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Volume 21 No. 5
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Coast to Coast

Hank Aaron honored at ballpark

The Atlanta Braves will unveil several tributes throughout SunTrust Park to team icon and baseball legend Hank Aaron. The displays will pay homage to the many facets of Aaron’s storied career, and include a bronze statue, baseball bat sculpture and a terrace featuring his 715th home run bat and ball.

Punch Bowl Social plays ball
Punch Bowl Social will open a 27,000-square-foot restaurant, bar and entertainment concept in The Battery Atlanta in September. Punch Bowl Social has made a name for itself with its “eatertainment” concept, pairing a Southern inspired scratch-made menu and craft beverages with old-school social activities and vintage video games.

Youth showcase event set for March

The Buffalo Sabres and the United States Hockey League will host a showcase event for the top 40 players in the 2001, 2002 and 2003 age groups from Western New York and southern Ontario as determined by USHL scouts. The event is planned for March 23-25 at HarborCenter. Officials said it will be operated and coached by NHL alumni.

County considers MLS stadium

Mecklenburg County released details of a proposed $175 million MLS stadium for which the county and city of Charlotte are each asked to contribute up to $43.75 million, according to a Charlotte Observer report. Charlotte Center City Partners President and CEO Michael Smith said that a Tuesday deadline adds urgency to the city and county’s decision on whether to contribute public funds.

New lottery tickets for teams

The Texas Lottery partnered with the Dallas Mavericks on a new $5 scratch ticket that offers more than $10.1 million in total prizes, three top prizes of $100,000 and a chance to win a trip for two to the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. The scratch ticket is available at licensed Texas Lottery retail locations. A San Antonio Spurs-themed ticket is also available.

Royals make a list with Price Chopper

The Kansas City Royals named their official grocer: Price Chopper. As the inaugural Community Champion partner, Price Chopper will work with Royals Charities programs and events, including involvement with Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities clinics, Greater Kansas City Day, Diamond of Dreams and special nights at Kauffman Stadium.

Golden Knights finalizing outreach plan

The Vegas Golden Knights are finalizing plans to explain hockey throughout Las Vegas and the surrounding area with the their Hockey Fan Development Program, a series of clinics expected to debut next month, according to a Las Vegas Review-Journal report. The team is looking into hiring someone to oversee the youth hockey program it plans to start.

Bats fly high with new scoreboard

The Louisville Bats selected Daktronics for a new scoreboard at Louisville Slugger Field. The installation will take place before the first pitch in April. The new scoreboard will measure 30-feet wide by 36-feet high and feature a 15HD pixel layout. The Bats are the Class AAA affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.

Grizzlies’ D-League team will be close

The Memphis Grizzlies acquired an expansion NBA D-League franchise they will own and operate. The affiliate will play its 24-game home schedule at Landers Center in Southaven, Miss., about 20 miles south of FedEx Forum in Memphis. The team name and logo will be announced this spring.

Redbirds revamp brand identity
The Memphis Redbirds unveiled a new brand identity at AutoZone Park that speaks directly to the soul of the city and its rich traditions. The primary logo replicates that of a neon street sign, quickly calling to mind Memphis’ iconic Beale Street, located just a few blocks from the ballpark. Home and away uniforms also feature the new branding. The Rebirds are the Class AAA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Rosanne De Lange (center) won the individual female division with 224.84 miles.
Photo by: Enter Name Here
A looooooong day of skateboarding

More than 80 skateboarders and enthusiasts from 14 states and eight countries convened at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 24-Hour Ultra Skate earlier this month. New York native Kyle Yan won the individual male division, traveling a total distance of 292 miles. Sanctioned by the International Distance Skateboarding Association, 24-Hour Ultra Skate made its fifth straight trip to the speedway.

Target signs on with MNUFC

Minnesota United FC partnered with Minneapolis-based retailer Target for its inaugural MLS season and beyond. Target is now the official partner and kit sponsor, joining MNUFC in a multiyear deal. In addition to the Target logo on Minnesota United’s first-year kits, Target will be a premier sponsor at MNUFC events across the Twin Cities.

Devils, arena partner with Uber

Uber will be the first official ride-share partner of the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center. The partnership is Uber’s first with a sports team and venue in New Jersey. Uber has established a designated pickup and dropoff area outside of Investors Bank Tower so fans can connect with a ride before and after events.

Phillies extend nets to include dugouts

The Philadelphia Phillies are once again extending the protective netting at Citizens Bank Park this season. The team plans to extend 8-foot-high netting to the far ends of both dugouts. Before the start of last season, the Phillies added netting so it covered about 10 feet on both sides of home plate — stopping at the dugouts.

Ballpark getting Daktronics upgrades

The Reno Aces and Reno 1868 FC selected Daktronics to design, manufacture and install nearly 3,500 square feet of LED video displays at Greater Nevada Field in Reno. Also new to the stadium, a long display directly below the main video display will run 205 feet along the outfield wall and is being dubbed the “monster display.”

Jazz owner creates legacy trust

Ownership of the Utah Jazz will be transferred into a family legacy trust to keep the team in Utah. Gail Miller, who assumed ownership of the franchise after husband Larry Miller died in 2009, said that family will oversee the trust, pending league approval.

$135M Final Four impact predicted

A study projecting the economic impact of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Final Four released by the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee estimates the local economy will receive a boost of $135 million as a result of hosting the championship. The study predicts an influx of 71,000 visitors to the area.

Youth players from China await their turn for stretching and warmup drills last week.

Caps hosting youth players from Beijing

The Capitals and China-based ORG Packaging are hosting 25 Chinese youth hockey players from two schools in Beijing through Friday. Children ages 6-12 are participating in clinics with local youth hockey teams throughout the week, concluding with a scrimmage at Verizon Center on Wednesday. Wednesday also marks the Capitals Chinese Cultural Night presented by ORG, featuring a ceremonial puck drop with ORG chairman Zhou Yunjie. The game will be shown on CCTV in China and feature greetings by Capitals players in honor of the Chinese New Year.

Railers gain full ECHL status

The Worcester Railers Hockey Club was unanimously voted to full membership status and will begin play in the ECHL for the 2017-18 season. The Worcester ECHL franchise was announced in February 2016, followed by the naming of the club on April 3. The Railers will have their first ECHL game on Oct. 14 at the DCU Center.


China orders closure

of 111 golf courses

     China ordered the closure of more than 100 golf courses after a multiyear campaign to tackle illegal development in the sector, according to a Reuters report. Beijing banned new golf courses in 2004 to protect scarce arable land and water resources, but new projects continued to be built to meet growing demand from China’s wealthy. The National Development and Reform Commission said that of a total 683 courses in the country, 111 have been ordered to close after a crackdown launched in 2011.

Barça, Nestlé Milo promote health

FC Barcelona and Nestlé Milo, which signed a four-year deal in November, agreed to develop activations to promote healthier lifestyles for children. Around 22.5 million children will be encouraged to stay active through the grassroots program.

President wants Games clean, green

China President Xi Jinping said that his country will hold a clean and green Winter Olympics when it hosts the Games in 2022, according to a Reuters report. While Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Games to wide acclaim, its bid for the Winter Games was dogged by concern over issues such as corruption, the city’s notorious smog, a lack of snow and China’s poor human rights record.

Tigers bet on is the new official betting and gaming partner of Premiership rugby side Leicester Tigers. signed a three-year deal that will include the online casino’s brand logo on Leicester’s team shorts until 2019 as well as on adult replica shorts for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

Daktronics created templates and guidelines to help the venue’s creative team produce content that accounts for the natural curve of the display.

Giant curved display set for stadium

London Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park selected Daktronics to design, manufacture and install a new 12,000-square-foot, curved LED video display above the entrance to the facility. It will be the largest LED video display in Europe. The new display will be slightly tilted toward the ground to welcome people to events.

Cricket World Cup on deck
London Stadium is a step closer to hosting matches at the 2019 Cricket World Cup, after it was found to have a potential playing surface big enough for one-day internationals, according to a BBC report. The 60,000-seat stadium is much larger than any U.K. cricket ground.

Tottenham touts Tunnel Club
Tottenham Hotspur released new imagery and further details of its 61,000-seat, $938 million stadium, which will include a glass-walled Tunnel Club, according to a (London) Telegraph report. The club allows supporters a behind-the-scenes view of the players tunnel and also seats behind the managers’ technical area, at a price of $424 a ticket per match. Other premium packages include heated seats with USB ports. Premium seats start at $111 a person per match and go up to $268.

Man City pays record fee for youth player

Manchester City underlined its determination to recruit the best young players in the country by paying League One side Southend United a record transfer fee of $216,650 for 13-year old player Finley Burns, according to a London Times report. The overall cost to Man City could be more than $309,500 if he goes on to sign professional terms at the club.

IOC signs Alibaba through 2028

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba signed a deal with the IOC that runs until 2028, according to Reuters report. Alibaba, which becomes the official e-commerce and cloud services partner, joins 12 other companies as top Olympic sponsors. The Alibaba deal comes as Asia prepares to host three consecutive games, starting with the Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

New baseball tourney in November

Nippon Professional Baseball announced a new three-way tournament involving the Japan, Taiwan and South Korea national teams Nov. 16-19 at the Tokyo Dome. The three teams will play a round-robin before the top two face off in the final of what will be called the Asia Championship.

New team manager will pay team

Scottish businessman John Clarkson will be installed as the manager of Spanish third-tier team Deportivo Tudelano after making it an extraordinary offer. Clarkson will give the team $184,500 but will get it refunded if he helps the team earn promotion. Clarkson has been heavily involved in lower league football clubs in England and Spain.

Juventus signs nutrition partner

Serie A side Juventus FC named dried and dehydrated fruit brand Noberasco its nutrition partner. Noberasco’s logo will appear at all Juventus media events and in a range of promotional materials. Also, Juventus unveiled a new club crest that will be officially adopted in July.

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