Well, all that white is definitely causing some underexposure. If you were in M mode and using Matrix Metering, then set your meter to +1. If you were using auto modes then press the EC button (+/- button) and apply +1 of EC. In constant-light conditions it's better to set exposure once and forget it. That's why I recommended spot metering and +2 on the meter (or +2 EC, if using auto modes and AE Lock.)
The focus is hard to evaluate, as there's usually something in sharp focus in the image. When there's nothing in the center of the image, it seems to have been focusing on the back walls. Otherwise, there's usually some kid who's sharp...whether that's the one you wanted to be sharp...I don't know.
Like I said, you'll get many opinions and some will be contradictory. And here's the first bit of it. I don't agree with Joseph K on the VR. I recommend leaving the VR on. Again, different equipment may give different experiences. I don't have the 70-200. I have a D90 with the 70-300G VR. The VR is VRII.
I have tried to experience lag due to the VR, and I could not produce it. Both in a controlled experiment and just out shooting around, when I pressed the shutter the camera always fired instantly and I've been able to catch the target moment. This makes sense to me, as Nikon's VR does not have any sort of "settling" period like other brands. This is because the moment you press the shutter, the VR system resets itself and positions the VR element in the lens to the center position. This is accomplished during the time that the mirror is flipping up. So by the time the shutter starts opening, the VR system is operating.
VR is helpful for stabilizing your view as you frame, which also help the AF system acquire and track more effectively. Try it both ways and see if you feel like your timing is being affected by the VR.