The Atlanta Braves took more economic hits from the coronavirus pandemic in the July-through-September quarter, according to financial results disclosed Thursday by team owner Liberty Media. With a shortened schedule and no fans in the stands at Truist Park, the Braves' revenue for the third quarter declined 48 percent, falling to $110 million from $212 million in the same period last year. The quarterly financial results, while an improvement over those disclosed earlier for the April-through-June period, did nothing to alter expectations that many MLB teams, including the Braves, are likely to reduce spending on players during the offseason. “The reality is baseball lost a lot of money this year, and unless fans are in the seats next year, it will be a challenging business as well,” said Liberty Media president and CEO Greg Maffei. “The long-term reality must be that if there is not as much revenue coming in, it’s likely to put pressure on what teams can pay for players.”
Pac-12′s football opener canceled by virus
After laying out out an “extreme” coronavirus testing policy last month in the hopes of allowing its football teams to play this season without many interruptions, the Pac-12 season failed to get off the ground before its first cancellation when Saturday’s opener between California and Washington was called off at the Golden Bears’ request when one of their players tested positive, resulting in the isolation of a number of other players.
Clemson cuts men’s track and field, cross country
Facing a loss of $30 million to $50 million in athletic revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic, Clemson’s board of trustees announced it was ending the school’s men’s track and field and cross country programs after this academic year. Men’s track and field has been part of the Tigers' athletic department since 1953, winning 23 combined Atlantic Coast Conference team championships. The move affects 26 scholarship athletes and 25 more walk-ons. The school said all scholarship grants will be honored as long as those students remain on campus and all affected coaches' contracts will be honored. Women’s track and field and cross country remain part of the school’s 16 athletic teams. Athletic director Dan Radakovich said the move came after months of studying the situation. “We concluded that discontinuing our men’s track and field program is in the best long-term interest of Clemson athletics,” Radakovich said in a release . . . William & Mary has reversed a Sept. 3 decision to cut three men’s sports — gymnastics, swimming and track & field — and will support the programs through at least the 2021-22 academic year while developing a financial plan to keep them sustainable. It followed a similar pivot the school made Oct 19 to reinstate four women’s sports that had been cut due to COVID-related financial shortfalls . . . Christian Miller, a 21-year-old University of Nebraska wrestler from Plainview, Neb., who was part of the program for four seasons, died in a car accident Thursday morning in Lincoln. Miller was part of the wrestling program for four seasons.
Revolution II’s Firmino a finalist for USL honor
Nicolas Firmino, 19, a New England Revolution II midfielder and Homegrown Player from Somerville, Mass, was named a finalist for the 2020 USL League One Young Player of the Year Award, given to the league’s top player born on or after Jan. 1, 1998. Firmino, who led the Revolution II with four goals and two assists to claim the team’s Golden Boot as its leading overall scorer, joined Justin Che (North Texas SC), Edison Azcona (Fort Lauderdale CF), and Chris Brady (Forward Madison FC) as finalists for the USL award which will be announced Nov. 12 . . . Harry Kane scored his 200th goal for Tottenham in a 3-1 road victory over Ludogorets in the Europa League . . . Aiming to open player agents to more scrutiny, FIFA said it wants to publish lists of their clients and how they earn fees that were worth $650 million last year. FIFA has long tried to put a cap on agents' cuts of transfer fees and player salaries, and now hopes to approve global regulations it can start enforcing next year.
Blue Jackets sign D Gavrikov for $8.4 million
The Columbus Blue Jackets signed defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov to a three-year, $8.4 million contract. He’ll make $2.8 million a year through the 2022-23 season. The deal locks up the 24-year-old Russian, who was among the NHL’s top rookie defensemen in goals, assists and points last season. Gavrikov had five goals and 13 assists with 18 penalty minutes in 69 games with Columbus in 2019-20. He added a goal and a pair of assists in 10 playoff games. Gavrikov, a 6-foot-3-inch, 213-pound restricted free agent, was regarded as important element in the team’s defensive rotation for the future, skating behind star blueliners Seth Jones and Zach Werenski. “Vladislav Gavrikov was everything we hoped he would be during his rookie season last year, establishing himself as a top four defenseman in the National Hockey League,” Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “He is still a young player that we expect will get better every year.” . . . The New York Rangers avoided arbitration with center Ryan Strome, agreeing to terms on a $9 million, two-year contract. The 27-year-old set a career high last season with 59 points on 18 goals and 41 assists. Strome has 254 points in 491 career regular-season games with the New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers and Rangers.
Nadal reaches Paris Masters quarterfinals
Top-seeded Rafael Nadal stayed on course for an elusive first title at the Paris Masters after beating Jordan Thompson 6-1, 7-6 (3) to reach the quarterfinals. Nadal has won 86 career titles, including 35 in Masters events, but lost his only final at the Bercy Indoor Arena in Paris 13 years ago. Nadal, a 20-time Grand Slam champion who on Wednesday became only the fourth man to reach 1,000 match wins, next faces Spanish countryman Pablo Carreno Busta . . . Saudi Arabia will host a Formula One race in the Red Sea city of Jiddah in November 2021, a move aimed at attracting well-heeled globe-trotting visitors and raising the kingdom’s profile internationally as a tourist destination. Arab Gulf locales including Manama, Bahrain, and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, already host F1 races.