- Tuesday, July, 21, 2015
Budget Woes Take Toll on Brooklyn's Basketball Courts
In an effort to find out why it was so hard to find a decent place to play basketball in New York City, Wall Street Journal writer Stu Woo personally visited all 172 of Brooklyn’s public courts listed on the Parks and Recreation Department website this spring, and found that only a third of them were in good shape. “The rest had problems that varied from the annoying, such as bent or missing rims, to the ankle-breaking, such as cracks so wide that weeds actually grew out of them,” Woo writes at WSJ.com.
Woo wasn’t surprised, having conducted a similar review of Manhattan’s courts in 2013 (NYC boasts 1,800 courts in all). But, he writes, parks officials were disappointed to learn of the widespread problem while explaining that shrinking budgets make it hard to keep up with repairs. According to Woo’s report, the parks budget in the 1960s was 1.4 percent of NYC’s total budget. The current year’s $400 million parks budget is only half a percent of the city’s budget, and that amount is already spread thin among labor, gardening, playground equipment, recreation centers, pools, restrooms and other sports courts.
“We’re underfunding parks relative to New York City’s history and relative to where other big cities are today,” Parks and Recreation Committee chairman Mark Levine told Woo. “Your survey reveals, in pretty stark ways, the unmet needs of the system.”
Parks and Recreation Department commissioner Mitchell Silver added that Brooklyn’s reliance on recreational basketball is unique. “What makes Brooklyn different is that other boroughs have a lot of large parks. Brooklyn has a lot of small parks,” he told Woo. “Open space in Brooklyn is basketball.”
Parks are inspected twice annually by a team of 300 full-time inspectors. In addition, a hotline fields roughly 150,000 parks-related complaints (though off-leash dogs are among the most typical targets). But awareness is only the beginning, and court repairs don’t come cheap. A rim replacement runs $100, and a rim and backboard is $550. It costs $3,000 to paint a basketball court with a sports coating, and up to $150,000 to both resurface and repaint.
- Tuesday, July, 21, 2015
How Lock Technologies Are Simplifying Shared-Use Operations
Combination padlocks, keys, bolt cutters -- they're all getting harder to find in athletics, fitness and recreation locker rooms these days. That's because code-based mechanical and electronic lock technology has made life easier for both locker users and facility managers, if a little less lucrative for local locksmiths.
- Tuesday, July, 14, 2015
Fan Files Lawsuit Demanding MLB Extend Safety Netting
An Oakland Athletics season-ticket holder has filed a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status and greater protection for fans everywhere from flying bats and balls. The suit, filed Monday in the Northern District of California, wants MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to extend safety netting from foul pole to foul pole.
- Tuesday, July, 14, 2015
How LED Lighting Is Reaching All Levels of Outdoor Sports
The future for high-intensity discharge bulbs as an instrument of sports illumination grows dimmer by the day.
- Wednesday, July, 08, 2015
How to Keep Sports Venue Parking Lots Safe and Secure
Bryan Stow called his walker-assisted trek onto the Municipal Stadium field "a little scary." On April 16, Stow underhanded a ceremonial first pitch about 15 feet, to the roar of the San Jose Giants' Opening Night crowd.
- Thursday, July, 02, 2015
Roll-Up Doors Flood Wellness Center Pool with Fresh Air
In recreation centers, roll-up doors made of metal are typically used to allow for easy transport of equipment between indoor and outdoor activity spaces, or to close off storage areas or point-of-sale operations.
- Friday, June, 26, 2015
Report: FSU Freshman QB Punched Woman in Face
More off-field quarterback controversy at Florida State. Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher has suspended freshman quarterback De’Andre Johnson indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
- Wednesday, June, 24, 2015
Spectator Venues Are Realizing the Benefits of Downsizing Seating Capacity
"You don't build the church for Easter Sunday," the saying goes, and the same applies to the sizing of today's sports cathedrals — the stadiums and arenas at the highest levels of competition — many of which are recognizing the strategic benefits of downsizing their seating capacities.
- Thursday, June, 11, 2015
U. of Alabama MAC Is a Transparent Showpiece
By design, multipurpose activity courts are confined spaces — their dasher systems often relegated to out-of-the-way reaches of a recreation center's footprint. In some cases, MACs are completely enclosed rooms of floor-to-ceiling cinderblock. Not so at the University of Alabama's Student Activity Center at Presidential Village, where the MAC — and the activities it accommodates — is on full display. Glass dashers standing eight feet tall surround most of the synthetic playing surface lined for basketball, hockey and soccer, with netting extending to the rafters to keep projectiles in and out. Convertible goals can be recessed for soccer or brought into the field of play for hockey (with glass added to close off the rink end walls).
The MAC is situated as one of three courts in an otherwise hardwood gym on the center's second level. It's the first element visitors see as they reach the top of a monumental staircase. Says Dave Larson, senior vice president and director of design for Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based TMP Architecture Inc., "We wanted a transparent element that wouldn't break up the flow of the space visually."
This article originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of Athletic Business with the title "Design Details"
- Wednesday, May, 27, 2015
Small Ice Rink Operators Warming to Solar Power
It makes sense that there are more companies dealing in solar power in the state of Hawaii than there are those maintaining recreational ice. In fact, at last count, the breakdown was 300 to one. It makes even more sense, then, that Hawaii’s lone arena, the Ice Palace in Honolulu, is harnessing the power of the sun to optimize its operational efficiency.
- Wednesday, November, 30, 2016
AB Show 2016: The Magic of Orlando
There’s something about Orlando, Fla., that stirs the nostalgia in this AB Show-goer. It’s where the conference and expo (as it used to be known) was held my first eight years at Athletic Business, and it has been there another four times since. In all, Orlando has served as the annual home away from home for AB roughly half the time in our show’s 35-year history.
- Monday, November, 10, 2014
Get to Know Your Peers When Attending ABC
This is a story about a conversation Lou Holtz and I never had.
- Tuesday, August, 12, 2014
Robin Williams Drew Attention to Inaugural Augie’s BASH
Robin Williams possessed the kind of frenetic magnetism that dared you to look away. For me, it wasn’t possible. The actor/comedian’s larger-than-life persona was tailor-made for a movie screen.
- Thursday, January, 17, 2013
Blog: The Tangled Webs of Lance Armstrong, Manti Te'o
The twisted tales of Lance Armstrong and Manti Te'o are now intertwined. Heroes to many, these athletes have lived lies before our eyes, and now those lies are unraveling within the same week.
- Monday, December, 03, 2012
Blog: The Life and Death of Rick Majerus
The first time I saw Rick Majerus in person, he was sitting in seldom-used end-court bleachers that had been wheeled into position for a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Class C basketball sectional at my high school alma mater's field house. I was there to cover a game for my hometown newspaper, The West Bend News. Majerus, an assistant coach at Marquette at the time (this was the mid-'80s), was there to scout Kohler, Wis., phenom Joe Wolf, who would eventually attend North Carolina.
- Friday, August, 17, 2012
Blog: Cheer These Pro Athletes for Giving Back
Assuming your membership in the Latrell "I have a family to feed" Sprewell Fan Club has expired, may we suggest a couple of options.
- Sunday, January, 17, 2010
Blog: Still Believing, 34 Years (and Counting) Later
Editor's Note: AB Senior Editor Paul Steinbach authored this piece in January 2010, but with February 22nd marking the 34th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice and the U.S. men's hockey team facing off against Canada on Friday, the message still rings true.
For nearly 30 years now, the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team has been an off-and-on obsession of mine.
- Thursday, December, 10, 2009
A Choice to Make
There's precedent for a Catholic institution sticking with a coach despite his pro-choice stance on abortion. Rick Majerus is in his third season heading the St. Louis University men's basketball program after admitting during a TV interview at a January 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign rally that he is "pro-choice, personally." But will a Catholic institution hire a pro-choice coach? Somehow, during speculation that University of Cincinnati head football coach Brian Kelly is next in line to bear the Notre Dame football cross, the rumor spread that Kelly, an Irish Catholic who decades ago campaigned for Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart, is pro-choice. But no one seems to know for sure. "I searched online media archives all day today trying to find one reputable media reference to Kelly's stance on abortion," read a Tuesday post by Brooks at sportsbybrooks.com. "I found none."
- Wednesday, November, 11, 2009
Hit 'Em Straight
When the AB editors dedicated our July issue to best environmental practices in the athletics, fitness and recreation industries, we managed to overlook one egregious hazard to our planet's health: golf balls.