Venue News: Dodgers’ Sale Could Affect NFL’s Return to L.A.

The pending sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers – and, more importantly, the property where Dodger Stadium sits – could have an interesting impact on bringing the NFL back to the Southern California city. It could make it happen a lot faster. Dodger Stadium appears to be the perfect location for an NFL stadium. While there are traffic and neighborhood issues in and outside of the location, they are mild compared to those anticipated for AEG’s proposed downtown site. The space is not as ample as the 600 acres at Ed Roski’s proposed City of Industry site, but it’s more than enough to suit the NFL’s purposes. When combined with the closer proximity to downtown L.A. (City of Industry of 20 miles east of downtown), Dodger Stadium seems to be an ideal fit for the NFL’s return…

… After Governor Mark Dayton and legislative leaders broke off talks last week on how to fund a new Minnesota Vikings stadium, lawmakers involved in drafting an earlier bill said their efforts remain on track. Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, who is leading stadium efforts in the House, and Senate counterpart Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, held a news conference with Dayton and other lawmakers who had met in the morning in search of a bipartisan deal. According to the lawmakers, any future solution will most likely rely on gambling revenue as a funding source.  Three options currently under evaluation are: allowing slot machines to be installed at horse tracks (known as “racinos”), authorizing charitable groups to offer an electronic version of pull-tabs, and allowing a casino at Block E in downtown Minneapolis. Revenue from racinos or electronic pull-tabs could support a $1.1 billion stadium either in suburban Arden Hills — the Vikings’ preference — or a facility in downtown Minneapolis. According to Lanning, the casino option would likely mean the stadium would be in Minneapolis…

…The West Side Stadium in Forest Hills, Queens, could return to hardcourt glory – and host the occasional hockey game – under a new plan pitched last week.  If a nonprofit group’s vision for the historic courts becomes reality, the former host venue of the U.S. Open would get a redesign that would allow it to morph into a venue for concerts and art shows. The Stadium Arts Alliance presented its idea prior to the West Side Tennis Club’s deadline for redevelopment concepts for the feature court, where the Open was held from 1923 through 1977. The alliance’s pitch may be the club’s last chance to preserve the old court, which has fallen into disrepair and become unplayable in recent years. The plan for the horseshoe-shaped venue would replace its bench seating with more spacious, stadium-style accommodations — and scale back capacity to about 9,700, from the current 16,000-plus layout. The alliance’s president, developer Kevin McCabe, hopes to bring occasional college and minor league hockey games to Forest Hills…

…Baylor Athletics has released an architectural rendering of an on-campus, riverfront football stadium, as an outgrowth of the University’s on-going strategic planning process, and will conduct a fan survey and feasibility study that is expected to be completed next month. The architectural drawing was done by Populous, which has been engaged to develop the stadium’s master plan. According to the university, the preferred location for the stadium is the Brazos River site adjacent to Interstate 35 and across from the Highers Athletics Complex. Beyond the architectural rendering, one of the first steps in the process will be a fan survey conducted by Conventions, Sports & Leisure that will be mailed out to Baylor Bear Foundation members and football season-ticket holders. The results of the fan survey and feasibility study will answer questions related to the stadium, including naming rights, stadium revenues, seating capacity, number of suites, club seating, function space, and other amenities. Baylor football has been off campus since 1936, when it moved from the on-campus Carroll Field facility to Waco Stadium (later renamed Municipal Stadium). This is the Bears’ 62nd season of football at the 50,000-seat Floyd Casey Stadium, which originally opened as Baylor Stadium in 1950.

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