50 Most Influential: Introduction 50 Most Influential: No. 34 Ditching ’burbs for Detroit NHL brings doughnuts, signs Dunkin’ deal 50 Most Influential: No. 16 ‘Suite’ gifts, and even a few ugly ones Group builds platform for hockey award 50 Most Influential: No. 38 Alabama scores some serious bling Sports Media: NFL steps into esports
SBJ/January 14-20, 2013/Coast to CoastPrint All
Braves loading up the buses
The Atlanta Braves Country Caravan is set for Jan. 22 to Feb. 2. Braves players, coaches, broadcasters and front office staff will travel almost 3,000 miles to meet fans prior to spring training. The caravan will hold free public autograph signings at Academy Sports + Outdoors stores and Taco Mac locations throughout the Southeast.
Soldier Field ice skating planned
Soldier Field next month will host two days of public ice skating as part of the OfficeMax Hockey City Classic Winter Festival, according to a Chicago Tribune report. A college hockey doubleheader, featuring Notre Dame against Miami (Ohio) and Minnesota vs. Wisconsin, will be held at the stadium Feb. 17.
Rockies install Sparta system
The Colorado Rockies partnered with Sparta Performance Science to install Sparta’s force plate technology and propriety software. The goal is to help the team continue its development and growth of its strength and conditioning program.
10,797 watch YouTube NLL game
The Jan. 5 NLL season opener featuring the Washington Stealth and the Rochester Knighthawks drew 10,797 unique viewers on YouTube, making it the most-watched online broadcast in league history. The game marked the first time YouTube has shown an NLL regular-season game. Live attendance was 7,023 at Comcast Arena.
City OKs more Rose Bowl funding
The Pasadena City Council approved borrowing an additional $30 million and refinancing existing bonds to help cover major cost overruns for the Rose Bowl renovation, according to a Pasadena Sun report. A total of $168 million is now earmarked for the project.
Dodgers plan stadium FanFest
The Los Angeles Dodgers will hold their first offseason FanFest presented by State Farm on Jan. 26. The free event will be held at Dodger Stadium. FanFest will feature autograph sessions with current and former Dodger players, a kids zone, interactive games and a memorabilia exhibit.
Tour’s ‘rush’ registration next week
Bike New York announced dates and details for the 2013 TD Five Boro Bike Tour, to be held May 5. The tour will be returning to a “rush” first-come, first-serve registration system that will open on Jan. 22 at noon. The event is America’s largest cycling event with a 40-mile, traffic-free ride through all five boroughs for 32,000 cyclists.
Mets in Spanish on Neuva York 1050
ESPN Deportes Nueva York 1050 AM will broadcast New York Mets games in Spanish for the 2013 season. Under the agreement, 1050 AM will broadcast 150 regular-season games, including select spring training, and the postseason. Coverage also will include pregame and postgame shows for each game.
A’s FanFest at Oracle Arena
The Oakland Athletics will hold their Oakland A’s FanFest 2013 at Oracle Arena on Jan. 27. The event is sponsored by Comcast SportsNet California, the team’s local television partner. Admission is $10 for the public and $5 for current A’s season-ticket holders and fans who put a deposit on a 2013 season-ticket package.
Union to welcome Aston Villa
The Philadelphia Union will host Barclays English Premier League club Aston Villa on July 18 at PPL Park. Aston Villa has won the FA Cup and First Division Championship seven times. Tickets ($25 to $50) for the international match will be provided to fans with full-season-ticket packages at no additional cost, the Union said.
Sixers add 4 stations to radio network
The Philadelphia 76ers added four area radio stations to their radio network. Joining flagship station 97.5 The Fanatic, owned by Greater Media, are 97.3 ESPN South Jersey (WENJ) in Atlantic City; Sports Radio 1470 AM (WSAN) in Allentown, Pa.; ESPN 1050 AM in Williamsport, Pa.; and WPDC AM 1600 in Elizabethtown, Pa.
Diamondbacks award free season tickets
The Arizona Diamondbacks awarded 48 lower-level full-season tickets to 17 families as part of the 2013 Michael Wogan D-backs Season Ticket Scholarship program that provides tickets for fans experiencing financial hardships. Since 2008, the team has provided families with more than 300 full-season tickets. Families were asked to submit an application at the team website.
Suns launch charities network
The Phoenix Suns launched Suns Charities 88, a network of business and community leaders devoted to raising funds for children’s charities. Wells Fargo Bank is the presenting donor of the group.
SCVB replaces sports commission
The Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau replaced the Sacramento Sports Commission as the organization that will market Sacramento as a sports destination. The city of Sacramento disbanded the commission in the wake of the commission failing to repay money it borrowed to bring the World Masters Athletics Championship to the city in 2011.
One-third of Qualcomm Stadium’s seats are increasing in price next season.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
The San Diego Chargers emailed season-ticket holders informing them of changes to ticket pricing, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune report. The range in price changed from between $480 and $900 in 2012 to between $390 and $1,100 in 2013. One-third of the stadium’s general seats went up in price, the first increase to Chargers tickets since 2008, while two-thirds of the seats either decreased in cost or stayed the same.
Mariners Caravan making 26 stops
The 2013 Seattle Mariners Caravan hit the road this month, with the first stops in Covington, Tacoma and Lacey. Over a three-week period (Jan. 9-25), the caravan will make stops in 26 communities across the Pacific Northwest from Portland to Vancouver, B.C., Longview to Spokane, and points in between.
Cardinals Caravan goes five ways
The 2013 St. Louis Cardinals Caravan will make stops in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas and Tennessee. The Cardinals will embark on five separate caravans, scheduled around the Winter Warm-Up weekend, Jan. 18-21. The caravans are scheduled to visit 18 total cities, including the respective cities of local minor league affiliates Memphis, Springfield, Mo., and Peoria, Ill.
Sports philanthropy program begins
The George Washington University School of Business launched an academic program in the field of sports philanthropy. The Certificate in Sports Philanthropy offers a curriculum tailored to the unique needs of those who work for teams, leagues, foundations and companies with an emphasis on corporate social responsibility. The first certificate will be offered for May-September.
COAST TO COAST — BEYOND THE COASTS
Men’s national team picks up sponsor
Ghana National Petroleum Corp. has become the official headline sponsor of the Ghana men’s national football team for a reported $15 million. The GNPC becomes the first state-owned Ghanaian firm to sign up as sponsor of the Black Stars.
Qatar Airways and the Qatar FA agreed to a partnership, with the carrier being named official airline of the country’s national soccer team. The deal comes ahead of the Gulf Cup, in which Qatar will compete against seven other national teams from across the Gulf.
Arena may benefit from expanded lottery
Alberta provincial political party Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith said that the province could put $100 million (Canadian) toward a new Edmonton arena over the next five years if the government expands Alberta’s keno lottery program, according to an Edmonton Journal report. The game last year raised slightly more than $3.1 million in Alberta.
Indoor ice cross track opens
The first indoor track for ice cross downhill opened at SnowWorld in Landgraaf. The 1,083-foot track will be used as a training facility for participants in the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship as well as the Dutch national championship. A 230-foot vertical drop makes the track one of the steepest ever built.
Fans flocked to a seaside competitors showcase Jan. 4 ahead of the rally start.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
Peruvian External Trade and Tourism Minister Jose Silva said that the 2013 Dakar Rally will generate about $770 million for Peru in international promotion and productive activities in the services sector, according to a Xinhua report. Peru expects about 50,000 foreign tourists at the race now under way. Drivers will be negotiating more than 5,000 miles across Peru, Argentina and Chile before the finish on Jan. 20 in Santiago, Chile.
Olympic Stadium to hold concerts
London’s Olympic Stadium will reopen this summer to host a number of concerts, according to a Daily Mail report. Plans are in place for some of the concerts that Hyde Park traditionally hosts to move to the other side of London in July although final contracts are still to be signed.
Rugby team anticipates artificial turf
Premiership rugby side Saracens FC hopes to reap the benefits of becoming the first professional rugby union side to play on an artificial surface, according to a BBC report. Saracens will soon move into the new Allianz Park in the London borough of Barnet that features an artificial pitch. The pitch has a lifetime of eight years and is made up of three separate layers.
Olympic sailing venue eyes annual event
The host venue of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing events is set to launch an annual event inspired by the Games, according to a BBC report. Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy’s Open Handicap regatta is set to take place during the August Bank Holiday weekend. Three races, inclusive of all classes, will take place Aug. 24-25.
SUWON, SOUTH KOREA
North Korean player transferring
North Korean national team player Jong Tae-se agreed to play for K League club Suwon Bluewings in South Korea, according to a Joongang Daily report. He will transfer from Germany’s 2nd Bundesliga club 1 FC Koln. His move marks the first time a North Korean player of this caliber will play in its southern neighbor, according to the report. The player transfer fee is reportedly $394,410.
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