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Archive for Friday, February 16, 2001

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February 16, 2001

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Nascar

Daytona grandstand sold out

Daytona Beach, Fla. All 167,785 grandstand seats have been sold for the Daytona 500, meaning the largest crowd in the history of the track will watch the race Sunday.

Tickets in the infield were still available. About 30,000 fans usually fill that area, so the total at the track most likely will exceed 200,000.

Daytona International Speedway, which opened in 1959, continued a series of expansions over the past year, adding about 4,000 seats to the backstretch and 4,000 more around the front.

Presidents Cup Golf

Nicklaus, Player captains

Jack Nicklaus knows the job. Now he better get his sales pitch ready.

For the second time in the last three Presidents Cups, Nicklaus was appointed captain of the U.S. team Thursday, a job that could require intense lobbying to get Tiger Woods and other top Americans to South Africa in 2002.

"I don't anticipate any problems," Nicklaus said. "I think the fellas that make the team will be there."

The PGA Tour also designated Gary Player as captain of the International team, a logical choice because the matches will be held in his homeland and played on the Links Golf Course at the Fancourt Hotel and Country Club, which Player designed.

"No other player better symbolizes the international nature of the game than Gary Player," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. Player won nine majors, the career Grand Slam and 163 titles worldwide.

Track and Field

Joyner-Kersee retires

Indianapolis Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the greatest female athlete of the century and winner of a record six Olympic medals, has officially retired from track and field.

USA Track & Field said Thursday it had received final paperwork from the 38-year-old Joyner-Kersee declaring her retirement.

Joyner-Kersee, the heptathlon world record-holder and American record-holder in the long jump, had announced her retirement in 1998, but did not fill out any forms.

She came back last year in an attempt to make her fifth Olympic team, but her effort fell short. She finished sixth in the long jump in the U.S. Olympic trials at Sacramento, Calif.

After missing the team, the rusty Joyner-Kersee was emphatic that she would not compete again even in seniors competitions.

Baseball

Cards mull move to suburbs

St. Louis Would you believe the St. Louis County Cardinals?

Disappointed with city officials and tempted by Illinois lawmakers, the Cardinals are moving forward with a contingency plan in the Missouri Legislature that could lead to a new ballpark possibly in the suburbs.

Cardinals president Mark Lamping said team owners still want to replace Busch Stadium with a red-brick ballpark on the same site but are open to other locations in the St. Louis area in case the city will not help subsidize the $370 million project.

And if the Legislature also balks this year, "we will begin parallel back-up planning" in Illinois, Lamping said Wednesday.

"All we're trying to do is cover contingencies in the unlikely event we do not reach an agreement with the city of St. Louis," Lamping said.

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