Posts tagged with "Sports":
While cities around the country are transforming their riverfronts to encourage recreation, Oklahoma City is taking the Oklahoma River to the next level. The seven-mile-long formerly swampy stretch of land on the edge of downtown has been brought back to life through a series of dams and structures for adventure sports including kayaking, rowing, zip lines, climbing walls, hiking trails, high speed slides, and paddle boarding. The latest addition: RIVERSPORT Rapids, a 45.2 million, 11-acre whitewater rafting and kayaking center along the river; one of many attractions in a 60-acre stretch called the Boathouse District.
The whitewater center, engineered by Lyons, Colorado-based whitewater design firm S2o, is located just adjacent to the river. It includes two roughly 3,000-foot-long concrete channels (their angular lateral surfaces softened with plastic barriers), each stepping down about 24 feet. The average trip down takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Six 12,000-pound pumps send water from the bottom back up to the start, and large conveyor belts bring racers back up while still in their vessels.
“We put a Rocky Mountain experience in the Great Plains,” S2o president Scott Shipley said. His firm also engineered the London Olympic rowing center, Dorney Lake, and the U.S. National course in Charlotte, North Carolina. The nonprofit OKC Boathouse Foundation will operate the new center, offering rafting, kayaking, and tubing, among other activities.
“Oklahoma is a sports place. It’s really embraced this, and it’s helped create a renaissance here,” added architect Rand Elliott, whose Oklahoma City firm, Elliott + Associates, has designed and master planned the Boathouse District, a compilation of boathouses, entertainment venues, offices, and more, over the past 13 years. The rapids and the district were funded as part of MAPS 3, a one-cent sales tax initiative (already renewed four times since the early 1990s) that will give $777 million to new development citywide, with $60 million earmarked for the Oklahoma River.
For years, the river, once known as the North Canadian River, was an almost dry waterbed that locals joked about mowing instead of rowing. A $53 million project completed in 2004 rejuvenated the river.
Along this stretch Elliott + Associates has designed angular glass and steel buildings that line up along the river like boats about to race. They include, among other structures, the Chesapeake Boathouse, CHK Central Boathouse, Devon Boathouse, CHK Finish Line Tower, and the SandRidge Sky Trail, a zipline course that resembles a crazy straw. At night the buildings are lined with different colors of LEDs, creating a mesmerizing draw for visitors.
“We’ve poured our whole life and soul into this to make it an architectural masterpiece in that everything is connected yet still individual and interesting,” said Elliott.
But the main event is still the water sports.
“As more people move to cities, they need this kind of recreation in their lives,” said Shipley, “We can bring it to where they live and work.”
New York City's five boroughs are in line to take a share of 50 new soccer fields over the next five years courtesy of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Adidas, city government, and New York City F.C. The project, with an expected cost of $3 million, aligns with the aims of the U.S. Soccer Foundation to boost participation in healthy activities among youths.
According to the New York Times, Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to name Millbrook Playground in the South Bronx as the location for the first of eight fields. Here, a rundown play area will make way for an artificial pitch comprised of synthetic fibers which will be able to be used all year round. Other fields will also be placed in and around various depressed neighborhoods as the projects hopes to reach out to up to 10,000 children.
The fields are due to come to $750,000—a figure that will be offered by the four partners—meanwhile the rest of the total amount will go to maintaining the fields and extracurricular activities that will take place there.“The city and public have skin in the game, and the private companies have skin in the game, so it’s a way to build bridges throughout our city that is very significant,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, the director of the New York CityOffice of Strategic Partnerships, told the Times. “When you couple those private resources with the scale and breadth of our city agencies, innovative solutions can happen in a way that public systems can’t do by themselves.”
With underserved communal spaces, having been identified for soccer field placement, first in line are Cypress Hills Houses in Brooklyn, the Eagle Academy on Staten Island, Public School 83 in Manhattan, and Millbrook Playground.New York City F.C., Major League Soccer's most recent franchise, is still on the hunt for a soccer field of their own. Currently ground sharing with the New York Yankees, president of the club, Jon Patricof, said the team were still looking in all five boroughs for a new place to call home. “For us, this is not about what happens on our match days,” Patricof said. “For us, this is about our commitment to the sport and all the positive things soccer can do for kids and their families.”
Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena unveils major overhaul and expansion to stay relevant amid regional competition
I wrote in spring 2014 that the city needs a new or vastly renovated arena to compete with surrounding cities and lure many big-time events. At the time, some experts said Cincinnati will remain behind other cities without a brand-new facility. Peter Marrocco, vice president of business development and marketing at Walnut Hills-based HGC Construction, said a proper overhaul would cost $100 million, but even that might not work. “My concern is that’s not even going to get you up to par with Yum Center,” he said. “I don’t even think $100 million is going to be enough. We’d be putting a Band-Aid on a bleeding wound.”While the expansion adds only 500 regular concert seats, it will balloon the amount of club seats from 352 to 1,750. It will also add 40–60 suites in a new middle level closer to the stage. The lack of such suites apparently contributed to the arena losing its bid to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. (That convention will be held in Cleveland.) More images of the U.S. Bank Arena project, courtesy MSA Sport: