SBD/Issue 46/Facilities & Venues

Facility Notes

Phoenix Int'l Raceway Likely To Repave
Track After February Sprint Cup Race

In Phoenix, Michael Knight reported “the first repaving” of Phoenix Int'l Raceway since ’93 is “considered very likely, with the work to begin soon after" February’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500. The changes “could be dramatic: reconfiguration to include bottom-to-top gradual banking, widening and even opening-up the radius of the turns.” The ISC BOD is “expected to green-light the estimated $10 million repaving project at a meeting Wednesday in Miami.” The Avondale City Council also “must OK a development agreement with PIR,” and that is “likely to happen by early December” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 11/14).

GIVING THE GREEN LIGHT: In Green Bay, Tony Walter reported Lambeau Field’s playing surface is “undergoing an experiment that is the first of its kind in North America.” The Packers are “using special lights to speed the growth of grass on the southern half of the field” with a system invented by Dutch company SGL. The team hopes that it “will provide an even better playing surface as temperatures drop.” SGL has “provided the lights at no charge in hopes the Packers might make a long-term investment.” The “only cost to the Packers so far has been getting electrical power from the concourse down to the field and paying higher utility bills because of it” (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 11/13).

BOOST FOR A NEW VENUE: In Baltimore, Mirabella & Gunts reported the Greater Baltimore Committee, an “influential group of Baltimore business and civic leaders, coalesced Friday behind a proposal to build a new downtown arena that would be connected to an expanded Convention Center.” The GBC said that its board voted to study the plan, which would “replace the aging 1st Mariner Arena while adding convention space and renewing a dated wing of the Baltimore Convention Center.” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said last Thursday that she “wants to explore alternate locations for a new sports and entertainment arena.” Her statements are a “shift from the previous administration’s proposal to raze the facility and build a new one on its current west-side site.” An earlier plan to replace 1st Mariner Arena with a new 18,500-seat facility “that was expected to cost at least $300 million stalled amid the recession” (Baltimore SUN, 11/13).

NEXT IN LINE: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that the Meadowlands Xanadu project “appears to be on the verge of getting a new operator," but he refused to put a “timetable on when the unnamed operator would revive the project.” New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said six weeks ago there were “five suitors” for Xanadu. Guadagno added that “in the next month or so” there could be “some action” on the project (Bergen RECORD, 11/13). 

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