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Dick's Sporting Goods to have ribbon cutting Tuesday, grand opening June 6-8; Massachusetts Street named top tourist attraction in state

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It soon will be a new ballgame for Lawrence sports and outdoor enthusiasts.

Dick's Sporting Goods has announced the dates for its grand opening in Lawrence, and as expected, it is coming right up. The national retailer will host a grand opening celebration from Friday, June 6 to Sunday June 8 at its new location at 27th and Iowa streets.

And as we told you last week, Dick's has been planning for a special in-store appearance to mark the occasion, and now we have details on that too. Former KU standout Danny Manning will be at the store to sign autographs from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. June 7.

The company also will host several giveaways, including free gift cards ranging from $5 to $500 for the first 100 adults in line June 7 and June 8. The store opens at 8 a.m. June 6-7 and at 9 a.m. June 8.

But also keep your eyes open for the store to do a soft opening early next week. I haven't gotten an announcement from the company about a soft opening, but I note that a ribbon cutting with city officials has been scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. I would think the store would be open after the ribbon has been cut.

The store's opening has been much anticipated because it will be the city's first sports-oriented big box retailer. It will go into competition with more locally-oriented retailers such as Francis Sporting Goods downtown and the Jock's Nitch chain, which recently expanded with a store near 23rd Street and Naismith Drive.

There will be others they compete with too. The company is touting its wide range of services that stretch from firearms to golf equipment. The company says it will have more than 40 in-store services, such as golf club repair and fitting; bike tune-ups; racquet stringing; scope mounting and boresighting for firearms; CO2 cartridge filling; glove steaming for baseball and softball; line winding for fishing; and archery services.

Perhaps you have been trying to do your own glove steaming or racquet stringing, and are just getting up to speed on Dick's entrance into the Lawrence market. The store is taking space in the former Sears building at 2727 Iowa St. Dick's is taking the center portion of the building, but space remains for two other significant retailers in the building. No word yet on who those will be, but a representative with the commercial firm marketing the property reports that interest in the space is strong.

I don't doubt them. Retail activity on south Iowa Street has picked up. A new Buffalo Wild Wings building is under construction caddy-corner from the Dick's Sporting Goods location. That building also will have space for an additional retailer not yet named. Plans for a new Menard's store just east of Home Depot at 31st and Iowa also are still moving along, although slowly. That site will include space for about a half-dozen smaller retailers and restaurants.

Plus, developers are still pursuing plans for a major new retail center that would be at the southeast corner of the intersection of the South Lawrence Trafficway and Iowa Street. My understanding is that plan is probably still a couple of months away from having a hearing before the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission.

In other news and notes from around town:

• We'll have to wait and see whether Lawrence's Dick's Sporting Goods becomes the top tourist destination in Kansas. If it does, it will have to unseat another Lawrence shopping area, at least according to the folks at the travel Web site Trip Advisor. Massachusetts Street was selected as the top destination in Kansas.

The company has compiled user data from its site to come up with the most popular attraction in each of the 50 states. The site uses something called its "TripAdvisor Popularity Index" to determine the top destinations. The index uses information such as the quality and quantity of reviews a destination has received, and it also looks at how recent the reviews are for a destination. So, I guess all those glowing reviews of the Honk for Hemp guy are paying off.

Click here to see a list of the top 50.

Comments

Steve Jacob 3 months, 3 weeks ago

“We really don’t know what the bottom is in golf,” he said. “I would expect that we would be less exposed to the golf business a couple of years from now than we are today."

Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack 5/20/14

US golfers have been playing fewer rounds, Stack noted, with statistics pointing to near-20-year lows. Last year, 158 golf courses were shuttered, while just 14 opened, and 650,000 men quit the pastime, according to the National Golf Foundation.

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