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Volume 24 No. 114


The Broncos and the Metropolitan Football Stadium District will spend about $30M in improvements to Sports Authority Field at Mile High "in time for the 2013 season," and most of the money will be allocated to "updating the stadium's video boards," according to Mike Klis of the DENVER POST. The cost "won't involve new taxes." The largest video board "behind the south stands will be high- definition LED and three times larger at 8,800 square feet." The video boards in the stadium's northeast and northwest sections "will be 43 percent larger." The stadium's ribbon boards on the third level façade "also will be replaced." Sports Authority Field GM Andy Gorchov said, "The original boards that are installed at the stadium are still good boards, obviously, but they really have a life expectancy of about 10 years for that type of technology." Klis reported TV monitors in the concourses "will also be replaced by HD flat screens," and the "overall audio system throughout the stadium will be upgraded." The news comes days after the Texans announced plans to introduce the largest video board at an NFL venue in time for the '13 season, something that the team admitted could enhance its bid for Super Bowl LI. The Broncos also are hoping to land a future Super Bowl, but Gorchov said, "It's not really tied to the Super Bowl bid. The potential year for a Super Bowl is pretty far down the road. This is more about a need to provide the best fan experience we can today and tomorrow"
(DENVER POST, 12/22).

A's Owner Lew Wolff last Friday in a letter to East Bay officials "put a time-frame" on a deal to keep the team at Coliseum "for the next five seasons -- in a bid to spur talks that apparently haven't gone well," according to John Woolfolk of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. With only one season left in the current lease with the Coliseum and "still no approval for their desired San Jose move," the A's "had to make a deal to stay awhile longer at the aging ballpark." Wolff said, "We need to know if we're on the way to doing something that's mutually agreeable. Otherwise, we're going to have to find a temporary relocation somewhere, which we prefer not to do." But Woolfolk reported the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority is "holding out for a better deal -- more time or money -- than what it gave the A's in their last extension, signed in 2006." Wolff said that five years is "about what he'd need to complete a San Jose move if MLB approves it." Woolfork noted Wolff's letter did not suggest a "diminished hope of moving the Athletics to San Jose." Wolff's "explicit statements in the letter about the viability of remaining in Oakland gave no indication his interest in San Jose has cooled." If his letter was "discouraging to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, she didn't let on." She was "pleased to receive Mr. Wolff's letter stating his desire to stay in Oakland for five more years." Quan said she is "confident and committed that in that time we'll continue working together to find a permanent ballpark for the A's here in Oakland" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 12/22). Wolff in the letter wrote he is seeking a five-year Coliseum commitment "regardless of the outcome of our efforts to obtain a new facility in the City of San Jose." Wolff said regarding a temporary venue for the A's, "We don't want to address that until we have to. There are options" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/22).

Renovation costs for the Rose Bowl have "climbed to more than $180 million," and that figure does not include $15M "in originally-planned elements that will no longer be built, which would bring the overall cost to around $194 million," according to Jack Wang of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. The fully renovated stadium "won't happen until around 2015 -- well after the 2014 BCS Championship and the 100th edition" of the Rose Bowl game. If the Rose Bowl had not renovated, stadium CEO & GM Darryl Dunn fears it "might have lost out on the BCS bowl rotation, and eventually even UCLA home games." Wang reported the "problem was that no one foresaw a litany of increased costs." From "bid overruns to increased labor costs to missing historical construction drawings, the Rose Bowl Operating Co., which Dunn heads, saw its bills quickly multiply." The stadium's national landmark status also "presented particular challenges." For example, the "berm beneath the press box was considered part of the historic landscape; extra time and money was spent on trying to figure out ways to preserve it." Dunn said that while he "does not regret pursuing the project, he wishes they had established greater contingency." Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck said that the stadium "currently has $134 million on hand designated for construction." An incoming short-term $6M loan from the city "still leaves a funding gap of more than $40 million." Hope for progress is "largely dependent on a plan to borrow from a $30 million bond, which the City Council will vote on Jan. 7" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 12/23).