Venue News: Qatar Cuts Stadiums Planned for 2022 World Cup; Proposed Braves Stadium More Expensive Than Expected

Qatar reduced the number of stadiums it plans to build for the 2022 soccer World Cup by a third amid rising costs and delays, writes Bloomberg. The country, which won the right in 2010 to host the world’s most-watched sporting event, plans to build eight stadiums for the games, Ghanim Al Kuwari, the organizing committee’s senior manager for projects, said at a conference in Doha yesterday. The country originally announced plans for 12 stadiums, including nine new playing fields and three refurbishments. Al Kuwari didn’t give a reason for the cut…

…Cobb County political leaders last fall assured taxpayers that their financial commitment toward a new Atlanta Braves stadium would be capped at $300 million to build the stadium and another $35 million for 30 years of capital maintenance. But an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation has found the county will borrow an additional $18.2 million when it issues bonds to pay for the project. The new costs are needed to cover $15.1 million for the first year of interest on the debt, along with another $3.1 million to pay the county’s bond attorney and other issuance costs. That brings the amount borrowed to $386 million, not the $368 million told to the public and outlined in a preliminary agreement with the Braves that was approved by the county commission in November…

…Just in time for the playoffs, Miami Heat fans will find it easier to send their selfies and connect with friends and social media via a newly installed distributed antenna system (DAS) at AmericanAirlines Arena, according to the Florida Sun-Sentinel. The system consists of more than 320 strategically-placed antennas that distribute wireless coverage throughout heavily-trafficked areas. Connected cellular carriers include AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint. The system has also been installed at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, though the immediate benefit will be for the concert crowd with the Florida Panthers not in the playoffs…

…Football season will be here before you know it, writes WJXT, and the Jaguars will start off their preseason against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what some say is like a brand new stadium. Since January, EverBank Field has been getting a makeover: brand new score boards, seats, two pools and more. Some of the most exciting features will be that each scoreboard is 55,000 square feet, a 660 percent increase over last season’s boards and the most offered by any NFL stadium…

…Imagine walking into a stadium and your smartphone immediately pings you that a $30 premium seat upgrade is available for purchase on your mobile device. As soon as you settle in to enjoy that awesome view of the game, you use your smartphone to order a pulled pork sandwich and imported beer delivered right to your seat. Then, when your favorite player scores a touchdown, you use the team’s app to watch an instant replay at multiple angles and a stadium-exclusive video feed of the players on the sideline. Later on, when nature calls, the app directs you to the closest restroom with no wait time. This isn’t a far-fetched futuristic stadium experience, writes TechRepublic. It’s already available at some venues, and others are rushing as fast as they can to add next generation digital systems that will make attending a game in person an immersive, connected experience.