Venue News: Madison Square Garden Unveils Video Board; Sun Life Stadium Upgrades Connectivity

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

Madison Square Garden unveiled images Monday of the new scoreboard that will hang from the ceiling when the final phase of the building’s renovation is open to the public Friday for the Bobcats-Knicks preseason game. The scoreboard is the centerpiece of the GardenVision video display system and includes 24 individual high-definition LED displays, curved to maximize visibility. The Garden said the scoreboard is one of two such structures in sports facilities that features LED displays located on the inside bottom for the benefit of those seated in lower sections of the bowl…

…SAP and Madison Square Garden announced a marketing and technology partnership, under which SAP becomes a signature partner in MSG’s sports, entertainment and media properties in New York. SAP will become naming partner of the Madison Concourse in the newly renovated MSG Arena as well as presenting partner for the arena’s “Defining Moments” and “Garden 366” exhibits. In addition, SAP becomes the official social media analytics partner of MSG, the Theater at MSG, New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Liberty, the Concert Series at MSG and the annual BNP Paribas Showdown tennis event at MSG…

…Nothing is more aggravating at a game or concert than not having cellphone reception. Surrounded by tens of thousands of fans, you can’t call or text your friends, send a tweet or even go online to check your fantasy football team. AT&T is changing all that at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, the 72,000-seat home of the Miami Dolphins and a popular venue for soccer, concerts and other events. The telecom company has spent more than five months upgrading its cellphone and WiFi networks at the stadium, sometimes deploying 200 people around the clock to work on the multimillion-dollar job. The new WiFi system alone required nearly 37 miles of copper cable and 34 miles of fiber-optic cable…

…If you can’t get a seat for a University of Tennessee football game in the 102,000-seat Neyland Stadium, just wait for 2016 when Bristol Motor Speedway transforms into the largest venue to ever host a college football game. Getting a motor speedway ready for college football won’t involve just laying some lines over the turf in the infield. Sports Illustrated takes a look at the steps involved in transforming a NASCAR venue into a college football stadium…

…A prominent Japanese architect is campaigning to reduce the size of the spaceship-like main stadium approved for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, saying it’s too expensive and would clash with its surroundings. Fumihiko Maki, who has designed some spectacular buildings of his own, says he’s not criticizing the design of the stadium by award-winning British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, just the size. His office says he has the support of 100 other well-known people in Japan, including architects.