NCAA makes a change to March Madness, and exercise tracking and social sharing platform Strava raises $110 million.
March Madness Bubble
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
The NCAA is relocating 13 sites around the country scheduled to host preliminary rounds of the 2021 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament to a single geographic area due to COVID-19. The 2020 event was among the first major sports casualties of the pandemic when it was canceled on March 12.
2021 March Madness Plans
NCAA is in “preliminary talks” with Indiana and the city of Indianapolis to host the 68-team March Madness tournament.
Indianapolis was already set to host the Final Four from April 3-5.
New plan is intended to limit travel and provide a safe and controlled environment for practice and game venues, medical resources, and lodging for teams and officials.
Early-round matchups were previously set to take place in Idaho, Texas, Michigan, Rhode Island, Kentucky, North Carolina, California, Kansas, Colorado, Minnesota, New York and Tennessee.
If vaccines are widely available before next summer, the IOC would work with national Olympic committees to distribute it to athletes and carry some of the costs — but vaccination wouldn’t be a requirement for all participants, as has been speculated.
Prior to the official delay of the games in March, Japan had expected approximately 600,000 foreign visitors and over 11,000 athletes to attend the 2020 event originally set to take place July 24 to Aug. 9. The new event will take place July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021.
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Like many online fitness platforms, Strava has found success amid the COVID-19 pandemic as people look for ways to stay connected with their fitness communities. The app has also found a new use as a home for virtual races.
Strava by the Numbers:
70 million users across 195 countries.
Added more than 2 million athletes per month in 2020.
94% of Strava users who set a goal remain active nine months later.
Freemium subscription model with $7.99 monthly/$60 yearly paid tier.
LSU mishandled sexual misconduct complaints against students, including top athletes, according to a USA Today investigation.
The NFL is looking to conclude its season without going into a bubble environment, but would consider one for the playoffs if necessary to hold them without interruptions.
The Miami Marlins officially introduced Kim Ng as MLB’s first female and Asian-American general manager. In a press conference, Ng spoke about her perseverance and being a source of hope for other underrepresented candidates.
Mark Buehrle, Tim Hudson, Torii Hunter, Nick Swisher and Barry Zito are among the new names on the 2021 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.
Women In Esports On Fundamentals
In tomorrow’s episode of Fundamentals at 12 PM ET, Front Office Sports and PittsburghKnights are giving you the chance to learn from three women spearheading the esports space.
Sign up for an email reminder before we go LIVE with Senior Esports Community Manager of Hi-Rez Studios Auverin Morrow, Director of Communications at PittsburghKnights Angelica Sirabella, and Shooting Guard for the Washington Mystics Aerial Powers.
The Dow Industrials and S&P 500 both rose after positive study results for another potential COVID-19 vaccine was announced. Here’s a look at how sports-related stocks performed today.
Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have been approved to take 100% control of the fifth-tier Welsh soccer club Wrexham AFC. The team was previously owned by a fan-controlled non-profit.
Peloton and 24-time Grammy award-winning singer Beyoncé have a multi-year content partnership that includes elements to honor Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Beyoncé is the most-requested artist among Peloton’s 3.6 million-plus users.
UFC’s pay-per-view business has been resilient in the pandemic, even when it comes to the number of bars and restaurants hampered by social distancing and occupancy guidelines meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.
What To Watch
Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears: Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is looking for his first-ever win in his 10th try on “Monday Night Football.” Chicago (5-4) will try to end a three-game skid and Minnesota (3-5) is aiming to extend its winning streak to three games.