SBD/Issue 56/Facilities & Venues

Facility Notes

Pocono Completing Safety Upgrades To Track,
Including New Catch Fence On Front Stretch

The AP's Dan Gelston reported Pocono Raceway renovations "should be finished by the end of this year with significant safety upgrades that include a soft-wall barrier and catch fence." The new fence "will run from the end of the front stretch and connect with the existing catch fence in Turn 2." The SAFER barrier "will run on the entire length of the inside of the track from the exit of Turn 1 to the entrance of Turn 3 for a total of 5,516 feet" (AP, 11/30).

CLOCK IS TICKING: Officials yesterday said that the N.Y. OTB "will shut down Friday unless the State Senate joins the Assembly in adopting a bailout plan." In letters to union leaders and N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, OTB Chief of Staff Sylvia Hamer said the agency "will have exhausted all unrestricted funds available to continue its operations beyond" Friday without passage of the rescue plan. Hamer said that 1,034 employees "would be laid off and betting parlors closed throughout the city" (NEWSDAY, 12/1).

ONLY A MATTER OF TIME? A PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE editorial stated last week's nomination of Civic Arena for historic status "will only drag things out." The editorial: "Trouble is, the dark and empty building sits on a 28-acre site. That's a big space for real development that can help the neighborhood and the city. But first the arena, which no longer serves as an arena, would have to go. And at $50,000 a month to mothball, the Sports and Exhibition Authority will be forced to waste good money that instead could be put toward development. The sooner Pittsburgh gives up this ghost, the sooner it can get on with the future" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 11/28).

PROVEN COMMODITY: In Austin, John Maher reports Dallas-based HKS Inc. "has been hired to design much of the proposed $250 million Formula One complex on a 900-acre tract southeast of Austin, although not the circuit itself." HKS is "perhaps best known for its work on" Cowboys Stadium. German engineering firm Tilke GmbH is "designing the 3.4-mile circuit at the site" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 11/22).

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