Emily Attwood
Emily (emily@athleticbusiness.com) joined the Athletic Business team in 2011, a natural transition from her previous work at PFP (Personal Fitness Professional), a B2B fitness industry brand, and Inside Wisconsin Sports, a consumer sports publication. AB’s managing editor by day, Emily spends her nights typing away at what she hopes will someday turn into a novel that other people will find worth reading. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Emily continues to enjoy living in the city with her husband, Derek, and biking to work, except during winter, when she doesn't enjoy much of anything.
  • Thursday, April, 16, 2015
    Dodgers Looking to Give Tech Startups a Boost

    The Los Angeles Dodgers have launched a program to integrate innovative technologies into the stadium and fan experience. The Dodgers Accelerator program, announced earlier this week, will provide 10 startup companies an opportunity to grow and build awareness for their products. 


  • Tuesday, April, 14, 2015
    Landing Zones Around Climbing Walls Get Their Due

    Climbing walls have become nearly as common as recreation centers on college campuses across the country, and the prevalence of public facilities dedicated to the sport has led to a generation of climbers for whom the walls and facilities built a decade ago just aren't cutting it any more. As facility operators look to revamp their existing walls to appeal to a more discerning consumer base — or to merely add the amenity — they're thinking more about the various aspects of a functional climbing destination.


  • Monday, April, 13, 2015
    Protecting Gym Lighting, Sprinklers and Scoreboards

    In January, dozens of visitors complained of feeling sick after attending a basketball game at Roby High School gymnasium in Texas. Administrators went so far as to have the bleachers removed and tested for chemical residue before uncovering the culprit a couple of weeks later: a broken light bulb over the visitors' bleachers emitting UV radiation.


  • Wednesday, April, 08, 2015
    New Projects: Cleveland YMCA | Emerald Glen Rec Complex | GVSU Rec Center

    Breaking Ground

    After years of planning, construction of Parker Hannifin Downtown YMCA (pictured) in Cleveland has begun. The new facility will occupy two floors of former retail space and offer 40,000 square feet of fitness space, including a three-lane lap pool, a sauna, a steam room, networked fitness equipment, a group cycling studio, three group exercise studios, and a social gathering space. Scheduled to open in January 2016, the $8.9 million project was designed by Moody-Nolan Inc. of Cleveland.


  • Wednesday, April, 01, 2015
    e-Sports Athletes Looking for Recognition

    At first glance, one might scoff at any comparison between the athletic feats of an athlete on the field and a gamer online, but for e-Sports competitors, there may be more similarities than differences.


  • Monday, March, 16, 2015
    Environmentally Friendly Athletic Field Maintenance

    College campuses nationwide are getting greener, focusing on environmental sustainability, from designing LEED-certified buildings to launching zero-waste recycling campaigns and taking "Carbon-Neutral" pledges. College athletic programs are doing their part, increasing energy efficiency through the use of LED lighting and alternative energy sources, reducing water consumption and implementing gameday recycling programs.


  • Wednesday, March, 11, 2015
    Community Supports Footing Tax Bill for Church Ballpark

    While nonprofit and religious organizations have been under the microscope in recent years when it comes to tax-exempt status of their fitness and recreation facilities, voters in Boscawen, N.H. last night approved a plan that would donated $6,000 to a local church to cover property taxes and maintenance on its baseball field.

    The field, owned by Boscawen Congregational Church, was built in 1915 and has been offered free for use by local groups over the last century, including Merrimack Valley Youth Baseball and Softball. But in 2014, the city’s tax assessor determined that because the lot was not being used for religious purposes, it was not tax exempt, and the church was billed $1,600.

    In addition to covering the property tax bill, the city’s donation will also help defray maintenance and upkeep costs for the church ballpark. Church and community volunteers had been assisting with the efforts and will continue to do so.

    “It does need some work,” Merrimack Valley Little League president Eric Crane told the Concord Monitor. “Our plan has always been to revitalize and rebuild the church park.”

    Not all voters agreed that the donation was a grand slam, however. “My concern isn’t about the kids playing baseball. If you give money to one nonprofit, how do you deny others that come forward?” one resident asked.


  • Wednesday, March, 11, 2015
    Evaluating Campus Recreation Management Software

    A good software management system is essential to the success of any business, facilitating everything from access control and asset management to membership sales and scheduling. Choosing a management software vendor is not a task many take lightly; between implementation, training and ensuring compatibility, making the switch to a new system is an arduous undertaking, and the final decision will be one the facility operator will likely have to live with for a number of years.


  • Tuesday, March, 10, 2015
    Poor Design Blamed for Rec Center's Financial Woes

    Seven Hills Recreation Center in Ohio lost $45,000 last year, bringing its total financial loss up to $553,000 since it opened in 2002 — not including the initial construction costs. According to Mayor Richard Dell'Aquila, poor initial design has caused the city-owned recreation center to become a "generational financial problem."

    “The recreation center has suffered from poor construction, bad design, and ineffective management," Dell'Aquila told Cleveland.com. "Combined with the worst financial recession since the 1930s, the recreation center has been largely responsible for much of the financial woes the city has suffered in the past decade.”

    Among the major expenses, the pool roof had to be replaced shortly after the center opened due to deterioration caused by pool chemicals. The $2 million cost was partially covered by the original subcontractor. The natatorium’s HVAC system was also replaced last year at a cost of $500,000. Dell’Aquilla says that the previous system never worked properly and led to structural issues throughout the rest of the recreation center.

    Read the full report

    In 2011, the city hired a consultant to inspect the recreation center and identify further construction deficiencies. In addition to poor facility ventilation, the inspection found that the no vapor barrier had been installed during initial construction, putting the facility at increased risk of deterioration due to moisture buildup. 

    Additionally, Dell’Aquilla criticized the original pool design, which is not large enough to host swim competitions. “There are many swim teams in our area that could have been attracted to the center with a little more thought.”

    RELATED: A Pool Survey Can Highlight Damage You Can't See


  • Tuesday, March, 03, 2015
    Tips to Keep Saunas and Steam Rooms Appealing

    It’s a story all too familiar to many fitness facility operators: a new facility or renovation opens, boasting a new sauna or steam room that will be the facility’s crowning jewel and attract myriad new members. Months later, though, it’s fallen into disuse (or worse yet, a failure of the steam room enclosure renders it useless) and sits as an empty waste of space.


  • Monday, June, 16, 2014
    AB's Architectural Showcase a Yearlong Affair

    The Architectural Showcase in June is the one issue of Athletic Business I look forward to most each year. It's also the issue I spend most of each year working on.


  • Friday, April, 04, 2014
    Blog: Wine at the Gym? I’ll Drink to That

    Cardio equipment? Check. Towel service? Check. Group exercise schedule? Check. Liquor license? Pending.


  • Thursday, February, 27, 2014
    Blog: Let Them Eat Cake, If They So Choose

    On Tuesday, the White House announced a series of new initiatives as part of the fourth anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” program. Many of them are a great step forward in the battle against childhood obesity and inactivity, including an expansion of the school breakfast program and a five-year partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association and Boys & Girls Clubs of America will provide 5 million children with healthy snacks and physical activity opportunities after school. 


  • Monday, January, 13, 2014
    Blog: Women-Only Fitness Zones Perpetuate Stereotypes

    Here at AB, it’s the editors’ job to stay on top of what’s happening in the industries we serve. As such, last Friday I came across an article about a gym in Vancouver getting some flak for its decision to close its women-only section. 


  • Thursday, October, 10, 2013
    Blog: If You Can't Beat 'Em… Beat 'Em Up!

    I was sitting in a hotel lobby surrounded by other people when I opened up my morning news alerts and saw an article announcing the Kentucky High School Athletic Associations' decision to suspend post-game handshakes, so I had to keep my disgust to a minimum - a casual eye roll and understated sigh. Seriously? These athletes are displaying poor sportsmanship, and the solution to that is to do away with the concept? That's like dropping math from the curriculum because the students aren't getting it.


  • Friday, September, 20, 2013
    Blog: Defending "The Slowest Generation"

    Friday afternoon, when I should have been hard at work on AB's November issue, I instead found myself fuming over an article from Thursday's Wall Street Journal sent to me by our company owner. The article deemed younger athletes "The Slowest Generation," and accused my generation of being too apathetic about performance and competition.