Flu deaths rise when cities get pro sports teams: study

New research has implications for reopening arenas to fans during COVID-19 pandemic

Flu deaths rise when cities get pro sports teams: studyWhen one of the big four professional sports leagues in North America expands into a new market, it brings with it an increase in influenza-related deaths, according to a sport management researcher looking to inform the conversation around getting sports fans back in stands in the midst of a pandemic. “We wanted to find out…

Hosting NHL playoffs could help Edmonton attract investment

Marketing wins outweigh limited economic benefits for city, province and Oilers, according to U of A sports management researchers

Hosting NHL playoffs could help Edmonton attract investmentIf Edmonton is selected as one of the two host cities for the 2020 National Hockey League playoffs, the big winners will be the province's health-care system and its ability to attract talent, according to a pair of University of Alberta sports management researchers. However, with no fans in the stands and participants all but…

How to satisfy sports fans’ burning desire for games

How to satisfy sports fans’ burning desire for gamesDesperate times call for desperate measures. Or, as they say in pro sports, desperate times call for divisional realignment. With the COVID-19 pandemic having applied the brakes to (virtually) everything sporting since early March, fans are going stir crazy. So, with hints that U.S. President Donald Trump might do a limited reopening of economic activity…

David Ayres story is why we love sports

The emergency NHL goalie did what every sports fan wishes they could do every time they watch the best of the best play

David Ayres story is why we love sportsI can’t get enough of the highly improbable David Ayres story. A 42-year-old kidney transplant recipient – and until recently a Zamboni driver for a minor league hockey team – who hadn’t played in a hockey game, at any level, for five years, enters a National Hockey League game in the second period, stops eight…

Corporate raiders are at the gates of pro sports

The future of franchise-based leagues and pro tours may hang in the balance as big-money investors look to strip out superstars

Corporate raiders are at the gates of pro sportsIn business they’re called corporate raiders. People who buy up a publicly traded stock whose assets are thought to be undervalued. They then strip out the valuable assets and sell them at a large profit, leaving the shell of a company behind. The world of sports has been largely immune to raider capitalism so far.…

The future of pro sports? Just look at the NBA

But the NHL, the league that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity, will sit back and let others get the gravy

The future of pro sports? Just look at the NBAIf there were a handicapping contest on who has the best handle on the future between the major sports leagues in North America, there’s little doubt the title would go to the National Basketball Association under its dynamic commissioner Adam Silver. When it comes to innovation, it’s “Hi-ho Silver away.” Silver, who replaced David Stern…

The truth behind Mike Babcock’s firing

Petulant, indifferent young stars are in charge, thanks to their huge contracts. Coaches pay the price

The truth behind Mike Babcock’s firingOn his voyage from coaching sage to the most ignorant coach to ever stand behind a National Hockey League bench, Mike Babcock learned a few important things. Principally, he learned that a coach’s job security is governed by winning. If you don’t win, you will be replaced. No news there. But he also understood that…

How to fill the void left by Don Cherry

How to fill the void left by Don CherryThe man voted the seventh-most famous Canadian has finally talked himself out of his job as hockey analyst/cranky old guy to the nation. To the utter confusion of people outside Canada, the removal of a TV figure has convulsed the nation. After 38 years, he is no more. Confession: I did an entire chapter on…

Cherry’s rant closes curtain on his career

Cherry was fired for making controversial remarks about immigrants; Trudeau was re-elected after it was revealed he wore blackface 3 times. Ironic?

Cherry’s rant closes curtain on his careerDon Cherry, one of Canada’s best-known media personalities, was fired by Sportsnet after a rant about immigrants, poppies and Remembrance Day. His termination shockingly happened mere hours after the memorial ceremonies had ended. Was it justified? When it comes to this bombastic, politically incorrect and controversial figure affectionately known as “Grapes,” shades of grey barely…

Don Cherry is long past his due date

As Sportsnet trims costs and their cantankerous commentator missteps, the outcome seems likely

Don Cherry is long past his due dateYou have to hand it to Don Cherry. Only the bombastic star of Coach’s Corner could give the cause of the war dead a bad name. Cue Saturday night’s Hockey Night In Canada. Cherry had exchanged his usual floral table cloths for a blazer with a military crest to recall Remembrance Day. Much to the…
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