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L.A. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer closes $400-million deal to buy The Forum – The Globe and Mail

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Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, seen here on Nov. 14, 2019, is buying the Forum for $400 million.

The Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer on Monday completed his purchase of The Forum from Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. for US$400-million.

Newly created Forum Entertainment LLC will continue operating the building that opened in 1967 as a concert venue. The current management team will remain in place and report to Gillian Zucker, president of business operations for the Clippers.

All of The Forum’s California-based staff are expected to stay on as employees of the new company and help with the transition.

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“The talented team at The Forum has created a world-class live entertainment venue, and we are committed to building upon that reputation,” Zucker said in a statement.

The Clippers’ plans for a new, privately financed NBA arena in Inglewood near The Forum are progressing, with public hearings slated to start this summer. The Clippers said that having a basketball arena and The Forum under the same ownership will allow for co-ordinated programming between the venues, improving traffic congestion around basketball games and concerts.

Last year, the Forum hosted nearly 100 events, including concerts, boxing and mixed martial arts. It was previously the home of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and NHL’s Los Angeles Kings until both teams moved to Staples Center in downtown LA in 1999.

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A Look at the Betting Market after Single Game Bets Open Up

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There has been one significant event happening in Canada sports betting this year, and that is the legalization of single event betting. The momentum this has created can be felt even at the end of 2021, with provinces across the country embracing this new form of sports gambling operations in earnest.

 

The governments of British Columbia and Ontario have been among the early adopters of fully-scaled single-event betting. There are numerous reasons for this to be the case, but mostly – there is a pent-up demand for more flexible betting events as people have been gladly taking up the opportunity to place single wagers..

Has There Been an Increase in Betting Activity After Legalization?

The easiest way to gauge whether sports betting has truly picked up in Canada is to look at the numbers as they are able to reveal all there is to know. Ontario, a province that previously posted a modest sports betting handle, has been able to collect $1 million in total sports betting wagers in just a week of opening sports wagering on single events.

 

The province clocked a total of $6 million for its first full month of sports gambling since Federal Bill C-218 made its way through the legislature and became law in August 2021. Ontario has also demonstrated the importance of interactive gambling as the leading segment for sports bettors.

 

Not only have sports fans in the province been far more inclined to place a wager – but they are also opting for remote gambling opportunities as well. According to official data released by the province for the first month of betting, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation argued that 77% of all bets were handled via its online sportsbook.

 

The OLG has also released a survey examining consumer trends in the province and Canada in general. The corporation found out that 62% of all people interviewed said they were MORE likely to make a single-event bet as opposed to the parlays which were allowed before that.

The Potential of the Legalized Single-Event Betting Market in Canada

Potential is usually a difficult word to pinpoint. Canada is enjoying steady gains in its sports betting market precisely because it has chosen the pandemic as a period not to rue but to re-focus its efforts on bringing more up-to-date legalization that has had some significant gains.

Speaking about the sports betting industry’s true potential, there have been many positive signs. For example, numerous stakeholders have applied aggressively to partner up with the state-controlled businesses as private licenses are still being examined.

 

Companies have predicted that sports gambling in Canada could be worth at least $2 billion, which makes for a significant and very welcome chunk of money if the industry’s full potential is ever reached. To get to these numbers, though, provinces will have to continue with their legalization push making sure that their operations are up to the required standards.

British Columbia and Ontario clearly lead the way in terms of early adoption and a desire to be pushing their operations even further.

 

A Final Word on Single Event Betting in Canada

The betting market in Canada after the opening up of single-event betting looks fantastic. There are multi-million untapped opportunities yet to be enjoyed, and that is precisely what many provinces, stakeholders, and sports fans are trying to get into.

 

Of course, sports fans will have to wait. For Canada now, it will be important to leverage its single-event sports betting industry well and limit access to offshore betting not through re-regulating the industry entirely but rather by offering great options that are much closer to home as well.

 

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Schwarber hits grand slam, Red Sox hammer Astros to take ALCS lead – Sportsnet.ca

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BOSTON — Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez walked off the mound with a six-run lead and a message for Carlos Correa and the rest of the Houston Astros:

Now it’s Boston’s time.

Tapping his wrist to mimic Correa’s Game 1 celebration, Rodriguez rode four more Boston homers — including Kyle Schwarber’s record-setting grand slam — to a 12-3 victory Monday night as the Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series.

The taunt drew a rebuke from Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who reminded his pitcher that they still need two more wins to advance to the World Series for the fifth time since 2004. Games 4 and 5 are at Fenway Park on Tuesday night and Wednesday.

“It’s not that I’m mad at him,” said Cora, who was celebrating his 46th birthday. “We don’t act that way. We just show up, we play, and we move on.”

One game after J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers each hit grand slams, Schwarber hit a second-inning 3-0 pitch 430 feet into the right field grandstand.

Boston is the first team ever with three slams in a postseason series.

“Electrifying. It’s unbelievable,” outfielder Alex Verdugo said. “You can have a big swing and get four runs in on just that one play — it’s huge.

“It’s one of the best plays in baseball, man. You give up a grand slam, it takes a lot out of you,” he added. “And just to kind of keep stepping on their neck and adding the pressure, it’s huge.”

Martinez and Devers each homered again, Christian Arroyo also hit one, and Kike Hernandez had two more hits for Boston, which opened 9-0 leads and coasted to victory in back-to-back games. Right fielder Hunter Renfroe ended it with a diving catch of Correa’s sinking line drive.

“They count as one (loss),” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “We come back and win tomorrow and the series is even. You don’t like it tonight, but you come back in the morning.”

Rodriguez gave up five hits, including Kyle Tucker’s three-run homer, and struck out seven. He retired Correa to end the sixth and let the Astros shortstop know that his gesture in Game 1 was not appreciated.

Cora chastised Rodriguez before giving him a hug when he reached the dugout.

“He just told me `Don’t do that,’” said Rodriguez, who said he would apologize to Correa if he sees him. “It was something that was part of the moment. But (Cora) just told me, ‘We don’t do that here. Stay humble. Just go out there and play hard every time.”’

“Besides that,” Cora said, “he was outstanding.”

Correa said he “loved every single bit of it.”

“It’s just the way baseball should trend, moving forward,” he added. “You need to let the players have fun.”

Boston matched a franchise record with its seventh straight postseason win at home. The Red Sox had 11 hits in all, becoming the first team in major league history to reach double digits six straight times in a single postseason.

Hernandez, who has 18 hits during the playoffs and is batting .500 — both leading the majors — left the game after six innings.

Asked why, Cora said with a smile: “He has been running the bases a lot in the last few days, or weeks, or whatever.”

The Red Sox capitalized on two Astros errors and the struggles of Houston starter Jose Urquidy, who gave up six runs, five earned, on five hits and two walks, striking out one in 1 2/3 innings.

Rodriguez, who missed all of last season with COVID-related heart problems, retired the first six batters before running into the trouble in the third, when Tucker made it 9-3.

His outing enabled Cora to keep Nick Pivetta fresh for a Game 4 start.

ERRORS

To the delight of the Fenway fans, who targeted him with profane chants for his role in the Astros 2017 cheating scandal, Jose Altuve struggled at the plate and in the field.

A Gold Glove and AL MVP-winner, the three-time batting champion went 0 for 4 and let Arroyo’s chopper bounce off his chest for an error with the bases loaded in the second inning. One batter later, Schwarber hit Boston’s third grand slam in 11 innings.

The Red Sox, who only had three grand slams during the regular season, matched the 1998 Atlanta Braves as the only clubs to hit three in a single postseason. Boston has 20 homers this postseason, matching the 2004 Astros for the most through the first eight games of the playoffs, per MLB.com.

Altuve also waved at a throw from Martin Maldonado on Hunter Renfroe’s stolen base in the third; the error went to the catcher. The throw to third was also wild, but the Astros were saved another error when the ball missed the dugout and bounced off the padding back toward the field.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: Baker said outfielder Jake Meyers, who injured his left shoulder crashing into the wall in Game 4 of the Division Series, is doing better and could start as soon as Tuesday.

UP NEXT

The teams play Game 4 on Tuesday night. The Red Sox are expected to rely on Pivetta, who was 9-8 with a 4.53 ERA in the regular season. Houston will call on RHP Zack Greinke, with RHP Cristian Javier ready to follow the veteran. Greinke has been limited over the past two months due to a neck issue and a positive COVID-19 test.

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Canada's women's team drops third straight game with 8-0 loss to Drumheller Dragons – The Globe and Mail

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The Drumheller Dragons held Canada’s women’s hockey team off the scoresheet Monday, blanking the national squad 8-0 in a tune-up game.

Adam Raesler scored a hat trick for the Alberta Junior Hockey League side, while Luke Fennig added a pair of goals. Ty Daneault, Grayson Dietrich and Ty Whitford all scored singles.

Canada’s Kristen Campbell stopped 19-of-22 shots in two periods of work and Emerance Maschmeyer made six saves in relief.

Eric Ward saved all five shots he faced in 29 minutes of play for the Dragons and Garrett Fuller finished out the game, making six stops.

Neither side capitalized with the man advantage, with Team Canada going 0 for 3 on the power play and Drumheller going 0 for 2.

Canada has now lost three games in a row to junior-A hockey teams as it prepares for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

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