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Baptist to Sell SportsFirst as Competition Heats Up

By Alabama Public Radio

Birmingham, AL – Birmingham-based Baptist Health System says it plans to sell its nine SportsFirst fitness centers as part of its strategy to concentrate on its core health care business. Spokesperson Ross Mitchell says it will take Baptist a month or two to solicit proposals from would-be buyers and to determine the sales price. Mitchell says, until then, SportsFirst clubs will continue to operate as normal. Baptist does not disclose the finances of SportsFirst. But the clubs have gained more than 12,000 members since the first facility opened 21 years ago. The move to sell SportsFirst comes as competition heats up in the Birmingham area's fitness club business. National operator Gold's Gym has already opened a $3.25 million, 40,000-square-foot location at the Colonnade. And that gym plans to build at least three more clubs in the Birmingham area.

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