Chicago Suburb Considers Sports Complex Expansion
by Elena Ferrarin, Chicago Daily Herald July 2015
The city of Elgin has started long-range planning for a possible expansion of the Sports Complex, including the addition of a second entrance to alleviate traffic flow problems.
Budget Woes Take Toll on Brooklyn's Basketball Courts
by Paul Steinbach July 2015
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.
Sports Complex Plans Stall as Tax Hike Talks Tabled
by Lawrence Budd July 2015
The construction of a $10 million sports complex on 88 acres outside Lebanon hinges on more than an increase in Warren County's lodging tax.
City Seeks to Assume Care of Park, Save Little League
by Jane Ford-Stewart, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel July 2015
Following an environmental study of Kulwicki Park, Greenfield is ready to move ahead with an agreement for the city to take over care of the park, partly to save the Greenfield Little League. But there is resistance on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors.
City Considers Pilot Program to Allow Dogs in Parks
by Bryna Godar, The Capital Times (Madison, WI) July 2015
For decades, dogs have not been allowed in most Madison parks, a law some dog owners ignore, others protest and some don't know about. In the coming months, the city may take steps to change that status quo with a pilot program allowing dogs on paths in 13 parks throughout the city.
Facility Makes Baseball Accessible to Cincinnati Youths
by Ted Berg, USA TODAY Sports July 2015
New baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, who has decried the growing perception of baseball as a country club sport reserved for those with the increasing resources necessary to play it competitively, reiterated a commitment he made early in his tenure to make the game more available to the USA's underprivileged youth.
Park Board Readies for $22M Sports Complex Design
by Leann Eckroth, The Bismarck Tribune July 2015
JLG Architects was selected Monday to design Mandan's $22 million sports complex and new ball field projects at the monthly park board meeting.
How LED Lighting Is Reaching All Levels of Outdoor Sports
by Paul Steinbach July 2015
The future for high-intensity discharge bulbs as an instrument of sports illumination grows dimmer by the day.
Banned from Parks, Drones May Get Own Spot in City
by Alexandra Seltzer, Palm Beach Post (Florida) July 2015
After having ordinances that both allow drones to be flown in the city but ban them from being flown in the parks, Boynton Beach staff has been told to research and find an area that can be designated for drone-flying only.
Park Opens Three Cricket Fields, Hosts 22-Team League
by Keith Morelli, The Tampa Tribune (Florida) July 2015
So new are the cricket fields at Evans Park in Seffner that they are not yet listed on the county's website that mentions the basketball and hockey courts, football, soccer and softball fields. The park now is home to the Tampa Cricket League, which played its first matches there in 2012 on open fields.