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NEWS REAL

• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.

• Picking up the mantle of National Women’s Month, and anticipating what next year will be its 70th anniversary, the LPGA has unveiled “Drive On,” a multi-platform refined brand position. According to the LPGA, “Drive On is clearly rooted in golf, but it's a bigger idea. It captures the power and potential in each of us and celebrates the hard work, focus and tenacity that it takes to achieve our goals.” Full story here.

• The NBA said that the Chinese and Croatian National Teams would join all 30 NBA teams to compete at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 in Las Vegas, marking the first time that the league will feature two international teams, with 83 games over 11 days (July 5-15).

• The 2019 Alliance of American Football Championship, originalluy scheduled for April 27 in Las Vegas, will be played in Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas., which is owned and operated by Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

• MLB and the MLB Players’ Assn. have unveiled numerous changes to the game to be installed over the next two seasons that will impact game length, marketing broadcast partners, the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby. Full story here.

POLL POSITION

Top Ten Most In-Demand MLB Tickets (based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14):
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Chicago Cubs
5. St. Louis Cardinals
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
7. Philadelphia Phillies
8. Texas Rangers
9. New York Mets
10. Houston Astros

SOURCE: STUBHUB

KEEPING SCORE

The Most-In-Demand MLB Home Openers
(based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14, all on March 28):

• Arizona Diamondbacks at the Dodgers (average ticket price $229.
• Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (average ticket price $202)
• Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies (average ticket price $84)
• Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers (average ticket price $254)
• Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (average ticket price $122)

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office March 15-17
1. Captain Marvel $69.3M
2. Wonder Park $16M
3. Five Feet Apart $13.2M
4. How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World $9.4M
5. Madea Family Funeral $8M
6. No Manches Frida 2 $3.9M
7. Captive State $3.2M
8. Lego Movie 2 $2.1M
9. Alita: Battle Angel $1.9M
10. Green Book $1.3M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
SUPER BOWL LIII

Monday
Dec242018

Match Point: Five Cities, Including Incumbent London, Vie To Host ATP Men’s Finals

By Barry Janoff

December 21, 2018: This past August, the ATP, the world governing body for men’s pro tennis circuits, initiated a search for a new city to host its year-end men’s event, the Nitto ATP Finals, when the current contract with The O2 in London ends in 2020.

Considering the name and marketing power attached to the event, it was little surprise when the ATP said some 40 cities had expressed interest to host the tournament from 2021-2025.

The organization has since narrowed the list to five cities: incumbent London, Manchester, Singapore, Tokyo and Turin.

The ATP said it would now enter the final phase of the bidding process, which includes visiting the candidate cities to “further review their respective visions for the ATP Finals.”

The ATP is expected to make its decision in March during the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.

“The level of interest we have received worldwide throughout the bid application process reflects the rich heritage of this unique tournament, as well as the success of the event at The O2 since 2009,” Chris Kermode, ATP executive chairman and president, said via the organization.

“It has been a highly competitive process, and the candidate cities on the shortlist deserve huge credit for the passion and creative vision they have shown in their respective plans to continue the growth of our showpiece event.”

Financial details were not shared.

The event, held in November, has been staged in London’s The O2 since 2009, with a deal that runs through the 2020 Finals.

Japan-based Nitto Denko Corp. in 2017 signed a four-year ATP Finals title sponsorship alliance.

The 2018 season-ending tournament attracted 243,819 people across eight days of competition, bringing the tournament’s cumulative attendance in The O2 since 2009 to 2,561,084, according to the ATP.

The ATP Finals were first held in Tokyo in 1970. Shanghai hosted the tournament in 2002 and again from 2005-08.

The longest stay in a single venue was 13 consecutive years in New York’s Madison Square Garden from 1977-1989.

Other cities that have hosted the ATP Finals include Barcelona, Boston, Frankfurt,  Houston, Melbourne, Paris, Stockholm and Sydney.

Singapore hosted the women’s BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, played in October, from 2014-18.

The WTA Finals are moving to Shenzhen beginning 2019 via a deal that runs through 2028.

Manchester had also put in a bid to host the WTA Finals.

Among the players who have won the Nitto ATP Finals are Bjorn Borg (three times), John McEnroe (three times), Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl (five times), Pete Sampras (five times), Andre Agassi, Roger Federer (six times), Novak Djokovic (five times), Andy Murray and last month 21-year-old Alexander Zverev, who defeated World No. 1 Djokovic for the title.

According to the ATP’s Request For Expressions of Interest to Become Host of the ATP Finals From 2021, “More than 250,000 fans attend the event annually, it is broadcast to 180 markets, has nearly 6,000 hours of TV coverage with global viewership figures reaching an average of 95 million viewers each year and more than 250,000 people in attendance.

Included in the pitch were such selling points as:

• Strong commercial investment, including sponsorship and corporate hospitality packages.

• Attractive event for international brands.

• Global media focus on host city.

• Spending by hundreds of thousands of spectators.

According to the ATP, ”The event will bring huge exposure to the host city through a season-long promotion of ATP Race to . . . your location.”

“The ATP Finals have never stood still, remaining vibrant and relevant to fans, sponsors and media worldwide at every turn.” said Kermode.

“There’s no question that London has set a very high benchmark and, with the final shortlist . . . we believe we will be well-placed to determine the next exciting chapter of a tournament that has come to represent the absolute pinnacle in men’s professional tennis.”

The ATP said that The Sport Business Group at Deloitte has been managing the bid process,

Among the events overseen by the ATP are 64 tournaments in 30 countries, including the ATP Tour, ATP Challenger Tour and ATP Champions Tour.

ATP Puts Men’s Finals Host City Up For Bids

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