this month with Louisville Metro planning, but Churchill officials declined to discuss it in detail because it hadn’t been approved internally. Construction will begin Thursday and is expected to be ready for the Kentucky Oaks on May 2 and Kentucky Derby on May 3.