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• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.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

Wednesday
Nov142018

Escape To L.A.: NFL Moves 'Unsuitable' Mexico City Game To City Of Angels

By Barry Janoff

November 14, 2018: The teams, players, marketers, ticket-buyers and ESPN were ready, but in the end the stadium and its field were not.

In a rare but necessary decision, the NFL is moving its Monday Night Football game on Nov. 19  (ESPN) between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams, originally scheduled for Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.

The stadium became, in effect, a field of screams due to recent concerts and soccer matches that made the surface unplayable.

According to the NFL, “The decision is based on the determination — in consultation with the NFLPA and following a meeting and field inspection this afternoon by NFL and club field experts as well as local and independent outside experts – that the playing field at Estadio Azteca does not meet NFL standards for playability and consistency and will not meet those standards by next Monday.”

"We have worked extensively with our partners at Estadio Azteca for months in preparation for this game," Mark Waller, NFL evp-international, said via the league.

"Until very recently, we had no major concerns. But, the combination of a difficult rainy season and a heavy multi-event calendar of events at the stadium, have resulted in significant damage to the field that presents unnecessary risks to player safety and makes it unsuitable to host an NFL game.

“As a result, we have determined that moving the game is the right decision, and one that we needed to announce now in order to allow our teams and fans to make alternate arrangements," said Waller.

The Coliseum is available for Monday because all NFL teams that forgo a home game — with the Rams playing in Mexico as the home team — to play internationally are required to keep their home stadium available as a contingency, according to the league.

“We understand the circumstances and just have to adjust as difficult as the logistics were for both teams, the Rams and Chiefs,” Burke Magnus, ESPN evp-programming and scheduling, said during a media conference call today.

“The same holds true for our crew. We had 150 people that were mobilizing, a ton of logistic, travel, security, transportation, equipment, setting up at the stadium, Estadio Azteca, we had a catering truck already in Mexico.

“So as you can imagine, with a game like that, a lot of detail, a lot of logistics, a lot of planning, a lot of thought and all of that you have to adjust.”

According to Magnus, a fleet of ESPN trucks left Santa Clara and were in Arizona heading toward Mexico,  scheduled to be at the Mexican border this morning.

“So with the news yesterday it turned into scramble mode for a number of hours for much of our team,” he said.

This would have been the third NFL game played in Estadio Azteca, which  holds more than 87,000 people.

In 2016, the Oakland Raiders defeated the Houston Texans, 27-20, before 76,473 people.

Last season, the New England Patriots defeated the Raiders, 33-8, before a crowd of 77,357.

The Rams, who are training in Colorado Springs, are using the situation to the advantage of its region, which is being ravaged by fires and earlier this month was the scene of a shooting in the Borderline Bar & Grill, located in Thousand Oaks, that left 12 people dead.

“The decision is based on the determination . . . that the playing field at Estadio Azteca does not meet NFL standards for playability and consistency.”

The Rams said they would be “providing thousands of complimentary tickets to first responders who are bravely protecting the greater Los Angeles community, as well as people who have been impacted by our community’s recent tragedies.”

According to ESPN’s Magnus, “We’re sensitive to what's going on here in Los Angeles, certainly we experienced it in Santa Clara, over the weekend, with the fires north. And now the same holds true with the news that occurred in Thousand Oaks a week ago, the fires in Malibu, potential air quality concerns, which seem to have gotten better here in .LA. where I am now and all of that.

“But at the end of the day we're excited for this matchup and excited to be televising from Los Angeles now.”

Tickets were made available to Rams Season Ticket Members on Tuesday and beginning today for the general public.

Due to the quick turnaround, the team said tickets for this game would be mobile only. (Details here.)

The NFL will be sharing details on ticket reimbursement procedures this week.

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