SBD/August 29, 2014/Facilities

Facility Notes

In Detroit, John Gallagher reports the city’s planned arena district development "took a step closer to reality" on Thursday as Ilitch Holdings execs "began briefing Detroit-based contractors on how they can participate in the project." Working with the city of Detroit, the Ilitch family’s Olympia Development "has set a goal of using 30% Detroit-based firms as contractors for the arena district and hiring 51% of construction workers from among Detroit residents" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 8/29).

COMING OUT OF THEIR SHELL: The Univ. of Maryland on Thursday announced that videoboards at Byrd Stadium and Xfinity Center "have been upgraded for this season." In Baltimore, Don Markus notes there "will be a new LED display at Byrd Stadium -- including one with closed captioning -- and side displays on a new Daktronic videoboard at the Xfinity Center." UM Senior Associate AD/Media Relations & Strategic Communications Zack Bolno said that the cost of the project is $3.9M, which "will be raised through ticket sales and sponsorship without the aid of tax, tuition or general university funds." He added that the videoboard at Byrd Stadium "was 14 years old and had 'operational issues' last season" (Baltimore SUN, 8/29).

NEW RALPH NEEDED? A BUFFALO NEWS editorial ran under the header, "Ralph Wilson Stadium's Shortcomings Give Weight To Push For A New Stadium." The Bills' home is "substandard, and in just about every way, including its location and, critically, the amount of revenue it can produce." Traveling to Orchard Park "is a disincentive to many fans." A stadium in, "or at least nearer to, Buffalo would make more geographic sense and allow the team to better leverage more distant fan bases." A bigger stadium in Buffalo "means more money for all owners and diminishes the possibility that the necessary three-fourths of member clubs would vote to allow the Bills to move." These factors "provide a powerful argument in favor of a new stadium" (BUFFALO NEWS, 8/28).
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