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SBD/March 9, 2011/Events and AttractionsPrint All
Competitor Group yesterday revealed its Zappos.com Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon will shift from a morning to evening start this year, and company President Scott Dickey said it will become the "largest night race in the world," according to Patrick Everson of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. The marathon and half-marathon, scheduled for Dec. 4 this year, traditionally started at 6:00am PT. But this year, the half-marathon is tentatively set for a 5:30pm start, "again almost entirely on Las Vegas Boulevard." The marathon "will cover the same course as in 2010, too, but has a planned" 4:00pm start. Dickey said, "The last 18 months, we've been talking about it pretty consistently with our casino, hotel, city and county partners to see how we could pull it off logistically." Everson notes Competitor Group "got a big assist" from Las Vegas Events and the National Finals Rodeo. The parties reached a deal for Sunday's NFR performance to move to 1:00pm, "meaning rodeo fans and cowboys should all be back to their hotels by the time the races really take over the Strip." The race drew "approximately 28,000 runners in 2009 and 2010, and everyone involved expects the night race to provide a huge boost, perhaps even reaching 35,000" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 3/9).
The BNP Paribas Open "continually tries to raise the bar in the tennis world, and adding the Hawk-Eye replay system to all eight of its match courts puts the event technologically ahead of every other tournament this year," according to Leighton Ginn of the Palm Springs DESERT SUN. Tournament officials "would not disclose the price of the technology," other than PM Sports CEO Charlie Pasarell saying, "There's a lot of zeros behind it." ATP World Tour Farmers Classic Tournament Dir Bob Kramer said that the technology "ran his tournament about $60,000-$70,000 for one court." Based on that cost, the price tag to the BNP Paribas Open "would be $420,000 to $490,000 for the seven courts that do not already have the Hawk-Eye technology." Ginn notes the Hawk-Eye system is "part of a remodeling of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which has gone from providing 11 to 33 television monitors, and added seats." There also are "three command centers to handle the replays, as well as video production." Int'l Tennis Federation BOD member Franklin Johnson "thinks it's unlikely another tournament would institute Hawk-Eye on all courts, especially in an era where sponsorship dollars can be hard to come by." Johnson: "I suppose as others join Indian Wells, it will bring pressure on the slams to do it. I would think that would take a period of several years." Hawk-Eye Innovations Dir of Operations Luke Aggas said that "as of now, none of the bigger tournaments have looked into adding Hawk-Eye on all courts" (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 3/9).