In Raleigh, Luke DeCock noted any Hurricanes fans who "arrived through PNC Arena’s south entrances on Sunday would immediately have noticed something different: The Eye, the team store, appeared to have metastasized into the ticketing lobby." Where there was "once shiny terrazzo, there were suddenly racks of team gear and employees roaming with tablets ready for quick sales." New Owner Tom Dundon "thought The Eye was too small, too hard to get in and out of and took too long to check fans out at the register" (NEWSOBSERVER.com, 1/15).
SAFETY FIRST: SPORTSNET.ca's Shi Davidi noted the Blue Jays are "expanding their protective netting around home plate at Rogers Centre" by 150%, "running a camouflaged-coloured mesh from the outfield end of one dugout to the other." The screen behind home plate will "rise from the previous 18 feet to 28 feet above the playing surface," while the netting over the dugouts will "stand 26 feet above the turf." Between the elimination of the knotted netting and the "switch to a camo colour designed to blend into the field’s green, the Blue Jays are hoping to minimize the intrusiveness of the new barrier" (SPORTSNET.ca, 1/15).
DOWN IN FRONT: In Virginia, Cara Cooper noted Martinsville Speedway is "taking out rows of seats from the top of the Bill France Tower between Turns 3 and 4, and all of the seats above the press box between Turns 1 and 2." NASCAR attendance is "down across the country," and Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell "admitted that played into the timing of the seat removal." Campbell also said that the seats being eliminated were "too high and difficult for fans to reach, providing logistical issues with facilities in that area." Cooper noted the removal "looks to be about a dozen rows" (MARTINSVILLEBULLETIN.com, 1/12).