- U. of Arizona Puts Student Stadium Fee on Hold
by Carol Ann Alaimo February 2016
University of Arizona students won't be forced to pay for upgrades to the school's football stadium -- at least not yet. UA athletics director Greg Byrne has put the brakes on his proposal to charge incoming students a mandatory $200-a-year fee to help renovate the aging Arizona Stadium.
- Is Public Funding for College Athletics the New Normal?
by Annie Knox February 2016
College sports in Utah are a step closer to another infusion of public money. And some lawmakers expect this new trend to stick. Weber State University and Southern Utah University athletics are poised to share at least $1.3 million after winning early approval in a Friday legislative panel. It's the second year university athletics will gobble up a share of state money ccc that's as long as lawmaker adhere to recommendations from the Higher Education Appropriations Committee. "Athletics a lot of times is the front porch. It really represents the curb appeal" of universities, said committee member Dan McCay, a Riverton Republican. "I think it is important to be good to our student-athletes. They provide a lot."
- Opinion: Taxpayers Shouldn't Pay for Sports Facilities
by Greg Lawson February 2016
The Cleveland Browns are an institution in northern Ohio. What would an NFL season be for Ohioans without the rabid "Dawg Pound" barking for their beloved Browns and howling at the hated Pittsburgh Steelers on a cold, blustery Sunday afternoon? Of course, the state's proud football tradition has given Ohio not one, but two NFL teams -- and the good citizens of Cincinnati are no less crazed for their Bengals. Ohio, it seems, has its cat people and its dog people -- the makings of a beautiful, cross-state rivalry.
- Major League Football Funding Falls Through
by Katy Bergen February 2016
A multimillion-dollar investment deal for Major League Football, the new professional football league set to commence its first season here this month, has fallen through. Major League Football, which has operated in Lakewood Ranch since August 2015, alleged Monday that Clairemont Private Investment Group, the Texas-based firm that had pledged to invest $20 million in the upstart league by Feb. 1, has breached its agreement. "It is hard to understand the egregious conduct on the part of Robert Queen Jr., Clairemont's chairman, who provided us with repeated assurances that Clairemont would timely close on the agreement," Major League Football President Wes Chandler said in a statement Monday.
- School Board OKs Business Signs at Sports Venues
by Kelley Bouchard February 2016
SoPo School Board considers a controversial proposal to seek business sponsorships with signs displayed at Martin Field and inside Beal Gym. Also, authorizing the super to negotiate a contract with WBRC Architects and Engineers for a middle school study. SOUTH PORTLAND -- By next fall, players and spectators can expect to see commercial signs at Martin Field and Beal Gymnasium after a divided Board of Education endorsed a plan Monday night to expand advertising for corporate sponsorships. The board voted 4-3 after a somewhat heated debate over the ethical, aesthetic and budget implications of allowing the athletic department to sell business signs at the field and gym at South Portland High School. "This is a way of showing our support and I think a lot of people would want to do that," said board member Libby Reynolds, who voted for the plan with Karen Callaghan, Mary House and Chairman Richard Matthews.
- Seniors Go Topless to Fundraise for Rec Center
by Emily Attwood October 2015
Looking for a creative way to raise some extra funds for your recreation center project? Pilot Mound, small town in Manitoba is raising some eyebrows with its latest initiative — selling calendars featuring topless men in “flirty” poses.
- Proposed St. Louis Stadium Finds Naming Sponsor
by Jason Scott October 2015
The proposed riverfront football stadium in St. Louis got a cash infusion late yesterday, as Missouri governor Jay Nixon’s stadium task force unveiled a $158 million sponsorship deal.
- Sponsored Video: How to Make a Daktronics Video Board a Reality for Your High School
by AB Staff August 2015
This sponsored content was paid for by Daktronics. What is sponsored content?
Thanks to Daktronics, video technology once reserved for the biggest and best professional venues is now possible at high schools everywhere. In this exclusive video, AB brings viewers on an all-access look at Daktronics headquarters in Brookings, South Dakota and shows how the company is bringing the professional game day experience to the prep level.
You'll learn how high schools are implementing video boards into their athletic events and academic curriculum, benefiting students beyond the playing field. Plus, see how Daktronics can help schools of all sizes (and budgets) afford a video board.
- Missouri Board OKs $15M for Stadium Construction
by Jason Scott August 2015
In an effort to retain the Rams or lure another NFL franchise to the city, a Missouri board approved $15 million in tax credits on Tuesday to help build a new football stadium in downtown St. Louis.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, along with the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, proposed the new stadium along the Mississippi River to counter the Rams’ possible move back to Los Angeles, where Rams owner Stan Kroenke has proposed building a $1.8 billion stadium.
As Fox Sports reports, the Missouri Development Finance Board approved the $15 million tax credit plan, despite opposition from board member and Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder. The sports authority plans to request an additional $17.5 million in tax credits in each of the next two years, bringing the total to $50 million.
The proposed riverfront project is estimated to come with a $998 million price tag. A plan presented to the board on Tuesday laid out a way to raise another $610 million, utilizing funds from an NFL team owner, an NFL loan program, and the sale of seat licenses. Under that plan, the state would need to issue another $201 million in bonds, and $187 million in tax credits and other incentives.
Lawmakers who oppose the plan, including Representative Jay Barnes, issued a lawsuit saying that a taxpayer-funded stadium project should have approval from the state legislature.
“If you want to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, you cannot move forward on this proposal as it is presented,” Barnes said to members of the board.
While some members of the legislature have vowed to fight funding the new stadium, members of the board praised the plan as a boost to the economy.
“Our singular focus ought to be what’s best for the economic development of the state of Missouri,” said board member Reuben Shelton.
- The AB Extra: June 26
by Laura Godlewski June 2015
This week's AB Extra features controversy over a future Olympic stadium, Duke's Coach K's secret Twitter account and a new technology that will be used in Major League Baseball based off of video games.
Criticism Over 'Bike Helmet' Shaped Olympic Stadium
Even though the summer Olympics in Japan are still five years away, the country is facing major backlash over the design of the new 80,000-seat Tokyo stadium.
It's been likened to a bike helmet, a spaceship and a turtle and almost every major Japanese architect has criticized the design, made by architect Zaha Hadid.
Criticism has gone past the design, as well. The first design, which has since been refined, cost $2.4 billion. The original price tag was twice the allocated amount for the stadium, which many thought wasn't a good choice for a country still dealing with the aftermath of a major earthquake and tsunami. Additionally, a public housing project will have to be torn down so the stadium can be built.
The stadium will hold the 2019 rugby World Cup final, will serve as the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics and will host all of the Olympic track and field events.
Rappelling Down a Building to Raise Money for YMCA
What heights would you be willing to go to in order to participate in a fundraiser? Some people in Duluth, Minnesota will be rappelling down a nine-story building in the city to raise money for the Duluth Area Family YMCA.
To be eligible to rappel, participants must raise $1,000 and pay a $50 registration fee. They will be lowered down the Sellwood Building by rope-trained professionals from a company called Over the Edge, which uses these rappelling events to help fundraisers.
The rappels will take place during the Sidewalk Days event and have been taking place during the event for the past several years. This is the first year the Duluth Area Family YMCA will receive the money from the fundraiser.
According to Katie McBride, the marketing director for the Duluth Area Family YMCA, “The money is going to go towards youth programing, things like getting new programs for our youth, getting youth to be able to have memberships or camp scholarships, and for Mentor Duluth to be in the schools. So it’s really going towards the youth here in the community.”
Scary Mascot for Scottish Soccer Team
Fans of Partick Thistle F.C. might be in for a bit of a shock if they happen to see the team's new mascot Kingsley at a game.
The new mascot came after the team signed a sponsorship deal with US investment firm Kingsland Capital. It was designed by artist David Shrigley, the new mascot and revealed to the public earlier this week, leading to thousands of comments on social media sites.
The original tweet introducing Kingsley has amassed nearly 4,000 retweets on Twitter.
According to Shrigley, “He represents the angst of being a football fan – which anyone who has supported Partick Thistle over the last few decades understands.”
It's not entirely clear what the mascot is supposed to be, it's been compared it to a very unusual looking sun while some say it resembles a Simpsons character. We'll let you be the judge
Duke's Coach K Has Secret Twitter Account
You won't find Duke University's men's basketball Coach Krzyzewski on Twitter under his real name, but he says he does have an account under an alias so that he can monitor his players on the social media site.
Coach K says he doesn't care about having his own official Twitter account or having thousands of followers, but he does care about what his players are tweeting.
"I tell my guys I’m following you. Then if I see something, you text them, you gotta watch. But there are a lot of cool things that they do. I do like that they do it.”
It's no secret to his players that he does this says Former Duke player Jahlil Okafor. “Everybody knows. When we’re on the bus, we always see his phone. He has the words really big. So we don’t know his Twitter name but we know he sees us on Instagram, we know he sees us on Twitter.”
Hopefully Coach K has passed along our blog post on the 9 Social Media Dos and Don'ts for Student-Athletes to his players!
New App Is 'Tinder for Athletes'
A Miami-based startup is building a new app called Sportsbuddy, which will match people in the same area based on their relative skill in a particular sport or physical activity, such as yoga.
After creating a free profile on the app, you select a sport to play and the "smart matching" technology suggests people who are nearby and are at a similar skill level. Once you invite someone to play, you can chat through the app to decide where to meet.
After meeting, users rate their match. This information is kept confidential but is used to better match people in the future.
There are currently seven sports categories including tennis, golf, soccer, yoga, running, basketball, gym and an "other" option. More will be available soon.
New Technology Could Give Insights Into Pitchers’ Mechanics
Michael Eckstein was at a business lunch with executives from the Philadelphia Phillies when he got the idea for Kinatrax, a technology that uses cameras positioned throughout a ballpark to capture the pitcher's motion and produces biomechanical data on the pitcher's form.
Eckstein based the technology off of the Microsoft technology called Kinect, which is a motion-capture system used in conjunction with XBOX 360 that allows users to control video games with their movements. Eckstein wanted to use this same idea but in a larger format to capture a pitcher's motion during games to understand the mechanics they use to throw the ball.
The technology, which uses ultra-high speed cameras, was successfully tested at the New York Mets' Citi Field while the team was away playing games. The Tampa Bay Rays will be the first team to use the technology at their stadium during a game.
The Kinatrax generates thousands of data points that can give insight into a pitcher's form and may also predict who might be at a greater risk for injury based on how they throw.
Check out a video of the technology in action below.