Venue News: 2018 World Cup Final Venue Gets Completion Date; Widest Video Board in MiLB Planned in Charlotte

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

Refurbishing Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, the venue for the 2018 World Cup final, will take three and a half years, City Hall in the Russian capital announced Friday. The hulking and iconic arena on the banks of the Moskva River closed after August’s world athletics championships, and work is to start in the new year as the final design is still being finalized, authorities said in a statement. After the work is completed in April 2017, the stadium will have a capacity of 81,000, up from 78,000 at present. The increase is less than FIFA had asked for, but football’s world governing body settled for less after discussions with Moscow officials worried about the potential 1.5 billion-euro cost of a more extensive rebuild…

…The widest video board in minor league baseball will be installed at the Charlotte Knights ballpark in uptown, officials said Wednesday. Electronics giant Toshiba Corp. and consulting firm Total Sports Entertainment are involved in the video board project, team officials said at a press conference that unveiled plans for the digital displays at the minor league team’s new home. The 30-by-82-foot video board will go in left-center field, where it will keep score and show images. With about 3 million LED lamps, it will be one of the brightest in professional sports, said Chris Applegate, director for Toshiba Managed Business Services…

…Sports fans will be “on top of the action’’ as never before at the newly renovated Madison Square Garden.
These never-before-seen photos, from the New York Post, show the centerpiece of the arena’s renovation — two revolutionary glass-walled seating “bridges” attached to the roof that hold 430 seats, each going for $110 to $210. The bridges include walkways behind the seats for fans to stroll along. The bridges can hold a total of 900 people. The bridge seats are 94 feet away from the arena floor — about the same distance as existing front-row seats…

…More than 95% of Markham taxpayers don’t want any public funding for a proposed 20,000-seat arena in the city, according to a survey by citizens who oppose the project. Concerned Citizens of Markham, a coalition of residents and some councillors who oppose the project, revealed Friday their survey generated more than 10,700 responses. They say the results showed residents overwhelmingly oppose the use of tax dollars or subsidies for the controversial $325-million arena. The survey also indicated most respondents want the city to provide a lot more information about the project, they say…

…Virginia Tech and Tennessee recently agreed at play a football game at Bristol Motor Speedway during the 2016 season. The meeting, which would be the first between the two teams since 1937, could take place in front of up to 160,000 fans. Sports Illustrated takes a look at some other instances of a sport being played at a unique venue