Work on the 49ers' new Levi's Stadium "is a bit ahead of schedule" and officially 94% complete, so the city of Santa Clara by the end of the month "hopes to issue a permit to transition the stadium from a construction site to an events venue, well ahead of a July 17 ribbon cutting and the first event on Aug. 2," according to Mike Rosenberg of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Rails to hold drinks within the stadium "are installed, but they don't yet have charging stations for your cellphone." Security canopies "are up outside the entrance but don't have the metal detectors." The "shiny new beer taps await their Bud Light and 30 craft brews labels." The 2,250 flat-screen TVs that "line the stadium and the two crystal-clear megaboards behind the end zones still go haywire sometimes and need to be calibrated." From the "expansive open deck that greets fans atop the outside staircase to the VIP rooftop lounge that features a bar made from reclaimed wood from Moffett Field, crews are leaving hundreds of little blue sticky notes everywhere." Levi's Stadium Project Exec Jack Hill said that each sticky note will "denote a problem, as minor as a scratch on a table, and must all be fixed 'to make sure everything is just perfect.'" Hill: "To the average person walking through here, it's going to look like there is a lot of work to do. It's the details. You can do 90 percent of the job, and what people are going to see is the 10 percent." One of the "biggest tests will come June 29, when authorities will set up a stadium 'dry run.'" The inaugural event on Aug. 2 is a Sounders-Earthquakes game (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 6/20).
In Las Vegas, Alan Snel reports the consultant for the UNLV stadium board on Thursday "offered a three-pronged funding approach to help build a 50,000-seat campus stadium." CSL Principal Bill Rhoda "identified three 'buckets' of money as a buffet approach to help build the stadium -- a sales tax zone that could potentially be a resort corridor; the stadium’s net income; and UNLV philanthropy." MGM Resorts Int'l Senior VP & Corporate Controller Rick Arpin said that the next step is to "attach financial numbers to those three concepts" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 6/20).
MIZZOU KEEPERS: In K.C., Tod Palmer reports Missouri "unanimously approved" its '14 Campus Master Plan at a meeting of the Board of Curators on Thursday. Mizzou's plan "includes a new softball stadium," as well as a "new full-length indoor training facility for football." Mizzou still will "need approval for each project from the Board of Curators at a later meeting" (K.C. STAR, 6/20).
CORNER OF GREY STREET: In Detroit, Chris McCosky reports Eastern Michigan has "chosen a unique way to stamp itself a new identity." The school beginning next season will "play their home football games on a concrete-gray surface at Rynearson Stadium." EMU will "call the new field The Factory -- paying homage to the blue-collar ethic of the region." Work on the new turf "will begin in July and it is expected to be in place for the season opener, Aug. 30" (DETROIT NEWS, 6/20).
BACK AT SQUARE ONE? In Cincinnati, Josh Pichler writes there are "limited options" for the 39-year-old, downtown U.S. Bank Arena, which "hasn't had a major renovation" since '97. The "most recent window of opportunity closed in May, when Cincinnati withdrew its bid" to host the '16 Republican National Convention. The Univ. of Cincinnati "remains the best option to become a second tenant at U.S. Bank Arena, and a group of Downtown leaders and influential donors is still pushing the university to relocate its games from Fifth Third Arena, which is also in need of renovations." But UC so far has "launched a study to renovate the on-campus Fifth Third Arena." UC said that this "would cost significantly less" than a $107M plan it "has had on the shelf for several years that would completely gut Fifth Third Arena, including rotating the court" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 6/20).
The BOSTON GLOBE notes TD Garden on Thursday "released updated details" of the planned $70M renovation to its concourses. Renovations to level 4, the Legends Club, and half the food and beverage stands are "expected to be finished in time for the beginning" of the '14-15 NHL season. The new Pro Shop on level 2 "should open by the end of the year, and the renovations to the level 7 concourse are slated" for summer '15. Tech upgrades "are a major feature of the renovation," as 400 antennas "will be installed throughout the building for 'high-density Wifi' to allow fans to interact via the TD Garden app or send photos and videos out to friends on social media." Twenty-nine video walls "will be mounted to keep fans on the concourses updated on the progress of the game and see posts and photos shared on Twitter" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/20).
SLOW MOTION: CSNBAYAREA.com's Scott Bair reported Raiders Owner Mark Davis met with Colony Capital within the last two weeks "about developing a long-sought, state-of-the art football stadium." The meetings about the possibility of a Coliseum City project have been "long, but Davis generally leaves with a sense that progress of some kind has been made." Davis: "All the talks we have with them are positive, but there’s no progress after the talks" (CSNBAYAREA.com, 6/19).
FURTHER REVIEW: In DC, Michael Neibauer reported local officials have issued an RFP "for a consultant to perform a detailed review of all aspects of the intricate deal" between the District, D.C. United and landowners regarding a new MLS stadium. The report will be due to the DC Council by Sept. 12, "but the RFP suggests the consultant's contract will last 'up to one year.'" DC Mayor Vincent Gray and DC United "want the stadium legislation passed out of the council before the end of the year, when Gray leaves office" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/18).
SPRUNG A LEAK: Marlins President David Samson on Wednesday said that Marlins Park "had no damage after heavy rain Tuesday caused the roof to leak." The storm "produced around 2.5 inches of water per hour along with winds at 53 mph" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 6/19).