Sprinter Usain Bolt will net £500,000 ($762,000) "for less than 20 seconds’ work" when he returns to the Olympic Stadium to compete in the Anniversary Games in July, according to Rick Broadbent of the LONDON TIMES. Bolt "has been confirmed as the star turn" at the Anniversary Games on July 26-28. He will run in the 100m dash on the Friday night "before a showboating shuffle" in the 4x100m relay on Saturday. Bolt has snubbed Britain in recent years, "because of punitive laws that would have taxed him on his global income." However, the laws "have been changed and he is free for a massive windfall." It means "he will be getting around five times more" than British stars like Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis. His standard fee is $300,000 a run. Organizers "have pulled out all the stops, and the chequebook, to guarantee a stellar cast containing 29 Olympic medal-winners, 12 world champions and four world record holders" (LONDON TIMES, 4/17).
STAR-STUDDED CAST: In London, Owen Gibson reported government officials agreed "to a one-off exeption" allowing Bolt and other int'l athletes appearing at the event to avoid tax rules. Other overseas star names include 100m hurdles Olympic champion Sally Pearson, sprinter Carmelita Jeter and men's 400m champion Kirani James. The women's 400m Gold Medalist Sanya Richards-Ross "will renew her rivalry" with Christine Ohuruogu, who she beat into second place at the London Games. UK Athletics "has signed up all five British track and field medallists," including Farah, Ennis and Greg Rutherford, for the London Grand Prix. Fourteen of Great Britain's 16 Paralympic medalists "have also signed up," with the notable exceptions of David Weir and Hannah Cockroft (GUARDIAN, 4/17).
A new, eight-team football tournament called the Guinness Int'l Champions Cup will be held this summer in the U.S. The deal was announced by marketing group Relevent Sports and Fox Sports. Four of the teams announced as participants are Serie A clubs Inter Milan and Juventus, Major League Soccer L.A. Galaxy and La Liga Real Madrid. The other four teams will be announced at a later date. The tournament will open in Europe July 27 in a city to be determined. It will continue over seven days in the U.S. cities of Phoenix, San Franciso, Indianapolis, L.A., N.Y. and Miami. The semifinals will be held Aug. 3-4 in L.A. and N.Y. The tournament will be seen in 151 countries. Fox Soccer will televise 11 matches live, including the Aug. 7 championship. Future tournaments will be televised by Fox Sports 1 (Relevent).
COMING TO AMERICA: REUTERS' Simon Evans reported the U.S. "has become a leading destination" for European clubs to play lucrative pre-season friendly tours, but the eight-team tournament "promises to add a competitive edge." RSE Ventures, which owns Relevent Sports and is headed by billionaire Stephen Ross, said that the tournament "will differ from traditional pre-season friendlies by using a knock-out format and offering significant prize money." Turkish club Galatasaray and two leading English Premier League clubs are also "understood to be in talks aimed at joining the tournament." Relevent Sports CEO Charlie Stillitano said, "We are trying to bring a bit of that Champions League magic to pre-season. We know it is not the Champions League but managers have told us they can't go through pre-season playing games that mean nothing" (REUTERS, 4/17). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Lefton & Ourand reported a source said that "a marquee team like Manchester United could command" up to $2M. Smaller upper-division clubs would cost around $500,000. It is "expected that the tournament winner will get a cash prize" around $1M (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/15 issue).
Cricket South Africa unveiled "plans to build a Centre of Cricketing Excellence" at the current High Performance Centre at the University of Pretoria's Sports Complex. Known as the CSA Centre of Excellence, this 30M rand ($3.29B) project was recently given the go-ahead and approval by the newly formed CSA Board of Directors (PAKISTAN TODAY, 4/16). ... DBS Bank has promised a bigger 2013 DBS Marina Regatta to take place over two weekends -- May 18-19 and 24-25. The event will feature a new Bay Festival and Singapore's largest int'l dragon boat competition (STRAITS TIMES, 4/17).