The Harris County (Texas) Sports & Convention Corporation yesterday cleared the way for Reliant Stadium to add a new HD video board in time for the ’13 season that will be the largest at a pro team sports venue. A Mitsubishi Diamond Vision video board will replace the current board in the end zone and will cover 14,549 square feet. That is about 25% larger than the scoreboard at Cowboys Stadium, though the board in Arlington is center-hung. Installation on the board will begin after the Texans’ season is over. The team is in line to have home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs; the AFC Championship is on Jan. 20. “We’ll start as quickly as we can,” Texans President Jamey Rootes said. “The building is busy with the rodeo and other events in the spring, but we’re confident it will be up and ready for our first preseason game.” The board will cost approximately $16.5M, and the Texans and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo will split the loan to pay for the construction. They will then be reimbursed over time from Reliant Stadium repair and replacement funds. The venue is also bidding for Super Bowl LI in ’17, and the Texans hope the new video board helps tip the scales in their favor. “The bid is all about the experience,” Rootes said. “The experience with the community, the experience on game day. Any time you can provide an amenity like this, it can only help our chances.”
In Denver, Mike Klis writes when wintry weather yesterday "forced the Broncos to practice indoors at a facility that is a short bus ride away and is primarily used for soccer, it prompted an obvious question: Shouldn't one of the NFL's most proud franchises be practicing at a place more conducive for football?" Broncos President Joe Ellis said, "We've had several discussions about building an indoor facility and are giving it strong consideration. While nothing is finalized, we certainly understand how important it is for our team to have an indoor facility at some point in the very near future." Internal discussions on a new facility "would involve building it in close proximity to the team's Dove Valley headquarters" (DENVER POST, 12/20).
DEAL BREAKER? In San Jose, Rosenberg & Rodriguez noted the California Department of Finance late Tuesday "once again denied a $30 million settlement between" the 49ers and South Bay schools to split taxpayer funds, setting up a "courtroom showdown." The state "rejected an appeal from the 49ers and local officials, ruling they had violated new state redevelopment laws in agreeing to split the money between the team's Santa Clara stadium and the classroom" (MERCURYNEWS.com, 12/19).
ACCESS DENIED: In San Diego, Roger Showley reports the state of California yesterday "vetoed property tax support" for a new Chargers stadium site downtown. The actions were the "latest decisions by the Department of Finance as part of the wind-down of redevelopment agencies that went out of business Feb. 1." Also denied in "San Diego’s case is $4.8 billion in projects planned 30 years into the future," which included an "East Village site for a Chargers stadium" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/20).
BIRDS OF A FEATHER: The Seahawks, MLS Sounders FC and First & Goal Inc. on Tuesday announced the selection of Delaware North as the new exclusive food and beverage services provider at CenturyLink Field, CenturyLink Field Event Center and the WaMu Theater. Delaware North will manage and operate all general concessions and premium dining at the stadium under the multiyear agreement. The company also will take over operations at the stadium in early '13 in preparation for the upcoming Sounders season. At that time, the firm will also begin operating the event center and theater (Seahawks).