Archive | July, 2013

MLS San Jose Earthquakes’ stadium delayed

The Major League Soccer team announced a delay to their new stadium that will force them to find a different home for at least the first half of the 2014 MLS season. Used munitions, steel beams, concrete pilings and ten-foot deep concrete vaults at the site caused excavation difficulties for construction crews.  Bummer.

I wrote in June about the Earthquakes’ promising new stadium and the road traveled before breaking ground late last year. It’s another speed bump for the team’s stadium quest, but the good news for Earthquakes fans – the delay appears to be temporary.

That's a lot of concrete.

That’s a lot of concrete.

Stadium Crawl Weekend Reading

Some of America’s most renown sports franchises announced stadium and arena news this week. Here are a few stories of my own and links to others. Now grab a cold one, put your feet up and enjoy.

AT&T New Official Sponsor of Cowboys Stadium ESPN 
The Dallas Cowboys and AT&T announced a multiyear deal to rename Cowboys Stadium, AT&T Stadium, effectively immediately.

Madison Square Garden Needs to Move Stadium Crawl
The iconic Manhattan arena, home to the Rangers and Knicks, has a decade to find a new location.  Tick Tock.

Bankruptcy won’t halt new NHL Detroit Red Wings Arena CNN Money
Although the City hit a rough patch, plans are moving ahead for a $444 million hockey arena for their beloved Red Wings.

MLS DC United Stadium receives mayor’s backing Stadium Crawl
The MLS DC United unveiled renderings of their new stadium this week.  The good news – the mayor and City Council support it.

Wrigley Field $500 million renovation includes Jumbotron  USA Today
New construction at the 99-year young beauty will improve the clubhouses, training facilities and install a 5,700-square feet Jumbotron.   I’m all for modernization, but a Jumbotron, at Wrigley?  Really!

Madison Square Garden Must Relocate

GodfatherIt’s not personal. It’s just business.

The New York City Council voted Wednesday to force the relocation of Madison Square Garden by 2023 due to required renovations to Penn Station, a transportation hub that operates beneath the landmark arena. Half a million travelers pass through Penn Station every day – cha-ching! This was a business decision for the City with critical infrastructure and big time money ruling the day.

What’s Next?

Madison Square Garden officials have several options, with the most obvious being a search for a new site.  If they don’t find a location that makes business sense, they could reapply to extend the current permit once it expires. Brooklyn’s Barclays Center is another option. But the NBA Knicks and Nets and NHL Islanders and Rangers all sharing the same arena?  That seems like a recipe for war.

What’s the best location for a new Madison Square Garden?  Leave a comment

MLS DC United takes big step toward new stadium

After a decade-long search, the light at the end of the tunnel may finally be a new stadium for Major League Soccer’s DC United.  According to the Washington Post, team executives, Washington DC mayor Vincent Gray and district officials today approved a preliminary $300 million deal to construct a new 20,000 seat stadium for the team near Nationals Park (home of the Washington Nationals).DC United has played in RFK Stadium since entering the league in 1996. Built in the golden age of multi-purpose stadiums, RFK is ancient by MLS standards. Well aware of RFK’s deficiencies, and with pressure mounting from the MLS who now require teams entering the league to play in modern, soccer-only stadiums, United’s situation was approaching desperate.  Today’s stadium news, however, has given United much greater hope for the team’s future.

Rendering of new proposed MLS DC United stadium.

Rendering of new proposed MLS DC United stadium.

The renderings of the new stadium portray a state-of-the-art stadium rivaling the league’s best.  As always with these stadium proposals though, politicians will have their say and hoops will need to be jumped through. This is Washington DC after all.

I’ve always gotten a chuckle watching televised United games at RFK where fans pack together at midfield and use the rickety stands to bounce and chant in unison. Now United fans may get the last laugh in a brand new stadium.

Stadium Food Spotlight: Bacon Maple Brat

One more reason to love minor league baseball, a marriage between the Eugene Emeralds and Portland, Oregon’s legendary Voodoo Doughnuts has spawned a new stadium food sports fans dream about – the Bacon Maple Brat.

Made in heaven (Eugene), the Bacon Maple Brat.  Brilliant!

Made in heaven (Eugene), the Bacon Maple Brat. Brilliant!

Voodoo Doughnuts has both food-loving and hung-over Portlandians queuing for their famous bacon-topped maple bar and other deep-fried creations. Together with the Emeralds, they’ve transformed a traditional ballpark food into a road-trip worthy gut bomb. Take your standard bratwurst, layer a strip of bacon on top, place them in a maple bar sliced like a hot dog bun, drizzle maple goodness over it and you have a Bacon Maple Brat. Even better, pair it at the ballpark with the local Oakshire Brewing Overcast Espresso Stout for a twist on a classic breakfast combo. Yum.

PK Park

Originally built to house the University of Oregon’s baseball program and located next to Autzen Stadium, PK Park houses both the Ducks and the MLB San Diego Padres minor league affiliate, the Emeralds. The Park is not, however, named after the University’s most prominent backer with the initials PK, Nike founder Phil Knight. Coincidentally, the Ducks have another large donor with the same initials – former athletic director Pat Kilkenny.  His donation helped fund the construction of the four-old baseball stadium.

Sorry Duck fans, Bacon Maple Brats are only available at Emeralds home games. To plan a road trip to grab this iconic grub, see their schedule here.

PK Park, Home of the Eugene Emeralds

Have you had a Bacon Maple Brat?  Tell me about it in the comments.