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• For the 15th consecutive year, ESPN will present the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship in its entirety, with the 15-game, 16-team tournament beginning with regional action March 29-31 and concluding with the Frozen Four on April 11 and 13. The Frozen Four will be in Buffalo, NY, with all three games on ESPN2.

• The NFL's 100th season will begin with the Chicago Bears hosting the Green Bay Packers in Soldier Field on Thursday, Sept. 5 (NBC, 8:20 PM ET). This will be the 199th meeting between the Bears and Packers, including regular- and post-season. Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will begin their season on NBC Sunday Night Football Sept. 8. Their opponent will be named when the full 2019 regular season schedule is released later this spring.

• Kraft Heinz, in partnership with the NHL and NHLPlayers’ Association (NHLPA) has unveiled the top four finalist communities competing for the coveted title of Kraft Hockeyville USA 2019. Voting begins March 30.

• NBA Experience, the new destination coming to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort (Orlando) will officially open Aug. 12, 2019. In collaboration with the NBA, Disney is developing NBA Experience with 13 interactive elements and hands-on activities across 44,000 square feet and two floors, also including a NBA-themed retail store.

• D.G. Yuengling & Son brewery has signed a deal with Philadelphia Phillies' pitcher Aaron Nola, making him one of the first active, MLB players to have a partnership with a beer brand. Yuengling has been a sponsor of the Phillies since 2017,

• 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 22-24
1. Us $70.2M
2. Captain Marvel $35M
3. Wonder Park $9M
4. Five Feet Apart $8.8M
5. How To Train Your Dragon 3 $6.5M
6. A Madea Family Funeral $4.5M
7. Gloria Bell $1.8M
8. No Manches Frida 2 $1.8M
9. Lego Movie 2 $1.1M
10. Alita: Battle Angel $1M
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

Thursday
Apr122018

NBA Sets New Season Total Attendance Record: Tops 22M For First Time

By Barry Janoff

April 12, 2018: The Houston Rockets finished the 2017-18 regular season with the most wins (65), LeBron James with the most points (2,251), Andre Drummond with the most rebounds (1,247) and Russell Westbrook as the assist leader (820), but the NBA itself had the really big number: 22,124,559.

The NBA this past season set all-time records for total attendance (for the fourth consecutive season), average attendance and sellouts.

The league surpassed the 22 million mark for the first time, reaching a total of 22,124,559 in attendance. That topped last year’s record of 21,997,412. 
 
The new regular-season record for average attendance reached 17,987, passing the previous high of 17,884 in 2016-17.

In addition, the 2017-18 regular season set a sellout record of 741, exceeding the previous mark of 723 (in 2015-16 and 2016-17).

The league is driving big numbers on TV, as well. TNT said its NBA on TNT game telecasts averaged 1.7 million, its most-watched NBA regular season coverage since 2013-14.

ESPN said its NBA viewership for the 2017-18 NBA regular season was up across platforms..

ESPN averaged 1,628,000 viewers across its 87-game schedule this season (the most games ESPN has ever aired during the regular season), up 4% from 1,566,000 last season.

ESPN said its NBA game audience was up in all of the following key demos

• M25-54 +16%
• P25-54+ 10%
• M18-49+  9%
• M18-34 +5% 
• P18-34+ 4%

According to Burke Magnus, ESPN evp-programming & scheduling, “It was a compelling NBA season from start to finish with the emergence of new NBA championship contenders, more star power and some terrific, top n

Entering the post-season, the NBA said that team rosters (active and inactive) for the 2018 NBA playoffs would feature a record 62 international players from a record 33 countries.

All 16 teams competing in the playoffs will feature at least one international player.

The Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers have an NBA-high seven international players each. The Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs each have six. The Spurs’ 2014 NBA Championship team featured a record nine international players during the playoffs.
 
The most-represented countries among the 62 international players on playoff rosters are France and Australia (seven players each), followed by Canada (four players), Spain (four players), Turkey, Croatia, Cameroon and Brazil (three players each). 

Among other highlights from the 2017-18 regular season:  

NBAStore.com established a new record this season with overall sales up 25% over the 2016-17 season.
 
NBA League Pass set a record for worldwide digital subscriptions, up 63 percent over last season, after introducing new features this year including in-arena coverage during all breaks, a new season long virtual reality subscription package, monthly pricing options and Spanish-language video for select games.

The league surpassed the 22 million mark for the first time, reaching a total of 22,124,559 in attendance. That topped last year’s record of 21,997,412.
 
• The league established new records across social media this season for actions (+25%, 808 million) and video views (+43%, 11 billion).

• Since the end of the 2016-17 regular season, the NBA said that 8.7 million new followers have joined the NBA’s social media community.

• Overall, the league has more than 1.5 billion likes and followers combined across all league, team, and player social platforms worldwide.

The NBA said that LeBron James is the most-followed American athlete on social media among the four major U.S. sports, with more than 100 million followers combined across Facebook (23 million), Twitter (41 million) and Instagram (36 million).

By comparison, actor/WWE star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has more than 173 million followers across those three social media channels: Facebook (57.3 million), Twitter (12.8 million) and Instagram (103 million).

Highest NBA Regular-Season Total Attendances All-Time
1. 2017-18: 22,124,559
2. 2016-17: 21,997,412
3. 2015-16: 21,972,129
4. 2014-15: 21,926,548
5. 2006-07: 21,841,480
 
Highest NBA Regular-Season Average Attendances All-Time
1. 2017-18: 17,987
2. 2016-17: 17,884
3. 2015-16: 17,864
4. 2014-15: 17,826
5. 2006-07: 17,757

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