2019 In Review – July

LA Clippers issued the first images of the planned Inglewood arena it hopes to call home from 2024.

The NBA basketball team’s proposed 18,500-seat arena will have a three-dimensional oval design with an exterior of diamond-shaped metal panels inspired by the concept of a basketball swishing through a net. The panels have been designed to provide solar benefit for maximum energy efficiency, as part of the facility’s LEED GOLD-certified design.

The Inglewood Arena will revitalise mostly vacant land under the flight path of Los Angeles International Airport. The project is targeted for completion by fall of 2024, following the expiration of the Clippers’ lease at STAPLES Center.

The City of Calgary voted in favour of developing a new event centre that will house NHL ice hockey team the Flames in what was described as a key step in re-establishing Calgary as a destination.

The 11-4 vote came just eight days after the project was first unveiled and followed earlier approval by owners of the Flames, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC); and rodeo, exhibition and festival organiser Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Limited (Stampede).

The C$550m (£343.7m/€375.3m/$418.3m) project represented the third attempt to broker such an agreement in the past four years and was rubberstamped in December.

The Los Angeles Dodgers unveiled plans for renovations to its famous Dodger Stadium that include a new centre-field plaza and elevators and bridges connecting the outfield pavilions to the main stadium.

The project, which will reportedly cost $100m, will take place during the offseason and is due to be completed before the stadium hosts Major League Baseball’s (MLB) All-Star Game at the start of the 2020 campaign.

The team said the project is designed to enhance the MLB’s biggest and third-oldest ballpark – which opened in 1962 – with “modern and fan-friendly amenities”.

Telecommunications company Vodafone is bringing 5G into stadia across Germany through a partnership with the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL).

The DFL, which operates Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga, signed a two-year deal to provide 5G infrastructure in-stadia to boost the mobile communications capacity for fans. It is said that mobile reception will improve by 60 per cent within the stadiums.

The technology was initially installed at the 30,000-capacity Volkswagen Arena, home ground of VfL Wolfsburg, in the autumn.

South Korean automotive manufacturer Kia agreed a four-year extension to its sponsorship deal with Surrey County Cricket Club, an agreement that sees it continue to hold naming rights to The Oval ground.

The deal between the UK division of Kia Motors and Surrey will now run until the end of 2024. The partnership has now lasted 14 years, one of the longest associations in English sport. Other significant naming rights deals signed in July involved Zurich’s proposed new football stadium, Anderlecht, Rutgers University and Ellis Park.

Image: LA Clippers