CSM Sport & Entertainment was appointed to support MLB as it takes regular-season baseball to Europe for the first time in '19. The Mitel & MLB present London Series 2019 will see the Boston Red Sox face the N.Y. Yankees in a two-game series. CSM won a competitive pitch and is responsible for the strategic planning and production of venue operations, ticketing services, full event presentation, hospitality services, marketing and communications, as well as all fan-related activity. The London-based team will be collaborating with N.Y.-based CSM LeadDog to ensure a dynamic, authentic experience for fans, partners and key stakeholders (CSM).
The NBA Orlando Magic beat the Utah Jazz 96-89 on Saturday to "sweep their two-game homestand in Mexico City," completing the NBA's 28th game played in the country, according to Carlos Rodriguez of the AP. Only the U.S. and Canada "have hosted more." Nine of the last 26 NBA games in Mexico "have been regular-season contests" (AP, 12/15). In Utah, Eric Woodyard reported the Jazz "found themselves being warmly received from the sellout crowd of 20,011 fans at Arena Ciudad de Mexico" (DESERET NEWS, 12/16). In Salt Lake City, Andy Larsen reported an hour before tipoff, "thousands of fans were waiting in line for one hoops-related activity or another with the NBA’s marketing partners, with stations packed in all around the arena." There were even "tequila shots at one stand, being given out as free samples for interested fans." Additionally, "thanks to the exchange rate, even the things that weren’t free were relatively inexpensive from an American’s point of view." Fans could be seen "wearing all manner of NBA gear" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 12/16).
GAME NOTES: Larsen also reported Jazz guard Raul Neto on Saturday "greeted the fans before the tip with a speech in their native Spanish, while the Magic’s Isaiah Briscoe made his team’s announcement in English." The game was "clearly influenced by the unique location: located at about 7,300 feet above sea level," as there was "terrible shooting" from both squads. Jazz forward Derrick Favors said of the elevation, "We absolutely felt it." The teams' poor shooting did not stop fans from "enjoying the game." The fans "whistled when players were at the free-throw line and started a wave in the game’s final minutes." There were also "definitely more in attendance wearing Jazz gear than Orlando gear, though the Magic were the home team" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 12/16). ESPN.com's Eric Gomez wrote the Magic "did get occasional roars from the sellout crowds" in both Saturday's game and Thursday against the Bulls. The Mexico City games also "represented some of the largest crowds the Magic have seen all season," with both drawing more than 20,000. Prior to those games, the Magic's largest home crowd "was 19,249 on Nov. 17" against the Lakers (ESPN.com, 12/15).
Hosting, and winning, the Super Rugby final has not "translated into a memorable financial windfall for the Crusaders." The team won the title on Aug. 4, but "the satisfaction of winning the major prize a ninth time" was offset by the disappointing "break-even" result. Crusaders Limited Partnership "had to accept that the costs associated with playing finals games at home came with a heavy financial burden." Under SANZAAR rules, the Crusaders were required to pay the Lions an appearance fee of A$125,000 ($89,700) and "had to contribute to a third of their flights to and from South Africa as well as accommodation costs" (STUFF, 12/17).
Japanese public bath houses "are preparing to suspend their traditional distaste for tattoos and open their doors for inked-up visitors" during next year's Rugby World Cup. The city office of Beppu in the World Cup host prefecture of Oita -- where the All Blacks will play during the RWC -- has prepared a map titled "100 tattoo-allowed hot springs" that will "steer visitors the way of the more liberal onsens, or public bathing spots" (STUFF, 12/17).
The Pakistan Cricket Board decided to renew talks with Cricket Australia to convince it to "play at least two" ODIs in Karachi next year. A five-match ODI series is reportedly scheduled between Pakistan and Australia to be played in the UAE in March (DAWN, 12/17).