MotoGP announced that the Twin Ring Motegi circuit "will continue to host the Japanese Grand Prix" until at least '23, according to Jamie Klein of MOTORSPORT. Motegi joined the grand prix motorcycle calendar in '99, "replacing Suzuka as the series' sole Japanese venue," before the latter track rejoined in '00 and took the Japanese GP mantle. Having previously been confirmed until the end of '18, Motegi was confirmed on Sunday "to continue on the MotoGP calendar for a further five years," guaranteeing its place until '23. MotoGP commercial rights holder Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said, "The Twin Ring Motegi is the home track of Honda and the Japanese GP is the home Grand Prix for major manufacturers such as Yamaha and Suzuki, who are main players in MotoGP class; some of the most important at the pinnacle of the Championship" (MOTORSPORT, 8/20).
Events and Attractions
Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao "will return to Brisbane later this year" to face Australian World Boxing Organization welterweight world champion Jeff Horn in a Battle of Brisbane rematch, according to Ruth McCosker of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The announcement came after Brisbane Mayor Graham Quirk said that the council had "withdrawn its pre-commitment of financial support, as Pacquiao had not committed to the event." Quirk met with Dean Lonergan of Duco Events on Monday to "make the council's position clear and arrange a telephone hook up with promoter Bob Arum to get word from the Pacquiao camp." At 3:15pm, Quirk announced Pacquiao would "definitely be in Brisbane" in '17 for a rematch with Horn. Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said, "Pacquiao wants to fight here in Brisbane and I have been assured by the promoters today that Pacquiao is absolutely in" (SMH, 8/21).
An ATP Tour match is being assessed by the Tennis Integrity Unit "after bookmakers responded to suspicious betting patterns by suspending their markets on it." Ladbrokes is "among the betting companies that stopped taking bets" on Sunday's Winston-Salem Open match between Alexandr Dolgopolov and Thiago Monteiro "after large amounts of money were placed on the latter, causing a dramatic shift in pre-match odds." Dolgopolov eventually lost 6-3, 6-3 (LONDON TIMES, 8/21).
The Gaelic Athletic Association confirmed tickets for Mayo and Kerry's "eagerly anticipated" All-Ireland semifinal replay on Saturday "will be sold at a reduced price." Stand tickets for the encounter have been cut from €45 ($53.14) to €35 ($41.33) and Dineen/Hill 16 tickets have gone from €30 ($35.43) to €25 ($29.52). A crowd of 66,195 went through the turnstiles at GAA HQ on Sunday and "a similar number will result in a massive financial windfall" for the GAA, believed to be worth around €1.5M ($1.77M) (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 8/21).
Surrey County Cricket Club defended itself against criticism over its "decision to charge members for tickets" for the club's T20 Blast quarterfinal against the Birmingham Bears. Some members were "angered that the club will be charging them" £15 ($19.34) for a ticket to Friday's match "when the literature that they received with their membership stated that they had access to all Surrey's home matches." Surrey's website was altered on Friday to "make it clear that members get unticketed access to group matches only" (LONDON TIMES, 8/21).
A-League side Brisbane Roar confirmed the senior men's squad will play the Chinese Olympic U22 national football team in a preseason fixture at Robina Stadium on Aug. 28 at 7:30pm. Brisbane Roar '17-18 members may attend the event for free. Tickets are strictly limited and will not be available at the venue on matchday (Brisbane Roar).
The Rwanda FA (FERWAFA) is preparing to finalize its bid to host the 2019 U17 World Cup. FERWAFA President Vincent Nzamwita insisted the country is "capable of hosting a tournament of such a stature." Nzamwita said, "We have already submitted a formal request to FIFA to host the event and they have registered us and sent bid documents" (BBC, 8/21).
The Japan Rugby Football Union on Monday announced a "unique ticket package for the November test match against Australia" -- 50 tickets that come with a 300g steak of kangaroo meat. Priced at 6,000 yen ($55.11) per ticket, the package will go on sale Sept. 2 for the Nov. 4 game versus the Wallabies at Yokohama's Nissan Stadium. The JRFU said that the dish "will be made by a renowned chef" (KYODO, 8/21).
Pakistan Cricket Board Chair Najam Sethi said that int'l cricket "will return to the country next month when a World XI plays a three-match Twenty20 series in Lahore." The World XI "comprises cricketers from all top test playing nations with former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower as its coach" (AP, 8/21).