SBJ/June 17 - 23, 2002/Coast To Coast

Coast to Coast

ATLANTA

Founders Cup logo unveiled by WUSA
The Women's United Soccer Association has unveiled the logo for the second annual Founders Cup championship game. The logo was developed by BAT Creative of Dallas. The Founders Cup will be played at Herndon Stadium in Atlanta on Aug. 24. Kickoff of ticket sales to the general public is set for early July. Prices range from $15 to $50.

BUFFALO

Bills' uniform redesign draws crowd
The Buffalo Bills' June 8 unveiling of the team's redesigned uniforms drew a gathering of 16,000 at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The team marked the event by bringing in the group Big Bad Voodoo Daddy for entertainment. The presentation, with Bills players running onto the field in home and away jerseys, was carried live on the Empire Sports Network and WNSA-FM 107.7.

CHICAGO

Second Cadillac Clinic set
This year's second Cadillac Clinic will take place July 3 at the Cantigny Golf Club in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton. The invitation-only golf event will provide more than 1,000 guests with expert instruction from Tom Watson and 16 Wilson professionals. This is the third consecutive year Cadillac and Intersport have combined to produce the Cadillac Clinics. Chicago-based Intersport is a sports television, marketing and production company.

DALLAS-FORT WORTH

AFL eyes exhibition game in Mexico City
The Arena Football League is looking into having the Dallas Desperados play the Los Angeles Avengers in a January exhibition game in Mexico City. The Dallas Morning News reported that this would be the first step in taking the league international, with longer-range plans including franchises in Mexico and Canada and leagues outside the United States.

DENVER

Collen's credentials were right all along
Tom Collen had the right credentials after all. Collen, who coached women's basketball for Colorado State University, left that post to take over at Vanderbilt. But he resigned the Vanderbilt job last month after news accounts showed Collen claimed to have earned two master's degrees from Miami of Ohio but his transcript showed him with only one. Collen, now out of a job, asked Miami to look into the discrepancy; it turns out the registrar's office entered the information incorrectly. For the record, Collen has a master's degree in health education and another in recreation.

Cycling Classic set for Boulder
The Saturn Cycling Classic is set for Aug. 10 in Boulder, with $75,000 in prize money at stake. The seven-hour race ends in Breckenridge, completing a course that measures 140 miles and carries riders over seven mountain passes. The race last year drew 127 cyclists; only about 50 were able to finish.

Rockies sign up with Season Tickets
The Colorado Rockies signed a deal with Chicago-based Season Tickets Inc. to allow groups of fans to buy discounted tickets online. Rockies fans will have access to Season Tickets through the coloradorockies.mlb.com Web site.

DETROIT

Buick Open staying at Warwick
Buick has announced that the annual Buick Open will continue to be played at Warwick Hills Country Club in Grand Blanc, Mich., through 2006. This year, the tournament will be Aug. 5-11.

Golf bobbleheads to debut
Developing new initiatives to attract fans to the Senior PGA

McCord
Tour events has led to the first bobblehead promotion. Some 5,000 Gary McCord bobbleheads will be given away July 13-14 at the Ford Senior Players Championship, which is played each year at the TPC of Michigan in suburban Dearborn. The giveaway is sponsored by Maxfli.

Individual hospitality packages sell
For fans who enjoy VIP treatment but do not have a corporate sponsor invitation, Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., offered individual hospitality packages for the first time this year and had great success, selling out all 650 offered. The Victory Lane Club packages, which included a reserved seat, prerace pit pass, hospitality tent access, catered breakfast and lunch, and entertainment, sold for $275.

HOUSTON

Aramark offers fund-raising opportunities
Aramark, the food service provider for Reliant Stadium, is meeting Saturday with nonprofit organizations that are interested in staffing concession stands at the new stadium as a fund-raising opportunity. Nonprofits that want to participate must commit to staffing a concession stand for a majority of the Houston Texans home games, and may have volunteers working at other events at Reliant Stadium as well.

INDIANAPOLIS

CART stock crash fuels rumors
A recent stock slide for Indianapolis-based Championship Auto Racing

George
Teams has fueled speculation that the open-wheel racing series might be speeding toward a buyout — or even a merger with rival Indy Racing League. If IRL President Tony George is interested, he's not letting on. "We have no interest in purchasing the CART series," said IRL spokesman Fred Nation. But industry sources point out George said repeatedly his series had no interest in racing overseas right up until the announcement last month that the IRL would race in Motegi, Japan, starting next year.

Hearing date set for Indy 500 appeal
A hearing has been scheduled for today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to consider the final appeal of the protest filed by Team Green Inc. contesting the official results of the Indianapolis 500. The hearing will be conducted by Tony George, president and CEO of the Indy Racing League. Both Team Green and Penske Racing will have an opportunity to make opening statements, present relevant evidence and question witnesses.

JACKSONVILLE

Suns honor Negro League players
The Jacksonville Suns minor league baseball team honored former Negro League players recently. Suns players wore vintage uniforms, and several former Negro League players made appearances.

KANSAS CITY

Two-state tax could fund complex work
A bistate sales tax that metropolitan Kansas City voters will consider in November would provide $150 million to improve the Truman Sports Complex where the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs play. The $736 million tax proposal also would provide $57 million for a new soccer-only stadium for the MLS Kansas City Wizards in suburban Johnson County, Kan.

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL

Lynx game televised on Oxygen
The Minnesota Lynx WNBA game June 4 against the Seattle Storm was televised by Oxygen, the first league game aired under a two-year agreement signed this month. The Lynx lost the game.

Bobblehead giveaways shrink
The bobblehead giveaways popularized two seasons ago by the Minnesota Twins have gotten smaller. The Twins gave away the first of four McDonald's mini-bobbleheads before the team's June 7 game against the Florida Marlins. Pitcher Joe Mays was honored with the first giveaway. A mini-Eric Milton bobblehead will be given away July 28, while figurines in the likeness of Corey Koskie and Torii Hunter will be on sale at McDonald's throughout the upper Midwest in August. The team also will have its regular complement of standard-sized bobblers.

Lynx ticket package includes movie pass
The Minnesota Lynx teamed with Mann Theatres to present a discounted ticket package that includes a movie pass. Fans who bought a lower-level ticket for $14 for the team's game against the Portland Fire last Thursday received a free movie pass. The lower-level ticket usually costs $18.

Sports medicine center in works
Park Nicollet Clinic will bankroll a group of Twin Cities orthopedists that plans to establish a sports medicine center in Minneapolis, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

NASHVILLE

Officials: Music City Bowl had $9M impact
Officials of the Music City Bowl said the 2001 game between the University of Georgia and Boston College generated an economic impact of $9.92 million. The figure includes visitor spending, $7,767,097; local fan spending, $959,978; and operational spending, $1,196,113. Team payouts totaled $1,598,720. Tax revenue was estimated at $825,000. Some 13,047 hotel rooms were booked for the nights surrounding the game. Attendance was 46,125.

NEW YORK

From left, Laurence Levy, Twin Towers Fund president; Brandon Steiner, president of Steiner Sports; former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Yankees manager Joe Torre make the memorabilia announcement at Gallagher's Steak House in New York.

Giuliani, Torre to sign memorabilia for charity
Steiner Sports Marketing and the Twin Towers Fund announced that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, chairman of the board of the Twin Towers Fund, and Yankees manager Joe Torre will sign a limited number of commemorative memorabilia to raise charity funds. Giuliani and Torre will be signing 2,911 items, which will be available for sale on steinersports.com or at 1-800-759-SCOR(7267). All proceeds beyond the cost of the baseballs and photos will be donated to the fund.

NORFOLK, VA.

Admirals, Blackhawks re-up
Norfolk Admirals and the Chicago Blackhawks have extended their affiliation through the 2002-03 season, the third year of the AHL affiliation between the two.

OAKLAND

Court rules Raiders must share PSL fees
A Superior Court ruling June 3 may require the Oakland Raiders to share money made from personal-seat-license fees collected since the team returned from Los Angeles in 1995. The tentative ruling upheld the NFL's contention that the Raiders violated league bylaws by withholding funds since '95. The Raiders could owe the NFL more than $10 million, the Oakland Tribune said, citing league sources. The NFL maintains a $63.9 million loan from the Oakland-Alameda County Sports Authority financed in part by PSL revenue is subject to revenue sharing since the Raiders are not required to pay back the loan provided certain conditions are met. The Raiders say the PSL fees should not be part of revenue sharing because the county collects the fees instead of the franchise. Raiders attorneys hinted they will appeal the decision, the Oakland Tribune reported.

PHILADELPHIA

Riversharks give out mascot bobbleheads
The Camden (N.J.) Riversharks

Finley
of the independent Atlantic League joined the bobblehead promotional bandwagon with a giveaway on June 9 that featured the team's mascot, Finley. The game drew a standing-room-only crowd of 6,602, one of the largest ever at Campbell's Field. The promotion was one of five bobblehead giveaways the second-year team has planned for this year.

4 statues planned for new ballpark

Four sculptures will go up at the new ballpark.
The Philadelphia Art Commission approved the Philadelphia Phillies' plan to install four, 10-foot-tall bronze sculptures of legendary Phillies players at its new ballpark, which is scheduled to open in 2004. The team has hired acclaimed sculptor Zenos Frudakis of Glenside, Pa., to create sculptures of Baseball Hall of Fame players Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts and Richie Ashburn. The cost of the project is $750,000. The Phillies plan to place three of the sculptures at the entrances to the new $394 million ballpark and the fourth behind the outfield fence.

Minor leagues' All-Star Game Tuesday
The Wilmington (Del.) Blue Rocks plan a slate of pregame and postgame festivities around the Carolina-California League All-Star Game, which will be played Tuesday at Frawley Stadium. Pregame activities will include batting practice, an autograph session and a skills competition sponsored by Philadelphia-based Comcast. The All-Star Game is being sponsored by MBNA America, which is based in Wilmington.

PHOENIX

Coyotes launch street hockey program
The Phoenix Coyotes, The Arizona Republic and Just Sports are launching a new, year-round street hockey program called Street Coyotes today. Kids ages 6-16 will learn the basic rules and fundamentals of street hockey in a safe and structured environment through area YMCAs and other youth organizations. The Coyotes provide all the necessary equipment for the six-week program. Street Coyotes is affiliated with the NHL Street program.

PITTSBURGH

Swann producing TV show on Steelers
Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann is producing a one-hour show with KDKA-TV that will celebrate the glory days of the Steelers. The program is scheduled to air in August.

SAN DIEGO

City task force on Chargers sought
Mayor Dick Murphy will ask the San Diego City Council at its Tuesday meeting to approve the formation of a 16-member citizens' task force that would recommend ways of keeping the Chargers in San Diego. The task force would hold public hearings and issue its findings by Oct. 15.

SAN FRANCISCO

Garcia signs deal with Donruss/Playoff
Quarterback Jeff Garcia of the 49ers has signed an endorsement deal with Donruss/Playoff LP, a sports trading-card company. Donruss gets exclusive rights to use Garcia's likeness on its advertising and packaging materials. Garcia also will provide Donruss with autographed items. Garcia has had a business relationship with the company since 1999.

SEATTLE

Study: Don't trade the bums
A study done by a University of Washington Business School professor concluded that the best way to build a winning team in the NBA is to refrain from juggling the team's roster. Charles Hill and colleagues from Santa Clara University and Oregon State University studied 23 NBA teams during the span of the 1980-81 season to 1993-94 season. Accounting for age, draft position and the experience of the team's coach, the researchers measured shared team experience by assessing how many years a player had on a specific team at the end of each season. They found that losing teams increased their shared team experience during the season and won an average of 5.7 more games the following year. Losing teams that mixed up their rosters only won an average of 1.2 more games than the previous year. Hill credits the bigger increase in wins to an increased shared experience, or an unconscious or tacit knowledge of each other's playing styles.

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND

Fans compete to design tickets
In keeping with the team's theme for the 2002-03 season, "Leafs Hockey ... FANtastic," the American Hockey League's St. John's Maple Leafs announced a new contest allowing fans to participate in the design of the club's game tickets. The "Be a Ticket" contest will encourage fans to submit their favorite St. John's Maple Leafs story and/or picture illustrating why they or someone they know should "Be a Ticket." A grand prize for the best entry will be an 18-person NewTel Party Box for a 2002-03 regular-season game.

ST. LOUIS

Illinois keeps door open to Cards
Illinois opened the door for officials to try to woo the St. Louis Cardinals east across the Mississippi River. Before adjourning, the Illinois House voted in favor of a technical measure, the Sports Facilities Authority Act, that keeps the prospect of Illinois funding for a stadium alive when legislators return for a veto session in the fall. The St. Louis Cardinals have said they prefer to remain in downtown St. Louis, but started listening to offers from other parts of the metro area after the Missouri legislature failed to act on a stadium financing package before adjourning May 17.

Blues freezing ticket prices next season
The St. Louis Blues, which had one of the highest payrolls in the NHL during the 2001-02 season, are freezing ticket prices for next season and shaving prices on 3,600 tickets at the 20,000-seat Savvis Center. It marks the first time in five years the team has held the line on ticket prices.

TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG

Lighting lets fans pick game time
The Tampa Bay Lightning are letting fans choose starting times for weeknight games during the 2002-03 season. Fans can vote through June 25 at tampabaylightning.com to decide whether Monday-Thursday games should start at 7 or 7:30 p.m. One lucky fan will be selected to win a trip for two to see the Bolts play a road game.

TORONTO

TSN makes deal with PGA
TSN has signed a Canada-exclusive four-year agreement with the PGA to broadcast weekday coverage of all PGA Tour events. The announcement came on the heels of TSN's boosted hockey schedule for next season, which will see the all-sports network carry more than 30 regular-season NHL games and 60 playoff games.

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