Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 156

Monday 9:00am ET....Today's News....Taking Requests

  • NFL Issues RFP Notices For Thursday Night TV Package
  • Rodriguez Filing Likely Futile Appeal Of 162-Game Suspension
  • Challenge To Bond Sale Could Delay Vikings Stadium Project
  • Seahawks Look To Limit Ticket Sales To Fans Of Home Team

NFL Issues RFP Notices For Thursday Night TV Package

The NFL formally asked several TV outlets to bid on a package of Thursday night football games that a winning bidder would share with NFL Network. The league last week sent RFPs to its current broadcast partners plus other interested players, like Turner Sports, for a package of games that would start in just eight months. Bids are due by the end of the week. The NFL is auctioning a one-year deal with a bigger TV channel to help build “Thursday Night Football” into the same high-powered brand as "Sunday Night Football," which is the top-rated show in primetime, and "MNF," which is the top-rated show on cable.

It is likely that the NFL will use the one-year deal as a springboard for a longer Thursday night deal. It is not clear how many games the winning network would get or when those games would air, but the NFL is looking for the bids to be up to eight games covering the first half of the season. For the past two years, NFL Network has produced 13 games. The package would only include regular-season games, not playoffs.

Alex Rodriguez Filing Likely Futile Appeal Of 162-Game Suspension

Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez today in federal court in Manhattan will file an appeal of an arbitrator's ruling that reduced his PED suspension from 211 to 162 games, marking one more "attempt to keep playing." Rodriguez and his legal team will try to convince a judge that Frederic Horowitz, an arbitrator approved by the MLBPA, was "somehow guilty of gross bias during the appeal process." Legal experts say that A-Rod "has virtually no chance of prevailing" (Bergen RECORD, 1/13).

Legal Challenge To Bond Sale Could Delay Vikings Stadium Project

A "last-minute legal challenge" to today's planned sale of $468M in Vikings stadium bonds "could keep the field from opening in 2016." Minnesota officials at a "hastily called news conference" yesterday said that the bond sale "had been unexpectedly halted." Stadium leaders "hope the Minnesota Supreme Court will rule quickly on issues raised in a Friday afternoon filing with the court," but they said that "even a two-week delay in the bond sale could add a year to the stadium’s ambitious construction schedule" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/13).

Seahawks Look To Limit NFC Title Game Ticket Sales To Their Fans

The Seahawks today at 10:00am PT will put on sale "what is estimated to be a few thousand tickets" for the NFC Championship Game at home against the 49ers. In an "attempt to keep the tickets in the hands of local fans," the team announced that sales "will be available only to fans with a billing address" in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii, British Columbia and Alberta. Once the 49ers beat the Panthers yesterday in the divisional round, "secondary market ticket prices that were already at a record high increased even more" (SEATTLE TIMES, 1/13).

MLS Toronto FC Set To Introduce New On-Field Talent

MLS Toronto FC today will introduce new acquisitions F Jermain Defoe and MF Michael Bradley. The club "has already announced the signing of Defoe," and a source said that Bradley's signing will be part of today's event. Both athletes are expected to fall under the league's Designated Player rule. The press conference will be held at Real Sports Bar & Grill, the "huge high-tech sports bar" owned by MLSE near Air Canada Centre (CP, 1/12).

NBA Marketing Meetings Will Include Address By David Stern

The NBA's annual marketing meetings tip off today in Miami at the JW Marriott Marquis. NBA team presidents and other top league and team marketing officials will spend today and tomorrow discussing various sales, marketing, and sponsorship plans. NBA Commissioner David Stern will address the execs, and the league also will recognize teams boasting top total season-ticket sales, new full season-ticket sales, local sponsorship sales and other business-related metrics. Heat President Pat Riley and Warriors co-Owner Peter Guber will lead the meeting’s keynote session called "Storytelling and Building a Winning Culture."

Cobb County Politician Bullish On Impact Of Braves Ballpark

Cobb County (Ga.) Commission Chair Tim Lee said that the Braves ballpark project "will certainly be a big part" of his annual State of the County address today. Braves execs are "expected to be on hand for the speech." Lee said that he "wants the county to seize more economic development opportunities that he expects to come in the wake of the Braves move." Lee: "It can catapult Cobb County to new levels of success" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 1/13).

Speed Reads....

Nevada Athletic Commission Exec Dir Keith Kizer on Friday submitted his resignation, "much to the commission's surprise." Kizer is returning to the state Attorney General's office. The NAC "will begin a national search immediately" to replace him (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 1/13).

Syracuse-area political leaders are “buzzing with rumors of a plan for a new sports facility in the city.” N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Onondaga County Exec Joanie Mahoney reportedly are “leaders of the effort” (, 1/12).

Super Bowl Weather Update.... is calling for a low of 25 and a high of 35 for MetLife Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday, with "snow showers possible." The chance of snow is listed at 30%.

With the news that the Red Hot Chili Peppers will join Bruno Mars in the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show, several commentators noted that the first cold-weather outdoor Super Bowl will feature a band famous for playing in various stages on undress. The L.A. TIMES' Joe Flint: "Hopefully the band will wear more than socks when they perform."'s Adam Chandler noted the band "has quite a history of performing without their clothes on."

With the 49ers, Broncos, Patriots and Seahawks advancing to the conference championships in the NFL playoffs, Newark STAR-LEDGER columnist Steve Politi writes, “There will be no forgettable mismatch, no team with questionable credentials, and no end of juicy storylines. … We cannot go wrong at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2.” A headline on the front page of USA Today this morning reads, "TV executives are salivating over AFC’s legendary Brady vs. Manning rivalry, while NFC pits two evenly matched teams."

Quick Hits....

“Let me tell y’all something. When Bill Belichick leaves and Tom Brady leaves, y’all team’s gonna (expletive) suck” – TNT’s Charles Barkley, who feels the Patriots’ success goes underappreciated in New England (, 1/12).

“Each show is a new branding opportunity. I’ve found it very similar to the first year of Bud Light” – Tony Ponturo, on producing several Broadway plays over the past six years (, 1/13).

"We have never had players die from dehydration. We have almost had players die from drinking too much. The danger is over drinking" – Australian Open Medical Officer Dr. Tim Wood, on players at the tournament drinking too much water to compensate for the heat (Melbourne HERALD SUN, 1/14).

Twitter Me This....'s Jon Wertheim: "Attendance for today 47,491 is a new session high (by more than 2k). And it didn't even include the Azarenka entourage..."'s Albert Breer: "Also, the Browns are very aware of the damage firing a 1st-year coach has done to how they're seen. And it's come up in all the interviews."

Kennesaw State Univ. economist J.C. Bradbury: "Braves fans better hope Cobb County gets its power issues resolved before 2017. Power's out at my house & throughout town for zillionth time."

Hollywood Reporter's Lacey Rose: "HBO party went the way of a celebrity petting zoo when Mike Tyson began posing w/ Lamar Odom. Other sightings: Affleck,McConaughey &LadyGaga."'s Aaron Gleeman: "I watched the Golden Globes at a bar tonight and talked a lot about the dresses. So yeah, I'm a renaissance man."

If you see a tweet we will not want to miss, send it to us at

A Lighter Buzz....

Florida state parks this month are offering half-price admission on Monday-Thursday to celebrate the bowl victories by FSU and UCF this year. Visitors must wear FSU or UCF merchandise, or show a current student ID to "get the cut-rate admission at the gate" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 1/13).

Today's Events....

Former President Bill Clinton hosts a "Kids and Sports" town hall discussion at 10:00pm ET during the third annual Clinton Health Matters Conference in La Quinta, Calif., also featuring Lakers G Kobe Bryant. The event is in conjunction with this week's PGA Tour Humana Challenge.

See a full list of events in THE DAILY’s week ahead.

In Case You Missed It....

Some of the top news items from yesterday's edition of Weekend Rap:

Spanning The Global....

The most-read Global stories today on

1) Financial Times: ManU Owners Value Profits Over Trophies As They Run Club As Business
2) League Championship Side Leeds Announces Partnership With NFL San Francisco 49ers
3) IOC Member Accuses Russia Of Corruption, Embezzling Funds For 2014 Sochi Olympics
4) ESPN Expects More World Cup Growth In 2014, Announces New Football Film Series
5) Nike, Adidas Face Cartel Probe After Axing Supply To Small Shops

This Week In SportsBusiness Journal....

This week's In-Depth examines facilities concessions and how venues are using craft beers to tap into a new revenue stream.

Back Pages....

The Morning Buzz offers today’s back page sports covers from some of the nation’s major metropolitan tabloids:

   N.Y. Post  N.Y. Daily News Newsday

Final Jeopardy!

Friday’s “Final Jeopardy!” category was “Countries of the World.”

“It’s the largest country in area completely south of the equator that has a female president.”

Laugh Track....The Lake Show

NBC’s Jay Leno: “What are the Lakers doing? What's going on there? They have lost 9 of their last 10 games. In fact, the Lakers are so bad, now when someone mentions the Laker Girls, they think they're talking about the starting lineup. That's how bad it is. Here’s how bad they are. You know who the team doctor is? Conrad Murray, that’s how bad it is. In fact it is so bad, Jack Nicholson doesn't go to the games any more. You know why: He can't handle the truth!” (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 1/10).

CBS’ David Letterman: “Baseball had their annual induction announcement into the Hall of Fame, and three managers inducted, all named Whitey. To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, you must have been retired for five years. Which means Mariano Rivera will be, when he's inducted, 93” (“Late Show,” CBS, 1/10).

Top Ten....Hall Of Wonders

Friday night’s Top Ten list was “Top Ten Unusual Exhibits At The Baseball Hall Of Fame.” Letterman said, “We mentioned this earlier about the Baseball Hall of Fame up in Cooperstown, and if you know anything about baseball at all, you pronounce it ‘Cuperstown'" (“Late Show," CBS, 1/10).

10) “Wee Willie Keeler’s mummified willie.”
9) “Hourly reenactment of George Steinbrenner firing Billy Martin.”
8) “Kent Hrbek’s missing ‘E.’”
7) “Ted Williams’ cryogenically frozen hat.”
6) “Pin the cup on Sid Bream.”
5) “The Hall of Culturally Insensitive Mascots.”
4) “Try on Goose Gossage’s mustache.”
3) “Chaw Mountain.”
2) “Wall of Used Syringes.”
1) “Salute to the groin pull.”