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NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe delayed by sun issue, to resume at midnight

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STATELINE, Nev. — The NHL had postponed the starts of games and delayed play briefly during games because of weather on multiple occasions while playing outdoors 30 times from 2003-20.

But it had not delayed play for a significant amount of time during a game until it suspended the Bridgestone NHL Outdoors Saturday between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights after the first period because of the sun causing poor ice conditions.

The Avalanche lead 1-0. Play is scheduled to resume at midnight ET.

“I guess, it was just, our number came up,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said.

Daly explained to NHL.com why the NHL decided to start the game on time at 3 p.m. ET, suspend it after one period and resume it at midnight, and to delay the start of the Honda NHL Outdoors Sunday between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers, originally scheduled for 3 p.m. ET and then rescheduled for 2 p.m. ET because of sun in the forecast, to 7:30 p.m. ET.

NHL officials went through a detailed planning process Friday night and Saturday morning. The most current weather forecasts called for conditions to be partly cloudy with temperatures in the 30s through midafternoon Saturday, but sunny with temperatures in the 40s Sunday.

Daly said NHL officials decided Saturday morning to start the Saturday game on time and push back the Sunday game.

NHL senior manager of facilities operations Derek King is in charge of the rink, built on the 18th fairway of the golf course at Edgewood Tahoe Resort. His adviser is NHL vice president of facilities operations Dan Craig.

“They were confident that if we had partly cloudy weather and the temperatures remained in the 30s, we shouldn’t have a problem getting through the game,” Daly said. “So today was, based on the information we have, make the best decision we can and move forward. Tomorrow was going to be problematic, and that’s why we made a decision this morning that we were going to postpone tomorrow’s game until the sun goes down. We won’t have a sun issue. That was the decision and thought process.”

Daly said it was sunnier during warmup Saturday than NHL officials would have liked, but there was cloud cover during the latter part of warmup and during the ice maintenance between warmup and the opening face-off.

“Unfortunately, after that, we didn’t get any more cloud cover,” Daly said. “The ice became problematic early on, and that was solely because of the strength of the sun. Obviously, you saw we were having issues in the first period with players not being able to maintain their footing, particularly around the logos (which absorb sunlight because of their darker color). We made the determination that it wasn’t safe to continue on.”

NHL officials consulted with King, the teams, the NHL Players’ Association and the TV networks before suspending the game and setting the restart time.

Why midnight ET, or 9 p.m. local time? King wanted to protect the ice with insulated blankets until the sun went down, and then the ice crew would need time to repair the surface.

“Really, it was a question as to whether we would try to go later tonight or very, very early tomorrow morning,” Daly said. “The throwing around was a 7 a.m. puck drop tomorrow morning for periods two and three. Ultimately Derek kind of steered the decision, because his feeling was he could get the ice in shape if he had enough time today to drop the puck tonight, and that by doing that and finishing that game tonight, we wouldn’t jeopardize what he needs to do to get prepared for tomorrow’s 4:30 [p.m. PT] game. So that’s how we arrived at the times and dates we arrived at.”

Daly said the NHL intends to play the final two periods and any overtime that might be required Saturday.

“Every single outdoor game we have and we stage, there’s an element of uncertainty as to whether we’re going to be able to pull it off, successfully complete it, whether that means start on time, finish on time, whether we’ll be able to play the game at all,” Daly said. “We’ve been fortunate that to this point we’ve never lost a game.”

Source: – NHL.com

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CFL to return in August

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The Canadian Football League (CFL), which saw its entire 2020 campaign wiped out by the COVID-19 outbreak, said on Monday its board of governors voted unanimously to kick off a shortened 14-game season in August.

The CFL, whose biggest source of revenue comes from ticket sales rather than TV deals like those enjoyed by larger U.S.-based leagues, also said fans will be able to return to the stands in line with provincial guidelines.

“This is an exciting day for Canadian football and for Canada itself,” CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a news release.

“I want to thank our fans, players, coaches, and partners for their incredible support and patience as we’ve worked together towards this day.”

The season will begin Aug. 5 while the Grey Cup championship game will be played Dec. 12 in Hamilton, Ontario.

The full schedule will be released on Tuesday along with each of the league’s nine team’s plan for distributing tickets to season ticket holders and, where government restrictions on stadium capacity allow, ticket sales to the general public.

After first delaying its 2020 season, the CFL decided to scrap it entirely following a last-ditch effort to secure financing from the Canadian government to stage a shortened campaign that would have been held entirely in Manitoba was turned down.

The CFL had previously said it would only move forward with a 2021 season if it could secure the government approvals for its plans to keep players and coaches safe and the green light to allow a “significant” number of fans to attend games.

“We are on track to receive all of the necessary health and safety approvals, thanks to our tireless medical advisers and staff, and the dedicated government officials who have been working with them,” said Ambrosie.

“And while the outlook for fans in the stands varies from province to province, we are confident that process is also on the right track.”

 

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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Mixed Martial Arts-Door is open for YouTube’s Paul brothers in MMA

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Logan and Jake Paul would make great Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, Bellator president Scott Coker has said as he targets exhibition matches featuring the YouTube personalities such as the former’s boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather.

Logan Paul went the distance, surviving eight rounds against unbeaten (50-0) five-division world boxing champion Mayweather in an exhibition on Sunday at Miami’s Hard Rock stadium.

USA Today reported the fight brought in one million pay per view buys with $50 million generated from sales in the United States.

It was only the second fight of Paul’s career, while his brother Jake has fought in three professional boxing matches, beating former MMA fighter Ben Askren in April.

Critics have labelled the bouts a sideshow due to the lack of sporting credibility of the duo, who made their names as social media personalities and have millions of subscribers on YouTube.

However, Coker told Reuters the brothers have impressive physiques and the door is open for them to move into MMA.

“I met with Logan Paul about two years ago and I’ve spoken to Jake Paul’s manager and Jake on a zoom call recently… The one thing I said was hey, if you want to do MMA we would love to promote you guys,” the 58-year-old said in a Zoom interview.

“These guys are young, athletic, strong and you saw the fight on Sunday night these guys they came and did their work.

“Mayweather couldn’t finish him and I know he tried, I heard he wanted to knock this kid out so bad,” he added.

“When I heard both had high school wrestling backgrounds in Ohio, which is a prominent wrestling state in the U.S., it really made me interested in pursuing them in some super fights in Mixed Martial Arts – and that door is continually open.”

HEADLINE FIGHT

Bellator, owned by Viacom, is gearing up for a busy month of events, starting with Bellator 260 on Friday with the headline fight between reigning welterweight world champion Douglas Lima and the undefeated Yaroslav Amosov.

However, super fights and exhibitions are where Coker is targeting a younger audience.

“My 14-year-old niece, I told her I was going to the Logan Paul fight and she thought that was the greatest thing,” he said.

“She asked me who he was fighting and I said Floyd Mayweather and she said ‘who’s that?’ – I thought wow, she doesn’t know boxing, she doesn’t know MMA, she’s just a 14-year-old girl on the internet doing what they do.”

As the sporting world gears up for the delayed Tokyo Olympics starting in July, Coker believes MMA will feature in future Games.

“When you think about mixed martial arts, what you’re talking about is boxing, wrestling, judo, taekwondo, karate – those are all Olympic sports,” he said.

“Why wouldn’t mixed martial arts eventually get into the Olympics because six out of the seven disciplines MMA is known to use really is already there.

“There’d be a lot of details to work out but to me I think it will happen, it’s just a matter of time.”

 

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge,; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships, the International Skating Union (ISU) said on Wednesday, after the 2020 event Canada was to host was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The championships will return to Montreal from March 18-24, marking the 11th time Canada has staged the event.

“Skate Canada has a proven track record of holding successful ISU events and we are looking forward to bringing the world’s best skaters to the fantastic Canadian city of Montreal,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO of Skate Canada, in a statement.

 

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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