Venue News: Texans Unveil Record-Breaking Video Boards; U.S. Open Venue Seeks Half-Billion for Renovations

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans, now boasts two video screens that beat the record previously held by Dallas. At 14,549 square feet apiece, the screens are almost large enough for stadium-goers anywhere in Reliant to feel like … well, like they’re sitting at home watching the game on their own HD television, only with tens of thousands of folks all around them. The screens cost $16 million of taxpayer money, funds which Houston officials say will be recouped when the Super Bowl comes to town. Houston has been picked to host the Super Bowl in 2017…

…The U.S. Tennis Association is seeking to borrow up to half a billion dollars to fund the $550 million renovation of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, a project the group formally disclosed last week and that ultimately calls for roofs over the facility’s two main stadiums. Earlier this month, the USTA sent a request for proposals to finance firms, seeking a lead lender. The financing would easily be the largest borrowing ever by the USTA, and almost assuredly the largest in the history of the sport. The USTA, which operates the tennis complex, will not raise money through the sale of personal seat licenses, according to Gordon Smith, the USTA’s executive director. He decried that approach as burdening the Open’s fans with the cost of the renovation…

… A half-century-long tradition of community involvement will continue at the Chicago Cubs’ new stadium in Mesa in the wake of a deal between the big-league team and the Mesa HoHoKams. The agreement ends months of uncertainty for the HoHoKams, who use revenue from their stadium operations to pump $150,000 to $160,000 a year into youth-sports programs. The complex near the interchange of loops 101 and 202 is scheduled for completion late this year, and the Cubs will begin playing there next spring. Mesa agreed to build the stadium, practice fields, clubhouse, and other amenities after the Cubs nearly left for Florida when business interests there offered a new complex in 2009…