ATLANTA -- Build it and the Super Bowl will come. Jerry Coleman Jersey . That message rang loud and clear Tuesday when Minneapolis was awarded the 2018 game after a vote by owners rewarded the city for its new stadium deal. The owners chose Minneapolis and the $1 billion stadium planned for the site of the old Metrodome to host the championship over New Orleans and Indianapolis. "In large part, it was due to recognition of the great work theyve done on the stadium," Commissioner Roger Goodell noted. "Its been 10 years and weve always been driving to build a stadium," Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said. "We can rejoice right now for being rewarded this, but the hard work comes now." New Orleans bid committee members were certain the new Minneapolis stadium, set to open in 2016, swung the vote. The stadium will hold up to 72,000 for the Super Bowl. "The new stadium was absolutely the deciding factor," Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President Jay Cicero said. "Any time that there is so much public support for a $1 billion stadium, the NFL owners are impressed. "We did everything we were supposed to do, had a fantastic presentation. In the end we think the stadium did it." The big game will be staged in the Twin Cities for the second time. It was there in 1992, when Washington beat Buffalo. It will be there in 2018 because the Vikings lobbied for years to replace the aging Metrodome, one of the NFLs least profitable facilities. When Minnesota political leaders realized the team could move out of state without a new home, the stadium project moved forward. Legislators in 2012 approved the stadium, with taxpayers carrying about 56 per cent of the freight. Owners needed four ballots to choose Minneapolis, with Indianapolis the first city eliminated. Indy was praised for a highly successful 2012 Super Bowl, but could have been hurt by the recent legal troubles of Colts owner Jim Irsay. Irsay underwent treatment after he was arrested and accused of having $29,000 in cash and bottles of prescription drugs in his car. He made his first public appearance at these meetings since the arrest. Irsay said Indianapolis will bid again. "Before, we had to lose one to get one," he said, noting Indy fell short in previous bids before landing the 2012 game. "It will take persistence and we know we have the type of people who will be that." New Orleans was considered the favourite and has staged the Super Bowl 10 times, tied with South Florida for the most. Its bid might have been damaged by the blackout that interrupted the 2013 title game. Next years game is in Glendale, Arizona, followed by Santa Clara, California, for the 50th Super Bowl, then Houston. Earlier at their spring meetings, NFL owners tabled any vote expanding the playoffs to 14 teams. There is strong sentiment among the owners to add a wild-card team in each conference to the post-season, most likely beginning in 2015. Under such a setup only the team with the best record in each conference will get a week off at the beginning of the playoffs. Goodell said it will be discussed again in October. "I do believe it will be approved for the 2015 season," he said. New York Giants owner John Mara is against adding more playoff teams. "I dont think its a sure thing at all," Mara said. "Its probably more likely than not, but nothing is set in stone. There was no straw poll taken. ... I think its good the way we have it." The players union says it needs to be consulted on an expanded post-season, and Goodell said he spoke with NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith two weeks ago about it. Also Tuesday: --A committee examining the time, length and site of the draft reported to the owners. The NFL will consider whether to keep it in May. It drew record TV ratings this year after it was moved back two weeks from its usual late April slot. It also will look into adding a fourth day and moving it from its traditional spot in New York to a variety of NFL cities, with a dozen already having expressed interest; "If I was king of the world, Id put it right back where it was," Mara said, referring to the April dates. --Goodell said that had HGH testing been implemented, 104 other cases under the leagues drug policy would have been heard by an independent arbitrator, with 21 players being referred to the first level of the drug program rather than being suspended. The NFL and players union agreed to HGH testing in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, but the union first balked at the procedures for testing, then at Goodell having the final say on appeals. The NFLPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. --New director of football operations Troy Vincent hired three advisers, including Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary. Vincent, a former All-Pro defensive back, also hired former NFL player and coach Jimmy Raye and former player and general manager Mike Reinfeldt. Among other chores, the three new hires will serve as liaisons to league coaches and front-office personnel. Gene Tenace Jersey . “Im not sure well get Melky Cabrera at all,” said Gibbons. The 29-year-old left fielder struggled all season with knee and hamstring problems. Cabrera was first on the disabled list from June 27-July 20 with tendinitis in his left knee. Oscar Gamble Jersey . According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, it doesnt appear the offer was warmly received by the team. Blue Jackets director of hockey operations John Davidson and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said on Wednesday the team has made offers of $6 million for two years, $32 million for six and $46 million over eight years but each one was refused by the restricted free agent centre and agent Kurt Overhardt.MONTREAL - After two years out of the NHL playoffs, there is new optimism among the Nashville Predators.A stunning turnaround aided by a coaching change, the addition of veteran forwards James Neal and Mike Ribeiro and the emergence of 20-year-old forward Filip Forsberg have put Nashville in first place in the Central Division going into the all-star break.Now they believe theyve got enough pieces to keep up their strong play through the second half of the regular season and do some damage in the playoffs.Absolutely, veteran centre Mike Fisher said Tuesday. We really believe in this group.We believe were a top team in this league and we are. Weve shown it thus far. Were really confident in the group we have, that we can win any night against other top teams.The Predators had not lost twice in a row this season going into a game Tuesday night against the Canadiens in Montreal, where they were without star goalie Pekka Rinne for a third game due to an injury expected to last three weeks.Backed by Rinne and an impressive defence group led by Shea Weber, the Predators are the NHLs stingiest team, allowing only 2.25 goals per game. But Nashville has been known as a tight defensive side in recent years.The surprise is that they are tied for fifth in goals scored per game at 3.0.Part of that stems from the decision last summer to let the conservative Barry Trotz go after coaching the team through its first 15 NHL campaigns and bring in a more attack-minded Peter Laviolette.Trotz is now performing wonders in making the Washington Capitals a winning, two-way club, while Laviolette will also be a coach of the year candidate for doing much the same in Nashville.Its good for both sides, said Weber. You see the success theyre having (in Washington) and that were having.There was a different feel coming into training camp this year with a new face and I think the guys have responded very well.The second part of the season will determine if the Predators are for real, but it looks like it so far.They certainly have the goaltending with Rinne, considered one of the best in the world.With Weber, they have the big No. 1 blue-liner every team wishes it had, and he is backed by a group that can defend and move the puck. Among them is emerging talent Seth Jones, the fourth pick in the 2013 draft.Only a few months ago,, they didnt appear to have much up front, but then Forsberg turned into a nearly point-per-game player and a strong two-way player on the top line with veteran Mike Ribeiro, who so far has shown a new commitment to discipline after being bought out by Arizona due to behavioural problems. Hunter Renfroe Jersey. Hes been an excellent addition to our team, Laviolette said of Ribeiro, who is on pace for his first 70-point campaign since 2010-11. Terrific in the room, terrific teammate, terrific on-ice play.Forsberg, playing his first full NHL campaign, was acquired from Washington in March 2013 for Martin Erat and Michael Latta in what is looking to be a spectacular steal for Nashville.Fisher centres James Neal, a one-time 40-goal scorer picked up in a trade with Pittsburgh in June, and Colin Wilson, who is having a breakout season and will soon top his career high of 35 points.Veteran Olli Jokinen, signed from Winnipeg, is playing on the fourth line. Another reclamation project, defenceman Anton Volchenkov, brings his stay at home style to the third defence pair and being dumped by New Jersey.Fisher likes the teams chances.With the goaltending we have, and look at our back end: everyone can handle the puck and skate, he said. And you look at the mix, the young guys, the leadership, energy, the way we play.Were all excited about what we can do. Its a tough league and the playoffs are tough, but we feel weve got a lot of pieces and character and we can be successful.The Predators have won only two playoff series in their history, the last against Detroit in 2012.The optimism now stems from adding some offence to a team known for tight defence. That comes from Laviolette.Id say were more aggressive, said Fisher. We want to be hungry for pucks, to forecheck really hard.The way our defence can move the puck helps us offensively. And defensively, we want to be hard to play against. He wants us to play both ends. He wants us to make plays and be creative, but be responsible.It has worked so far, but Weber, the captain, knows there is a lot of hockey still be played.I was on this team a while back when we were in first place for a while too, he said. Weve had good teams since Ive been in Nashville.Its just been tough the last couple of years. Theres still a lot of season left and we have to keep it up. ' ' '
LOS ANGELES -- Just as the Dodgers were wrapping up their most successful month since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, the NL West leaders acquired infielder Michael Young from Philadelphia to bolster a potential playoff run. Henry Ellenson Jersey . Adrian Gonzalez hit a tying single in the seventh inning and pinch-hitter Mark Ellis singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth for a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night. The Dodgers also received cash from the Phillies in exchange for minor league left-hander Rob Rasmussen. Young waived his no-trade clause in a deal that was completed 10-15 minutes before the 9 p.m. PDT deadline to make him eligible for the playoffs with the Dodgers, according to general manager Ned Colletti. "Someone that brings obviously World Series experience, one of the classier people in the game, a winner," Colletti said. "He can play first or third, can come off the bench. Someone we feel has a lot left." Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said Young could spell Juan Uribe at third base or Gonzalez at first. "We like the guys that we have, but Michael just adds to it," he said. Mattingly spoke to Uribe about the deal. "I dont feel bad," he said. "I dont feel mad. Im good. Hes a good player. He can help the team, too." Young batted .276 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs in 126 games with the Phillies this season, including seven hits in his last 10 at-bats before the trade. He has made 101 starts at third base and 17 at first. The 36-year-old veteran is a .300 career hitter with 185 homers and 1,026 RBIs. "He makes us stronger," Mattingly said. Young was acquired by the Phillies last December from Texas. He is from nearby Covina. The Rangers paid a portion of Youngs salary to Philadelphia, which is passing it on to the Dodgers, Colletti said. The rest of Youngs new teammates were enthusiastic about his impending arrival. "One of the better human beings around, not just baseball players," said Skip Schumaker, who attended UC Santa Barbara after Young did and knows him from alumni games. "Hes going to fit right in. Anybody in the big leagues would love to have him." Gonzalez and Young were teammates in Texas. "Another guy who knows how to play the game, a great guy in the clubhouse," Gonzalez said. "He knows how to prepare and be ready for at-bats." The Dodgers ended August with a 23-6 record, their most wins in a month since 1958. The club record of 25 was set in July 1947 and equaled in August 1953, when the team played in Brooklyn. "Weve stayed healthy and our bullpen has done very well," Gonzalez said. "You cant win without pitching. Days like today, we won with our pitching and defence." Brian Wilson (1-0) came on in relief to earn the victory -- his first since joining the Dodgers last week. Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 23rd save in 25 chances. Nick Vincent (3-2) took the loss, allowing two hits on nine pitches in the eighth after relieving starter Andrew Cashner. Dodgers starter Chris Capuano allowed one run and eight hits in seven innings, struck out seven and walked one. "There were a number of 3-2 and 2-0 changeups, and when a pitcher does that and throws it in the strike zone, its pretty tough," Padres manager Bud Black said. "And he had enough velocity to keep us honest. We got some hits off him, but we just couldnt string them together and get the big blow." Schumaker led off the eighth with a double and was sacrificed to third by Tim Federowicz. Schumaker scored on Ellis single to centre, one of the Dodgers 13 hits, equaling their amount in Fridays series-opening win. The Dodgers tied it at 1 on Gonzalezs RBI single with one out in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston Jr. and Carl Crawford opened the inning with singles. Cashner intentionally walked Andre Ethier to load the bases before Uribe grounded out to end the inning. Ronny Cedeno homered with two outs in the fourth for the Padres. Cashner gave up one run and 10 hits while striking out seven and walking three. The Padres, who had 10 hits, have lost seven of nine. NOTES: The Dodgers transferred injured pitcher Josh Beckett to the 60-day DL to make room for Young. ... Dodgers OF Matt Kemp was set to be the DH again at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday and Sunday. Kemp has been on the DL since July 24 with a sprained left ankle. "His timing doesnt sound very good yet," Mattingly said. "Its hard to jump in at 94-95 (mph) when you havent seen it in a while. Matt wants to be swinging the ball good when he comes back." ... The Padres activated OF Kyle Blanks from the 15-day DL and optioned RHP Anthony Bass to Triple-A Tucson. Blanks was 1 for 11 with a run scored and a walk in four rehab games. ... Padres 3B Chase Headley, who left Fridays game in the fifth inning with back stiffness, didnt show much improvement overnight so he didnt play. Brooklyn Nets Gear . In five games last month, Billings led all scorers with 11 goals, 27 assists and 38 points as the Rock posted a 2-3 record. Kenny Anderson Jersey . 5 Trade Deadline is drawing closer and teams will be deciding on whether to buy or sell.Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Myles Davis continued his strong play with 19 points and Xavier went into Verizon Center and stunned No. 21 Georgetown 66-53 on Tuesday. Davis shot 6-of-9 from the floor, finishing in double figures for the fifth straight game, and Matt Stainbrook scored 12 for Xavier (14-7, 5-4 Big East), which had lost its last five road games, including four straight to open conference play. We knew we could do this, Davis said of the win. We just prepped so hard and we knew the opportunity we had in front of us and we just took full advantage of it. Georgetown (14-6, 6-3) was coming off four straight wins and six of seven since losing to Xavier in the conference opener for both teams on Dec. 31. DVauntes Smith-Rivera paced the Hoyas with 13 points in the unlikely setback. Give them credit, they really defended well, Smith-Rivera admitted. Xavier broke the game open by scoring on six straight possessions over a 3:18 stretch just past the midpoint of the first half. Already leading 11-8, Trevon Bluietts layup openeed the flurry during which five different players scored. DAngelo Russell Jersey . Myles Davis capped the 12-0 run with a 3-pointer from Dee Davis, who also scored a layup during the spurt. Georgetown countered with four straight points on free throws, but Myles Davis connected on a pair of triples later in the half and Xavier led 29-16 at halftime. The margin was double figures until Joshua Smiths three-point play with 4 1/2 minutes to play. Smith-Rivera followed with a layup that had Georgetown within 54-47. The Hoyas could have cut it down even more on their next possession, but Tre Campbell missed a 3 and Smith, who grabbed the offensive rebound and got fouled, bricked the front end of a 1-and-1. Stainbrooks layup on a nifty inbounds feed from Dee Davis with 1:26 left made it an 11-point game, and Xavier held on. Game Notes Xavier improved to 3-1 against Georgetown since joining the Big East ... The home team had won the previous three meetings by 13-plus points ... Bluiett and Remy Abell scored 11 points apiece for Xavier. ' ' '