Cartoon Network promotes tennis

Cartoon Network, a division of Atlanta’s Turner Broadcasting System Inc., extended its Smash Tennis tour to include three events in August. The fourth annual program, featuring cartoon characters in full costumes, offers tennis clinics to kids by bringing portable tennis courts and interactive games to various tennis tournaments, schools, children’s museums and festivals. From March through June, the tour reached more than 64,000 kids in conjunction with 21 pro tour events. It is presented in conjunction with the ATP Tour, the Tennis Industry Association and the U.S. Tennis Association.

 Sporting Club invests in squash

The Sporting Club at Windy Hill is spending $480,000 to be the “Squash Capital of Atlanta.” The club is building five new squash courts, including Atlanta’s only regulation softball squash doubles courts. Construction is expected to be completed by September. More than 1,000 squash players are estimated to be living in the Atlanta metro area.

 Orlando still skates with Atlanta

The Atlanta Thrashers extended their partnership with the International Hockey League’s Orlando Solar Bears through the 2000-01 season. The agreement designates the Orlando franchise as the top development partner for the Thrashers.


  Orioles hire prominent attorney

David A. Kendall, an attorney who defended President Clinton during impeachment proceedings, was hired by the Baltimore Orioles to help the club press a claim against its landlord, the Maryland Stadium Authority. Kendall joins Orioles attorney Alan Rifkin of Baltimore as the club's co-counsel in an issue that dates back to before the Baltimore Ravens moved into PSINet Stadium. A clause in the baseball team's lease calls for comparable terms on a potential naming-rights deal if an NFL team were to move to Baltimore, as the Ravens did in 1996. The Ravens sold the name of their stadium to PSINet Inc. The Orioles are considering selling the naming rights to popular Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

  Memorial Stadium items on sale

The Maryland Stadium Authority and Babe Ruth Museum are planning a public sale and auction of Memorial Stadium memorabilia. The sales will be held Sept. 23 and Oct. 7-8 at the stadium and will include such items as stadium seats, concession signs and box seat section plates. The stadium is scheduled to be demolished later this year. Money raised will go toward the cost of demolishing the stadium. Some money also could go toward a new veterans memorial in Baltimore.

  Ripken Stadium delayed by slow sales

Officials with the Aberdeen Arsenal, a planned independent league expansion team in nearby Aberdeen, Md., said the July 15 deadline for breaking ground on its Ripken Stadium project was missed because of a lack of skybox and luxury suites sales. Of the stadium's six skyboxes, which sell for $50,000 each, five have been reserved, but no contracts have been signed. Only five of the 36 luxury suites, which go for $15,000 each, have been sold, but another 12 have been reserved. The new target for groundbreaking is Aug. 15. Baltimore Orioles star Cal Ripken Jr., a native of Aberdeen, is helping to fund the construction of the $25.7 million stadium, which will seat about 6,000 spectators.


  BC unveils new logos

Boston College unveiled new athletic logos for the school's athletic department and its individual programs. The interlocking "BC" has been replaced by a new Boston College typeface and updated eagle. The new family of logos also includes a secondary mark of an eagle head. The new logos were developed by SME Design of New York.


  Blizzard freezes ticket prices

The Buffalo Blizzard of the National Professional Soccer League is holding the line on season-ticket prices for the 2000-01 season. Prices in the three seating categories at HSBC Arena will remain at $145, $210 and $275.

  Fort Erie track raises purses

Fort Erie Race Track is raising purses for the second time this horse racing season. Daily purses at the thoroughbred track just across the U.S.-Canadian border from Buffalo are now worth more than $110,000. During the 1999 season, track purses totaled $50,000 each race day. Track officials say the increases are the result of increased revenue from 1,200 slot machines, a 9 percent increase in track handle and a 46 percent hike in simulcast signal sales.


 Touchdown Club signs Muhleman

The Charlotte Touchdown Club, a nonprofit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate and professional football in the area, signed Muhleman Marketing Inc. to a two-year deal to help promote the club.


 Speedway awaits decision on race

Officials at Kentucky Speedway, located just across the state line in Sparta, Ky., expect to find out within four to six weeks whether it will obtain a NASCAR Busch Series race for 2001. For now, the track's headline event is a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, which returns in mid-June 2001. NASCAR officials did not comment on the issue, but sources told The Cincinnati Enquirer that the Kentucky track is on the short list of potential Busch sites.


 Hanley captures Mile High image

John Hanley, who has established himself as a prominent illustrator of comic book superheroes and national sports heroes, created an image of Mile High Stadium that includes famous Denver Broncos of years past. His depiction of the stadium, which will be demolished at the end of this football season, includes Frank Tripucka, Floyd Little, Haven Moses, Louis Wright, Tom Jackson and John Elway. The illustration is being offered exclusively by Fascination Street Gallery in Denver. The Broncos are scheduled to begin play at the new stadium in August 2001.


 University unveils new logos

The University of New Hampshire recently unveiled new team logos for the upcoming season at an on-campus barbecue and fashion show. The new logos were developed by SME Design of New York.


 Tennis center set for expansion

Officials of the Indianapolis Tennis Center plan to expand the grounds for the annual RCA Championships. Officials of the tennis center said $70,000 in improvements will be complete when the tournament begins this Friday. Plans include two mobile corporate suites, a Caribbean-themed restaurant and a landscaped garden. Tournament officials said expenses will be offset by increased sales of tickets, food and merchandise. Officials expect attendance to increase from 88,922 last year to more than 100,000 this year and project a 30 percent to 40 percent increase in food and merchandise sales.


 UMKC hosting tournament

The University of Missouri-Kansas City will host an eight-team men's basketball tournament Nov. 24-26 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. Other teams scheduled to play are Auburn, Creighton, Cleveland State, Furman, Providence, Robert Morris and Southeast Missouri. The Mountain Energy Thanksgiving Tournament marks the first time UMKC has hosted a Division I tournament since joining the division 13 years ago.

 Royals extend radio deal

The Kansas City Royals reached an agreement in principle to extend Entercom's radio broadcast rights with the team. The three-year escalating package was reported to start at nearly $1.6 million a season. KMBZ-AM 980, which has been the Royals' flagship station for the past three seasons, will retain that role. The selection came after the Royals considered a bid from WHB-AM 810, which switched to an all-sports format after being purchased last year by Kansas City businessman Jerry Green.


 Bradley Center to host Frozen Four

The Bradley Center has been selected as the site of the 2006 Frozen Four NCAA Hockey Championships. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is the host school. Milwaukee’s Bradley Center hosted the event in 1993 and 1997. It posted among the largest attendance in college hockey history for the 1997 championships, including two crowds of 17,300.

 Fan wins suit against Brewers

A fan has won the first round in a legal battle with the Milwaukee Brewers over tickets to the final games at County Stadium. Mitch Kapnick bought 44 tickets to the last two games at County Stadium in 1999, but tried to trade them in for the last two games this season after a crane collapse at Miller Park forced the Brewers to play one more year at the old park. The team offered him first crack at buying tickets for the final game this season, but would not give them in exchange for last year’s tickets. Kapnick sued the team in small claims court for $2,000 and won. A hearing is set for Sept. 11 in Milwaukee County Court, when the team plans to ask that the claim be dismissed.


 XCel hosts collegiate event

The XCel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild, will play host to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five, one of college hockey’s top events, in 2001, 2002 and 2003. The Final Five was held in the St. Paul Civic Center from 1988 to 1993, in 1995 and 1997.

 Timberwolves lower prices

The Minnesota Timberwolves have discounted more than 4,800 seats if they are purchased as season tickets. Under the “20-for-9” discount, all tickets regularly priced at $20 will be discounted to $9 when purchased as season tickets. The discount seats will be on sale until Sept. 30.

 Twins create Hall of Fame

Kirby Puckett, Calvin Griffith, Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva and Kent Hrbek will be the charter members of the Minnesota Twins’ team Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is being created as part of the team’s 40th season celebration. Induction will take place at the Metrodome before the Twins-Blue Jays game on Saturday.


 Pilot Pen creates fan sweepstakes

Pilot Pen Tennis is conducting the Backyard Patio Sweepstakes, presented by Michelob Light, through Aug. 23. Pilot Pen is giving 12 fans and their guests the chance to watch this year’s tennis tournament in a specially-designed “Backyard Patio,” complete with lounge chairs and umbrellas. The winners will each join three of their friends for one session during the 2000 Pilot Pen, held from Aug. 18-26 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale University. Fans can enter the sweepstakes at pilotpentennis.com.


 Pirates sell out final game

The Pittsburgh Pirates sold out the final game of their final homestand at Three Rivers Stadium. Thousands waited in line to buy tickets to the Oct. 1 game, which sold out in four hours. The Pirates begin play in PNC Park next April. Three Rivers, built in 1970, will be demolished early next year.


 Spotlight returns to Magic

The Orlando Magic will be on national television 21 times, which ties the most in a season for the team. The Magic will be on NBC 10 times, TNT six times and TBS five times. The last time the Magic was on television so often was in the 1995-96 season, which followed the Magic’s NBA Finals appearance.

 Magic renews radio deal

The Orlando Magic renewed its broadcast agreement with WDBO-AM, under which the station will broadcast every game. The three-year contract includes a new radio show called “Magic Monday,” which will feature news about the team from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. every Monday. There will continue to be a one-hour show, called “Inside Magic,” every day at 6 p.m.


 Snider Capital invests in HSI

Snider Capital, a venture capital firm founded by former Philadelphia Flyers president Jay Snider, invested $5.1 million in Hospitality Solutions International Inc. As part of the deal, the Snider firm has an option to invest an additional $4.9 million in HSI within 60 days. HSI, a supplier of software management systems for the restaurant and hotel industries, is the parent company of ClubSystems Group Inc., a provider of technology services for private country clubs. According to Snider, 2,500 country clubs, approximately 40 percent of the market, use CSG’s software management systems.


 Kings get 20 national spots

The Sacramento Kings will have 20 national television appearances next season, including eight games on NBC. Four of the eight NBC appearances will be home games. The 20 games are the sixth most in the NBA. The combined maximum number of national appearances allowed for a single team is 26, including a maximum of 11 NBC appearances and 15 TNT/TBS broadcasts.

 Council weighs race track issue

The Dixon City Council will vote Tuesday on whether a non-binding question should be put on the November ballot asking residents for their opinion of a proposed horse racing track. Proposed by one city councilman, the question would ask voters if they want to have a “gambling facility, race track and horse racing facility capable of handling 2,000 horses located in Dixon.” Frank Stronach, who owns Golden Gate Fields, plans to develop a race track on 225 acres in Dixon, located 20 miles west of Sacramento. The facility would replace San Mateo’s Bay Meadows track, which will close in 2002.


 Summits surround SBC Center

The San Antonio Spurs, Bexar County and the Community of Churches for Social Action launched the SBC Center Community Connection, a series of summits geared toward increasing the numbers of local Minority and Women Business Enterprises in the construction and operation of the new SBC Center. MWBEs include minority- and women-owned businesses that are locally owned, operated and controlled by a minority-group member or woman with at least 51 percent control. SBC Communications Inc. recently reached a naming-rights deal for the Spurs’ new home, which will be built adjacent to Freeman Coliseum.


 Callaway will fight lawsuit

Carlsbad-based Callaway Golf Co. says it will fight a lawsuit brought by Bridgestone Sports, maker of Precept-brand golf balls, claiming patent infringement. Callaway President Chuck Yash said company attorneys examined 1,500 patents during development of its Rule 35 golf ball.

 Sockers coach gets radio show

San Diego Sockers coach Brian Quinn will work as radio show host for “Inside Soccer” on KFMB-AM alongside Brian Halliday. The show, presented by Nokia, will air Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and highlight the “Nokia Youth Player of the Week.” The show will also cover men’s and women’s soccer, from international to local levels. The 10-time indoor national champion San Diego Sockers have joined the World Indoor Soccer League after a four-year hiatus. They will take the field again in July 2001.

 Carbite Golf lands former Padre

Ballard F. Smith, former president and CEO of the San Diego Padres, was named to the board of directors of locally based Carbite Golf Co. Smith was Padres president from 1979 to 1987 and a member of the McDonald’s Corp. board for 14 years. He joins the Carbite board after the company acquired Carizma Golf Co. of San Diego, which Smith co-founded two years ago.


 Earthquakes giving to charity

The San Jose Earthquakes are offering up team jerseys for charity. The Major League Soccer franchise is giving fans the chance to bid on the actual jerseys worn by players on the Earthquakes roster. Fans can place bids starting at $100 each for the players’ jerseys at each of the team’s remaining home games this year. Winning bids will be announced Aug. 26. Proceeds will benefit the Mayor’s Kicks for Kids program, which allows inner-city and underprivileged children to attend the team’s games.


 Bogart Golf expanding to new markets

Bogart Golf of nearby Bellevue, Wash., plans to open five stores in both Dallas and Atlanta in the fall and plans to open stores in major markets including Boston, Chicago and Denver within a year. The company has had stores in Seattle, Bellevue and Redmond, Wash., for the past seven months. Bogart Golf provides customers with lessons from golf instructors to improve their swings. The lessons are digitally recorded and later posted on the company’s Web site, bogartgolf.com, with critiques and suggestions by those instructors for later review.


 University finds home for crew

The Stanford University athletic department recently acquired property in nearby Redwood City for its new men’s and women’s crew and sailing complex. Plans for the complex include a two-story boathouse equipped with coach’s offices, classrooms, an exercise gym and locker rooms. Construction on the boathouse, phase one of the overall project, is planned for the fall and is expected to be completed by next summer.


 Blues name radio broadcast team

The St. Louis Blues named Chris Kerber and Kelly Chase as their radio broadcast team on KTRS-AM, the team’s new flagship radio station. Kerber, previously an announcer for the American Hockey League’s Springfield (Mass.) Falcons, will handle play-by-play duties. He replaces Dan Kelly, who left St. Louis to work as a television announcer for the NHL expansion Columbus Blue Jackets. Chase, a former winger for the Blues, is assuming the analyst position formerly held by Bernie Federko, who will now do TV commentary for the team on Fox Sports Net and local WB affiliate KPLR-TV.

 Warner signs record contract

St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner signed a seven-year contract with the team that could pay him $46.5 million, the largest contract in franchise history. Warner is also due to receive an $11.5 million signing bonus. Warner said he will give 10 percent of his salary to his church.


 Lightning finishes club plans

The Tampa Bay Lightning finalized its plans for the NextLink Channelside Club. The new 565-seat corporate section, which takes up space in the luxury suite level of the Ice Palace that used to be called the Lord Stanley Club, offers season tickets for $4,000 a year. NextLink, a local cellular provider, recently reached an agreement to sponsor the section, which is expected to be finished in time for the team’s preseason opener on Sept. 17.

 Bucs post first season sellout

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have this year posted the team’s first sold-out season in its 24-year history. Fewer than 400 season tickets remained during the final week of the Bucs’ “Last Chance” sales campaign, and those were claimed shortly after the team’s training camp opened last month at the University of Tampa. The Bucs are, however, setting aside an additional 1,000 tickets for each game that will go on sale to the general public this month.

 Sunshine teams with Bucs again

Sunshine Network, for the second consecutive season, is scheduled to air Buccaneers preseason games this year. The agreement between the network and team calls for statewide next-day coverage of the Bucs’ games, beginning with tape-delayed coverage this past Saturday of the team’s game the night before against Washington. Sunshine also is scheduled to carry Tampa Bay’s games against Miami on Friday and Kansas City on Aug. 26.

 Forbes planning Super Bowl issue

Forbes magazine is planning a special publication titled “Tampa/St. Petersburg: The Business of the Bay” that is slated to hit newsstands on Jan. 22, about a week before Super Bowl XXXV at Raymond James Stadium.

  Mutiny signs 3-year partnership

The Tampa Bay Mutiny agreed to a three-year, $75,000 founding level partnership deal with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. The commission is charged with promoting the local area as a destination for athletic competitions and supporting the development of sports throughout the area. As part of the deal, the Mutiny will be the primary sponsor for the commission’s Game Day of Champions Soccer event.


 Area group threatens Olympics bid

A northern Ontario community angry about the possibility of becoming a dumping ground for Toronto’s garbage is threatening to wage a public campaign against the city’s bid for the 2008 Olympics. Officials with the Adams Mine Intervention Coalition said they have sent letters of protest to the International Olympic Committee. The town of Kirkland Lake, about 300 miles north of Toronto, has been named as a possible site for a dumping ground. Toronto’s city council is expected to make a decision on where to send its garbage sometime in August.

 Team returning to St. Michael’s Arena

The St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League will play the majority of their home games at St. Michael’s Arena next season after two years at Maple Leaf Gardens. The Gardens is undergoing renovations for its conversion into a 5,000-seat sports and entertainment facility and will be unavailable for use by the Majors. Reg Quinn, president of the Majors, said he would like to play at least a half-dozen home games at Air Canada Centre.

  Purple courts hit tennis tour

Purple tennis courts were introduced to the tennis world at the Tennis Masters Series-Canada tournament held last week at the National Tennis Centre at York University. Tournament officials said the purple courts were designed to give the tournament a more modern, entertaining look. The lines remained white, though tournament organizers experimented with yellow lines on practice courts.


 Rexall signs with Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays selected locally based Rexall Showcase International as its official sports nutrition supplier. The company’s Ultimate Performance products will be the team’s official nutritional supplements product line. In addition to providing nutritional supplements to the team, the company will provide the team with health information resources on topics such as diet, nutrition and physical rehabilitation.

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