SBD/January 23, 2013/Facilities

Facility Notes

A CRAIN'S N.Y. BUSINESS editorial states if the USTA gets City Council and state Legislature approval for its proposed $500M expansion of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, it "should make a small gesture to compensate for taking another two-thirds of an acre of park into its complex." N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration could "mollify the pockets of opposition to the USTA project by devoting more U.S. Open revenue to upkeep of the heavily used host park." But the project's "incorporation of one lane of a short three-lane access road and its addition of 393 parking spaces in a 1,255-acre park is all but insignificant next to the improved fan experience and economic impact it will bring" (CRAIN'S N.Y. BUSINESS, 1/21 issue).

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: In K.C., Mike Hendricks noted MLS Sporting KC in '10 "pledged to build nearly two dozen youth soccer fields in Wyandotte County as one condition of the subsidy for the 18,500-seat stadium now known as Sporting Park." Yet deadlines have "come and gone with none of the fields being built so far." Not even the "future locations have been identified for three inner-city fields that were supposed to have opened two years ago, or the 18-field, tournament-quality soccer complex that was to have been ready by this past Dec. 1." Team officials "insist they still intend to make good on their promise" (K.C. STAR, 1/18).

THE "WOW" FACTOR: In New Jersey, John Nalbone noted the Double-A Eastern League Trenton Thunder are "installing a state-of-the-art, multimedia video board that includes a 21- x 68-foot high density screen in right field" at Arm & Hammer Park, along with a "new 20- x 16-foot display in left field and a new 14- x 15-foot highway marquee." Thunder GM Will Smith said, "There is no doubt that fans will be 'wowed' when they walk into the ballpark and see the enormous screens" (NJ.com, 1/21).

JUST DUCKY: In Portland, Betsy Hammond reported Nike co-Founder & Chair Phil Knight plans to "add improved landscaping and accessibility features worth at least" $5M to the Univ. of Oregon's Autzen Stadium. Knight's donation is "intended to let fans exit quicker." Planning documents say the upgraded landscaping "will greatly improve the look and feel of the venue" (OREGONLIVE.com, 1/18).
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