Venue News: Kentucky Speedway Aims To Prevent Future Gridlock; Patriots Plug in Fans

Kentucky Speedway and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plan to spend more than $11 million on parking and road improvements in response to the traffic problems that tarnished last month’s inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. By the next Quaker State 400, there will be more lanes off Interstate 71, a new parking area serviced by a new pedestrian tunnel, a new company handling the parking, and an overhauled traffic plan. The Transportation Cabinet will be tapping into its contingency fund to pay for $3.6 million worth of improvements to surrounding roadways and to build a pedestrian tunnel beneath Ky. 35. Kentucky Speedway purchased the 142 acres last week for $1.5 million and plans to turn it into a parking area capable of holding 10,000 cars. In July, the speedway operated 10 parking areas, with a total capacity of about 33,000 cars. The speedway plans to spend an additional $6 million on parking improvements and other services, including more restrooms. Thousands of fans endured lengthy delays as they tried to reach Kentucky Speedway on July 9…

…Putnam Investments and the New England Patriots unveiled Gillette Stadium’s upgraded, plugged-in, and plush luxury clubhouse renovations. Outside the stadium, Putnam is installing massive video screens above the club entrances to display tailgating fans’ Twitter messages and painting Quick Response codes directly onto VIP parking lots. The QR code designs will connect smartphones to videos on Pats history, fan polls, and other social-media features. Inside, the financial-services firm has transformed the 3,000-seat club sections into the Putnam Club, featuring basic upgrades like fresh carpeting and new color scheme as well as renovations that include more dining areas overlooking the field…

…TCU received approval from its board of trustees to renovate the east side of Amon G. Carter Stadium following the conclusion of the 2011 football season, enabling TCU to have a fully renovated stadium in time for the 2012 season, the school’s first in the Big East. Donors have contributed $143 million to date, exceeding the goal of $105 million noted when renovation of Amon G. Carter was initially announced last August. At the time, the east-side project was marked for completion several years down the road. Capacity for the completed venue will be 43,000, with expansion opportunities that could allow for 50,000 or more in the future. The new east side will feature a double deck similar to what has been created in the north end zone. The height of the upper deck will be at the level of the speakers that currently sit on the light poles of the existing stadium…

…Verizon Wireless is offering a preview of its 4G network to fans at Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium, home of the University of Nebraska Huskers, and surrounding areas this football season, with added capacity to serve 3G customers. The cellular company started 4G LTE service in the Omaha market in August but hasn’t yet announced when the next generation of cellular service will be available to the Lincoln market. Verizon said the 4G LTE network will be live on home-game weekends beginning this Friday and will be offered from Friday evening through Sunday for home-game weekends throughout the season. For Thanksgiving weekend, the 4G LTE network will be turned up Thursday through Sunday. According to Verizon, Husker fans with 4G LTE smartphones, laptop modems, and tablets will have communication speeds up to 10 times faster than the company’s 3G network. The 4G LTE network serves multimedia functions and e-mail for fans with 4G devices. All Verizon voice and text-messaging services use the company’s 3G network.

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