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SBD/July 29, 2013/FacilitiesPrint All
The Redskins' new Bon Secours Training Center in Richmond is "getting mostly positive reviews from those who see it as a boon to the city," according to Louis Llovio of the RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH. But while the "majority of fans and businesses seem to have positive things to say, others say parking is an issue, customers aren’t showing up and that a major walkway, which is many visitors’ introduction to Richmond, is strewn with garbage." The walkway to the Redskins' facility from a parking area at the minor league ballpark in Richmond was "littered with beer bottles, cigarette packs and a nearly footlong strip of faded police tape." But many of the fans who expressed dissatisfaction said that they "are willing to give the city and the Redskins the benefit of the doubt and a second chance." Redskins fan Amen Haddis was among those who said that the walk from the parking area was "too long and the garbage surprising." He added that the facility "needs to improve sight lines for fans and should consider bringing in bleachers or some sort of seating." Llovio wrote the Redskins training camp is a "big deal for the city of Richmond," which built the facility. Its costs will "include a $500,000 annual 'local contribution' from the city to the Redskins under the agreement between the team and the Richmond Economic Development Authority, which will settle up with the franchise every December as part of the eight-year training camp deal." The city last year estimated that the facility would "bring 100,000 visitors a year," and 10,100 fans "showed up" when Redskins camp opened on Thursday. The team said that 15,124 "attended Saturday -- 3,955 for the morning session and 11,169 in the afternoon" (TIMESDISPATCH.com, 7/27).
NO PLACE LIKE HOME: In New Jersey, J.P. Pelzman notes the NFL Jets, instead of "taking advantage of all the amenities they have at their state-of-the-art" Atlantic Health Training Center are "at a Division III university for nearly three weeks as they prepare for the 2013 season." While SUNY-Cortland and the city of Cortland, N.Y., "have been fine and gracious hosts," it is "time for the Jets to go back home, where more of their metro New Jersey/New York fan base can see them in person, and where they can take advantage of better facilities for learning the playbooks and rehabbing injuries." When the Jets built their Training Facility in '08, the "plan was to hold not only their in-season practices there but training camp as well." But "that plan changed" when Rex Ryan was named coach in '09, as he "envisioned getting away from it all in a place where his team could bondand establish camaraderie without any distractions. - See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/sports/217336331_Pelzman__It_s_time_for_the_Jets_to_camp_at_home.html#sthash.ZxeQgO9k.dpufand establish camaraderie without any distractions." The contract with SUNY-Cortland "expires after this camp, and hasn’t been re-upped" (Bergen RECORD, 7/29).
Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield Township, N.J., is "hoping to join Merion, Oakmont and Pinehurst as a National Historic Landmark," according to Lisa Mickey of the N.Y. TIMES. The club's nomination will "go before the National Historic Landmarks Committee, a subcommittee of the National Park Service Advisory Board, in November." The club's designation as a National Landmark "could come as soon as late spring" or early summer of '14. Baltusrol 10 years ago was "placed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places," and later applied for "inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, which it achieved" in '05. Baltusrol member and historian Rick Wolffe said that among the "benefits of being on the state and national registers is to be recognized for playing a significant role in the history of golf" in the U.S. Wolffe: "The National Register and the National Historic Landmark designations provide various levels of protection from future outside development projects that could have a negative impact on the historic integrity of Baltusrol’s two Tillinghast courses and its clubhouse." National Park Service Public Affairs Specialist Mike Litterst said that sporting sites like golf courses must "undergo the same scrutiny as any other site hoping to be recognized for its historic significance." Mickey notes historic designations are "sometimes 'delisted' because of drastic departures from their original designs." Litterst said that Soldier Field's renovations in '03 altered the stadium's "character and integrity." It was delisted the following year "and lost its designation as a National Historic Landmark" in '06 (N.Y. TIMES, 7/29).
The Braves are partnering with Marietta, Ga.-based American Maglev Technologies (AMT) to "build a maglev train from MARTA’s Georgia State station to Turner Field as a way to improve fan accessibility to the stadium," according to Maria Saporta of the ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE. But the Braves "must first negotiate a new agreement with the city of Atlanta." The team’s lease at Turner Field expires Dec. 31, 2016, and the Braves "would love to reach a new agreement -- with more favorable terms -- as soon as possible." The maglev train, or "some kind of mass transit connection to MARTA, is considered essential to the Braves." AMT is working with Madrid-based Grupo ACS, which is "expected to provide funding for the Turner Field project." The proposed one-mile elevated track from the MARTA station to Turner Field "with two vehicles is expected to cost" about $30M. It would "take less than two minutes for each vehicle, which can carry about 200 passengers, to make the one-mile trip." The automated trains "would travel as fast as 40 miles an hour, and trains would arrive every two minutes." City of Atlanta COO Duriya Farooqui said that the city is "evaluating the feasibility" of the project (ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE, 7/26).