Media & Technology: Sports Media
TCF Bank Stadium Switches to Grass for Soccer Match
by Rexford Sheild July 2014
For the first time since the stadium opened in 2009, TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Gophers, is installing grass over the top of the stadium's synthetic turf for a soccer matchup on Saturday that features two of the most premier teams from Europe. Manchester City, champions of the English Premier League this past season, will face off against Olympiacos, winners of the Superleague Greece, as part of the the second annual Guinness International Champions Cup tournament.
The tournament takes places in 12 cities and 13 stadiums in both the United States and Canada. Prior to Saturday's matchup, Manchester City plays Liverpool at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night coming off a 5-1 victory over A.C. Milan at Heinz Field on July 27, while Olympiacos will be idle, but did drop their last contest, losing to Liverpool at Soldier Field, 1-0, on Sunday as well.
"Because you end up running 7, 8 miles in a soccer match running on [synthetic] turf is not good for your legs," tournament spokesman Harrison Raboy said. "They play on grass, and that's the most natural playing surface for soccer."
Furthermore, University of Minnesota athletic department spokesman Dan Reisig noted the sod used is a bit thicker than what you normally might see in a backyard, and the process of installing the grass was, as Reisig called it, a "pretty significant effort."
After the match concludes, North America Soccer League members, Minnesota United and Ottawa Fury, will follow, with a fan's ticket being valid for both contests. While athletes are typically more used to natural grass as a playing surface, Reisig acknowledged that the installation will not be a permanent fix.
Rexford Sheild is an intern with Athletic Business.
Want to Buy the Bills? You Have Until 5 p.m. to Bid
by Tim Graham, News Sports Reporter July 2014
The NFL's regular season doesn't begin until September. But the bidding process to buy the Buffalo Bills kicks off today. Prospective buyers have until 5 p.m. to notify financial firm Morgan Stanley they intend to remain in pursuit.
Conference USA Leaders: Stipends 'The Right Thing To Do'
by Harry Minium July 2014
IRVING, Texas | Conference USA has agreed to pay athletes in at least some sports the full cost of attending college, a decision that could cost schools, including Old Dominion, an average of $500,000 per year, league commissioner Britton Banowsky said. Speaking at C-USA football media day, Banowsky said conference presidents and athletic directors agreed during a retreat last year that providing the stipend "was the right thing to do."
Mountain West Commish Describes 'Precarious Position'
by Taylor Bern July 2014
Craig Thompson is entering his 16th season leading the Mountain West. He's the only commissioner the league has ever had, and on Tuesday at the Cosmopolitan he briefly discussed that past before moving to the topic the assembled media was more interested in: the future. Many conversations about the future of college athletics are broken into the haves and the have-nots. The Mountain West is part of the latter, one of the five FBS-level conferences that could be left behind if the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC would decide to form their own league.
Sterling Files Suit; Rivers to Quit as Coach if Owner Stays
by From staff and wire reports July 2014
In Brief In brief: Doc Rivers will quit if Donald Sterling stays with Clippers NBA: The interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he will quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team.
Columnist: No End in Sight for Dodgers TV Frustrations
by Jim Carlisle July 2014
Back in the day (as the kids say — or used to until just now when I said it), the Dodgers were almost a radio-only enterprise. Well into the 1970s, the only games the team ever televised were those from San Francisco.
ACC Network Makes Sense, But Several Caveats Remain
by Naples Daily News (Florida) July 2014
Expansion has, for the foreseeable future, run its course. While college athletics is entering a period of widespread and uncertain change, the ACC has achieved stability. The biggest question facing the conference now is a simple one.
High School Sports Talk Coming to The Comcast Network
by Daily News Staff Report July 2014
THE SPORTS FAN Base Network (SFBN), an online sports network that began live streaming area high school sports in 2012, will debut a high school sports talk show on The Comcast Network (TCN), according to an SFBN release.
ESPN, Comcast Deal to Put SEC Network in 46M Homes
by Post & Courier staff report July 2014
ESPN and Comcast Cable have reached an agreement to carry the SEC Network, meaning the new sports network will be available to more than 46 million households.
March Madness Threatens Proposed Scholarship Changes
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports July 2014
It's no secret that preserving March Madness has been a priority throughout the stages of NCAA governance reform. It's also no secret why. Television and marketing rights fees related to the iconic NCAA men's basketball tournament -- currently in the middle of a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal with CBS Sports and Turner -- account for 90% of the NCAA's annual revenue. Each time a commissioner from one of the Power Five conferences -- the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern -- hinted at the idea of splitting from the NCAA and forming a so-called Division IV, March Madness was brought up as the main counter. The argument being: The NCAA tournament wouldn't be nearly as exciting nor as profitable with teams only from Power Five conferences. Would it have the same appeal without the Butlers and Virginia Commonwealths? Without the parity in the sport that allows for upsets to happen? Of course not.