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Volume 24 No. 112


NFL execs on Aug. 9 held "a secret meeting" in Oakland to hear the city's "pitch for a new Raiders stadium," according to Matthew Artz of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE. Participants at the meeting, which "NFL officials requested," included Raiders Owner Mark Davis, team Chief Exec Amy Trask, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, City Council President Larry Reid and Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi. The Raiders "have been the lone tenant" at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum complex "to not dismiss the city's proposal that the teams build new facilities there along with hotels, restaurants and shops." Raiders and NFL officials "refused to say much about last week's meeting, during which the team laid out its vision for a transformed Coliseum complex." NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello in an e-mail said, "It was an important meeting because it is at a stage where the Raiders must develop a (stadium) option." Artz notes it "remains unclear whether the league would help pay for a new football stadium in Oakland" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 8/17).

The Pacers’ $16M investment “in a sound system and gargantuan new scoreboards at Bankers Life Fieldhouse could signal the team’s commitment to Indianapolis for the long haul,” according to Jon Murray of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Pacers execs said that for fans, the upgrades “will modernize the audio and visual experience” and will “keep the city-owned Downtown building in the top tier of arenas.” The Pacers are currently “preparing for a new round of negotiations with the city” for their lease. Indianapolis Chief of Staff Ryan Vaughn said while the amenities would improve the fan experience, “they will not be a factor during the negotiations to extend the long-term management contract for the fieldhouse.” As the team prepares for negotiations, Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Jim Morris said that the Pacers are “looking beyond simply extending a three-year side agreement struck with the CIB in 2010 to cover some of the team’s operating costs.” Morris said that Pacers Owner Herb Simon’s eye “is on the teams’ overall lease, which expires in 2019.” Simon is “committed to keeping the teams in Indianapolis well beyond then.” Morris also said Thursday that the team “still was struggling to break even, though a playoff run last season and higher ticket sales had narrowed the gap.” Murray notes the sound system “debuted Thursday night during an Indiana Fever women’s basketball game.” The scoreboards -- including “one hung above center court with two 50-foot-wide high-definition screens, five times as big as the screens they’re replacing -- should be ready for the Pacers’ home opener Nov. 3.” The new 45,000-pound center scoreboard “will be built by Purchase, N.Y.-based ANC Sports.” Plans also call “for installation of 330 HD flat-screen televisions in concourse areas on all levels” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/17).

The Giants and Jets at MetLife Stadium "will be testing a new, automated security screening system for preseason games and other events in August and September that its developers say is faster and less intrusive than being searched by security personnel," according to the AP. The system was "recently demonstrated" at Liberty State Park and at the World Cup preliminary draw event in Rio de Janerio, and is "being piloted" at MetLife Stadium. Developed by Qylur Security Systems, the kiosk is "completely automated and self-service, handling five times the crowd flow compared to current checkpoint methods that are manned by security personnel using wands and pat-downs."  When using the system, fans "walk through what looks like a plexiglass doorway to be screened" (AP, 8/16).