Covering proposed for Plaza tennis courts When iPads introduced, 200,000 could be sold
A seasonal fabric dome would enclose six Country Club Plaza tennis courts in winter, allowing year-round play, under a proposal presented Tuesday to the Kansas City Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners.
“This is a great wintertime opportunity for fitness,” said Steve Stroud, associate athletics director for the University of Missouri-Kansas City, which would be a partner in the venture with the Kansas City United Tennis program.
The 36-foot high fabric “bubble” would be installed over the six southern-most courts at the Plaza Tennis Center from October through March. The university and KC United would share the $500,000 upfront cost, plus ongoing maintenance, staffing and event costs. They were asking the city Parks and Recreation De- partment to handle setup, takedown and seasonal storage.
Parks officials said the department had available storage space, but Director Mark McHenry said the city would have to make sure the dome would conform architecturally to the Plaza Area Plan. The city also would have to resolve any potential engineering or structural issues with having the dome in a flood plain.
Parks board members were noncommittal except for Commissioner Aggie Stackhaus, who said she had questions and concerns. She noted that park staff members were overworked, and she questioned the use of their time to put up and take down the dome.
Parks officials said the proposal would need more investigation and discussion before it could go to a parks board vote. To reach Lynn Horsley, call 816-234-4317 or send e-mail to lhors[email protected]star.com.
When it comes to predicting how many iPads Apple Inc. will sell this weekend, Piper Jaffray & Co. analyst Gene Munster has little company among Wall Street analysts.
In the weeks before Apple began selling the iPhone in 2007, analysts and technology pundits prognosticated about how many would be snapped up in the first few days. With the iPad, Munster is estimating first weekend sales of 200,000 — a figure some of his rivals said would be too difficult to predict.
The sticking point: It’s unclear how consumers will respond to the iPad, an untested category of computer that’s bigger than a smart phone and less powerful than a laptop. Apple is also offering multiple versions of the device, though only three on day one.
“This is a big revolutionary device, but it’s a new market,” said Katy Huberty at Morgan Stanley in New York. “A lot of potential consumers are still questioning what it may be used for.”
Investors look to new products from Apple CEO Steve Jobs to spur sales and profit, which reached a record last quarter on demand for the iPhone and Macintosh computer. Anticipation for the iPad, which goes on sale Saturday, helped drive Apple stock to an all-time high Tuesday of $237.48. Shares closed at $235.84, up $3.45.
Munster, who has recommended buying Apple shares since June 2004, expects iPad sales of 2.8 million in 2010.