SBD Global/September 18, 2013/Events and Attractions

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  • America's Cup Leader Team New Zealand Could Heat Up Nationality Rule Debate

    With Team New Zealand holding "a huge lead heading into the final stages of the America's Cup," what the team will do with the competition if it goes on to defeat Team USA "remains unclear," according to Christopher Clarey of the N.Y. TIMES. Team New Zealand Managing Dir Grant Dalton has "made two things clear." He wants the "cost of competing in the next edition of the Cup to be considerably less expensive in order to attract more teams." He also "wants to restore a nationality rule." The nationality debate has "long been contentious in the Cup." For now, hulls must be "manufactured in the nation of the challenging yacht club, but there is no nationality restriction on sailors involved." That is why Oracle, which represents San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club and the U.S., can "compete with just one American." This is in keeping with Oracle Racing Owner Larry Ellison's "global approach to talent recruitment." Dalton and Team New Zealand have a "different vision" and nine of their starting crew members are New Zealanders. Former Team USA tactician Gary Jobson said, "It’s a very homogeneous crew, while Ellison’s got an international free-agency crew. I strongly believe that the America’s Cup Deed of Gift was written as a friendly competition between foreign countries, and I think the American boat should have all Americans, the New Zealand boat ought to have all Kiwis, and the French boat should have all French." The question is "how strong a rule." Fulfilling Jobson’s vision and creating "full Olympic-style national teams would probably discourage teams from emerging sailing nations like China and South Korea." Former French America’s Cup helmsman Bruno Troublé said, "Grant Dalton’s idea, from what I understand after talking to him, would be to have a weaker nationality rule for newcomers, for new countries, which seems fair" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/16).

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  • L.A. Lakers, Golden State Warriors To Attend NBA Fan Appreciation Day In Shanghai

    NBA China will host NBA Fan Appreciation Day on Oct. 17 at the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai to thank fans for their support of the NBA Global Games 2013 in Beijing and Shanghai. Fan Appreciation Day is a free, interactive event that will give more than 13,000 fans the chance to watch the L.A. Lakers and Golden State Warriors participate in drills and conduct a variety of basketball activities. Adidas, smart and ZTE Mobile are partners of NBA Fan Appreciation Day and will conduct a variety of activities. Appearances from special guests will include former NBA players Dell Curry, A.C. Green and Muggsy Bogues. Prior to NBA Fan Appreciation Day, the Lakers players, along with head coach Mike D'Antoni, will host a NBA FIT clinic for 60 Special Olympic athletes (NBA).

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  • Madrid Triathlon Left Off Int'l Triathlon Union's Provisional 2014 World Series Calendar

    The Int'l Triathlon Union has published its provisional calendar for next year and it does not include Madrid's Caso de Campo triathlon, according to Jesús Mínguez. The Madrid city council is the main sponsor of the event, which "would be the cheapest on the ITU calendar" and has a budget of €750,000 ($1M). In previous editions, the Madrid city council contributed between €400,000-€600,000 ($534,200-$801,300). The "event is not irretrievable," as the Spanish Triathlon Federation (FETRI) is "expecting a meeting with Madrid officials to determine what their contribution will be." FETRI "believes it will be difficult to raise the money it needs" (AS, 9/16).  

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  • Proposed Int'l Rugby Competition Could Move Premiership Final To February

    Proposals to "move the Premiership final from the end of the season and to play European club rugby in a single block from March to June" are among the ideas being considered by leading English club owners as they "prepare to thrash out the detail of a new tournament to replace the existing union-run Heineken Cup," according to Robert Kitson of the London GUARDIAN. They are also keen to re-emphasize that "Irish, Welsh, Scottish and Italian sides are all welcome to join the new Anglo-French-driven competition, heading off complaints from the Celtic unions that the loss of Heineken Cup rugby would be a calamitous blow to the sport in their countries." What may change at "some stage is the structure of the season, previously hard to amend" when European Rugby Cup Ltd. controlled the Heineken Cup schedule. Under a new regime, "there might be scope for the Premiership to be played in its entirety between September and early February." That, in turn, would leave the way "clear for a 'new' Heineken Cup to be staged between March and June, possibly even involving provincial sides from South Africa" starting in '15. A Premiership "insider" said, "Potentially the Premiership final could be before the Six Nations. Then, if you ran a new Heineken Cup with the South Africans involved between March and June, that would be a pretty good competition for four months" (GUARDIAN, 9/16).

    EUROPEAN CLUBS NEEDED: In London, Mark Souster wrote RFU CEO Ian Ritchie said he "backed the desire" of Premiership clubs to overhaul the Heineken Cup, but added that "any new format must be pan-European." He did not say whether he "would be happy to cede control of the tournament to clubs who have championed" the breakaway Anglo-French competition. Ritchie: “We want to see a meritocratic competition in Europe that is right, not only in terms of the competitive element, but it also applies in terms of the financial distrIbution element. The definition of a European competition means that you have got to have most of Europe participating in it. We would seek to achieve a European competition that involves clubs from the six nations" (LONDON TIMES, 9/18). Also in London, Chris Hewett wrote the dispute over the Heineken Cup has laid the foundation "for a boardroom row that could turn the next 24 months into a diplomatic morass." Ritchie and his counterpart at England 2015 talked up "the positive aspects of their World Cup Planning" but they were "aware of the landslide that will engulf them if the two sides in the European dispute remain at loggerheads" (INDEPENDENT, 9/17).

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  • Event Notes: IMG Media Buys 8-Man, Singles-Only AAMI Classic Tennis Tourney

    IMG Media on Tuesday announced that its IMG Tennis Division has purchased the eight-man, singles-only AAMI Classic in Melbourne from Colin Stubs Enterprises, which started the event in '88 in partnership with the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. IMG and KLTC will be equal partners in the venture. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed (IMG Media). ... Infighting within Pakistan's "sports officialdom continues to hurt national athletes" as it is feared that the country "will not be able to feature in the 3rd Islamic Solidarity Games" from Sunday to Oct. 1 in Indonesia. The Pakistan Olympic Association, which is "battling to topple the IOC-recognised POA, will not be able to send the national contingent to Indonesia" (PAKISTAN TODAY, 9/16). ... More than 20,000 people have registered for the 2013 Taiyuan Int'l Marathon. This year, "the event will attract more runners from abroad, and 36 athletes from 14 countries, including Kenya, Germany and Canada, have been invited" (XINHUA, 9/17). ... Organizers of Hong Kong's Marathon are "urging runners not to take 'selfie' pictures of themselves with their mobile phones during the next race after a pile-up at this year's event." Organizers "ruled out a complete ban on mobile phones as impractical," but said that they were using Facebook, TV and radio to "promote the anti-selfie message in the run-up to the next event" Feb. 16 (BANGKOK POST, 9/17). ... NFL China announced that four members of the New England Patriots cheerleaders will visit Guangzhou on Oct. 19, Beijing on Oct. 20 and Shanghai on Oct. 27 as part of the NFL Home Field initiative. The tour will support NFL China’s “Think Pink” campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This will be the squad’s second year visiting China. NFL Home Field is a nine-week grassroots event at universities in the three above cities featuring flag football games, a Nike Pro Training Challenge and a “tailgate experience.” NFL Home Field sponsors include Nike, Wilson, Visa and Budweiser (SBD Global).

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