It turns out that Nike will not be opening its third Air Manufacturing Innovation plant – after those in Oregon and Missouri – in the city of Goodyear, Arizona. The company announced an investment of $184 million in the plant and the promise of more than 500 full-time jobs on July 11, 2019, having purchased the property (for $70 million) earlier that year. Staff was to be hired immediately, and production on Nike Air soles was to begin early this year. The project did not go entirely smoothly, as Arizona’s governor, Doug Ducey, threatened early on to rescind $1 million in incentives over Nike’s cancellation of a shoe emblazoned with the so-called Betsy Ross flag to celebrate the Fourth of July. Ducey did not follow through on his threat, but the project’s abandonment appears in any case to have other motives. In a statement to the Arizona Republic newspaper, Nike ascribed its change of heart to “unprecedented times” and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, it will be “repositioning our resources to further invest against our biggest opportunities.” Nike declined to say whether it would lay off employees, formulate other plans for the site or set up the plant elsewhere. What’s certain is that Nike has just suffered its first drop in annual sales since the 1980s. As reported in June, the currency-neutral drop in fourth-quarter revenues for the group was 36 percent.