EverBank Field's upgrades were unveiled on Saturday prior to a friendly between DC United and EPL club Fulham FC, and those in attendance gave Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan "a standing ovation as he took the podium to debut the video boards," according to Meredith Rutland of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. Khan and Jacksonville politicians "counted down, and fans’ voices rang in the air for the 'three, two, one.'" The screens showed "a series of shots of Jacksonville’s horizon as the sun rose," and those in the stands "turned their heads, leaned onto railings and snapped photos." The screen then "went dark, and the stadium crowd erupted as the Jaguars flooded the screen." The stage was "transformed for country singer Carrie Underwood’s concert" following the inaugural video presentation (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 7/27). In Jacksonville, Gene Frenette wrote the revelation of the stadium upgrades represented the city and the Jaguars "renewing their marriage vows." Only a "naïve person would have any lingering doubt" about Khan and "his commitment to making the NFL work in Jacksonville." The debut of these "eye-catching video boards and other stadium amenities should cast the NFL team in a different light" for the Jaguars' "biggest cynics." EverBank Chair & CEO Rob Clements said, "They’ve raised the bar significantly in terms of the game-day experience. The rest of the league is now playing catch-up" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 7/27).
FEELS LIKE CAROLINA: In Charlotte, Curry Shoff noted the Panthers on Friday held their "first public event in the newly renovated Bank of America Stadium, and 36,315 fans turned out to see the upgrades." The stadium enhancements include "two new videoboards and ribbon boards, an updated sound system, escalators, lighted domes at the entrances, exterior lighting and paving bricks." The escalators were "a popular attraction for curious fans." Panthers coach Ron Rivera said, "The (videoboards) are impressive. I really liked what we saw as far as crowd participation" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/26).
The 49ers on Friday released the prices for their "much-touted gourmet concessions" at Levi's Stadium, and the prices "actually aren't that much higher than they were at Candlestick Park," according to Mike Rosenberg of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Fans "will pay $10.25 for the cheapest beer available, a 20-ounce domestic such as Budweiser or Bud Light, up from $9.75" at Candlestick. A premium brew "such as a Shock Top will run you $11 for 18 ounces." A frankfurter "will cost $6.25, up 75 cents." Pepsi, Mountain Dew or Sierra Mist "will cost $5.25 for 21 ounces, a bit more expensive on a per-ounce basis than the $5.50 Niners fans paid last year for 24 ounces." Other Levi's Stadium prices include "$8 for a pizza slice (expected to be the top seller), $8.50 for garlic fries; $6 for nachos or a bag of candy such as M&M's; $5.75 for a 20-ounce bottle of water; $8.25 for a sausage or bratwurst; and $12 for a 7-ounce wine pour, tortas, a barbecue sandwich or a burger" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 7/26). Meanwhile, seats from Candlestick Park "are now on sale -- for $749 per pair" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/26).
YEAH, THAT'S THE TICKET! SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Don Muret reports the 49ers "have developed their own self-service ticket scanning system they say will make entering Levi’s Stadium a more efficient -- and more personal -- experience." The system, called Kezar, is "connected to the team’s new mobile application for Levi’s Stadium, which it rolled out last week." The app allows fans to "upload tickets and parking passes on their devices to be scanned by Kezar, among other features." Kezar was "created by the team’s IT group," headed by 49ers VP/Technology Dan Williams, who previously worked as Facebook Dir of Operations (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/28 issue).
Chiefs Chair & CEO Clark Hunt on Saturday said that the club "will decide whether to continue training camp at Missouri Western State University by the end of the calendar year," according to Randy Covitz of the K.C. STAR. The Chiefs "are in the final year of their initial five-year agreement with the school and have one-year options for the next five years." Hunt: "I wouldn't say at this point we're leaning any way. ... A lot of teams have made that decision to take training camp back to their permanent facilities. It’s not something we’ve discussed. If we did make the decision to move, we would look at all of our options. The one thing we don’t have at the Arrowhead training complex is a hotel or dorm rooms. I think that’s a big advantage of the university set-up." Meanwhile, Hunt "was impressed with the turnout of 6,200 fans who attended Saturday’s Family Fun Day." He said, "That’s the advantage of having camp close to Kansas City is our fans can get up here" (K.C. STAR, 7/27).
Nike last year paid "longtime Phil Knight confidant" Howard Slusher $1.525M "for his management of the company's World Headquarters expansion," according to a regulatory filing cited by Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. Nike "paid for health and life insurance policies totaling $129,801" for Slusher "following expiration of the agreement." Slusher, the father of Nike Exec VP/Global Sports Marketing John Slusher, previously "helped oversee the construction of the Matthew Knight Arena and Football Performance Center" at the Univ. of Oregon. Meanwhile, the regulatory finding also showed that Nike "employs three" of Nike CEO Mark Parker's siblings "in non-executive roles." The company is also paying Georgetown Univ. basketball coach John Thompson III "base compensation of $200,000 annually and up to $112,000 per year of product and merchandise, for use by him, the basketball staff and team" (Portland OREGONIAN, 7/26).