La Liga Given Green Light To Resume On June 8 From Spanish Prime Minister

World-class athlete Lionel Messi and Barcelona could be returning to the pitch in just a few weeks.
And whether you argue that he or Cristiano Ronaldo is the best footballer on the planet, you’ll be happy to hear that Spain’s La Liga has received the green light to resume play very soon.
The soccer league on Saturday announced that Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed La Liga would be cleared to resume its season as early as June 8.

The Spanish government has given the green light for the return of professional sport – including #LaLigaSantander and #LaLigaSmartBank – as of June 8th, following guidelines from the Ministry of Health.#BackToWin pic.twitter.com/OjjV61pnBf
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) May 23, 2020

Per ESPN’s Alex Kirkland, the league hopes to come back on June 12, with a rivalry game between Sevilla and Real Betis anticipated to be the first match played.
The 2019-2020 La Liga season was suspended on March 12 with most of the other sports leagues across the globe. It will be the second of Europe’s five elite soccer leagues to return to play, followed by the German Bundesliga which ended its hiatus last Saturday.
Spain was hit pretty hard by the pandemic, with over 282 thousand confirmed coronavirus cases and over 28 thousand deaths in a country with a small population of 46 million.
As for when or if Ronaldo and Juventus, there’s no word yet on when or if Italy’s Serie A will finish its season.
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NHL Rumors: What Early Playoff Matchups Might Look Like Under 24-Team Plan

The NHL and its players took another step forward Friday evening in establish a course of action to return to play.
The NHLPA accepted the league’s proposal of a 24-team format as part of its proposal to return to play. There still are details to be hashed out, so nothing is official at this point, as things likely will continue to be discussed and possibly reworked.
That said though, here is a framework that SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman reported was under consideration by the league (each team’s seed is in parenthesis).
Eastern Conference
— Pittsburgh Penguins (5) vs. Montreal Canadiens (12); winner plays Philadelphia Flyers (4)
— Carolina Hurricanes (6) vs. New York Rangers (11); winner plays Washington Capitals (3)
— New York Islanders (7) vs. Florida Panthers (10); winner plays Tampa Bay Lightning (2)
— Toronto Maple Leafs (8) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (9); winner plays Boston Bruins (1)
Western Conference
— Edmonton Oilers (5) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (12); winner plays Dallas Stars (4)
— Nashville Predators (6) vs. Arizona Coyotes (11); winner plays Vegas Golden Knights (3)
— Vancouver Canucks (7) vs. Minnesota Wild (10); winner plays Colorado Avalanche (2)
— Calgary Flames (8) vs. Winnipeg Jets (9); winner plays St. Louis Blues (1).
Again, a lot of these details could change over the coming weeks and days so exact framework is confirmed at this point. The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun pointing out a couple potential things that’ll be discussed.

Aside from the bracketing versus re-seeding decision, another open issue on the 24-team format: whether the first round of the actual playoffs (16 teams) should be the normal best-of-7 or instead a best-of-5 like the play-in series beforehand…
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 23, 2020

However, this all reinforces the league’s commitment from the day it paused to figure out a way to play out the rest of the season and award the Stanley Cup.
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NBA Rumors: Players Not Keen On Frequent Full Nasal Swab COVID-19 Tests

A condition of the NBA making a return was a need for increased access to coronavirus tests so that the league isn’t taking them from  citizens in need.
So as the league starts to lay out its steps to return in a centralized location, potentially the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., players will need to be tested on arrival at the campus site as well as frequently thereafter to ensure the safety of everyone involved — especially since players reportedly will be allowed to come and go.
The league expects to offer official guidelines for franchises to recall players on June 1, but for now its surveying teams about various logistics still up in the air.
That includes testing, and according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, players are not keen on the full nasal swab test.
“Players are resistant to the full nasal swab coronavirus test: As a result, the league is working on acquiring more comfortable testing via saliva or via the tip of the nose,” Charania on Saturday reported.
Who could blame them?
The deep nasal swab test, called a nasopharyngeal swab, requires doctors to stick a long Q-tip as far as it will go into a person’s nose to collect a culture sample from the uppermost part of the throat behind the nose.
Subjecting players to that on a daily, or even semi-regular basis, might be reason for some to perhaps not want to play at all.
Fortunately for players, there are other options out there, and the NBA reportedly is in talks with national coronavirus testing providers to find the best one.
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NBA Rumors: League Surveyed GMs On Different Return To Play Formats

It’s starting to look like the NBA season will resume at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., as the league on Saturday confirmed.
What the format will look like when basketball does return, however, is still being deliberated on. Will they go straight to the playoffs? How many teams will be included in the tournament if so? And what potential modifications to the current playoff structure will be made?
Apparently, the NBA surveyed its general managers Friday night to get their input on the various return-to-play scenarios, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Here are the formats and options the league presented:
— Advance straight to NBA Playoffs: This option would take 16 teams, based on the standings as they were March 12, and throw them into a four-round, best-of-seven playoff series structure.
— The “Playoffs Plus” scenario: The number of teams would be expanded either via a play-in tournament for teams on the bubble of qualifying to decide official seeding, or by replacing the first round of the postseason with a group stage, similar to the World Cup where each team plays two games against each group opponent, with the top two advance to a second round.
With this option, the league also polled general managers about how many teams should be included, 18, 20, 22 or 24?
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— Resume regular season: All 30 teams play the same number of games.
— Resume regular season with a play-in tournament: A traditional playoffs would follow all 30 teams playing the same number of games with a play-in tournament determining official seeds.
— The “Playoffs Plus” play-in scenario: A play-in tournament determines the seven and eight seeds, or a group stage to replace the first round.
— Number of scrimmage games prior to league return: two, three, four or five
— Total regular season games: 72 or 76
— Playoff format: Traditional (East/West conferences) or reseed all teams
— Latest possible end dates: Labor Day, Sept. 15, Oct. 1, Oct. 15 or Nov. 1
The NBA will convene again with its Board of Governors call on Friday, May 29 to discuss everything further.
At this time, it seems like the league expects for teams to get back together for a two-week training camp in their market before a two-week quarantined training camp at the venue the NBA selects as its centralized location.
Some teams, like the Boston Celtics and others in areas hit harder than most by the virus, have asked to bypass their team’s cities all together and recall players directly to the return-to-play campus.
Per Charania, more clarification and updates are anticipated next week.
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Eli Manning Joins Twitter, And Tom Brady Immediately Had Perfect Response

Eli Manning might be a little late to the game when it comes to joining Twitter, but a delay to get going hasn’t really stopped him before.
The now-former New York Giants quarterback recently signed up for the social media platform, and upon doing so, Tampa Bay Buccaneers signal-caller Tom Brady had a pretty great response to Manning’s first tweet.

Welcome @EliManning, In typical fashion, you never showed up until the 4th quarter anyway https://t.co/Wbun1VS2A0
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) May 23, 2020

Of course, Brady is poking fun at his two losses to the Giants in Super Bowls while with the New England Patriots. In both of those meetings, the Giants, led by Manning, pulled off come-from-behind wins thanks to New York scores in the fourth quarter.
Brady’s response prompted Manning to joke about “The Match,” the golf game between Peyton Manning/Tiger Woods and Brady/Phil Mickelson set for Sunday.

Hope your golf game is as polished as your Twitter game. Don’t hit it in the lumberyard. https://t.co/SaPL34P2T2
— Eli Manning (@EliManning) May 23, 2020

Fantastic.
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Tom Brady’s Ex-Teammate Predicts QBs To Approach ‘The Match’ Golf Showdown

Expect Tom Brady to play to win Sunday.
Former NFL wide receiver Wes Welker predicted Friday the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback will be “ultra-competitive” when he and Phil Mickelson face Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning in “The Match: Champions For Charity.” The and NFL and golfing greats will hit the links at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla., with all proceeds from their matchup benefitting COVID-19 relief efforts.
“He’s (Brady) more of a serious-type guy, wants to win, is ultra-competitive, and there’s gotta to be money on the line,” Welker said. “Peyton, there’s not as much gambling going on. It’s more about playing golf and let’s see who wins.”
Welker, who played with both Brady on the New England Patriots and Manning on the Denver Broncos,” suspects Brady will lash out at his equipment if he struggles during “The Match.”
“If he starts hitting bad shots and it gets bad, they’re going to get thrown or broken, for sure,” Welker said.
Brady has been trolling Manning and Woods ahead of the showdown. The chirping has been good natured, but no one should be surprised if and when Brady strikes a more serious tone once he arrives at the first hole.
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NBA Confirms It’s Looking Into Restarting Season At Walt Disney World Resort

The 2019-20 NBA season might be finishing up at the happiest place on earth.
Like every other paused sports league in the world, the NBA is trying to figure out how to safely restart its campaign amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
For a little while now, Las Vegas and Orlando have been two rumored locations to be the “hub” or “campus” environment for the league to play things out, with the Florida location, specifically Walt Disney World Resort, recently has emerged as the frontrunner.
And on Saturday afternoon, NBA spokesman Mike Bass indicated to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that the league is looking into the possibility.

Here’s the full quote from NBA spokesman Mike Bass on negotiations with Disney. pic.twitter.com/29YSod7f9i
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 23, 2020

A Disney source of Keith Smith, who covers the NBA and worked at Disney for 20 years, confirmed interest on their end.

From the same Walt Disney World source: "We understand that some teams are still unable to practice n their home markets. We are prepared to host them if they need a temporary home before the season resumes. We're prepared for a multiple-month partnerships to make this happen." https://t.co/O7ph4qPRZh
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) May 23, 2020

Obviously, details need to continue being hashed out. But NBA commissioner Adam Silver said on May 12 that he wanted to have a plan laid out either way in two-to-four weeks, so we’re nearing the time frame for a call to be made. And if a league spokesperson is going public about the matter, that’s a sign there’s plenty of legitimacy around the idea.
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Why Danny Ainge Rejected Celtics President, GM Job Twice Before Accepting

Leading the Boston Celtics always has been a family affair for Danny Ainge.
The Celtics president of basketball operations and general manager revealed this week to The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn why he rejected Boston’s initial approaches for his executive services. Shortly after assuming ownership of the Celtics, Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca offered Ainge the job twice early 2003, but he said no because his role as an analyst on TNT’s NBA broadcast suited him and his family well, and he wasn’t too keen on changing their lifestyles in order to return to the cauldron of NBA competition.
“They (Grousbeck and Pagliuca) told me that (former Celtics president) Red (Auerbach) had recommended that they hire me,” Ainge told Washburn. “I was flattered and I told them thank you. My three older kids had graduated from high school. I have my three youngest at home, so life is a little bit different. I told them I was not interested in the job and I gave them names of people in the league and some former Celtic players they should interview.
“I didn’t jump at it. It wasn’t anything I was looking to really do. As time went on, they had come a second time and a third time while I was broadcasting. I sensed my wife was warming up to the idea. Eventually, I said yes.”
After further consideration, Ainge finally accepted the job in May 2003 and immediately began laying the foundations for the team’s future success. He has held the president/GM job ever since, and his most notable achievements include the Celtics winning the NBA Finals in 2008 and the Sporting News naming him NBA Executive of the Year.
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Tidewater Landing Lease Discussion Occurring On Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 26th the City of Pawtucket’s property committee will discuss the land leases the city will undergo with Fortuitous Partners whose downtown Pawtucket development plan includes a USL Championship soccer stadium at Tidewater Landing.

According to the docket, the meeting is scheduled for 4:30 pm with the public and participants encouraged to participate virtually to be in compliance of Rhode Island’s social distancing guidelines.

Brett Johnson and Dan Kroeber are representing Fortuitous Partners, LLC and representing the city is the members of the City Property Committee, Ordinance Committee, Director of Administration, Commerce Director, and City Solicitor. Tidewater Landing is the fourth line item with the leases on the Division Street and City-owned portion of the Tidewater Landing site being the focus.

The goal of this meeting is for the city to enter in a ground lease agreement with Fortuitous Partners for this land which specifically is Plat 23, Lot 0673, 0599, 0672, and Plat 54, Lot 0827. This comes a few weeks after the City Council designating Fortuitous as their preferred developer and authorized the city to come to pull the trigger on lease agreements for these parcels of land.

Plat 23 Lot 0599

O672

0673

Plat 54 Lot 0827

This is an important step forward for the project that has been in a due diligence phase with plans being made and private investments being drummed up. Trifecta Sports will have the latest on Tidewater Landing, future of McCoy Stadium, and other sports-related developments in the City of Pawtucket.
The post Tidewater Landing Lease Discussion Occurring On Tuesday appeared first on Trifecta Sports.

Soccer Team Has Cardboard-Cut-Out Fans Attend First Home Game Since Return

Borussia Monchengladbach fans’ actions are speaking louder than their chants.
Around 13,000 Supporters of the German soccer club paid €19 (around $21) each to place a cardboard cut-out photo of themselves inside Borussia Park, their home stadium. The Bundesliga (German league) has resumed its 2019-20 season, following a pause of two-plus months due to the coronavirus outbreak, but fans can’t attend games for the time being. Local charities benefit from Monchengladbach’s novel scheme, which allows fans to buy their way into the stadium and produce the unique setting viewers of Saturday’s Bundesliga game against Bayer Leverkusen witnessed.

#FohlenFamilie pic.twitter.com/C8DkwvuKr6
— Borussia (@borussia) May 23, 2020

Welcome to BORUSSIA-PARK!
Today's fans have already taken their seats #GladToBeBach #BMGB04 pic.twitter.com/xMNG7c8hcU
— Gladbach (@borussia_en) May 23, 2020

The sun is shining. The boys are all warmed up. We're just about ready to go in Gladbach! #GladToBeBach #BMGB04 pic.twitter.com/1xtQ3EPgDq
— Gladbach (@borussia_en) May 23, 2020

13.000 Pappkameraden, damit niemand vergisst, dass ihr normalerweise hierhin gehört. Gemeinsam für Borussia – auf geht's ins erste Heimspiel nach dem Re-Start! #FohlenKlassiker #BMGB04 pic.twitter.com/22IRdyz0af
— Borussia (@borussia) May 23, 2020

The cardboard-cut-out idea has been a hit with fans, not only of Monchengladbach but also of other teams, which can participate in the Borussia Park fundraiser.
“The campaign organizers are regularly overrun with orders; we can hardly keep up trying to install them all,” Monchengladbach fan representative Thomas Weinmann told Bundesliga.com last week. “But we’re obviously delighted with the overwhelming support it’s received.”
However, Monchengladbach didn’t thrill the novel supporters, as it lost 3-1 to Leverkusen.
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