The Indians yesterday announced the opening of a new baseball academy in the Dominican Republic that will house the franchise's Dominican Summer League team and the club's Latin American operations. The facility, located in the town of San Antonio de Guerra, includes two playing fields, an agility field, two hitting tunnels and four bullpen training mounds. It can accommodate up to 60 players and four coaches, with daily meals provided, and also includes a classroom where the Indians English language program will be taught (Indians).
THE START OF SOMETHING BIG: In Portland, Ken Goe reported the Univ. of Oregon "plans to begin construction in June of a 130,000-square foot, six-floor football operations center that will include offices, team video theaters, offensive and defensive strategy rooms, a coaching conference suite, a video editing center, a dining hall and a weight room." The project "also will include a soccer and lacrosse complex on the east side of Autzen Stadium" (OREGONLIVE.com, 5/16).
WE BUILT THIS CITY: GOAL.com's Wayne Veysey reported Manchester City is "close to finalizing a stadium naming rights deal and an agreement could be announced" within the next two weeks. Two of the EPL club's current sponsors -- Abu Dhabi-based investment company Aabar and Ferrostaal, a German engineering firm taken over by the Abu Dhabi government -- are the "favorites to be the stadium sponsor." Sources indicated that the deal will be worth about US$16-19M annually. There is "no firm agreement yet about the length of the term although it is expected to be between 10 and 15 years" (GOAL.com, 5/13).
DINING IN? In Pittsburgh, Mark Belko notes the Penguins will take their "first stab at retail development when a 7,500-square-foot T.G.I. Friday's restaurant" opens May 31 at Consol Energy Center. Penguins COO Travis Williams said that team officials are "close to a lease with another restaurant to take the same amount of space." The Penguins also are "in talks with other potential tenants about the remaining 4,000 square feet." Developer David Glickman said that "one factor that may be hampering" development at Consol Energy Center is that "some of the properties in the area are priced at three to four times the value they were at before the new arena opened" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 5/17).