Venue News: Barclays Center Preps for New York Islanders; 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium Projected to Cost $2B

The New York Islanders are three months from their regular-season opener at Barclays Center, against the reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks. Their first preseason game in Brooklyn is Sept. 21. According to The New York Times, there still seems to be plenty of work to do before the team can call their new rink a home. Water dripped from high above the ice on at least one row of the makeshift press area Wednesday, and the 10,000-square-foot space that will include the new locker room for the Islanders, who announced in October 2012 that they would begin playing in Brooklyn in the 2015-16 season, remains at least a month from completion. It remains to be seen how smooth the transition will be once the Islanders start their home schedule against the Blackhawks on Oct. 9 and the grind of the season takes over…

…When the dust settles on the marquee venue for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, it could well be the most expensive sports stadium in the world, writes USA Today. The latest cost estimate of 252 billion yen ($2 billion at current exchange rates) would push it beyond the current record-holder, the $1.6 billion MetLife stadium completed in 2010 for the New York Jets and Giants football teams. At least five stadiums costing more than $1 billion have been built worldwide, four for American football and baseball teams and Wembley Stadium for soccer in London. Tokyo’s new stadium, designed by award-winning architect Zaha Hadid, would be the first to reach $2 billion. Unlike venues for professional sports teams, which generate a steady revenue stream, Olympic stadiums risk becoming “white elephants,” little used after their two weeks of glory…

…The next few months are crucial for the NFL, writes the Los Angeles Times. With St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke proposing a stadium in Inglewood, and the owners of the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders backing a competing project in Carson, the stars are aligned for something to happen. The league could be on the verge of solving a 20-year riddle and returning to Los Angeles. Then again, this could all fall apart just like every other plan. The Los Angeles Times offers some predictions about what we will see unfold in the next several months as it relates to the NFL in L.A…

…Carolina Panthers president Danny Morrison says the team has completed renovating its 153 luxury suites and upgrading cellular service at its 74,500-seat downtown stadium, writes the Associated Press. The Panthers are two years into a five-year renovation plan. Among the luxury suite renovations include easier seating access, additional refrigeration, five large-screen television sets, private restrooms and fully retractable windows. Morrison says the Panthers plan to upgrade the WiFi next year…

…The Wisconsin Senate on Wednesday approved a financing deal for a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, likely assuring that the franchise will not move to Seattle or Las Vegas, writes WDSU News. The bill still must be approved by the State Assembly. A plan for a $500 million arena in Milwaukee was unveiled in June, and Gov. Scott Walker and team and city officials pushed a bill seeking about $250 million in public funding. The arena, which would replace the 27-year-old BMO Harris Bradley Center, would be part of an estimated $1 billion development in downtown Milwaukee. The Bucks have committed $250 million and would be responsible for cost overruns.