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Venue News: San Jose Earthquakes To Build New Stadium; Bills’ Toronto Preseason Game Moved Back to US
By: Karen Hogan, Associate Editor
Friday, February 24, 2012 - 9:00 am

The San Jose Earthquakes have officially been cleared to build themselves a new home. The Quakes’ plans for a $60 million, 18,000-seat stadium cleared their last bureaucratic hurdle Wednesday night when the San Jose Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny an appeal by a local resident looking to have the team’s planned development permit rescinded due to noise and light concerns. The decision caps a drawn-out permitting process that began 11 months ago when the team first applied to build a stadium on a 14-acre plot across the street from Mineta San Jose International Airport. Since being reborn as an expansion team in 2008, the Earthquakes have been playing in Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University. According to Quakes Team President David Kaval, drawing up plans will take three or four months, which means a 2013 opening — long the team’s goal — is still possible…

…The Buffalo Bills will not be playing a preseason game in Toronto this summer, despite the fact that was called for under the terms of the original five-year, eight-game pact between Rogers Communications and the franchise. The game (opponent still to be determined) was moved back to the United States “due to scheduling conflicts at the Toronto venue.” According to the blog theScore.com, the move potentially indicates that the deal between Rogers and the Bills will be extended in the near future, because Rogers paid nearly $10 million for each of these games…

…The proposal to build a new center-hung video board at the Edward Jones Dome to meet the St. Louis Rams’ needs also could boost the stadium’s attempt to land its second NCAA Final Four. In early February, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission released a $124 million plan to upgrade the 17-year-old stadium to accommodate the Rams, its NFL tenant. The club’s 30-year lease with the commission requires the public entity to keep the stadium among the top 25% of NFL facilities through 2025, the final year of the agreement. Those standards, subject to interpretation given that there are no league benchmarks to use as official measurements, are tied to an escape clause that allows the Rams to relocate to another market if the stadium does not maintain its “top tier” status compared with amenities at newer NFL stadiums. Hanging a board over midfield is a key piece of the most recent list of renovations that the commission has proposed for the next three years. Populous, the dome’s original architect, came up with an initial plan to install a board measuring 96 feet wide and 27 feet tall…

…Asked by the city for help in financing an arena, Sacramento County officials countered Thursday, saying the city could receive the money from parking at three county lots during arena events – if the city commits at least $500,000 a year to county parks. The county offer, which still needs to be approved by the Board of Supervisors, came in response to a last-minute city request to use the downtown county lots for night and weekend parking for its planned arena in the nearby downtown railyard, and to keep all parking revenue generated during events. The city also asked the county to turn over a portion of new revenue – from possessory interest taxes – that an arena is expected to generate for the county. The city request came just one week before the NBA’s March 1 deadline for Sacramento to have an arena financing plan in place. The city and the NBA issued a joint statement Wednesday saying financing negotiations between arena stakeholders are constructive and that the sides hope to reach an agreement by next Thursday.

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