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The MLS Earthquakes "will play the first-ever game at the new Levi's Stadium next year" when they host the Sounders on Aug. 2, and the decision to open the stadium before the '14 NFL exhibition season "suits 49ers officials just fine," according to Elliot Almond of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. 49ers COO Paraag Marathe said, "With the stadium opening at the end of July, we want to get right after that." The soccer game "gives the 49ers a chance to have a dry run before the NFL season kicks off." Marathe "likes the idea that stadium crew might deal with a crowd of 40,000 or 50,000 instead of almost 70,000 for the debut event." The Earthquakes want to make a Levi's Stadium game "a regular event although their new 18,000-seat stadium in San Jose is scheduled to open" in '15. But they also "know the Sounders game next year will be special" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/1). Earthquakes President Dave Kaval said that "if all goes well," the team's partnership with the 49ers "could continue with more soccer at Levi's Stadium." In San Jose, Lauren Kepler reported Kaval floated the idea of int'l exhibition games "against European soccer clubs or a showdown with the Mexican national team." Marathe earlier this year said that the 49ers are "looking to book a full slate of special events at the venue, from European soccer matches to cricket and swimming championships with high-end portable pools." Kaval said that he "expects the Levi's Stadium game to help increase visibility of the Earthquakes brand as the team ramps up its ticket sale efforts for their new stadium" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/31).
In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin notes Indianapolis Motor Speedway "has modified its grandstand availability" for next year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400, "closing the entire North Visa, which is located between Turns 3 and 4." The H, A and Southwest Vista grandstands "are now part of a new Family Flex Ticket, which allows for general admission." Cavin: "Essentially, these are now first-come, first-served sections that allow ticket holders to move around the facility" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 11/1).
WE ARE SPARTA: In Michigan, Brandon Howell noted workers at Michigan State Univ.'s Spartan Stadium next week "will begin installing steel framework for the two-story, 50,000-square-foot addition" to the north end zone. MSU Deputy AD Greg Ianni said that the project is "several days ahead of schedule." MSU broke ground on the $24.5M project in late July. The school contracted architecture firm Integrated Design Solutions and construction company Barton Malow for the project," which is "slated for completion" in July '14 (MLIVE.com, 10/31).
BEAR DOWN: In San Antonio, Tim Griffin noted the tarp in the south end zone at Baylor Univ.'s Floyd Casey Stadium "hasn’t been removed very often and has become a symbol about how Baylor can’t fill their own home stadium." But Baylor officials Wednesday announced that the tarp "will be pulled with seating in the open end zone for the pivotal game" against the Univ. of Oklahoma on Nov. 9. They also said that the tarp "would be removed" for the season-ending game against the Univ. of Texas on Dec. 7. Baylor in its 64th and final season of play at Floyd Casey Stadium has "averaged 43,875 fans for its first five home games of the 2013 season, which is more than 2,500 ahead of the 2011 school-record average of 41,368" (MYSANANTONIO.com, 10/30).