PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem yesterday said that changes in the date of the World Golf HOF induction ceremony and selection process are being "debated in light of the controversy involving the election of Colin Montgomerie and Fred Couples this year, and the fact that no male Hall of Fame members or pros in The Players Championship field came to the induction ceremony Monday night." In Jacksonville, Garry Smits notes the absence of the HOFers from the ceremony was "so noticeable that members of the audience were tweeting their disapproval." The ceremony has been "held the Monday of Players Championship week for the last three years." Prior to that, it was "held in November but concerns arose about media coverage and fan attention during football season" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 5/8).
CONVERTING THE MASSES, SORT OF: In K.C., Sam Mellinger writes MLS is "focused on converting non-MLS soccer fans, not nonsoccer sports fans." Commissioner Don Garber said, "One-hundred percent focus is converting global soccer fans to MLS fans. When that happens, and the market is bigger, then we can go after the (nonsoccer) sports fan." Garber "cites World Cup television ratings among the factors that say America has enough soccer fans already to grow MLS into a much more popular league" (K.C. STAR, 5/8).
THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM? NWSL Portland Thorns F Alex Morgan appeared on NBC Sports Network's "The Crossover" yesterday and compared the new league to the two previous failed pro women's soccer ventures. Morgan said, “This one will work and I think that because the U.S. Soccer Federation, Canadian, and Mexican Federations have come together and relieved owners by paying their national teams salaries for the players on those teams.” She added, “I think that there’s budgets and salary caps and I think there’s just more commitment all around” ("The Crossover," NBCSN, 5/7).
INSIDE OUT: In Phoenix, Richard Obert noted AFL average attendance is the “lowest it has been since 1989 when only five teams each played one home game in a short season.” Data from ArenaFan.com shows that the 14 teams “are averaging 7,793 fans, down from last season when there were 17 teams that averaged 7,841.” This is the lowest attendance average since '89 when the AFL “averaged 5,705 fans” (AZCENTRAL.com, 5/6).