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SBD/Issue 237/Facilities & VenuesPrint All
Questions Need To Be Answered Before
Kings' Land-Swap Deal Is Complete
California state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg in a letter yesterday to Cal Expo and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said that he "wants more questions answered before the state will consider legislation to allow the sale of Cal Expo as part of a proposal to build a new arena for the Kings," according to Tony Bizjak of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Developers had been "pressing for legislation this month to pave the way for a complicated deal that would move the State Fair to the Arco Arena site, the Kings' current home, and finance a new arena near the downtown rail depot." According to the land-swap plan proposed this year by Sacramento developer Gerry Kamilos and backed by the NBA, much of the financing "would come from the sale and private development of the Cal Expo site." Steinberg "stepped in Monday to say the time is not right for a bill." But in a letter addressed to Kamilos and the NBA, he "held out the possibility that a bill could still be considered at the end of the year." Steinberg wrote that before the state "would consider being a funding partner, it would need answers to several questions." The questions include: whether the Cal Expo board "has determined that it is in the state's interest to relocate the fair; whether the cost estimates associated with a move, including construction and operations costs, are reliable;" and "what statute changes are needed for Cal Expo officials to be full participants in the plan and its implementation" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 8/24).
BANNER DAY: In Sacramento, Kelly Johnson noted the Kings today will unveil "banners of reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans and the NBA's Rookie of the Month for July, DeMarcus Cousins," that will be hung outside of Arco Arena. Each banner measures 35 feet tall by 118 feet wide (BIZJOURNALS.com, 8/23).
Ottawa-based CrowdWave "has reached agreements to provide its unique entertainment" at Mavericks contests at American Airlines Center, as well as Wizards and Capitals games at Verizon Center, and the company "expects to sign up at least four more stadiums by the fall," according to Vito Pilieci of the OTTAWA CITIZEN. CrowdWave President Mark Edwards said that the Cavaliers, "who tested the company's technology during their playoff run last year, are also expected to become clients" for the '10-11 NBA season. He said that the "pilot project with the Cavaliers sparked huge interest in the 10-person Ottawa firm and its products." With CrowdWave, "eight cameras are set up strategically around a stadium to monitor fans and allow them to play a video game projected on the central display screens by moving their bodies." For example, a game shown on the scoreboard between periods of OHL Ottawa 67's games "encouraged the crowd to lunge left or right to stop shots being fired at a virtual goalie," but if "too many people lunged the wrong way, or were too slow to react, the goalie gave up a goal." Pilieci notes for the Cavaliers, CrowdWave "created a tip-off game in which fans watch two virtual players jump for a ball tossed by the referee." Fans are "encouraged to jump with the virtual players, and arena sections where fans leap the highest and have the most participation are named winners." The technology "provides new revenue opportunities, allowing teams to charge a premium for advertisements or sponsorships placed within the video game." Edwards said that the company "offers two packages that arenas can lease annually." The first gives the arena "all of the equipment the teams will need to let fans play the CrowdWave games," while the second offers a "steady stream of new games to keep fans from getting bored" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 8/24).
Cisco CEO John Chambers Unveils Company's
StadiumVision Buildout For New Meadowlands
The Giants, Jets, Cisco and Verizon yesterday unveiled key elements of a more than $100M technology buildout at New Meadowlands Stadium, part of what Giants President & CEO John Mara called "our effort to have the most plugged-in, high-def, technologically advanced sports and entertainment venue in the world." Many of the technology elements replicate what Cisco has done recently in other pro venues such as Cowboys Stadium and Yankee Stadium, including its Internet Protocol-powered StadiumVision technology that enables live game footage, statistics, news, traffic and weather information, wayfinding, security and other data to be shown using more than 2,200 HD video displays, as well as a heavy use of mobile technology through a set of Verizon-powered facility- and team-specific applications. There are also several newer elements at the $1.6B stadium. The StadiumVision buildout at the facility uses an updated version of the technology designed in part to power the rapid shifting of digital signage, branding and other elements at New Meadowlands Stadium from Jets colors and marks to those of the Giants and back again, depending on who is playing. That shifting back and forth will not only allow for a marked degree of team personalization compared to the now-demolished Giants Stadium, but also enable each team to offer their own individualized concessions using the digital signage. The technology buildout is also designed to support the use of 3D video technology as that continues to develop and become more common.
FIRST-CLASS TREATMENT: The Jets disclosed they have accepted the offer from Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross, who owns mobile technology unit FanVision, for 5,000 free FanVision units, which the team will primarily use for its club and suite holders. FanVision, using its own dedicated band of wireless spectrum, enables users to access the NFL's RedZone channel, a variety of replays and statistics, other NFL games and fantasy football content. Twelve NFL teams are currently slated to use FanVision this fall, including the Cardinals, Bears and Seahawks. After the 5,000 free FanVision units offered to each NFL team, many of the participating clubs will sell additional units to fans at $200 each. In addition, the Jets have aligned with digital design outfit Roundarch to power a real-time online dashboard that will monitor concession sales, parking, ticketing and other stadium functions in real time and show various trends in those metrics. The dashboard will be strictly for internal use, as opposed to the business-to-consumer elements of most of the other technology in the building. Like many other newer NFL stadiums, the technology buildout was designed in great degree to compete with the in-home NFL fan experience, which has seen numerous upgrades in recent years and in some markets has begun to siphon fans away from stadiums (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).
ON THE CUTTING EDGE: Jets Owner Woody Johnson said, "We've made the New Meadowlands Stadium more information-rich than any sporting venue has ever been, and we've made it as comfortable and well-stocked as your dream kitchen and living room." Mara: "When fans enter New Meadowlands, they are going to feel like they're stepping into the future" (NEWSDAY, 8/24). Verizon Chair & CEO Ivan Seidenberg added the technology "raises the bar for everybody in terms of creating the best consumer experience whether you're in the stadium or you're not in the stadium" ("Squawk on the Street," CNBC, 8/23).