SBD/Issue 121/Leagues & Governing Bodies

League Notes

In S.F., Susan Slusser reports the April 2 Red Sox-A's game has been moved from a 7:05pm PT time slot to 12:35pm PT in a decision imposed by MLB "at the behest" of the MLBPA. The MLBPA argued that the Red Sox, whose next game would be on April 4 at the Blue Jays, need "adequate time to adjust to Eastern time after a week in Japan and then a week on the West Coast." A's President Michael Crowley: "We would prefer not to change the time, obviously. It's not ideal." Slusser notes it is "certainly not ideal" for TV rights holder KICU-Ind., which does not air day games on weekdays. Therefore, the game will not be broadcast on TV and KICU's first A's telecast will now be the Indians-A's game on April 4 (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/13).

NHL: Sources indicated that there "may be an outdoor component" of the '09 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal, though it "won't be the actual game itself." In Toronto, Eric Duhatschek writes even though outdoor games "can be risky, expensive and bothersome to stage, there is a growing sentiment in the league to schedule one every year for the foreseeable future, preferably on New Year's to take advantage of its potential as a made-for-TV event" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 3/13).

Baker Looking Into Int'l Expansion Of AFL
AFL: AFL Commissioner David Baker is "talking about possibly putting teams in London, Berlin and Mexico City or Monterrey, Mexico, by the end of this decade." Baker also said that he "likes the way ESPN is promoting the game." The league is in its second of a five-year agreement with ESPN to broadcast games on the net. Some games are on ABC. The league also is considering playing an outdoor game during the '09 season (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/13).

IRL: Minardi Team USA Owner Paul Stoddart, whose team was scheduled to make the switch from Champ Car following the unification of the two open-wheel racing leagues, yesterday said that he is pulling out of the '08 IndyCar season because he "doesn't think new teams could be competitive in the IRL." In Toronto, Dean McNulty writes, "More and more it is looking as if there will only be two teams, Newman-Haas-Lanigan and KV Racing," that transition from Champ Car when the IndyCar season debuts March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Stoddart: "I think realistically 2010 is the first opportunity for Champ Car teams to be competitive." Meanwhile, KV Racing co-Owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser have signed Will Power to join Oriol Servia as the team's two IndyCar drivers in '08 (TORONTO SUN, 3/13).

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