SBD/Issue 28/Leagues & Governing Bodies

League Notes

IRL Exec Says Event In Australia Not Ruled
Out, But Issues Still Need To Be Addressed
IRL VP/PR John Griffin yesterday said that though the IRL "had not ruled out a return" to Australia, the "same issues which saw the organization pull out of Queensland last year still need to be addressed -- namely, money and scheduling." In Australia, Andrew MacDonald noted it costs about $18.5M (all figures U.S.) to stage an event in Australia compared to $2.8-4.6M to stage an event in the U.S. But Griffin said that the IRL is "more concerned about scheduling and the desire to end the IRL season in the US rather than on the Gold Coast, as was the case last year" (GOLD COAST BULLETIN, 10/21).

QUIET SUNDAY: YAHOO SPORTS' Greg Wyshynski noted there were no NHL games played last Sunday, which marked the "second Sunday in October in which there hasn't been a single game played." This raises the "natural suspicion that the NHL didn't want to put early-season hockey" up against the NFL or MLB playoffs. But NHL Dir of Media Relations John Dellapina said there was "no League decision to avoid the NFL Sundays or MLB playoffs on these two days -- that really doesn't make sense given the difference in markets from country to country and city to city" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/19).

LEAVING THE FALL? SI's Alan Shipnuck wrote the PGA Tour has "done an excellent job Band-Aiding together a schedule for 2010, but 2011 is likely to see a lot more upheaval, with more sponsors dropping out and a handful of empty dates opening up." When this occurs, the Tour's current roster of Fall Series events "can slide right into the 'regular season' schedule after having had a few years to work out the kinks and establish fan bases." Shipnuck: "Once that happens the Fall Series will mercifully disappear forever" (GOLF.com, 10/20).

SLOW GROWTH: ESPN.com's James Martin wrote the ATP World Tour's fall season has "raised 10 key questions," including whether the tour's Asia strategy is working. Though for years "we've been told that tennis is booming in China," recent events in Beijing and Shanghai "suggest otherwise." While the semifinals and final of the Shanghai ATP Masters 1000 "drew strong crowds, the rest of the sessions were barren wastelands." Martin: "The truth? Tennis remains too expensive for most folks. Perhaps it's time for the tours to rethink their China strategy, because there's no worse advertisement for the sport than empty stands" (ESPN.com, 10/20).

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