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The '99 Ryder Cup at The Country Club in Brookline, MA, "will be the centerpiece" of an "impressive array of events" scheduled to take place in Boston that year, according to Will McDonough of the BOSTON GLOBE. The Country Club has "already sold" 57 corporate tents at $250,000 each for the week. That, along with TV revenues, ticket sales, and concessions and merchandising revenue means the event "will spin off" $90-100M. Pat Moscaritolo, President of Boston's Visitors and Convention Bureau said "something like" 6,000 of the city's hotel rooms "have already been booked for that week," half of the rooms in Boston. In '99, Boston will also host MLB's All-Star Game at Fenway Park, two rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament at the FleetCenter, and The Davis Cup, with Foxboro being one of the finalists to host the Women's World Cup (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/12).
ESPN announced the launch of ESPN Grill, a sports- themed restaurant, scheduled to open in Baltimore's Inner Harbor in '98 and in Chicago's River North neighborhood in '99. ESPN plans to extend the concept in other major cities following the opening of the initial two locations (ESPN). In Baltimore, Gary Gately writes that the ESPN Grill will open by the spring, and that visitors to the new restaurant will enter "a futuristic atrium immersed in everything sports." The Grill will also "double" as ESPN studio sets, although "neither Disney nor ESPN would say how often broadcasts might be beamed from Baltimore" (SUN, 10/15). Art Levitt, President of Disney Regional Entertainment, said that it plans to open three to five U.S. Grills a year and open outlets overseas (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/15).
The Women's Sports Foundation will hold its first "Women's Global Challenge" in the greater Washington, DC, region, from April 28-May 2, 1999. The Challenge will include competition in basketball, beach volleyball, diving, figure skating, gymnastics, soccer (pending), swimming and track and field. More than $2.3M will be raised for girl's sports programs and female athletes around the world (Women's Sports Foundation). In Washington, Athelia Knight reports that the Washington region will also host the biennial event in 2001 (WASHINGTON POST, 10/15). TUBE TIME: Lifetime TV will telecast three days of the Women's Global Challenge, for a total of six hours of coverage (Lifetime). CBS Sports will broadcast four hours of coverage spread over the five days of competition (CBS).