Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium will “host an August soccer match" between EPL clubs Manchester City and Liverpool, one of the first "benefits of the city’s agreement to help renovate the football stadium,” according to a front-page piece by Harrison & Lyttle of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Manchester City will play Liverpool in Charlotte as part of the eight-team Int’l Champions Cup that will be played July 26-Aug. 4 around the U.S. Tournament organizers will be “able to use the stadium rent-free, saving the organizers $250,000 and making Charlotte a more attractive place to bring the game.” When the City Council voted last year to give the Panthers $87.5M for stadium renovations, the team “agreed to provide four rent-free dates a year for 10 years." Last year’s inaugural Champions Cup drew an average of 42,000 fans at stadiums across the U.S. According to reports, this year’s games will be played July 26 in Phoenix, Denver and Chicago; July 27 in Pittsburgh; July 29 in DC and Dallas; July 30 in Philadelphia and N.Y.; Aug. 1 in N.Y.; Aug. 2 in Hartford, Ann Arbor and Charlotte; and the semifinals and final Aug. 3 and 4 in Miami. Bank of America Stadium has "hosted high-level soccer before," including two games in the '11 Gold Cup between national teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/4).
UNLV is "quietly finalizing details to overhaul" Thomas & Mack Center, which "hosts everything from Rebels basketball to sold-out national rodeos to kids shows," according to Alan Snel of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. The arena is "among the busiest venues for its seating capacity in the world." Architect Klai Juba and design firm Woods Bagot "hope to complete" the $47M renovation in early '16. UNLV is spending $20-22M of the $47M on "mechanical upgrades such as replacing 30-year-old air handlers and water boilers." The electrical system also will "be tested, with aluminum wiring changed to copper." Thomas & Mack Center Exec Dir Mike Newcomb indicated that 8,000 new lower-bowl seats will be added at a cost of $3M, while improvements to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act "include increasing the number of seats for physically disabled to 101 from 26." The concourse and its "more than 150 points of sale will get a major sprucing with rebranded signs and new equipment at the concession stands." Newcomb "expects the number of concessions spots to increase" by 10%. Newcomb also said that energy costs are "expected to decrease because new air conditioning, hot water and lighting equipment will be installed." He expects a 10% "increase in the number of points of sale along the concourse from the arena improvements." Meanwhile, operating expenses are "expected to drop because of the new air systems and equipment." Newcomb said that the venue "has about 100 event days a year" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 2/4).