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Volume 7 No. 149

Events and Attractions

Leo Varadkar (pictured) met with European Tour CEO Keith Pelley and Deputy CEO Guy Kinnings.

Ireland is in "active discussions" to host the 2026 Ryder Cup, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar recently meeting with European Tour execs to discuss the deal, according to Brian Keogh of the IRISH INDEPENDENT. Ireland Minister for Sport Shane Ross traveled to the Ryder Cup on Sept. 30 to meet with European Tour Chair David Williams, CEO Keith Pelley, Deputy CEO Guy Kinnings and the then-Ryder Cup Dir Richard Hills to discuss taking the '26 event to Ireland. But it now appears that those discussions have "moved on," with Varadkar meeting in Dublin on Nov. 5 with Pelley and Kinnings. It is understood both Pelley and Kinnings expressed an "openness to considering Ireland" as a potential host and Ross on Tuesday briefed his ministerial colleagues on his department’s background work on the idea. Adare Manor has "long been considered" the favorite to host the event, with its owner, J.P. McManus, confirming earlier this year that the resort in Limerick "will be seeking to stage the competition." McManus said, "It is every golf course owner's hope to get the Ryder Cup. I am sure it will cost plenty. But I would like to bring it to Ireland, to Limerick and to Adare and give the whole southwest a boost." Pelley attended the official re-opening of the revamped course at Adare on April 20. Pelley said, "It is nothing short of spectacular. ... The golf course is a masterpiece" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 11/27).

Scottish Premiership side Rangers Chair Dave King has "no intention" of reversing a decision to cut Celtic's ticket allocation for the teams' meeting at Ibrox on Dec. 29. Rangers has given Celtic just 800 seats for the Old Firm league game." Celtic "responded in kind" for the Parkhead match in September, with CEO Peter Lawwell saying that Rangers' stance "damaged the fixture" (BBC, 11/27).

The NBA Brooklyn Nets and Juventus are joining together for a "viewing party" before the Nets play the Toronto Raptors on Dec. 7. Barclays Center will be outfitted in black and white, and the Juventus logo "will be displayed on both the interior and exterior of the arena." Juventus gear will be available in the Nets Swag Shop. Before the Nets-Raptors game begins, the Juventus match with Inter Milan will be shown on screens at Barclays (NETS DAILY, 11/24).

The 2019 Dakar Rally will not be a "cut price" edition "in spite of being hosted for the first time by a single country," Dir Etienne Lavigne said. Since the race switched for security reasons in '09 from its original route from Paris to the Senegalese capital, "it has enjoyed multiple hosts in South America." But this year, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia "all pulled out for reasons of austerity," leaving Peru as the sole host of the 41st edition. Lavigne: "It will not be a discount Dakar" (AFP, 11/27).

League Two side Port Vale Chair Norman Smurthwaite "reversed his decision to give Stoke City fans another stand" for their EFL Trophy Potteries derby. After Stoke sold out an allocation of 4,000 to see its U21 team at Vale Park, Smurthwaite "promised them more tickets." But after Vale fans objected to giving Stoke a "home stand" for the last-32 tie on Dec. 4, Smurthwaite "relented" (BBC, 11/27).

La Liga and EA announced the second edition of the Virtual La Liga eSports Tournament, which will run from December-May. The winner of the tournament will receive €10,500 ($11,900). Last year's event drew more than 2 million spectators through streams on La Liga's Facebook Live and Twitch (La Liga).

Haydock will reduce the height and depth of its fences before its next meeting on Dec. 5 "after a quarter of the runners in the four chases fell on Saturday." It emerged on Monday that the British Horseracing Authority "had ordered for fences to be trimmed before Saturday’s meeting" (LONDON TIMES, 11/27).