Tobacco Still Being Used In Some MLB Clubhouses McLaren Plans To Return To Indy 500 Beyond '17 F1 Still Seeking Locale For Second U.S. Race New "Madden-Like" Football League Coming Will Serena's Pregnancy Hurt WTA Tour? NFL Revenue Gap Could Continue To Be Issue MLB, Umps Discussing Wearing Mics To Explain Replays Pro Rugby League's Second Season In Doubt Rice Joins NFL's Social Responsibility Program MLBAM's Statcast Influencing Player Evaluations
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SBD/March 1, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Published March 1, 2011
QUICK OFF THE STARTING LINE: The AP's Jenna Fryer wrote NASCAR "could not have dreamed a better opening two weeks to the season -- the youngest winner in Daytona 500 history followed by the end of elder statesman Jeff Gordon's 66-race losing streak." The competition "has been stellar, with the first two races boasting record lead changes." In addition, Sunday's Sprint Cup Series Fresh Fit 500 sold out at Phoenix Int'l Raceway and "overnight ratings from Sunday show Fox has drawn more viewers both weeks." Fryer added, "More important, though, is the buzz since 20-year-old Trevor Bayne's upset Feb. 20 to win the showcase race" (AP, 2/28).
PRIVATE EYES: In London, Sylt & Reid reported F1 has "paid down a large tranche of the $2.8bn debt used by private equity firm CVC to buy the motor racing franchise in 2006." CVC reportedly "took advantage of the dip in interest rates in the economic downturn to begin repaying debt." CVC owns a 63.4% stake in Delta Topco, F1's commercial rights-holder, and it "financed its leveraged buyout in 2006 with $550m of debt from Lehman Brothers and $2.3bn believed to have come from Royal Bank of Scotland." Delta Topco in '09 "made interest payments of around $157.5m" (London TELEGRAPH, 2/27).