Venue News: Toronto FC Gets $20M Training Complex

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment plans to build a $20 million, 14-square-acre soccer training complex for Toronto FC and its development academy. Construction crews are scheduled to break ground on the complex in early May, with the project slated to open in April 2012. “We hope to create the soccer epicenter of Canada,” said Bob Hunter, EVP of venues and entertainment at MLSE. The site is owned by the Canadian government and is on an old airfield in the Downsview Park neighborhood of Toronto. Hunter said MLSE chose the venue from 11 candidates because of its 10-mile proximity to BMO Field and because the site is adjacent to an existing community sports park that includes four indoor soccer fields…

…Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf encouraged state lawmakers this week to support building a new football stadium and expressed confidence the bill would pass this year. “We’re confident that we have the parts in place to get this done this session,” Wilf told reporters at the Capitol after several hours of meetings with about a dozen state lawmakers. He met with sponsors of the bill and at least a few lawmakers who are skeptical of supporting public funding for a stadium in a year when they’re facing widespread cuts in state spending to fix a state budget deficit…

…The area around Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI, could be home to a new indoor football practice facility as well as a baseball stadium. Those are among concepts under consideration for a Titletown sports and entertainment district, Green Bay Packers representatives told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Packers officials have talked in general terms about developing the area around Lambeau Field but spoke more specifically about those concepts after the newspaper obtained information about the discussions from other sources…

…The sports landscape at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is evolving. Within the next few years, every major sports team at the university will be playing in new or renovated facilities. On April 13, the Nebraska athletic department unveiled renderings of plans for East Stadium at Memorial Stadium, a project that will add 6,000 seats to the stadium and bring the total capacity to around 92,000. The expansion will essentially double the height of East Stadium, providing the added benefit of trapping more noise, which will make life more difficult on the opponent. The project also includes a new grand lobby and expanded concourse.

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