Architectural firm Populous Senior Principal Bruce Miller said that there is "significant interest" from MLS teams who want "something similar" to the standing-room-only section created at Orlando City Stadium, which opened this year, according to Eric Adelson of YAHOO SPORTS. The section, with a capacity of 3,800 fans, was a "first-of-its-kind design" among U.S. venues. FIFA rules "prohibit standing areas during international matches, so U.S. Soccer and Orlando City are currently looking for seating options." In the meantime, the standing-room-only setup is "helping the home team," as Orlando City has "only lost once in the new building." Each ticket holder in the safe-standing section "has a specific spot," which "goes a long way to prevent crowding." There is also a "bar (with a cup holder) providing a barrier to each fan’s 24-inch area." The steepness of the stadium combined with the standing area "gives the feeling of fans hovering over the field (and the opposing goalkeeper)." An overhead canopy "embellishes that." The field also is "below ground level, which required an enormous drainage system in swampy Florida" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/17).
Homestead-Miami Speedway today announced a new long-term deal with karting company Vantage Karting Group Entertainment that will see the latter take over operations and management of HMS' kart track. VKG, founded in part by NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Justin Marks, will take over and refurbish the less-than-a-mile sprint course located on the ISC-owned venue’s grounds. VKG, which has secured a title sponsor for the venue that it will announce in the coming weeks, currently operates the GoPro Motorplex outside Charlotte that has become a popular destination for racing-industry events and outings. VKG plans to add a second track for rental racers and a corporate hospitality area, among other upgrades. HMS President Matt Becherer said that the current majority of customers at the venue’s karting track are closer to professionals but that he hopes this will add more “retail and recreational kinds of opportunities.” Becherer: “This will also bring out the guy who just wants to run around the track on a Saturday afternoon with his buddies or maybe an amateur league or corporate team building -- things that anyone can get involved in without going all in.”