New Balance has expanded its footprint in Boston with an innovative multisport facility.
As Footwear News reports, the athletic giant unveiled The Track at New Balance, which is located across from its global headquarters at Boston Landing. The company described the new building as a place where Team New Balance, as well as professional and community athletes, will train and compete year-round.
New Balance equipped the space with a dual-terrain indoor track that can be converted to a field, as well as flexible basketball, soccer and volleyball courts. As for the track itself, New Balance said it was built with speed, competition and daily training in mind, and features hydraulically banked turns and six oval lanes that are 42 inches wide. This construction was built to offer runners a smooth transition from turns to straights and maximize acceleration.
The Track at New Balance is also the home to the company’s Sports Research Lab, Roadrunner music venue and Broken Records beer hall.
New Balance said the Sports Research Lab is the home of its team of sports scientists, and the work of the lab will be centered around three pillars: New Balance Athlete Insights Engine, Foundational Research and Innovation Partnerships. It spans more than 19,000 square feet and is equipped with high-tech imaging, 360-degree motion capture equipment, force plates that measure foot depression, a hyperbaric chamber and more.
“When we first started discussing The Track at New Balance, we wanted to ensure that we could create a destination for the community at Boston Landing, as well as design a space where the New Balance Sports Research Lab could take their work to the next level,” New Balance Development Group president Jim Halliday said in a statement. “This facility and all of the high-tech equipment it houses allow the New Balance Sports Research Lab team to increase their surveys with athletes and enhance technology throughout our products.”
The Roadrunner concert venue is located below The Track at New Balance. The 50,000 square-foot space, which is operated by concert promotion and venue management company Bowery Presents, features a 60-foot-wide stage, more than 30 speakers and bars throughout.
And the home of the The Track at New Balance couldn’t be more fitting. Aside from being close in proximity to the Boston Landing MBTA commuter rail stop, the building is surrounded by the Auerbach Center (the Boston Celtics practice facility) and the Warrior Ice Arena (the Boston Bruins practice facility).
In terms of sustainability, The Track at New Balance was built on previously developed land that was not in use. It obtained LEED Silver certification, according to New Balance, and features a roof with a solar array of 405-watt modules—2,491 in total—that covers roughly 72,956 square feet.
“Fifty years ago this month, Jim Davis purchased New Balance and together with Anne, they have led the tremendous growth of our brand into the global athletic leader we are today, while still maintaining our unique company culture,” New Balance president and CEO Joe Preston said in a statement. “Jim also had the bold vision to completely transform the area around our global headquarters in Boston into a vibrant world-class sports hub for athletes and fans including the debut today of The Track at New Balance. The Track at New Balance offers the optimal training and performance venue for athletes of all abilities while driving New Balance innovation and technology insights through our new state-of-the-art New Balance Sports Research Lab.”
Although The Track at New Balance is the athletic company’s latest facility, it’s not the only addition it has made this year. Last month, after spending $20 million on a renovation, New Balance opened its 80,000-square-foot athletic footwear factory in nearby Methuen.
The factory, which began production in January—specifically on the Made 990v5 shoe—is the home to more than 90 employees. New Balance said it will soon increase the workforce and production by more than double. (Including Methuen, New Balance said it employs roughly 1,000 workers in its five manufacturing facilities in Maine and Massachusetts.)