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Volume 24 No. 117

Events and Attractions

Santa Anita Park this weekend will host the Breeders' Cup "for the second consecutive year," and the event also will "return to Santa Anita in 2014, an unprecedented decision perhaps signaling a new era: The West has won," according to Pia Catton of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Breeders' Cup President & CEO Craig Fravel said that there is "no charter that dictates the on-the-road business model." Nor has the event's BOD "adopted any formal policy for (or against) rotation." Instead, location is "part of a larger strategy to raise visibility and build an image to compete with other premiere sports events." Fravel: "We're interested in venues that enhance our brand." NBC Sports Group President of Programming Jon Miller said that the Santa Anita setting "makes for good TV." Miller: "You get the benefit of a great sunset and the crowd is energized. That's part of why we like being here" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/1). In Louisville, Tim Sullivan wrote, "To look out on the landscape at Santa Anita is to wonder why the Breeders’ Cup would ever leave." Trainer Shug McGaughey said, "When people watch on TV, they'd much rather see bright, happy faces in shirtsleeves instead of people all huddled up on a gray, cold afternoon in Louisville or New York. ... I'm not sure it maybe ought not be here all the time." Sullivan noted Fravel expects to award the '15 Breeders' Cup "during the first quarter of next year, but he hopes to soon unveil a longer-term site plan that reflects more study and less 'seat-of-the-pants' planning" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/31).

HERE TO STAY: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Liz Mullen reports NBC "has encouraged Breeders' Cup officials to find a permanent site for the annual event, preferably in Southern California." Miller has stated that NBC "would like the event to remain in Southern California so that the network can take advantage of the daylight and weather on the West Coast and continue to broadcast the final race, the Breeders' Cup Classic, live at 8 p.m. ET." NBC has a contract to televise the event through '15. Fravel said of having a permanent host, "That is one of the things we have kicked around, but I am not going to predict what we are going to do on that" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/28 issue).

The anti-terrorism operation around the ING N.Y. Marathon on Sunday will be "among the largest ever carried out across the five boroughs, as authorities employ new tactics in response to the Boston Marathon bombings," according to sources cited by Kevin Deutsch of NEWSDAY. Sources said that federal authorities and police are "treating the marathon as a potential terrorist target, bolstering security to an unprecedented level." New elements of the security plan include "more bomb-sniffing dogs on patrol, high-tech explosives detection equipment, police boats and divers stationed on the city's waterways, intensive video surveillance, and the presence of thousands of additional private security workers, police officers and plainclothes law enforcement agents." Spectators who "want to cheer from the marathon finish line will be screened for weapons and explosives." Any bag carried "within blocks of the racecourse will be searched." Race officials said that participants in the marathon's opening parade "will not be allowed to march with bags." N.Y. Road Runners hired "three private security firms" apart from NYPD counterterrorism units. Officials said that there also will be a "separate marathon communications center in Central Park, similar to an air traffic control center." NYRR officials said that they will spend about $1M on security, "double their normal amount" (NEWSDAY, 11/1).

Are you or someone you know in the sports business industry running in Sunday's ING N.Y. Marathon? If so, contact Andrew Westney at and let him know. Then on Monday, send him your time, a photo and a quick note about the experience to share with our readers.