Venue News: Citi Field Still on Winter Classic Site List

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will not rule out Citi Field as a potential site for the 2012 Winter Classic, but that does not mean hockey fans should get ready to bundle up for an outdoor game by Flushing Bay. The SportsBusiness Journal reported this week that while the late-December Pinstripe Bowl has eliminated Yankee Stadium from being considered to host the NHL’s annual New Year’s showcase, there are no scheduling conflicts to “hurt the chances of Citi Field or New Meadowlands Stadium…”

…The governing board that oversees sports arenas in Hillsborough County, Florida talked about but then rejected wading into the Tampa Bay Rays stadium debate this week. With the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce forming a caucus to study creative financing options for a new stadium, Tampa City Council Chairman Tom Scott posed the question. Scott serves as a member of the Tampa Sports Authority, which runs Raymond James Stadium and has served as a landlord of sorts of the St. Pete Times Forum and the New York Yankees spring training field. Scott asked: Shouldn’t the agency lend its expertise to the discussion?…

Ole Miss is formulating ideas about a new playing facility for the school’s basketball teams, athletic director Pete Boone said this week. Boone said the discussions started recently as part of the university’s executive management council, which noted the potential for increased enrollment over the next three to five years. That would necessitate an upgrading of the school’s capacity in dining and recreation facilities. In turn, that sparked an idea from Boone, who wondered if a new arena/assembly center could be incorporated into that concept. “It seems to have merited enough interest that it might be something we can do, that we each now can go back to find out how we can fund it,” Boone said. “[That’s] what it’s all going to boil down to…”

…The Board of Directors for Exposition Park and the California Science Center opted this week to continue studying USC’s offer to purchase the land under the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena. The state offered to sell the land to USC in an attempt to ease its budget deficit. The university has expressed interest in the purchase to help alleviate daytime parking shortages. Following a lengthy closed-door meeting, the board unanimously agreed to “thoroughly consider all issues” before voting on the matter, said Robert L. Stein, chairman of the California Science Center Board of Directors…

… Duquesne University plans a $1.3 million upgrading of its men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball locker rooms, the latest improvements to the on-campus A.J. Palumbo Center. The project begins in April and will follow a recently completed $1.8 million renovation that included the installation of additional chairback seats, a new center-court video scoreboard, and four lower-level scoreboards. A redesign of the arena’s lower corridor is planned in the latest project, which will be funded by private donations. The renovated area will be named the Janice and James Schaming Athletic Center.

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