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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• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.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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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
May162018

WNBA GMs Pick Sparks For Championship, Maya Moore MVP, A’ja Wilson Top Rookie

NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

May 16, 2018:
The WNBA’s 22nd season is about to begin (May 18), which gives the league’s 12 GMs the opportunity to look ahead and make predictions about the best of the best for the coming campaign.

Among the standouts: The Los Angeles Sparks were picked to win their fourth WNBA championship, Maya Moore of the defending champion Minnesota Lynx was selected as the favorite for WNBA MVP, A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces was favored for Rookie of the Year honors and two-time WNBA Coach of the Year Cheryl Reeve of the Lynx was cited as the best coach, according to the 2018 WNBA.com GM Survey.

Among the GMs, 33% predicted a title for the Sparks, which won championships in 2001, 2002 and 2016.

Last year, Los Angeles lost a five-game Finals series to Minnesota, which has won four championships in the last seven seasons.

The Lynx were the second choice to win the 2018 title (28%), followed by the Phoenix Mercury (17%), Connecticut Sun (17%) and Dallas Wings (8%).
 
Moore, the 2014 WNBA MVP, was top pick for the 2018 MVP with 33% of the vote, one of eight players to receive consideration. 

The Mercury’s Brittney Griner (17%) was second.

Moore was also named as the player the GMs would most want taking a shot with the game on the line (58%).

The Atlanta Dream were recognized as the most improved team (50%) and the team that made the best off-season moves (50%).

That included signing veteran free agents Renee Montgomery and Jessica Breland and re-signing  Angel McCoughtry, the two-time WNBA scoring leader and four-time All-WNBA selection, who sat out the 2017 season for health reasons.

A’ja Wilson of the relocated Las Vegas Aces (from San Antonio), the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm, was the clear favorite to earn WNBA Rookie of the Year honors, receiving 83% of the vote.

Kelsey Mitchell (Indiana Fever) was second (17%).

Las Vegas’ Kelsey Plum tied with Atlanta’s Brittney Sykes (25% each) as the player most likely to have a breakout season.

Seattle’s Sue Bird, who last year tied Tamika Catchings for the most All-Star Game selections (10) in WNBA history, received the most votes as the best leader (75%), the player with the highest basketball IQ (67%) and the best at making her teammates better (58%.

She also tied with Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot as the league’s best passer (42% each).

Seattle’s Breanna Stewart. the 2016 WNBA Rookie of the Year and an All-Star in 2017, was named as the player the GMs would start a franchise with if they could sign any player (42%).

The GMs voted the Lynx as the team with the best home-court advantage (92%) for the fourth year in a row.

The 2018 WNBA regular season runs through Aug. 19. 
 
Complete results of the survey are here.

WNBA Hires Brand-Building Firm To Reimagine League

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