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Volume 24 No. 115
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Facility Notes

In Baltimore, Jeff Barker notes Under Armour has "unveiled a footwear design and development center" in Portland that is "less than a dozen miles" from Nike's global HQ. UA is calling the new 70,000-square-foot center an "innovation hub." It includes a "biomechanics lab and training center for athletes to test products." UA already had office space in Portland before the center opened, and it has been "gradually expanding its presence in the city" (Baltimore SUN, 9/15).

BIGGER & BOLDER: In Richmond, Michael Phillips notes Richmond Raceway on Thursday held a "groundbreaking ceremony" for its $30M renovation. An entire section of the track "will be removed to create a wider pedestrian tunnel underneath to accommodate increased viewing of the pits, garages and victory lane before and during races." Track President Dennis Bickmeier said, "We needed a spark. We needed something. And I think this did it for us." Phillips notes construction will be done in time to "debut the reworked track" at the fall NASCAR weekend in '18. The spring race weekend will be run in a construction zone, but Bickmeier said that he "anticipates all fans will be accommodated as normal" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 9/15).

THE TIME HAS COME: In Milwaukee, James Nelson in a front-page piece notes one of the "key elements" of the Bucks' arena project -- an "entertainment district intended to create year-round activity and a link to the rest of downtown Milwaukee -- is finally under construction." The district will serve as the wide base of what Bucks President Peter Feigin calls the "wine-bottle-shaped funnel of buildings and beer gardens connecting the arena to the bars and restaurants." Construction of the entertainment district "has not progressed with the crisp timetable that has been seen for the arena itself" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/15).

CHANGE OF HEART: In Providence, Katherine Gregg noted close to 140 people "feel strongly enough" about the proposed $38M in city and state subsidies for the proposed new Triple-A Int'l League Pawtucket Red Sox ballpark to "email their comments to the Rhode Island Senate." The first in a series of "public hearings on the PawSox public-financing bid" began on Thursday. Roughly two-thirds of the emails that had come in as of Tuesday were "pro-subsidy." At the beginning, the sentiment "ran strong against the owners’ bid to put state taxpayers 'on the hook'" for $23M. But in the weeks since there has been a "measurable increase in the number of emails urging state lawmakers to back the team’s bid for taxpayer assistance" to build a new $86M ballpark (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 9/14).