EPL club Liverpool Chair Tom Werner said that the planned $168M (all figures U.S.) renovation of Anfield "will be the defining moment" of Fenway Sports Group’s ownership tenure, according to Chris Bascombe of the London TELEGRAPH. Agreements "have been signed with all homeowners in the surrounding area and a planning application for the new Main Stand -- extending Anfield to an initial 53,250 capacity -- was put in place this week." FSG "will start building as soon as they have the green light from city planners." Liverpool hopes to "eventually take the capacity to 58,000 with a second phase expansion of the Anfield Road and there is no underestimating how significant progress is to safeguard the club's future after so many false dawns." Werner: "This will be our legacy at Liverpool, resolving the stadium issue. I am as proud of protecting and preserving Fenway Park in Boston as I am the three World Series we have won and will feel exactly the same way about repeating this at Anfield. It will be the most exciting day at Anfield in 2016 when we can welcome the additional supporters to the stadium." FSG "abandoned previous plans to build a stadium on Stanley Park because the financial risk was too great." Werner said, "A question we had to ask was could Liverpool sustain a 65,000 seater stadium on Stanley Park? It was an issue in itself. If you can guarantee Champions League football every season [then] absolutely, the answer is yes, but I’m not sure anyone can be certain of that. That makes our approach much more sensible, allowing for further expansion of the Anfield Road." A stadium sponsor "would have solved many financial issues." But Werner said that the board "understood the view of the supporters who would not welcome a change of stadium name" (London TELEGRAPH, 6/6).
The Jaguars have "developed 20 cabanas" as part of the team's $63M renovation to EverBank Field that are being marketed as "group spaces for both season ticket and single-game buys," according to Don Muret in next week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The party cabanas, which are a first at an NFL stadium, replace "hundreds of seats, some of which had been covered by tarps, in the north end zone." They are "tented spaces, split into eight 50-person units and a dozen 20-person spaces." Each cabana has a "lounge area, cushioned furniture, ceiling fans and multiple TVs with programming including the NFL RedZone channel." The larger Spa Cabanas are "tied to the two swimming pools that the Jaguars announced last year as part of the stadium upgrades." The smaller Terrace Cabanas are one level above and overlook the pool, but Jaguars Senior VP/Sales Chad Johnson said that those fans "do not have access to the water." The cost to buy a Spa Cabana is $12,500 a game, which comes to $250 a person. The price covers "game tickets and food and drink, including beer and wine but no hard liquor." Terrace Cabanas cost $3,000 a game, an average of $150 a person (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/9 issue). Jaguars President Mark Lamping said that the pools "will be 25 feet long, 12 feet wide and 3 1-2 feet deep." Lamping added that the pools "will be covered up for the Georgia-Florida game," but the ADs at the schools "would have the option of using the pools if they wanted them for big donors" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 6/5).
In Madison, Andy Baggot noted Wisconsin is working with AT&T to install a Wi-Fi and IPTV system “that will bring greatly enhanced connectivity and content" to Camp Randall Stadium. UW fans no longer will be "plagued by dead spots or poor wireless service." UW Associate AD/External Relations Justin Doherty said that the $6.2M project is "scheduled to be completed in time" for the '14 football season (MADISON.com, 6/3).
HUSKER DO: The OMAHA WORLD-HERALD reports Nebraska's "new state-of-the-art wireless system will extend beyond Memorial Stadium next football season, allowing for connectivity at nearby areas such as the Hawks Center, Husker practice fields, Weir Stadium, the Champions Club and some parking garages and lots." The system installed in NU’s Memorial Stadium will be the “largest collegiate and second-largest Cisco Connected Stadium deployment” next to AT&T Stadium in Arlington (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 6/6).
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: Denver-based KUSA-NBC's Susie Wargin reported Colorado State's new stadium plan “may need to be slowed down.” CSU AD Jack Graham said that setbacks were a "result of design deadlines, not fundraising.” He added that “in spite of what will likely be” a fall ’17 date for completion, he is “still proceeding with no change in fundraising efforts for the project” (9NEWS.com, 6/3).
SHARING IS CARING: In Minneapolis, Joe Christensen noted the new field at Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium has “been installed.” The school's “historic Block ‘M’” will be on the field for every game, but end zone plans are “still undecided.” The Vikings, who will play home games there during construction of their new stadium in '14 and '15, will have their “traditional Norseman logo at midfield for their games, with NFL logos at the 25-yard lines" (STARTRIBUNE.com, 6/4).