Venue News: Islanders Reach Lease Agreement; Vikings Fans Oppose Stadium Funding

The New York Islanders took an important step forward Wednesday toward their goal of getting a new arena that will allow them to stay on Long Island. Nassau County has reached a lease agreement in its plans to create a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment destination center at the Hub in Nassau County that will retain Long Island’s only major professional sports team through 2045. The plan is contingent on residents approving the building of a new arena at the site of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The agreement will generate $1.2 billion, the revenue of which will be used, in part, to pay off $350 million in construction costs associated with the new arena. In addition, a new stadium is expected to jumpstart the local economy, create jobs, and generate business for Nassau County…

…City Council member Blake Huffman, of Shoreview City, MN, has started an online petition to prevent the Minnesota Vikings stadium from being built in nearby Arden Hills.  Concerned with the lack of public input on the proposed $1 billion project proposal that includes a $350 million contribution from Ramsey County residents through a half-cent sales tax increase. Huffman, a professed fan of the Vikings, plans to present the petition to the Ramsay County commissioners. The state would be expected to pay $300 million, and the Vikings would contribute $407 million…

…Los Angeles’ top policy advocate, Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry F. Miller, has backed a pending City Council resolution that opposes any attempt by developers to circumvent state environmental rules for a proposed football stadium in the downtown area. The resolution is intended to maintain environmental safeguards in conjunction with the project, which would require tearing down and rebuilding a portion of the city’s Convention Center.  The NFL has not yet agreed to provide a team for the proposed 64,000-seat stadium…

…Organizers of the Pan American Games in Mexico are concerned that some venues may not be finished in time for the October event.  The main stand of the 8,500-seat athletics stadium is taking shape, but construction on the track has yet to begin and dirt roads provide the only access to the venue.  The athletes’ village is expected to be finished within two months, leaving around 60 days to install high-tech equipment and security. The games this fall will be Mexico’s biggest attempt at organizing a major international sporting event since the World Cup in 1986. Officials say they have surpassed the 2007 Rio de Janeiro Pan American Games record for generating sponsorship. The games are estimated to generate a windfall of $2.7 billion with around one million visitors expected…

…The same tornado that tore through Churchill Downs wreaked havoc on Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, home of the University of Louisville Cardinals, ripping down fences, splitting water pipes, and downing electrical lines and poles.  The storm, classified as an EF2, cut through with winds that clocked in at 120 mph, leaving a mess throughout the area.  The stadium itself escaped damage.