SBD/February 8, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

League Notes

Phoenix Open exec says tournament prefers to stay aligned with Super Bowl week
Waste Management Phoenix Open Tournament Chair Mike McQuaid said that the PGA Tour “likes the Open’s spot on the schedule aligning with the Super Bowl week.” In Phoenix, Peter Corbett notes the Super Bowl “could be pushed back later into February, to Presidents Day weekend, if the NFL extends its regular season from 16 to 18 games.” PGA Tour Exec VP/Communications & Int'l Affairs Ty Votaw said that the Tour “has had discussions with the NFL but it’s too early to speculate on the ramifications of any changes to the football schedule.” Votaw: “There are so many different ways it could play out.” The Phoenix Open has been “weather-challenged the past two years,” drawing an attendance of 365,052 this year, down 14% from ‘10 and “the smallest Open crowd” since ’93. This past weekend's event was the “third consecutive year of declining attendance since 2008, when the tournament set a record” with 538,356 fans (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/8).

CHANGE OF HEART: In London, Ben Smith noted FIFA President Sepp Blatter yesterday “backtracked on a plan to switch” the ‘22 World Cup in Qatar from summer to winter. Blatter admitted that “his proposal to move the World Cup was now on hold,” despite "previously saying that he 'expected' the tournament to be held in January instead of June." He also “ruled out a recent suggestion that the tournament could be co-hosted by other neighbouring nations.” Blatter: “Everything is settled now for summer and with all 64 matches in the territory of Qatar. In the bidding documents it was clearly established that the executive committee reserved the right to change anything in the bidding process, but here in this case it must come from Qatar” (, 2/7).

SIGN UP DAY: In Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt reported Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio has “accepted a position” on MLB’s Labor Committee and “will take part in negotiating” a new CBA with the MLBPA. Attanasio: “I look at the situation with the players as a partnership. Without players, we don’t have a game. There’s a lot of work to be done” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 2/6).
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