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NEWS REAL

• Nascar has signed a deal to acquire International Speedway Corp. in a transaction valued at $2 billon. ISC owns and operates venues including Talladega Superspeedway, Michigan International Speedway, Richmond Raceway, Auto Club Speedway of Southern California, Kansas Speedway, ISM Raceway, Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Darlington Raceway, and Watkins Glen International.

ISC also owns Motor Racing Network, the nation's largest independent sports radio network; and Americrown, a subsidiary that provides catering services, and food and beverage concessions.

• FIFA has postponed plans to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams for the 2022 event in Qatar. The plan is still being considered for the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. According to FIFA, “(There was not enough) time for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.” The World Cup is scheduled for Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022.

• The NFL and NFL Players Association have unveiled two joint agreements that are intended to “support further resources directed to address pain management and behavioral health.” Full story here.

• Stating that “we are continually seeking opportunities to evolve our product offerings,’ Kohl’s has signed an exclusive long-term alliance with Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise with the addition of “hundreds of thousands of items.” Full story here.

• Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, co-founders of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have launched with The ALS Assn. the 5th anniversary of “Challenge Me” with a “new call to action to reignite the passion and generosity of the millions of people who dumped ice water on their heads in the summer of 2014.” 

POLL POSITION

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will represent the U.S. in France and seek to defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup crown (July 7-Aug.7).

GOALKEEPERS

Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS
Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS
Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (NC Courage)
FORWARDS
Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (NC Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)
* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup

KEEPING SCORE

Luka Dončić, Trae Young Head NBA All-Rookie Team
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team includes LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office May 17-19
1. John Wick 3 $57M
2. Avengers: Endgame $29.4M
3. Pokemon Detective Pikachu $24.8M
4. A Dog’s Journey $8M
5. The Hustle $6M
6. The Intruder $4M
7. Long Shot $3.4M
8,. The Sun Is Also A Star $2.6M
9. Poms $2M
10. Uglydolls $1.6M
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
Channel Chasers

NFL UK 2019
• Oct. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 27  Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Wembley Stadium
• Nov. 3 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium

NFL Mexico 2019
• Nov. 18 Kansas City  Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Mexico City Estadio Azteca (ESPN Monday Night Football).

Tuesday
May082018

London Calling: Yankees-Red Sox Rivalry So Big MLB Taking It To U.K. In Historic Series

By Barry Janoff

May 8, 2018: In what the league is calling “our most significant endeavor ever in Europe,” MLB has signed a two-year deal to play regular season games in London, beginning in 2019 when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will face off in a two-game series.

The 2019 London Series is scheduled for June 29-30 in London Stadium, the first official MLB games to be played in Europe.

London Stadium, which was constructed to host events during the 2012 Olympic Games, will take on a baseball configuration for the series. (Ironically, baseball was not played during the 2012 Summer Games, having been voted out by the IOC in 2005; the sport returns to the Olympics for 2020 Tokyo.)

The estimated capacity of London Stadium for the series will be 55,000.

“In our ongoing efforts to grow baseball, there is nothing as impactful as bringing live games and our talented players to fans,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said today during a media conference in London. “This is our most significant endeavor ever in Europe and we look forward to showcasing Major League Baseball in one of the world's great cities."

"Major League Baseball is excited to be bringing one of the most storied rivalries in sports to the passionate fans of London.”

The event will be supported by multi-media marketing in the U.S. and U.K., with a lead intro spot that includes the tag line, “Old rivalry. New ground.”

MLB has already established social media destinations via @MLBLondonSeries on Instagram and Facebook, as well as a dedicated Web site for information, news and pre-registering for MLB London Series tickets.

The current two-year deal includes another series in London in 2020, with participating teams to be determined, as well as “other initiatives that will aim to establish a footprint in the city.”

MLB did not reveal which network in the U.S. would cover the Yankees-Red Sox games.

This month, for the first time since 1999, MLB played a regular season series in Mexico, with the Los Angeles Dodgers facing the San Diego Padres in Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey.

John W. Henry, principal owner for the Red Sox, said there were “significant challenges that had to be overcome” and that discussions for the London Series had been on-going for “several years.”

In addition to this being the first MLB regular season games in Europe, it will also mark the first time the Red Sox and Yankees have played one another outside of New York or Boston, said Henry.

As majority owner for Fenway Sports Group, Henry is no stranger to sports in the U.K. with the investment firm being the parent company for Liverpool FC.

“We could not be happier that commissioner Manfred has been able to make this a reality,” said Henry during the media conference. “This series will surely be the most significant international event to date for Major League ball.”

MLB intends to emulate the strategy being taken by the NFL, which has played games in London since 2007 and has seen its local marketing and TV presence continue to grow, with games in Wembley Stadium averaging close to 80,000 and a fan base that the league said tops 13 million.

According to Tony Clark, executive director for the MLB Players Assn., ”Some of the most talented and dynamic players in the world will be playing in these games. They are excited about the chance to meet new fans, and showcase the game they love.

“They are aware they'll be a part of history, but they also know these games count. So fans can expect intense competition during what will surely be a great few days in London."

The U.K. joins other international venues that have hosted regular season Major League games, joining Mexico, Japan, Puerto Rico and Australia.

“This is a major coup demonstrating, once again, that London is the sporting capital of the world,” London mayor Sadiq Khan said during the media conference. “I am excited about a new partnership with MLB and the long term future of this sport in our great city.

“All the hard work has paid off. There is no better way to start the London Series and the first Major League Baseball fixture in Europe than a clash between two heavyweights of international sport - the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.”

PHOTOS COURTESY MLB

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