Venue News: Atlanta Falcons’ Stadium Cost Projected to Exceed $1B; MetLife Stadium Passes Pre-Super Bowl Power Test

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

The Atlanta Falcons revealed this week that the projected cost of their new downtown stadium has risen to $1.2 billion, a jump of $200 million from the $1 billion figure that the team long used as a ballpark estimate. The increased cost does not change the amount of taxpayer money going into the project. To put the rising price of sports palaces in perspective, the increase alone would have been almost enough to pay for the Georgia Dome, which was completed in 1992 at a cost of $214 million. The Dome will be demolished when the new stadium opens in 2017…

…MetLife Stadium has passed a power test in preparations for February’s Super Bowl, an organizer announced Thursday, as the NFL hopes to avoid a repeat of last winter’s power outage at New Orleans’ Superdome that delayed the game a half hour. A recent test of electrical systems at the Meadowlands sports complex in East Rutherford, N.J., was successful but for a few minor issues, said Al Kelly, head of the host committee for the Super Bowl. He would not be more specific…

…The Minnesota Timberwolves and the City of Minneapolis have announced a $97 million renovation plan for Target Center. The long-negotiated plan finally was announced Tuesday and is scheduled to be voted on for approval by the City Council on Nov. 12. The Timberwolves will pay $43 million toward the project, Minneapolis will contribute $48.5 million, and building manager AEG will pay $5.5 million. The deal also extends the Timberwolves’ lease at the arena through 2032..

…If fans want to text or tweet about whether TCU quarterback Casey Pachall should play or debate University of Texas coach Mack Brown’s future, they shouldn’t have any problems using their smartphones Saturday night at Amon G. Carter Stadium. When a renovation was completed last year, the entire stadium was set up with cellular service. While WiFi has already been up and running in the suites, the press box and some other areas, it’s now available throughout the stadium. AT&T officials say the digital antenna system is equivalent to seven cell sites — enough capacity to serve a city the size of Allen, population 89,210, in Collin County.