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Venue News: Broncos (Boise State) Upgrade Video Boards; Broncos (Denver) Finalize Stadium Name
By: Karen Hogan, Associate Editor
Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 9:00 am

Boise State will introduce upgrades to their football stadium this season, including full-color, LED boards that display game information like the clock, down and distance, team yardage totals, messages, and advertisements. Bronco Sports Properties, the local arm of Learfield Sports that took possession of the Boise State athletics sponsorship rights a year ago, will attach Mitsubishi ribbon boards to the the upper decks on both sides of the stadium, running from 10-yard line to 10-yard line. They replace the blue scoreboards that had limited functionality. BSP will also place 31-foot LED boards at field level behind the goalposts on each end of the stadium, which will show ads visible in the game telecast. BSP hopes to further improve Bronco Stadium once stadium expansion plans are finalized…

…Sports Authority, the Colorado-based sporting goods retailer owned by private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners, offered more than $150 million over 25 years for the naming rights to the Denver Broncos’ Mile High Stadium. Sports Authority won unanimous approval from the Metropolitan Football Stadium District in Denver to assume the final 10 years of the naming-rights agreement negotiated by money manager Invesco. The facility will be renamed the Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. The amount includes upgrades to the $500 million stadium, which opened for the 2001 season. Since it signed the 20-year, $120 million deal, Invesco has switched from being a seller of mutual funds directly to the public to one that sells through financial advisers, and now has a smaller presence in Denver…

… NASCAR is talking to officials at Watkins Glen International about adding SAFER barriers and reconfiguring the angle of walls in key areas around the road course following Monday’s Sprint Cup race in which there were two violent crashes. The governing body also is discussing the situation with engineers at the University of Nebraska that designed the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barriers about what can be done to improve safety. The concerns came from two wrecks. The first involved Denny Hamlin crashing head on into a tire barrier; the second, which drew the most concern, came on the final lap in Turn 2 and involved multiple drivers…

The new $127.5-million arena in downtown Evansville, IN, officially has a name and a pro-sports tenant. The Evansville IceMen (CHL) will call the Ford Center after a naming rights deal was reached between Ford Motor Company and arena management and a lease agreement was reached between the team and the city.  The naming-rights deal is for 10 years and is worth $4.2 million. In addition to the naming rights and exterior signage, the agreement also calls for Ford to receive interior signage as well. The five-year lease agreement calls for the team to pay $10,400 per game, discounted to $9,400 after the first season, and receive a portion of the proceeds from alcohol sales. The University of Evansville basketball team will also play home games at the Ford Center.

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