U.S. Fans Abound For WWC Final LeBron Praised For Role In Apatow's "Trainwreck" MLS Eyeing St. Paul For Expansion Club Angels Bad PR Continues With Dipoto Exit NBA Free Agency Begins With Money Flying Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC NBC Lands New Advertisers For Race Coverage Going Off The Grid Steelers Exploring '23 Super Bowl Bid GT To Benefit Financially From Ireland Game
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Las Vegas was chosen to be the site of the first two post- season basketball tournaments of the expanded 16-team WAC, league officials announced Monday. The deal is for two years with an option for a third. Las Vegas, which guaranteed the conference $1M per tournament, beat out Dallas, Denver and Albuquerque. WAC Commissioner Karl Benson: "The guarantee eliminates the question of whether the event will be financially successful." The events will be held at the 18,500-seat Thomas & Mack Center (Steve Davis, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/2).
Michigan State football coach Nick Saban and basketball coach Tom Izzo have agreed to separate five-year deals with Reebok that will include $1M worth of free Reebok products for the MSU Athletic Department. Izzo, who succeeds Jud Heathcote, will receive "at least" $110,000 from Reebok during his first year, while Saban, who is replacing George Perles, will receive $55,000 (DETROIT NEWS, 4/30).
The Univ. of Minnesota is hoping to lure fans back to football games with promotions such as pre-game rock concerts for students, greens fees at the university golf course and discounts on extension classes. Students are the "main marketing thrust" of the ticket drive. The U has not sold more than 10,000 student season tickets since '69. Last year, only 1,858 were sold. MN Asst. AD Pat Forciea: "There's a tremendous amount of respect for basketball and hockey. We're trying to get football at that level." The U also plans to market the team ot the public as a "door opener" for the rest of the university. Forciea: "One of the things we can do that the Vikes or the Wolves can't is, if a person wants to learn Spanish, we can teach them Spanish" (Jerry Zgoda, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/30).