The Show on KJZZ

Nike Backs Out Of Goodyear Manufacturing Plant

Published: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - 4:32pm
Updated: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - 12:25pm
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Due to the coronavirus, Nike no longer plans open a manufacturing plant southwest of Phoenix.

A Nike spokesperson told KJZZ the company is experiencing unprecedented times and due to the COVID-19 impact it will no longer be investing in a Nike Air Manufacturing Innovation facility in Goodyear. 

Nike originally said it would invest more than $180 million in the facility near the Goodyear Airport. It would have been Nike’s third manufacturing center dedicated to Nike Air shoes. 

Nike sent the following statement to KJZZ: “We are repositioning our resources to further invest against our biggest opportunities and Air MI will continue to be an important part of Nike’s growth strategy. We thank the City of Goodyear and the team we have worked with to date; they have been outstanding partners.”

Last year, the City Council agreed to waive about a million dollars in fees and reimburse the company up to another million for creating at least 505 full-time jobs offering average annual salaries of $48,514 and paying at least 65% of employee health-care premiums. The city told KJZZ it will be reconciling obligations by both parties over the next few weeks.

Shortly after Nike’s plans were announced last year, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted the state might withhold up to $1 million in economic funding. He was upset with Nike canceling a new sneaker with a Betsy Ross-themed flag on the back of the shoe. Ducey tweeted:  “We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Nike asked retailers to return the shoes after activist and former NFL star Colin Kaepernick raised concerns that the flag is a symbol used by some white supremacist groups.

To talk more about Nike and the economy, The Show spoke with economist Jim Rounds.

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