Venue News: New Meadowlands To Become MetLife Stadium?; Oklahoma State Breaks Ground on Athletic Village

MetLife is in advanced discussions with New Meadowlands Stadium to upgrade its corner sponsorship at the home of the New York Giants and Jets, and site of the 2014 Super Bowl, to a full naming-rights deal.  Currently, MetLife is paying $7 million annually for their cornerstone sponsorship; several sources claim that the naming-rights deal under consideration averages between $17 and $18 million a year, despite reports that executives for the year-old facility were previously seeking upwards of $30 million a year. While the deal is not complete, those inquiring about naming rights have been told that they are not available, although a cornerstone sponsorship might be. If the deal is completed, New York-based MetLife would join Progressive (Cleveland) and Farmers (planned for L.A.) as insurance brands with naming rights at sports venues…

… Following years of funding, debate, and anticipation, Oklahoma State’s Athletic Village — a deluxe complex of athletic stadiums, fields, and practice facilities planned for the 100 acres of open space north of Boone Pickens Stadium — is finally under construction. A $16 million indoor practice facility is considered the top priority for the OSU athletic department, while construction of the Sherman E. Smith Training Center, a multi-use indoor practice facility that will serve football, soccer, baseball, softball, and track, will begin in August and take approximately two years to complete. Three new football practice fields — two grass and one artificial turf — are already being built and should be ready in a year…

… The Perth government has announced plans to build Australia’s third largest and most technologically advanced stadium at Burswood.  The project, estimated at $1 billion for the stadium and transportation infrastructure, is intended to transform Burswood’s sporting culture and position Perth as an international contender to host events such as the Commonwealth Games and World Athletics Championships. The 60,000-seat facility, with the capacity to expand to 70,000, may also boost the likelihood of a rugby league team forming in Western Australia. The stadium will be designed for spectator comfort and reflect the intimate seating of Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, but unlike Etihad, the Perth stadium will not be covered. It has not yet been decided whether Etihad’s revolutionary lighting system, which simulates sunlight and generates warmth, will be adopted…

… After a nearly two-year hiatus, the Savannah State University Tigers will play their first on-campus home game on Oct. 1. Because of structural problems in the press box of the original T.A. Wright Stadium, the SSU Tigers moved their home games to nearby Memorial Stadium to allow for construction of a new T.A. Wright Stadium. SSU students voted to increase admissions costs in order to fund a $21.95 million construction project that would include new football, baseball, softball, tennis, and track facilities, as well as a new 50,000-square foot student center. The $6 million, 8,000-seat football stadium contains a 500-seat student section, a box for student government officers, and upgraded concessions stands, locker rooms, and restrooms…

…Executives for the Daytona International Speedway are launching a new smartphone application to help fans navigate the 480-acre motorsports park, locating everything from the restroom to the concession stand. The iPhone and Android app will be beta-tested during this weekend’s Coke Zero 400. Fans who sign up for the app on the speedway’s website or Facebook page will be able to download and test it. If the test goes well, International Speedway’s technology division plans to develop similar apps for its 11 other speedways that host Sprint Cup races.