Venue News: Ravens Unveil Stadium-Upgrade Plans; Broncos Partner with Comcast Business on Fan Experience

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

Improvements to video boards, concession stands, and all concourses at M&T Bank Stadium were unveiled by the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday during a news conference in Baltimore. The upgrades represent the first installment of a two-year, $35 million investment by the Ravens, which team officials said was designed to enhance the fan experience. The first phase of improvements, which began in March, includes extensive upgrades to the stadium’s lower concourse and video boards. The second phase of work, which will target the upper concourse, is scheduled to begin next spring and will be completed in time for the 2014 NFL season…

…Denver Broncos fans who tote smartphones and tablets to Sports Authority Field at Mile High this season will find themselves a bit more connected to the outside world. The team has tapped Comcast Business to improve the “fan game-day experience” at the stadium and to beef up the communications infrastructure at the Broncos’ headquarters and training facility using a mix of upgrades and technology renovations, including faster Ethernet connections, more extensive Wi-Fi capabilities, and a heavier emphasis of high-definition video…

…Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said Wednesday that he remains committed to winning public dollars for the team’s proposed stadium renovations, and would not rule out a return to Tallahassee in 2014. Ross’ bid for both state and county financing for the $350 million rehab project died when House Speaker Will Weatherford declined to put the bill up for a vote during the legislative session. The team has repeatedly argued that the 26-year-old stadium needs significant work to remain a viable facility. The team blames last May’s NFL vote against Miami as host of Super Bowls 50 or 51 on Sun Life Stadium’s poor condition…

…The fight for the hearts, minds and votes of Markham councillors over the city’s proposed landmark arena is starting to feel like the final feverish minutes of a close playoff hockey game. Opponents and supporters are turning to surveys, mass mailings, and even community sponsorships in hopes of swaying a split council on whether to proceed with the controversial $325-million, public-private project. The arena issue has dominated Markham politics for more than two years. Efforts by the “yes” and “no” forces gained more urgency last week, when Deputy Mayor Jack Heath called for an end to the debate and a final vote by council next month.