SI.com's Grant Wahl wrote the "first hint that something might be amiss with the temporary grass field" for tonight's Gold Cup semifinals "came when I saw the pile of green sand at Cowboys Stadium." The sand is for "filling the gaps in the seams of the field, which are just one of the reasons CONCACAF should be embarrassed over the playing surface." The field up close "is atrocious." Unlike most temporary grass surfaces, which are "usually laid over an artificial-turf base, the one at Cowboys Stadium is laid directly over concrete" (SI.com, 7/23).
HOMES AWAY FROM HOME: In Hartford, John Altavilla cites sources as saying that UConn is "in the preliminary stages of negotiations with both Bridgeport's Harbor Yard Arena and the Mohegan Sun Arena to play men's and women's basketball games at both venues, as soon as the coming season." UConn is "interested in moving several games in an effort to expand its brand and allow fans in other areas a chance to see the teams play" (HARTFORD COURANT, 7/24).
SUMMERLIN LOVIN': In Las Vegas, Alan Snel reports the new owners of the Triple-A PCL Las Vegas 51s are "making the rounds to three main stakeholders in their bid to draw public financing for a new minor league ballpark in Summerlin, and they hope to have a game plan for their campaign in two to four weeks." Team Managing Dir Steve Mack said that the owners are "reaching out to officials with the city of Las Vegas, Clark County and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to draw feedback on the baseball park plan." Mack added that the ownership group "hopes to have a public strategy game plan for a new 51s ballpark in a few months" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 7/24).
VENUS RISING: In Ft. Lauderdale, Arlene Satchell reported the U.S.' "oldest black amateur tennis association," the American Tennis Association, "wants to build its first permanent home and training center in Fort Lauderdale's historic black Sistrunk Boulevard community." The estimated $6M facility -- "excluding land, with a specific site still to be determined -- will add luster to an area that has been undergoing a renaissance in the past several years." The facility also will "house a Black Tennis Hall of Fame," with tennis player Venus Williams "designing the interiors" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 7/23).