` Venue News: Verizon Center Pushes for Exterior HD Screens; OSU Breaks Ground on Practice Facility

Venue News: Verizon Center Pushes for Exterior HD Screens; OSU Breaks Ground on Practice Facility

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Assistant Editor, SVG

Ted Leonsis told a D.C. Council committee that his controversial plan to put high-definition flat screens outside the Verizon Center could help teams inside the downtown arena lift the Stanley Cup or don championship rings one day. Mr. Leonsis, president and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the arena and the city’s Capitals, Wizards, and Mystics pro sports teams, testified that pending legislation to help him obtain up to nine HD panels would fill city coffers with tax revenue and provide his company with the kind of advertising revenue needed to sign big-name athletes. Monumental wants to replace massive vinyl banners and a pair of electronic signs marred by “broken pixels” with the smaller, more energy-efficient signs, which would lie flat against the arena’s exterior walls. Critics of the proposal predict the screens will be a blight that could distract drivers, detract from the District’s charm and spoil views of the Old Patent Office Building across from the arena along Seventh Street Northwest…

…Ceremonial shovels hit the ground Thursday, marking the long-awaited beginning of Oregon State’s basketball practice facility construction. In OSU’s case, the facility is a four-story, 34,500-square foot, $15 million message that the Beavers are catching up with the rest of the Pac-12. After input from coaches, the practice facility grew from a $5 million project to one with a $15 million price tag. There will be two regulation courts, an OSU basketball Hall of Fame, weight rooms, locker rooms, meeting rooms, lounges and offices. Oregon State has many facilities but few “bells and whistles,’’ especially when compared with Oregon, but this should be a building with a little wow factor…

…According to Port Commissioner Tom Albro, a new multipurpose sports arena in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood, drawing thousands of cars every few nights into a part of town dominated by the maritime industry, would be a “massive killer.” Port and labor representatives told the council’s Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee that there’s already too much traffic from Mariners games, and there are already too many transportation issues in the industrial neighborhood. Extra congestion from a new arena would further disrupt port operations, they said, and could cause shipping companies to move to other harbors. The problem is, for a new arena, Sodo is the spot. Seattle has an investor, Chris Hansen, who has bought up land south of Safeco Field and has offered millions of his own money to help build an arena there…

…Clemson University will add an integrated LED video, scoring, and sound system for Memorial Stadium prior to the 2012 college football season. Incorporated into the existing east end zone structure, Daktronics will install a large video display measuring approximately 25 feet tall by 61 feet wide. The company will also provide additional video displays in the corners of the WestZone Club. Each measuring approximately 19 feet tall by 31 feet wide, these displays will ensure every fan throughout the stadium will have a crisp view of the action on the field. A custom Daktronics sound system will be integrated with the video and scoring system. Daktronics will also install an additional 730 feet of LED ribbon boards mounted to the sideline fascia on the north and south stands of Memorial Stadium. These displays will integrate with existing ribbon board technology already in the stadium while providing game information, real-time statistics, animation and sponsor logos…

…The Houston Texans are building a second all-inclusive club in the upper deck of Reliant Stadium. The Chairmans Club, the name of the newly developed space, covers about 500 seats upstairs in the south end, supported by a 12,000-square-foot lounge that was previously part of the upper-level concourse. Season-ticket prices for the new club are $140 a game plus a $1,000 seat license fee. The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, the Texans’ co-tenant at Reliant Stadium, is a partner in the project. Together, they are sharing the investment of more than $1 million to build the Chairmans Club. The retrofit involves carpet, marble bars, sofas, cocktail tables, rest room upgrades, and the addition of 32 televisions dispersed throughout the club. Twenty 50-inch screens will hang in the lounge.

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