Venue News: London Beefs Up Security Detail for 2012 Olympics

Sports fans heading to the 2012 London Games will face airport-style searches and an average 20-minute line to get into Olympic venues. According to the Games’ security and resilience director, some 300-400 security arches and X-ray machines could be in operation at all the entry gates. National Olympic Security Coordinator Chris Allison has meanwhile promised that London 2012 will be “a blue Games,” with police, rather than the military, patrolling the streets of the capital. Approximately 10,000 police officers and 13,000 security officers will be deployed across venues in London, backed up by scores of officers from the intelligence services. Thus far, £600 million has been set aside for security, although the final bill is expected to be less than £500 million…

… The Marlins are nearing a deal for principal naming rights of their new Miami ballpark. Team President David Samson has reported that negotiations were down to two international companies, both looking to increase exposure in the Miami area. The Marlins have other secondary sponsors lined up to put their names on the four quadrants of the ballpark. Those will be finalized after the primary naming partnership is announced…

…Clutch Hitters, a local group promoting the Tampa Bay Rays to area companies, is swinging for a new stadium. Group leaders will meet with St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster on Aug. 10, hoping to end the standoff between the city and the team over building a replacement for Tropicana Field. The Rays want to leave downtown St. Petersburg and find a site for a stadium elsewhere, possibly Tampa. However, Foster has refused to allow the team to explore any options that aren’t in St. Petersburg or on adjacent county land. The team’s contract with the city binds them to the Trop through 2027. The group isn’t proposing a specific location or a plan to pay for a new stadium that could cost as much as $600 million. Instead, the group is focused on emphasizing the need for new-stadium talks to begin, fearing delays hurt the community’s leverage to negotiate…

… The Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on an AEG plan to build a privately financed $1 billion retractable-roof stadium on the current site of the Los Angeles Convention Center’s West Hall. But an estimate by Conventions, Sports and Leisure, a Dallas-based consulting firm hired by the city to examine the economic impact of the AEG project, said the final price tag on the NFL’s return to Los Angeles could reach $3 billion for AEG. CSL has been involved in a number of major sports-venue projects, including the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey and the renovation of the Georgia Dome, and has worked with AEG on L.A.’s Staples Center. According to CSL, it is likely that AEG will purchase a percentage of the team and possibly the entire team, which would require AEG to pay a major relocation fee on top of the cost for both the team and stadium.  Those combined costs could easily reach $2 billion-$3 billion.

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