Venue News: Barclays Center Drops New York Islanders; Raiders’ Move to Las Vegas in Jeopardy

Venue News puts the spotlight on the sports-venue industry, delivering the latest on new builds and recent renovations, venues currently under construction, and proposed stadiums and arenas on the horizon, all with an eye on what fans can expect from their in-game experience. This week’s Venue News looks at Barclays Center’s decision to lose the New York Islanders, the current state of the Oakland Raiders’ proposed move to Las Vegas, the termination of the Chargers’ lease at Qualcomm Stadium, the planned 4K upgrades at the Baltimore Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium, and the latest on Red Bull Arena’s naming rights.

After two years and countless complaints, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center has concluded it’s no longer worth it to host the New York Islanders, writes Bloomberg. The arena, which is already home to the NBA’s Nets and one of the world’s top-grossing concert venues, would make more money without the National Hockey League team, according to people familiar with the facility’s financials. Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who owns the building and the Nets, has since November been seeking an investor to take a stake in both…

…A day after casino magnate Sheldon Adelson withdrew his $650 million pledge toward a $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed stadium to entice the Oakland Raiders to move to Las Vegas, Goldman Sachs, which was purportedly in line to serve as a financier for the Raiders in place of Adelson, also pulled out. According to ESPN, it puts the Raiders’ desired move to Southern Nevada in jeopardy and raises more questions…

…The Chargers have officially canceled their stadium lease in San Diego, triggering the termination on the first day of the 2017 window for doing so, writes NBC Sports. The team wired $12.575 million in order to formalize the end of the relationship between the Chargers and the San Diego stadium where the team has played for decades. The team has had the annual ability to terminate its Qualcomm Stadium lease, with the amount of the early termination fee shrinking each year. The lease ends with only four years remaining on it…

…New 4K ultra-high definition video displays, escalators and elevators to the upper deck, a new sound system and upgraded kitchen facilities are part of a three-year, $120 million improvement plan for M&T Bank Stadium, writes WBAL-TV. The Maryland Stadium Authority has also agreed to contribute an additional $24 million to go toward the general stadium upkeep of the stadium, which opened in 1998. The stadium, which originally cost $220 million to build, has undergone $100 million in past enhancements by the Ravens, including a $45 million investment from 2013-15 to install WiFi capabilities, advanced LED video displays, redesigned concession stands and upgraded concourses.

…MP & Silva, an international media company that provides media rights, digital, technology and sponsorship services, announced that they have been retained by the New York Red Bulls to sell the naming rights for the team’s home, Red Bull Arena, with an attendance capacity of over 25,000. The stadium, in Harrison, NJ, has had its current name since it opened in 2010, and MP & Silva will now work with the Red Bulls to identify and monetize a new name for the facility.

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