Posts Tagged ‘New Stadium’

David Beckham’s Major League Soccer club in Miami may have hit a new stumbling block after an environmental report showed unexpected levels of contamination at a proposed stadium site, the Miami Herald reported.

The newspaper reported Monday that the analysis found arsenic contamination at more than twice the legal limit as well as hazardous debris in surface level soil at Melreese Country Club.

The 131-acre site near Miami airport has been put forward as Inter Miami’s permanent home, with a sprawling $1 billion complex planned.

The report was alarming enough that Miami City Manager Emilio Gonzalez on Tuesday ordered the closure of Melreese golf course, Miami’s only city-owned course.

The Herald reported that the analysis by environmental firm EE&G — hired by Inter Miami — found that soil samples taken in recent months showed not only elevated arsenic levels but also barium and lead above legal limits.

Much of the pollution apparently came from a now defunct municipal incinerator.

The Herald reported that tests by the county Department of Environmental Resources Management yielded “similarly grimy results, showing high concentrations of lead in the soil at the site.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if the cost of additional cleanup would make plans for the stadium complex unfeasible.

Inter Miami officials have in the past estimated the cleanup would cost in the range of $35 million.

Inter Miami is due to launch in 2020, with the club planning to build a stadium in time for next season in neighboring Fort Lauderdale.

Beckham’s ownership group went to court in South Florida in May and obtained permission to demolish crumbling Lockhart Stadium, home of the now-defunct Fort Lauderdale Strikers which is to be replaced with an 18,000-seat arena.

The plan had been to use Lockhart for two seasons until the permanent home at Melreese Country Club is completed.

Lockhart is the sixth proposed stadium site for the club.

The Oakland Raiders announced on Monday that Allegiant Stadium will be the name of their Las Vegas home when the team relocates in 2020.

The announcement was made during a topping out ceremony at the stadium’s construction site in Paradise, Nev., with the Raiders marking the completion of the $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat venue.

“We’re thrilled that our future home will be known as Allegiant Stadium,” Raiders President Marc Badain said. “As the hometown airline, Allegiant is the perfect partner to showcase the incredible support we continue to receive from the southern Nevada community. We are grateful to all involved who worked diligently to make Allegiant Stadium a reality.”

Allegiant had been speculated as the sponsor for the stadium since May when the travel company sought a trademark on “Allegiant Stadium.”

The new venue will also be home to the UNLV football team and serve as the site of the Las Vegas Bowl beginning next year, in addition to hosting the 2020 and 2021 Pac-12 championship games.

Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula will consider the financial strain on local fans as he decides whether to renovate New Era Field or build a new stadium.

“Whatever we’re going to do stadium-wise is going to be in the best interest of our fans,” Pegula told John Wawrow of The Associated Press. “We have the interest of our fans at heart, and what we do will be heavily weighted – whatever the plan is – toward the benefit of our fans.”

Stadium issues have surrounded the Bills since before Pegula purchased the franchise in 2014. New Era Field has housed the Bills since 1973, making it one of the oldest venues in the league.

The NFL prefers a new stadium for the Bills, one that would compare to the several state-of-the-art creations the league has overseen throughout the last decade. But a new stadium would be significantly more expensive than renovating the current one.

The Bills are awaiting the results of a feasibility study from a private firm to help determine their next stadium steps.

“As far as professional sports teams go, Buffalo’s the biggest little city in the country,” Pegula said. “And our fans need their due as far as whatever we do with venues for them to attend our games.”

Pegula has a net worth of $5.56 billion, according to Bloomberg. He is also exploring the feasibility of a new arena for his NHL franchise, the Buffalo Sabres.

Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg held a press conference Tuesday to publicly discuss the possibility of splitting the team’s home games between St. Petersburg and Montreal.

Sternberg pleaded with the public to stay open-minded about the idea while discussing the realities of Tampa Bay’s viability.

“In spite of our successes on the field and the development of a growing fan base across this wonderful region, we greatly lag behind the rest of the league,” he said. “We are at or near the bottom in every economic category in Major League Baseball.

” … We are simply not well-suited for a Major League Baseball team that needs to draw tens of thousands of people each of its 81 games to its ballpark … and to force that to happen here when the conditions are not right could be more than damaging to a team, to Major League Baseball, and, most importantly, to a community. (We must) confront that reality and have a conversation about how to keep baseball here for generations to come.”

Sternberg detailed how the plan for Tampa and Montreal to share the team would work, while continually reminding those in attendance that “this is not a staged exit.” He stated it would be a “permanent arrangement,” with no plan to move full time to either area.

The Rays owner continued to say the proposal would require open-air stadiums in both Tampa and Montreal. He explained the spring weather in Tampa would be hospitable to baseball, while Montreal could comfortably have an outdoor team later in the summer through the remainder of the season. However, Sternberg said he was open to a renovation of Al Lang Stadium, which is located in St. Petersburg and can currently seat 7,500 fans.

The Rays’ current lease at Tropicana Field doesn’t expire until the end of the 2027 season, and ownership has no plans of breaking that arrangement.

So far through 2019, the Rays sit second-last in attendance per game, averaging roughly 14,500 fans per contest despite their winning record. The only team that sits lower is the fellow Florida club Miami Marlins, who are averaging less than 9,500 fans per game.

The Rays’ total attendance has fallen precipitously since hitting 1.8 million fans in 2009. Last year, despite a 90-win season, attendance fell for the sixth consecutive campaign to just over 1.1 million.

The price tag on the Raiders’ $1.8-billion Las Vegas stadium has gone up $40 million to accommodate the addition of 20 new suites, Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

The team increased the number of suites from 108 to 128 to improve its chances of landing the 2025 Super Bowl.

“The more suites you have, the better opportunity you have to bid for the Super Bowl,” Raiders president Marc Badain said. “So we wanted to be responsive to the NFL, as we’re working on a bid for the 2025 Super Bowl.”

The Raiders will foot the bill for the added suites. The stadium is still anticipated to sit 65,000.

The optimism surrounding yet another attempt at CFL expansion to Atlantic Canada has been extremely cautious. Besides, many have said they’ve been here before only to have the conversation fall flat.

But since Anthony Leblanc and his business team, Maritime Football, made serious their intention to bring a team to Nova Scotia during Grey Cup week last November, it’s felt different.

Even CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has fanned the football expansion flames, saying “it’s the unfulfilled part of our national dream to have the Maritimes have a football team,” and that it would be a “defining moment” to have a team in the Maritimes.

They’ve all been saying the right things.

Now though, the dream of having a 10th CFL team has reached a pivotal point in the process, one Leblanc says will determine whether or not this will actually happen.

On Tuesday, Halifax regional council approved a motion to begin discussions with Leblanc’s group and the province about the viability of a team and a stadium.

“I think everybody should continue to have the optimism we’ve had all along,” Leblanc told CBC Sports ahead of the vote. “We wouldn’t be getting into a phase of public discussion if we felt we didn’t have good chances of making this happen.”

Leblanc said his team has had a number of conversations with elected officials over the last number of weeks and believes there’s enough support to continue this venture and feels comfortable they’ll be able to move forward.

He said his hope is that administration moves quickly while looking over their proposal to bring a team to Halifax.

“People will say you can’t put deadlines on this, but candidly, we can because we’re the group that’s planning to do this and if we don’t feel we’re moving the ball down the field, we need to look at what our next steps are.”

The deadline Leblanc has suggested is four to six weeks — they want this done by Labour Day. The reason? If they’re able to move forward with the project ahead of Labour Day, they want to start a season-ticket drive for football fans in the region to support a team.

It would be right around this same time — if everything goes as planned — that Leblanc also hopes to have the CFL award Maritime Football a conditional franchise.

But what about the stadium?

Leblanc knows building a stadium and its location are the most important parts of this expansion puzzle. Last week it was reported Maritime Football had narrowed the choice down to two spots. However, that’s since changed.

“That’s speculation,” Leblanc said. “We haven’t publicly confirmed which sites we’re looking at.”

Those two reported sites were Dartmouth Crossing and a property behind the Kent store in Bayers Lake business park. Leblanc says they’ve brought in a new group to help them look more closely at a number of different spots that would be best suited for a multi-purpose development.

“They’ve been working with us for the last several months and I think it’s fair to say we’re somewhat back to the drawing board because they want to understand all the sites.”

Leblanc said they’ve looked at seven locations a stadium could be built.

“What we’re doing over the next two weeks is reaffirming the sites we’ve narrowed down are the right sites. We’re being incredibly thoughtful on this.”

He added the only way they’ll be able to make a stadium situation work is that if it includes the multi-purpose model.

Premier says taxpayers won’t pay for stadium

Last week Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil made it clear taxpayers won’t be on the hook for a CFL stadium in Halifax.

“General revenue is not part of our conversation. I’m not reaching into general revenue to build a football stadium,” he told CBC News.

McNeil said he will wait for the formal ask to discuss how the government might contribute to the stadium, but was clear it wouldn’t come from general revenue.

“If you have another option, you have a new idea of how I can help, feel free to come and ask,” he said. “But don’t come in and expect I’m going to write you a cheque.”

Leblanc says that was never their expectation and interprets the premier’s message this way.

“What he means by that, from what we’ve been told, is they don’t want to see provincial dollars that have already been designated being utilized. We’ve never contemplated that,” Leblanc said.

Leblanc feels new money can be generated from the project and can be put toward building a new stadium.

“We understand as the private sector we have to participate this in a very healthy manner,” Leblanc said.

 

In the quest to find the Tampa Bay Rays a location for a new stadium, owner Stuart Sternberg publicly stated his preference for a 14-acre site in Ybor City during a news conference on Friday.

The Rays, currently located on the west side of Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, would shift to the east side of the bay and into Tampa if Sternberg gets his wish.

Tropicana Field has long been maligned as an inadequate home for baseball, and is the last remaining fixed-dome stadium in the sport. Last year, the Rays finished last in attendance among all MLB teams, and posted the franchise’s lowest attendance mark since 2005.

Last offseason, five potential locations were eliminated, but Sternberg remained “confident” that the team would be able to stay in the area.

The timeline to finalize the location and the potential cost for a new stadium in the area remain unclear.