SPORTS BUSINESS

Minor league, college and youth sports

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West Michigan saw 54.5% drop in sporting events in 2020

West Michigan saw a 76.1% drop in visitor spending and a 54.5% decrease in sports events in 2020 compared to 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the West Michigan Sports Commission’s sports tourism economic impact report.

West Michigan Whitecaps to open 2021 season in May

After more than a year off the field, the West Michigan Whitecaps will begin their 2021 season on the road against the Fort Wayne TinCaps on May 4.

2021 Amway River Bank Run rescheduled for October

Amway River Bank Run organizers announced the 2021 event was moved to Oct. 23.

Indian Trails Golf Course opens for winter recreation

The recreational trail at Indian Trails Golf Course is now open daily from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. for fat-tire biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, weather permitting.

Legal online bets, gambling start fast

Momentum continues to bring more Michiganders into the world of online gambling and sports betting after it was legalized a few weeks ago.
AP

Michigan: Contact sports can resume Monday, with masks

LANSING — A ban on popular high school winter sports was lifted Thursday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration, days after frustrated parents and anxious teens rallied at the Capitol to try to persuade officials that basketball, wrestling and hockey could safely take place during the coronavirus pandemic.

Whitecaps forge long-term partnership with LMCU, rename stadium

The name of the West Michigan Whitecaps’ stadium was changed to LMCU Ballpark.

Valentine’s Dash 5K to feature new route

Kentwood’s fourth annual Valentine’s Dash 5K will take place at 11 a.m. Feb. 13 beginning and ending at East Paris Nature Park, 5995 East Paris Ave. SE.

Hope College begins construction on athletic center

The groundbreaking for a new $3.3 million locker room facility on Hope College’s athletic complex took place earlier this week.

Grand Rapids Drive opt out of 2020-21 season

The Grand Rapids Drive will forgo the NBA G League’s 2020-21 season to focus on its 2021-22 season, which will include a new affiliation.

Grand Rapids Griffins to begin hockey season next month

The Grand Rapids Griffins will drop the puck on the 2020-21 American Hockey League season Feb. 5.

Tech company using football simulators to prepare athletes

Maybe you don’t need a team to play the game of football.

Irish Jig 5K will return in 2022

The Spectrum Health Irish Jig 5K race will resume in 2022.
AP

Michigan lawmakers OK bills to let college athletes be paid

LANSING — Lawmakers on Wednesday gave final approval to bills that would clear the way for college athletes to be paid for the use of their names, images or likeness rights — putting Michigan on the cusp of becoming at least the fourth state with such a law.

West Michigan Whitecaps promoted to Class A-Advanced

The West Michigan Whitecaps will become the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Detroit Tigers in 2021.

Griffins to host drive-thru Teddy Bear Toss

The Grand Rapids Griffins are teaming up with J&H Family Stores, Billy Bear Hug Foundation, Feeding America West Michigan and The Salvation Army to host a drive-thru Teddy Bear Toss & Holiday Drive from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at Griff’s IceHouse at Belknap Park.
AP

Michigan nears launch of online sports betting, other games

LANSING — Michigan casinos could launch online sports betting and gambling games in December once state lawmakers waive the remaining time they have to review proposed licensing rules.

Sports performance center owners use shutdown to their advantage

Alpha Human Performance, a sports performance center, opened after the governor’s stay-home order halted owners Daimond and Regina Dixon’s plans for their grand opening in April.

Hunting app unveils new feature

Michigan hunters have new technology on their side this deer season.

Inside Track: Golf pro finds passion in teaching

The game of golf has been a generational sport in Jimmy Wisinski’s family. His father and grandfather were golf professionals and Wisinski has followed in their footsteps.
AP

Merritt Norvell, first Black AD at Michigan State, has died

EAST LANSING — Merritt Norvell Jr., the first Black athletic director at Michigan State, has died. He was 79.
AP

Michigan bowling alley closing after more than 50 years

BROOKLYN — The new coronavirus has knocked down the pins at a Michigan bowling alley.

Amway River Bank Run goes virtual for 2020

After initially being postponed to October, the 2020 Amway River Bank Run now will be held virtually.

TSM selects Herman Miller’s Embody chair for esports players

A professional esports organization in California signed an exclusive provider deal with Herman Miller and Logitech G to make their ergonomic gaming chair the official chair for its players.

Grand Rapids Drive ‘stand committed’ to city

The Detroit Pistons agreed to purchase the Northern Arizona Suns from the Phoenix Suns, but that won’t change the Grand Rapids Drive’s decision to stay in Grand Rapids.

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