` Venue News: Eagles Plan Major Linc Renovation; Jaguars To Build Practice Facility

Venue News: Eagles Plan Major Linc Renovation; Jaguars To Build Practice Facility

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Assistant Editor, SVG

The Philadelphia Eagles are planning major changes at Lincoln Financial Field, including adding seats and building new field-level suites to generate more revenue from the 10-year-old stadium and improve the fan experience. A proposal issued in mid-May by the Eagles for preconstruction manager services lists the potential improvements for a project spanning the next two offseasons. The project’s total cost could be in the range of $60 million to $100 million, according to industry sources familiar with the Eagles’ intentions. It is not clear who would pay for renovating the city-owned stadium. In order of importance, the document lists the priorities as video board replacements, seating bowl fill-ins in the northeast and southwest corners, new field-level clubs, renovations to clubs on the east and west sides, suite improvements and gate entry upgrades. The Linc’s facelift would be the most costly renovation to date among a group of nine NFL stadiums built during the past 10 years…

…The days of thunderstorms forcing the Jacksonville Jaguars into makeshift indoor practice spaces are numbered, as the organization has decided to build an indoor practice facility. The facility, which is still in the planning stages, would likely fall under the financial responsibility of the Jaguars and cost more than $10 million. Though the facility is a future project, the Jaguars and the city have begun upgrades throughout EverBank Field, including a $2 million sound-system upgrade. Cellphone towers to enhance cellular reception and Wi-Fi installation in the stadium are also in the works, a project worth $1.5 million, in which the telecommunications providers will invest and will not cost the city or the Jaguars. The Jaguars themselves are spending $3 million on renovating the locker room…

…Montreal’s field of dreams has long been a downtown baseball stadium, but a new-and-improved soccer stadium in the east end might be the next best thing.  The Montreal Impact brass proudly offered a tour of the renovated Saputo Stadium Friday. The government provided $23-million for the facelift, which expands capacity to 20,341. Team President Joey Saputo crowed that the job was done on budget. All 34 luxury boxes, up from the previous 16, have been sold. And tickets might also end up getting all gobbled up if people aren’t quick at the gate…

…A plan for Arizona State University’s baseball team to share the Chicago Cubs’ new complex in Mesa may be in deep trouble. ASU President Michael Crow sent Mesa Mayor Scott Smith a scathing e-mail last week in which he accused Cubs management of being “erratic” and “not people of their word” in negotiating the stadium deal. ASU and the Cubs have been talking for almost a year about the university piggybacking with the major-league team to save the cost of building a replacement for Packard Stadium. Packard, where ASU has played baseball since 1974, is viewed as obsolete and the university wants to redevelop the site, using the proceeds to help fund major renovations to the Sun Devils’ aging football stadium…

…Progress is being made in negotiations to extend the Buffalo Bills lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium and the $200 million price tag for renovations that comes with it, leaving Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz hopeful an agreement in principal could be reached by the end of next month. Poloncarz stressed it’s premature to label the deal as anywhere near completion. The first step would be reaching what Poloncarz called a “memorandum of understanding,” which would encompass the framework of the agreement by the time the Bills open training camp on July 26. The date does not represent a hard and fast deadline, but is instead an artificial timetable the two sides have set as an objective to complete talks. The next step would be just as comprehensive and involve lawyers preparing an actual lease to be signed before the Bills’ current deal expires in July 2013. The lease talks, combined with the Bills’ bid to extensively renovate the 40-year-old stadium, are regarded as a key phase in securing the small-market franchise’s long-term future in Buffalo.

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