Posts tagged with "sports"

Western River Expeditions

One river rafting company anticipates one of its best years in its history is just around the bend, thanks to the unprecedented strength of its early season bookings.
 
Western River Expeditions reports that its 3, 4, 6 and 7-day Grand Canyon trips for 2020 are full on many dates. And 2019 is already completely sold out. Western River is taking a wait list for spots that open up due to cancellations.
 
Opening day to place 2020 reservations was Nov. 15, 2018. “We booked over 1,000 seats on that day alone,” says Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions.  “Online bookings are way up, with over 70 percent of some trips being booking online. Compared to the 40 percent average norm, this is a huge increase!”
 
He adds that, “other rivers are also seeing booming interest and bookings.” Bookings for 2019 five-day trips on Desolation Canyon, Green River are up three-fold over 2018. ”We have as many bookings for Desolation Canyon now as we usually end the year with.”
 
Other rivers favored in this booking uptick, comparing same time 2018 and 2019 include 

Lake attributes these record sales in part to:

  • Good overall US economy (to this point),
  • Swell of retiring Baby Boomers,
  • Popularity of the bucket list and desire to experience lifelong dreams like running the Grand Canyon and Cataract Canyon, 
  • Increasing interest in National Parks, particularly Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park which many guests visit while in Moab, Utah, before their trip to Desolation Canyon or Cataract Canyon.
  • Many new, excellent accommodation choices and availability for pre- and post-trip stays on adventures that depart from Moab, Utah (Cataract Canyon and Desolation Canyon). 

For those chomping at the bit to get on a raft in 2019, Western River advises that people call soon to reserve their space. “There are still some spots on some of our most popular expeditions and this is going to be an incredible year to experience the river.”
 
Lake explains that Western River is bound by the permits granted to them. These permits limit the number of guests that can travel with them each year. “This number doesn’t change, but guest demand for what is essentially a limited opportunity does.”
 
Utah’s Cataract Canyon, deep within Canyonlands National Park, is near enough in scale, appearance and proximity to the Grand Canyon that it works the same kind of magic found in the Grand herself. Just one canyon upstream on the Colorado River in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park is hands down the best alternative to a Grand Canyon rafting vacation,” he says.
 
Farther north from the confluence, Utah’s Desolation Canyon was carved by the 730-mile Green River, born from glacial melts on the Continental Divide in the Wyoming Rockies. The Green has created such rare and unique universe that Desolation Canyon has been named to the National Register of Historic Places. The Green’s whitewater promises soft adventure thrills over 60 fun-filled Class II and III rapids.
 

Calling Desolation Canyon “the ultimate, back-country family river trip,” Jason Taylor, an operations manager who oversees all of Western River Expeditions’ trips in Utah, noted that the five-day program is appropriate for children as young as 5. It’s also a great river trip for extended families and first-time rafters.
 
For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2019 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

Prince Debuts Updated Tour Racquet

WHO/WHAT: Prince Tennis, the American-born leading global racquet sports brand is excited to partner with Lucas Pouille, top 30 ATP player, to debut the updated Tour 100P racquet at the tournament in Australia. The new Tour racquet launches with the global campaign, Live the Tour: Any Shot, Anywhere, which features a behind the scenes look into Lucas’ training and preparation leading into the upcoming season.

Developed with TeXtreme x Twaron, the Tour 100P is designed to further enhance the incredible feel and support of the popular Tour racquet. The new TeXtreme material increases laser-like precision while the addition of Twaron provides greater vibration damping for a better feel and sound. In addition, the new TourSeries re-introduces the O3 technology with the O3 Tour 100 bringing the benefits of an expanded sweet spot and more forgiving impact feel. These new racquets will provide the player with the confidence to hit any shot from anywhere on the court.

The new updated Tour will be available at Tennis Warehouse for $189.

SHOP: www.TennisWarehouse.com/Prince

VIDEO: Live The Tour: Lucas Pouille

Welterweight World Championship: Pacquiao vs. Broner

Power, speed and a clash of styles will be on display this month when two of boxing’s biggest stars go toe-to-toe for the welterweight world championship. Ending his two-year hiatus from a U.S. boxing ring, boxing’s only eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao returns to defend his WBA welterweight title against former four-division world champion and must-see attraction Adrien “The Problem” Broner.  Broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Pacquiao vs. Broner,” and its co-featured fights, will be shown on big screens across the nation.

Tickets for “Pacquiao vs. Broner” can be purchased online at www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices now.

The live broadcast of “Pacquiao vs. Broner” presented by Fathom Events and SHOWTIME PPV, is set for Saturday, January 19 beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 8:00 p.m. CT / 7:00 p.m. MT / 6:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. AK / 4:00 p.m. HI. Boxing fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 350 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). A complete list of theater locations is available on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Pacquiao, 40, is coming off a vintage performance in Malaysia in July where he stopped Argentine slugger and world champion Lucas Matthysse inside seven rounds to regain the welterweight title for a fourth time. Broner, one of the most talented fighters in boxing, is aiming for his second stint as 147-pound champion. If victorious, Broner also will add a career-defining win against a first-ballot Hall of Famer to his already stellar resume.

A three-time Fighter of the Year and the Boxing Writers Association of America’s reigning Fighter of the Decade, Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, is the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title. Pacquiao’s boxing resume features victories over at least seven current and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, and Juan Manuel Marquez.

Cincinnati’s Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) is a former four-division world title holder and one of boxing’s most popular and colorful personalities. The brash and outspoken 29-year-old has faced some of boxing’s best en route to winning titles at 130, 135, 140 and 147 pounds, including Mikey Garcia, Paulie Malignaggi and Shawn Porter. Broner, who will face his 10th world champion in Pacquiao, scored a draw in his last fight in April on SHOWTIME against former two-division world champion Jessie Vargas.

“Boxing fans have been eagerly awaiting Pacquiao’s return to a U.S. boxing ring and we are proud to partner with SHOWTIME PPV, to bring it to local cinemas,” said Ray Nutt, Fathom Events CEO. “Fight fans won’t want to miss this match-up of two of boxing’s biggest stars – live and larger-than-life on the big screen.”

2nd Annual Golf Kitchen Punta Mita

Punta Mita is set to host the second edition of Golf Kitchen Punta Mita event on April 25-28, 2019. Golf Kitchen Magazine and Punta Mita developer DINE co-host this special four-day, three-night event that blends the best of the region’s destination golf and gastronomic experiences with the help of a crew of visiting chefs from esteemed golf clubs in the US and Latin America.

“We are thrilled to collaborate once again with Golf Kitchen Magazine’s Diana DeLucia in creating the 2nd Annual Golf Kitchen Punta Mita Gastronomic Extravaganza,” said Carl Emberson, Director of Marketing and Operations at Punta Mita. “This special event showcases the very best cuisine the Golf Club industry offers in the Americas.”

Punta Mita’s own Executive Chef Pato Pérsico will serve as host chef for Golf Kitchen Punta Mita, leading a welcome dinner at the new Pacifico Beach Club that honors “The Cuisine of Latin America” with dishes created by guest chefs from the Americas. Creative mixologists, live music, and house DJ Omar will keep the energy high all night long.

Talented chefs representing many prestigious golf clubs will team up to create unforgettable brunches, lunches, dinners, and tasting menus throughout the course of the event:

Dining takes place in some of Punta Mita’s most beautiful settings including the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and St. Regis Punta Mita Resort. Click here for the event’s full culinary agenda.

Golf fanatics will enjoy the event’s two-day Golf Kitchen Cup that plays out over Punta Mita’s two Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses – Bahia and Pacifico. The cup event kicks off with a Four-Hole Chef Cup Shootout where seven guest chefs escape the kitchen to show off their skills on the links. Click here for the event’s full golf agenda. The event wraps at Kupuri Beach Club with a delicious gala featuring a dine-around tasting pool party with a silent and live auction to raise funds for local charities Peace and The Fundación Punta de Mita.

Golf Kitchen Punta Mita offers a selection of packages that include the following options for both golf and culinary events:

Stay Golf Kitchen Package:

  • 3-night accommodation at St. Regis Punta Mita Resort
  • Participation in the two days of Golf Tournament
  • Kitchen Experience: access to all featured culinary events
  • Complimentary roundtrip airport transfers
  • Cost per golfer is $1,888 USD including taxes and service charges
  • Cost per non-golfer is $1,699 USD including taxes and service charges

Play Golf Kitchen Package:

  • Participation in two days of Golf Tournament
  • Kitchen Experience: access to all featured culinary events
  • Cost is $888 USD per person including taxes and service charges

Kitchen Package:

  • Participation in the Kitchen Experience including access to all culinary events
  • Cost is $588 USD per person including taxes and service charges

For reservations, please contact events@puntamita.com. For more event information, visit golfkitchenpuntamita.com.  For more on the event read this article that features the inaugural event in 2018.

2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Former champions Lemi Berhanu and Worknesh Degefa will be among the powerful elite line-up when the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon celebrates its 20th edition on the streets of the UAE on January 25.

The two Ethiopians – winners in 2015 and 2017 respectively – are key figures in the roll of honour of the Middle East’s biggest mass participation event, the only IAAF Gold Label Marathon in the region.

Lemi has performed well on the global stage but his best performances have always been on the flat and fast streets of Dubai. As well as winning the title four years ago in a time of 2h:05m:28s, he set his personal best at the event when as defending champion he finished runner-up in 2016 in 2h:04:33.

Still only 25, Lemi has also competed at World Championship level and at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Like an increasing number of elite runners, he has also prospered at the marathon distance in China, winning the Hengshui title with 2h:08m:51s in September 2018, the Xiamen Marathon in 2017 (2h:08m:27s) and the 2014 Taiyuan Marathon (2h:13m:10s).

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and staged under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the 2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will welcome a number of the world’s best athletes as the marathon celebrates its 20th anniversary with elite fields in both the men and women’s races.

Among the leading elite women in the line-up, Worknesh Degefa who stunned the athletics world in 2017 by winning on her marathon debut in Dubai. The Ethiopian caused quite an upset beating a strong field of experienced marathon runners in a time of 2h:22m:36s although she was disappointed 12 months later.

Running in the defence of her crown Worknesh set a new personal best 2h:19m:53s yet failed to break into the top three as the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon once again proved its strength in depth with four women breaking the 2h:20m – the first time the feat has ever been achieved in one race.

“It’s very unusual that a runner will break the 2:20 mark and not win a marathon,” said Event Director Peter Connerton. “But that just shows how deep the quality runs in our elite fields. Last year we had seven men break 2h:05m – a unique result in marathon history – so the athletes competing in Dubai know they have to be at their very best to get among the medals.”

The elite marathon athletes will get their race underway at 6am on January 25, five minutes after the wheelchair athletes take to the course. The mass marathon field will face the starting gun at 7am with the 10km Road Race beginning at 8.30am and the 4km Fun Run at 10.30am. Runners looking to register can still do so by visiting the official website www.dubaimarathon.org.

In addition to Standard Chartered as title sponsor, the Dubai Marathon is supported by the Dubai Sports Council, adidas, Dubai Eye 103.8FM, Aquafina and Gatorade, Dubai Holding, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality and the RTA.

BEST CITIES TO VISIT IN 2019

From cities that may be closer to home to exciting overseas destinations, these are some of the top places to visit in 2019.

Auckland, New Zealand

The vibrant capital city of New Zealand recently became one of just 31 cities that are part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network for music. This trending travel destination is home to many of the nation’s renowned artists and institutions. No matter when you visit you can expect to find fabulous live tunes and there’s likely to be a music festival or special event to enjoy too. Visitors can also look forward to the famous panoramic vistas from the iconic Sky Tower and exploring countless museums like the Auckland Art Gallery, the largest art institution in the country featuring more than 15,000 works of historic, modern and contemporary art.

Chicago, Illinois

The Windy City has been popping up on lists of top travel destinations everywhere in recent years, and for good reason. It’s one of America’s top foodie cities, with high quality dishes served at all price points from deep dish pizza to hot dogs and fine dining at the two Michelin-starred Acadia. Chicago is also home to one of the world’s greatest museums, the Art Institute of Chicago and five pro sports teams: the MLB’s White Sox and Cubs, the NFL’s Bears, the NHL’s Blackhawks and the NBA’s Chicago Bulls making it easy to catch a game just about anytime of the year. There’s so much to do in this midwestern city you might just find yourself browsing through Chicago real estate looking for your next new home.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is a place everyone should visit at least once and 2019 may be one of the best times to check this Argentinian city off your travel bucket list. Airfares are lower than ever thanks to low-cost carriers and emerging airlines, and the dollar is incredible strong against the Argentinian peso too, making that famously tasty Malbec more affordable than ever. Look forward to walking through the delightful pedestrian areas and watching tango dances in the streets as you explore the wealth of wine bars, cafes and steakhouses.

Berlin, Germany

There are two important anniversaries in Berlin that will be marked in 2019, including the 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the centenary of the Bauhaus, with its festival held from January 16 to January 24. Stroll through Berlin Mitte, the historical heart of the city. and you’ll be able to check out many of its top sites like the Brandenburg Gate, the iconic symbol of Berlin that symbolizes the reunification of the West and East. If you visit in September, the weather is not only likely to be ideal, but you can attend the Lollapalooza Berlin, hosted on September 8 and 9 in 2019. It’s sure to bring plenty of big-name artists – last year’s lineup included headliners like Imagine Dragons and Liam Gallagher. It also features an open-air art gallery, street theater, wine bars and a festival for kids.

NBA All-Star Captain Odds

Bookmaker.eu has released odds on who will captain the 2019 NBA All-Star Teams. The captains will be the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes in his conference. The NBA All-Star game starters, including the two captains, will be announced on January 24th. For the first-time ever captains will take part in a televised draft to select their teammates for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.

Current Odds: https://www.bookmaker.eu/live-lines/basketball/nba-special-props?c=1-2

Who will be the NBA All-Star Western Conference Captain?

Lebron James +200

James Harden +200

Kevin Durant +300

Stephen Curry +500

Anthony Davis +1000

LaMarcus Aldridge +1200

Chris Paul +1300

Russell Westbrook +1300

Who will be the NBA All-Star Eastern Conference Captain?

Jimmy Butler +400

Kawhi Leonard +400

Kyle Lowry +500

Kyrie Irving +500

Joel Embiid +500

Giannis Antetokounmpo +500

Ben Simmons +600

Blake Griffin +700

NBA Expands Second Annual Jr. NBA Global Championship

The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced details of the second annual Jr. NBA Global Championship, a youth basketball tournament for the top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls teams from around the world that will be held Aug. 6-11 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla.  Thirty-two teams will participate in a week of on-court competition and off-court programming centered on the Jr. NBA’s core values of teamwork, respect, determination and community.

The NBA will introduce a new layer of local competitions, including more than 20 local tournaments – 14 of which will be hosted by NBA teams in their respective markets – to expand the pool of participating boys and girls teams in the U.S. The Dallas Mavericks will host a local qualifying tournament and teams that win at The Sportsplex Dallas, March 22-24th, 2019, will receive an automatic bid to Jr. NBA Global Championship South Regional Tournament in Dallas, June 7-9th, 2019. 

Long-time league partner and leading basketball stakeholder USA Basketball will enhance all domestic competitions and help increase accessibility by accrediting local tournaments, again licensing participating coaches, supporting all eight U.S. regional tournaments and promoting best practices through the implementation of the NBA and USA Basketball Youth Guidelines.

Qualifying competitions will tip off in January 2019 and run through June 2019.  In the U.S., the winning boys and girls teams from each of the new local tournaments will advance to one of eight regional tournaments in the spring.

The international competition, which will once again leverage the Jr. NBA’s extensive global reach, will expand to additional countries and territories. Top players from the Caribbean will now have the opportunity to compete alongside players from South America for a chance to represent Latin America in the Jr. NBA Global Championship. The Asia Pacific regional competition will expand to include youth from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The winning boys and girls teams from each of the eight U.S. regional tournaments (Central, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, Northwest, South, Southeast and West) and the boys and girls teams representing the eight international regions (Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, China, Europe & Middle East, India, Latin America, and Mexico) will receive all-expenses-paid trips to compete in the culminating event in Orlando.  U.S. teams will have the opportunity to register online for a chance to compete in their respective regional tournament.

The Jr. NBA Global Championship will feature boys and girls divisions, separated into U.S. and international brackets that begin with round-robin play and continue with single-elimination competition.  The winners of the U.S. and international brackets will play in the global championship games on Aug. 11.

FOX and FS1 will televise the Jr. NBA Global Championship in the U.S. as part of the multiyear partnership launched last year, while Tencent, the Exclusive Official Digital Partner of the NBA in China, and China Mobile Migu, the Official Telecom Carrier Immersion Platform of the NBA in China, will livestream the Jr. NBA Global Championship in China.  Additional international media partners will be announced at a later date.

More than 300 boys and girls from 35 countries participated in the inaugural Jr. NBA Global Championship in August 2018.  During the weeklong event, all 32 teams participated in off-court activities including life skills sessions, Disney park visits, a community service project, and educational meetings with current and former NBA and WNBA players and coaches.  The Central girls (Kansas City, Mo.) defeated the Europe girls team 68-38, while the Central boys (Overland Park, Kan.) defeated the Africa & Middle East boys team 60-50 in the global championship games.

More information about the Jr. NBA Global Championship and dates for the U.S. regional tournaments can be found atJrNBA.com/GlobalChampionship.  Registration for teams to compete in the Jr. NBA Global Championship is not yet open but those that sign up online will be notified as soon as registration information is available.

QUOTES:

NBA President, Social Responsibility & Player Programs Kathy Behrens:

“We are looking forward to building on the success of the inaugural Jr. NBA Global Championship to host another best-in-class event.  The expanded programming and new strategic partnerships will allow more youth players from around the world to participate in this year’s event and have the opportunity to showcase their talents on a global stage.”

USA Basketball Chairman and Jr. NBA Leadership Council Chairman Retired General Martin E. Dempsey

“The Jr. NBA Global Championship is taking another positive step forward by bringing together several of basketball’s leading stakeholders to advance and grow the game at the youth level.  The expanded Jr. NBA Global Championship, along with the USA Basketball U.S. Open Basketball Championships, will continue to promote age-appropriate rules, playing standards and safe play to help young players develop on and off the court.”

Three-time NBA Champion and Jr. NBA Global Championship Ambassador Dwyane Wade:

“I attended last year’s Jr. NBA Global Championship and it was incredible to witness the talent and passion displayed by boys and girls from around the world.  This event offers a unique opportunity for young players to learn about different cultures while bonding through their love of the game.”

WNBA Champion and Jr. NBA Global Championship Ambassador Candace Parker:

“I’m thrilled to return as an ambassador for the Jr. NBA Global Championship, which is an amazing showcase and development opportunity for talented young players.  I’m proud to support a program that will help advance the growth of girls basketball at all levels.”  

Miami Dolphin’s Kenyan Drake

Miami Dolphin‘s running back Kenyan Drake showed off his defense skills last night as he attempted to devour 5 lbs. of Smokey Bones’ signature dishes benefitting his charity of choice!

Fans crowded the Smokey Bones location in Plantation, FL, to meet the running back who scored the game-winning touchdown defeating the Patriots. Attempting to add Competitive Eater to his title, Kenyan Drake accepted Smokey Bone’s Charity 5 Pound Eating Contest challenge, which included 2.5 lb. Slab of House Smoked Baby Back Ribs, 1 lb. Smoked Pork Chop, ½ lb. Premium Burger and 1 lb. of freshly made donuts.

Kenyan Drake fasted all-day in preparation for the contest and started off strong but didn’t make it to halftime. However, for his participation, Smokey Bones donated $5,000 to his charity of choice— The Boys & Girls Club of Broward County “I chose to benefit The Boys & Girls of Broward County because it hits home. I grew up closely with the organization in Atlanta and they work to enable all young people, especially those in need, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens,” says Kenyan. Smokey Bones’ CEO, Ryan Esko along with a few children on behalf of the charity presented the check to Kenyan.

Canucks Place Brendan Leipsic On Waivers

By Reid Urban

The Vancouver Canucks have placed forward Brendan Leipsic on waivers today. Leipsic did not play in their most recent game and will most likely be sent to the minors if he clears waivers.

Unfortunately, Leipsic has not made an impact so far this season on head coach Travis Green and the rest of the Canucks coaching staff. He came over from the Vegas Golden Knights last season, but hasn’t put up the numbers they expected out of him. He’s had limited minutes and when he has played, he has only five points to show for it. The move was made in anticipation of Jay Beagle finally coming back into the lineup, while the Canucks also felt that they needed to see some development in Adam Gaudette.

Leipsic could potentially go to another team, as two offensive talents recently swapped teams via waivers. However, there doesn’t seem to be as much interest in Leipsic. If that’s the case, the Utica Comets, the AHL affiliate of the Canucks, could be getting a huge boost in their offensive lineup. Through 188 career regular season AHL games, he has 159 points. However, his last stint in the AHL came during the 2016-17 season. We’ll see if he can turn it around at the AHL, assuming he is not claimed before he clears waivers.