The MLS Earthquakes have sold all 12 luxury suites at their planned $60M, 18,000-seat stadium, and the team indicated that it has "added club seats and patio suites to the facility," according to Eli Segall of the SILICON VALLEY/SAN JOSE BUSINESS JOURNAL. The club area, which will hold 576 seats, is "expected to be more than 17,000-square-feet in size." The team noted that an "unspecified 'limited number' of patio suites" also are available for purchase. Those suites would be at least 680 square feet. The team "did not announce prices for either the club seats or the patio suites," though it did announce PSLs will not be needed. The Earthquakes hope to break ground on the facility "this year" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/12). In San Jose, Elliott Almond reports the idea for club seating "came after team officials visited other MLS stadiums this year." Earthquakes President David Kaval said that the stadium design "has improved since it was first proposed" by club Owner Lew Wolff. Kaval: "The original idea was that it was more utilitarian. And we are a long, long ways from that. This additional investment has gone into making it better and better" (MERCURYNEWS.com, 6/12).
ROCK N' ROLL AIN'T NOISE POLLUTION: In a special to the SILICON VALLEY/SAN JOSE BUSINESS JOURNAL, Fred Dreier reports the Earthquakes' decision to "forego hosting rock concerts at its proposed stadium could cost the club" more than $1M annually. The team last September "withdrew its permit to host outdoor concerts at the proposed venue, hoping to appease government officials and local residents concerned about noise pollution." Kaval said that the move was a "'calculated business decision,' but admitted the team will take a hit." Kaval: "This is real money, we're not talking about 20 grand. We felt we had to push the thing through even if it means losing revenue." Industry sources said that concerts at soccer stadiums could gross between $800,000-2.2M, with the club earning $200,000-500,000 per show. While MLS clubs "share a percentage of game revenue with the league, concert revenue goes directly to the team." He said that the team is "instead discussing smaller events, such as World Cup and away-game viewing parties, lacrosse and rugby matches, international and collegiate soccer games and community celebrations." These events can earn "anywhere between a few hundred dollars and low six figures, depending on the cost structuring, number of people, promotional costs and other considerations" (SILICON VALLEY/SAN JOSE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/8 issue).
Univ. of Houston officials have selected the team of DLR Group and PageSoutherlandPage to design a new $105M football stadium on campus. The facility will have 40,000 seats, 22 suites, 650 club seats and 200 loge box seats. Future phases could expand the building to 60,000 seats. The stadium, constructed on the site of 71-year-old Robertson Stadium, will be ready for the ‘14 season. DLR Group most recently designed a new 15,000-seat stadium for the Univ. of North Carolina-Charlotte and the firm has previously done work at Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium. PageSoutherlandPage, a local firm, has designed other UH campus facilities (Don Muret, SportsBusiness Journal).
WHAT'S COOLER THAN COOL? Under Armour Chair, President & CEO Kevin Plank said that he believes Maryland fans “will be ‘very happy’ with a new synthetic-turf football field featuring designs and colors that the school has yet to reveal.” In Baltimore, Jeff barker noted UA is “a branding consultant on the project to transition from natural to artificial grass inside Byrd Stadium.” Plank said, “How do we make the coolest field in the country? And I mean that figuratively, and I mean that literally." The field upgrade is “part of a series of improvements to Byrd Stadium, which opened in 1950.” Barker noted it is “not known when Maryland will preview the new field design” (BALTIMORESUN.com, 6/9).
BADLY NEEDED IMPROVEMENTS: Duke AD Kevin White said that the school “is considering plans to ‘create badly needed hospitality space’ attached to Cameron Indoor Stadium, and wants to create a plaza linking the basketball arena, Wallace Wade Stadium, the Yoh football facility and the multipurpose Murray Building.” He declined to discuss specifics, but said "when we kind of get comfortable with more detail, we'll do a splash" (AP, 6/12).
GETTING EXCITED: In San Antonio, Brent Zimmerman notes Baylor Univ. is planning to open a new $250M football stadium in '14. BU football coach Art Briles said, "Our new stadium is going to change the image and the face of Baylor and Waco. It's going to be arguably the most dynamic college football stadium in America." The stadium, which will sit on the banks of the Brazos River, will be "across the river from the school's practice fields and [an] eye-catching red-brick indoor facility." A pedestrian bridge "will link the complexes." BU AD Ian McCaw said, "The university has given us the most beautiful part of campus to develop our athletics facilities. ... The football stadium will be the capstone to our facilities" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 6/13).