SBJ/May 20 - 26, 2002/Coast To Coast

Coast to Coast


Club Car offering golf course security
Club Car dealers and distributors, through an alliance with Kryptonite Corp., are offering Kryptonite locks, security cables and chains and specialized security products for golf cars, utility vehicles and other equipment. Canton, Mass.-based Kryptonite is an Ingersoll-Rand Security and Safety Americas brand. IR is also the parent company of Club Car. The Kryptonite products offered through Club Car dealers and distributors include security anchors to secure fleets of golf cars that are stored outside and steering wheel locks for individual golf cars and utility vehicles.


AHL moves franchise back to town
The American Hockey League board of governors has approved the conditional transfer of the Ottawa Senators' inactive AHL franchise to Binghamton. The franchise will be owned by a local group of investors, and will serve as the primary affiliate of the NHL's Ottawa Senators. The city of Binghamton had 20 successful seasons as a member of the AHL from 1977 to 1997. In 1997, the New York Rangers bought the Binghamton franchise and moved it to Hartford, Conn.


ASA kicks off skatepark series
ASA Events, formerly the Aggressive Skaters Association, will launch its 2002 Mobile Skatepark Series on Saturday. The Cincinnati event, held through June 2 at Sawyer Point on the Ohio River, is the first of four MSS events. Developed by ASA Events, the MSS is a series of nine-day interactive youth cultural festivals featuring top pro competition in skateboarding, freestyle BMX and in-line skating, and other activities, including an open 15,000-square-foot mobile skatepark for local kids to skate. The event and activities are free to attend.


Aikman on Fox broadcast team
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman has vaulted to Fox's No. 1 broadcast team for the upcoming NFL season. Aikman will join Cris Collinsworth and play-by-play man Joe Buck, replacing Pat Summerall and John Madden.


Bears unveil new logo
The AHL's Hershey Bears have unveiled a secondary team logo. In the 2002-03 season, their first at the new Giant Center, the Bears will introduce an alternative sweater to go along with their classic game jersey. The new logo will be the center crest of the alternative jersey. The Bears will wear the alternative jersey at select home and road games next season. The alternate logo features a growling Bear swatting a puck.


Rockets strike deal with Infinity
The Houston Rockets have signed a two-year contract with Infinity Broadcasting Corp. to air all of the preseason and regular-season games of the Rockets and Houston Comets. The previous broadcast agreement had the games on Clear Channel's KPRC-AM (950). The games are now being broadcast on KILT-AM (610), beginning with the Comets' preseason game against the Detroit Shock on May 13.

Texans, Cowboys plan scrimmage
The Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys announced they will play a scrimmage game on Aug. 2 in Robertson Stadium at the University of Houston. That matchup will be a preview of the Sept. 8 game in Reliant Stadium when the Texans play against the Cowboys in their first regular-season game.


Soft walls, hard cash?
Indianapolis Motor Speedway is walking away from millions of dollars, motorsports analysts said, in the development of the new SAFER walls system that debuted earlier this month at the Brickyard. IMS owns licensing rights to the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) walls, but Speedway officials said they will not charge other tracks to use the technology. The new walls, which are a series of rectangular steel tubes stacked vertically and welded together in sections 20 feet long and 38.5 inches high, cost about $170 per foot to install. It cost IMS about $750,000 in installation and materials to put up 4,400 feet of SAFER walls in the turns of the fabled Brickyard.

Last year's Indy Internet streaming coverage was free, but fans will have to pay this year.

IMS wants fans to pay for Net video
Indianapolis Motor Speedway is finished giving fans free streaming video of practice and other happenings at the Brickyard. For the last three years, Indy 500 fans could tune into happenings at the track through the Speedway's Web site. This year, IMS officials are charging $19.95 for the service. It will include any track happening not broadcast by ABC or ESPN.


Pine Forest field renovation under way
The Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jacksonville Housing Partnership and the Local Initiative Support Corporation of Jacksonville recently broke ground on a $100,000 renovation of Pine Forest Football Field. The project is part of the NFL Charities Community Football Field Program and involves leveling, grading and laying new turf for the existing field.


Sports Marketing Academy officials and grads (left to right) — Front row: Jim Host, Dr. Richard Furst, Russ Pear; Middle row: Len Clark, Kelly Holland, Dayna McGrath, Kim Ramsay, Lisa Fluty; Back row: Cliff Feltham, Tim Francis, Dr. Scott Kelley, Floyd Kerr, Christopher Hafling, Terry Johnson, Leland Conway. Not pictured: Kevin Williams.

Academy graduates first class
The University of Kentucky Sports Marketing Academy bestowed the first-ever sports marketing professional distinction on the first 12 to complete its three-year sports marketing certification program. The academy is a joint project of the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics, UK athletic department and Host Communications Inc.


Policy requiring donation draws fire
The University of Miami's new season-ticket policy requires fans to give $1,200 to the Hurricane Club for athletic scholarships or lose their prime seats at the Orange Bowl. That caused one season-ticket holder, Barry Siegel, to sue both the university and Athletic Director Paul Dee, claiming fans are being gouged. The suit, filed in federal court, claims the university and athletic director are breaking federal antitrust laws.


AHL team discounts tickets
The Milwaukee Admirals hockey club will attempt to reverse declining attendance by reducing the cost of the best seats in house by 40 percent. In fact, the Admirals will sell all Bradley Center seats for $12, regardless of their location. Last season, the club sold tickets for $20, $15 and $10. By selling all tickets for $12, the Admirals hope to create pressure to buy early and get the best seats in the house. The team expects to dramatically increase season-ticket sales from last season's level of 2,400. The 2001-02 season was the team's first in the AHL.


Metrodome insurance up to $500,000
The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission will pay $500,000 this year for property, liability and terrorism insurance for the Metrodome. That compares with $283,000 last year, according to reports.

Ruling leaves Fox with Twins rights
Fox Sports Net North will retain broadcast rights to Minnesota Twins games through at least 2003, according to a ruling by U.S. District Judge David Doty. The team had tried to get out of its deal with FSN because of its desire to start its own regional sports network. FSN alleged that it had the right to exercise options on the team's games in 2002 and 2003.


A's lease OK'd with provisions
The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority voted May 9 to extend the Oakland A's lease by five years — with a condition. Thaxter Trafton, the authority's chief administrative officer, was told to return to the A's for further discussions about a 90-day escape clause in the agreement, eight blackout days requested by the A's, and whether more money can be paid to the city of Oakland and Alameda County. The authority must meet within 30 days to vote on whether to give the agreement final approval; the city and county also must approve the lease.

Raiders' lease lawsuit on hold until 2003
The courtroom showdown between Al Davis and the Oakland-Alameda County Sports Authority over the Oakland Raiders' 16-year lease at Network Associates Coliseum has been put on hold until early 2003. A Sacramento County judge gave Davis' legal team more time to go over records and interview witnesses. Davis' attorneys claim the sports authority withheld "critical evidence" needed to prove that Davis was conned into signing the lease. The Raiders claim they were promised sold-out stadiums. Davis is seeking $1 billion in a fraud claim. An earlier court case required the Raiders to honor their lease.


McGrady, Adidas become lifetime partners
Currently in the final year of

a six-year contract with Adidas, Orlando Magic guard Tracy McGrady has signed a lifetime partnership with the global athletic footwear, apparel and accessories company. The value of the deal was not disclosed. The deal extends beyond the rest of McGrady's basketball career and is the most significant contract the company has signed with a professional athlete.


Iverson hires Rose as agent
Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson hired New Jersey attorney Leon Rose as his new agent. Iverson has been without an official agent since severing ties with David Falk in March 1999.


Fox nets record 11.7 rating
Arizona Diamondbacks telecasts on Fox Sports Net Arizona have been highly rated this season and May 8's number brought the ratings to a record in the network's 51¼2-year history. According to Nielsen Media Research, the Diamondbacks-Pittsburgh Pirates game from Bank One Ballpark received a rating of 11.7 (18 share), making it the most-watched program in the network's history.


Hines endorsing own steak sauce
Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward has reached an agreement with Pittsburgh-based PLB Sports Inc. to endorse a new steak sauce that will be available in Pittsburgh-area supermarkets when the football season begins. The steak sauce will be called Hines Ward 86 Steak Sauce. The label features Ward in his football uniform.


Pirates, Capitals extend deal
The Portland Pirates and the Washington Capitals have renegotiated and extended the agreement that has made the Pirates the top developmental team for the Capitals since 1993. The affiliation agreement is a five-year partnership retroactive to the 2001-02 season and will run through the 2005-06 AHL campaign.


Phillies draw record morning crowd
The Reading Phillies drew a crowd of 7,150 people for a game with the unusual start time of 9:05 a.m. The May 8 game against the Altoona Curve was sponsored by the Y102 Rock Hits Morning Show and the Berks County Senior Citizens Council. Billed as the "Shift Worker 9 a.m. Morning Game Special," the event was designed to give second- and third-shift workers the chance to attend a weekday baseball game.


Monarchs' Bolton to hold camps, clinics
Sacramento Monarch Ruthie Bolton signed a contract with Basketball Town in Rancho Cordova in which she agreed to hold four camps and clinics at the sports and entertainment center owned by Sterling Forbes and Kelvin Hildreth, former Harlem Globetrotters. Bolton also will participate in special promotional appearances and events. In addition, Basketball Town will be the exclusive retailer for Bolton's line of athletic clothing, Ruwear.

River Cats pay tribute to duct tape
The Sacramento River Cats had fun with duct tape during their May 10 home game against the Tacoma (Wash.) Rainiers. The Salute to Duck Tape Night was sponsored by the manufacturer of the best-selling U.S. brand of duct tape, Manco Inc. The salute included a fashion show and contest of clothing made of duct tape, children's games with duct tape and a giveaway, to the first 6,000 fans, of duck bill-shaped noisemakers and free rolls of Duck brand tape.


Delmarva Shorebirds mascot Sherman hangs out with the heavy machinery.

Shorebirds honor farm workers
The Delmarva Shorebirds held Ag Day on May 8, when the ’Birds took on the Kannapolis (N.C.) Intimidators. The Shorebirds invited all agricultural workers to the ballpark, and all who drove a tractor to the park received a free admission pass for the remainder of the season. Also, in conjunction with Froggy 99.9 FM, anyone who wore overalls or a straw hat to the park was given a 99-cent ticket to the game.


City gets AHL franchise
The AHL's board of governors has conditionally approved the sale of the inactive AHL franchise owned by the Detroit Red Wings to San Antonio Hockey LLC, a joint venture of the San Antonio Spurs and the Florida Panthers. The team will be the primary affiliate of the NHL's Florida Panthers and will play at the new SBC Center in San Antonio starting in October.


Tijuana station to carry ESPN Radio
Tijuana-based XEMM-AM 800 plans to begin carrying ESPN Radio programming within the next 60 days. T.J. Lambert, vice president of sports for ABC and ESPN Radio, said the Federal Communications Commission has granted the necessary permits for ABC/ESPN to transmit the U.S.-based programming from Mexico. San Diego's only current sports-talk radio station, XTRA-690, has the same permission.


Wells Fargo sinks regatta, heads to A's
Wells Fargo & Co. decided not to sponsor San Francisco's annual Spring Cup Regatta so it could concentrate on backing other events, including Oakland A's games. The pullout of the San Francisco-based bank sunk the event, which was scheduled for May 4-5. The regatta, known for luring many America's Cup and Olympic contenders to its six-mile course, attracted thousands of visitors to the Fisherman's Wharf area.


G.I. Joe's signs Buhner
Jay Buhner may have retired from the Seattle Mariners, but he has not been forgotten by advertisers. Last week, G.I. Joe's, a sporting goods and auto parts retailer based in Wilsonville, Ore., signed the former Mariners right fielder as its first celebrity spokesman. Buhner will be featured in G.I. Joe's new print, television and radio campaign, scheduled to launch this week and run through Nov. 25.


Newest all-sports radio launches
St. Louis' newest all-sports radio station, 1190 AM, "The Sports Explosion," signed on May 13. The 10,000-watt, dusk-to-dawn station, part of Missouri Sports Radio, broadcasts the programming offered by Fox Sports Network, including "The Jim Rome Show." Missouri Sports Radio's president and chief executive, Greg Marecek, said he paid $1.65 million for the signal from Radio Free Texas. Marecek now operates three radio properties in the Gateway City area.


The Toledo Mud Hens are packing them in at their new home, Fifth Third Field.
Mud Hens set season attendance record
The Toledo Mud Hens have set a single-season attendance record. The former record was 343,614 fans during the 1953 season. The Mud Hens have presold more than 343,615 tickets for the inaugural season at Fifth Third Field. Three games have already sold out at Fifth Third Field, compared with four last season at Ned Skeldon Stadium.


American Express teams with Tiger
For the fee of $99 (Canadian) per year, American Express is offering Canadian golf fans the chance to take Tiger Woods with them wherever they go. A Tiger Woods credit card — complete with full-bleed picture of the three-time Masters champion on the front — comes with the opportunity to earn discounts on golf merchandise and rounds of golf, plus six free issues of ScoreGolf Magazine. American Express Canada is partnering with Canadian golf course company Clublink and national retail chain Golf Town as part of the promotion. Woods will be in Toronto May 27 for the official launch of the card.

Quinn joins bobblehead world
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager-coach

Pat Quinn has entered the world of the bobbleheads. Quinn's bobblehead has appeared as part of a Canadian Hockey Association series celebrating Canada's gold-medal hockey victory at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. Quinn coached Canada's team.


Washington DC 2012 forms council
Washington DC 2012 has formed an International Advisory Council that will help guide the group's international strategy in its bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Bill Brock (former U.S. Labor secretary) and Charles Manatt (former ambassador to the Dominican Republic) will be co-chairs.

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