More money, tech in preview centers Champions 2015: Tom Jernstedt New commish, expansion greet AFL season Youth lacrosse tourney inspired by LLWS Comcast stakes claim at SunTrust Park Will Cowherd be the new Maher? The NHL and the Canadian dollar IMG College deepens ties with NCAA Toyota, iHeartRadio play Rock ‘n’ Roll Univision to produce weekly NBA shows
SBJ/Feb. 14-20, 2011/Coast to CoastPrint All
Celtics begin another Home Court season
The Boston Celtics and Re/Max of New England launched the 2011 Re/Max of New England Home Court Program. In its sixth year, the program awards three Celtics fans a driveway renovation featuring a new home basketball court and a Celtics-themed bedroom makeover.
Reds plan spring theater event
Equal demand for George, Abe
In advance of and in honor of Presidents Day, the AHL Lake Erie Monsters gave away George Washington and Abraham Lincoln bobbleheads at their Feb. 4 game against San Antonio. Fans had their choice of president, and the 5,000 total bobbleheads ran out at the same time.
WILF THORNE / HOUSTON DYNAMO
Dignitaries dig in for the groundbreaking. From left: Dynamo equity partner Oscar de la Hoya; Kenny Friedman, chairman of the board of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority; Shiela Jackson Lee, U.S. Representative for Texas's 18th congressional district; Harris County Judge Ed Emmett; Dynamo president Chris Canetti; Houston Mayor Annise Parker; Houston City Councilman James Rodriguez; and Texas Southern University President John M. Rudley.
Dynamo break ground downtown
More than 2,000 fans gathered Feb. 5 to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Houston Dynamo’s new downtown Houston stadium, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle. Among those in attendance were Dynamo co-owners Gabriel Brener and Oscar De La Hoya; Dynamo President Chris Canetti; and MLS President Mark Abbott.
Astros’ giant board installed
Construction and installation of the Houston Astros’ new video boards at Minute Maid Park are complete. The display, which measures 54 feet by 124 feet, will be the fourth-largest in Major League Baseball. The Astros’ old video board was 26 feet by 45 feet. The new Daktronics display will be fully functional for the Astros’ March 30 exhibition game against Boston.
Wait service at the Cove will be available to guests in the premium seating area.
Indians plan Captain Morgan Cove
As part of its partnership with Diageo, the Indianapolis Indians last week unveiled plans for the new Captain Morgan Cove at Victory Field. The 15-by-60-foot bar and grill area will be located on the lower level concourse near the left field foul line. The Cove is expected to seat up to 115 guests and be available for large groups or individual ticket purchasers this spring. The Indians are the Class AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Dodgers step out in service with fans
The Los Angeles Dodgers were scheduled to embark on their eighth annual Community Caravan today and tomorrow. This year’s Dodgers Community Caravan presented by USC University Hospital is themed “Two Days of Community Service,” in which current and former players will join fans in giving back to the Los Angeles community.
Dodgers to salute Brooklyn roots
The Dodgers plan to salute the franchise’s Brooklyn roots this season by wearing throwback uniforms for six midweek day games. Each of the games also will feature half-price food and drink for the first time ever at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers fans can vote online, through Thursday, for which one of three throwback uniform styles the players will wear for the games.
Grizzlies freeze, cut ticket prices
The Memphis Grizzlies will not raise season-ticket prices next season and will lower prices on more than 2,000 seats at FedEx Forum. In addition to 2011-12 being the sixth straight season with no price increases, season-ticket holders will receive Early Bird Rebate Rewards for renewing their ticket plans by certain dates.
Track signs off on IHRA sanctioning
Memphis International Raceway signed a multiyear sanctioning agreement with the IHRA and plans are already in place to add a Feld Motor Sports event to the schedule in the near future. The recently purchased Memphis facility will reopen as an IHRA sanctioned facility later this year, with weekly test and tune sessions to take place immediately.
ABA to expand with Blast
The American Basketball Association will expand to Milwaukee for its 2011-12 season with the addition of the Milwaukee Blast. The North Central Division team will be owned by Elzie Flenard, president and CEO of Flenard Enterprises.
Five Boro tour sells out in 1 day
The TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour presented by Eastern Mountain Sports sold out in one day’s time, a record for organizing group Bike New York. Online registration was first-come, first-serve beginning Feb. 1, and all spots were taken by Feb. 2. Event fees were $75 for adults and $40 for youth. The May 1 tour will have 32,000 cyclists traveling through 42 miles of car-free New York City streets.
AFL Soul rolls out mobile site
The Philadelphia Soul launched a mobile website (www.philadelphiasoul.com/mobile) that will provide access to the team’s website on most smartphones and mobile devices. The site was created and is hosted by Crilly Design of Duluth, Minn. The Soul, who last played in 2008, rejoined the resurrected AFL for this season, which begins in March.
Phillies add 3-packs to ticket options
The Philadelphia Phillies, who sold out every home game last year, are giving fans another ticket option: three-game packs. John Weber, vice president for sales and ticket operations, said the team wanted to offer a less expensive option for fans who could not commit to the popular six-game packages.
‘Arrogant’ event to benefit Suns Charities
Phoenix Suns Charities and Fox Restaurant Concepts are teaming for a pre-grand opening event on Thursday at The Arrogant Butcher, the group’s newest original restaurant at CityScape in downtown Phoenix. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Suns’ charitable group.
The Rampage shattered its previous attendance record of 10,265 set on Feb. 28, 2009.
Rampage raises money on record night
The AHL San Antonio Rampage had a record-setting night on Jan. 28, hosting a franchise-best 14,339 fans for the first Pink In the Rink Night at AT&T Center. The breast cancer awareness effort called for players skating on pink ice and wearing pink-themed jerseys that were auctioned off after the game. More than $35,000 was raised for Komen San Antonio.
BC Place project to conclude Sept. 30
B.C. Pavilion Corp. announced that the $563 million (Canadian) BC Place renovation — complete with a $240 million retractable roof — will be finished by Sept. 30, according to a report in The Vancouver Sun. The CFL Grey Cup will be held at BC Place on Nov. 27.
Free app rounds out arena experience
The Verizon Center debuted a mobile app that lets fans add to their live-event experience for all games, concerts and events at the venue. The free application, developed by YinzCam, is available for download to Android devices, iPhones and iPod touches, and during games at Verizon Center via text messaging. A BlackBerry version of the app is in development.
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