Venue News: Alabama Tornado Narrowly Misses Home of Crimson Tide

The devastating Alabama tornado that hit Tuscaloosa came close to hitting the city’s renowned football stadium, Bryant-Denny Stadium, home to the University of Alabama Crimson Tide. Last season, the Crimson Tide posted a 10-3 record (5-3 conference), with a home record of 6-1. Fortunately, the iconic stadium, which seats more than 101,800 individuals, escaped the massive storm…

…In the Bay Area, the San Francisco 49ers have sought the help of a Southern California firm specializing in mega-contracts for sports in order to land a big naming-rights agreement. CAA Sports will help the 49ers pinpoint a qualified company to help bring in hundreds of millions of dollars, which would help fund the $937 million stadium scheduled to open in 2015. City officials have reportedly given the 49ers two years to find a sponsor for the future stadium…

…Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field will be seeing improvements with a new sound system and north-side entrance. Installation of the sound system is set to begin in May and, when complete, will change Lambeau’s audio from a single-point system to a distributed and more dispersed structure. The new north gate will help with traffic flow and even provide quicker access for club-level and suite attendees…

…The French Tennis Federation (FFT), is looking to expand its Roland Garros facility, in part because of concerns and complaints from players over tight playing conditions. The FFT has proposed to develop the site into the gardens of Serres D’Auteuil, which is directly next to Roland Garros. Opposing this expansion are Serres D’Auteuil garden enthusiasts, who wish to preserve the area. FFT representatives voted in favor of keeping the French Open at its current location, implying its plan to build over the nature-filled greens…

…A stadium-seat–ownership proposal from the Edmonton Oilers has been put to rest. Stadium Capital Financing Group suggested selling about 1,500 seats (plus an additional 500 club seats) for prices ranging from $275,000 to $415,000 in an attempt to raise enough money to fund the team’s $500 million planned arena (with remaining cash going to team owners and community projects). The proposal was shot down, however, because team representatives believed the idea was overly aggressive and not in line with current season-ticket holders’ plans.