National / International News

NHL team wants to put ticket resales on ice

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-02-25 11:59

At a Nashville Predators game in early December, Greg Atwood arrived at his seat just like he normally does.

"I typically get there right at faceoff. I walked in when it was dark and when they turned the lights on it was pretty shocking just how much,” said Atwood. “I mean it was a majority red.”  That red was a sea of Chicago Blackhawks fans in t-shirts and sweaters supporting their team.  Thousands of fans chanted “Let’s Go Hawks” 

As a reliable Predators fan, Atwood has been coming to games for 14 years and says he actually doesn’t mind seeing out-of-towners. He says one or two thousand opposing fans are okay, but when they fill up half of the arena, that’s where he draws the line.

The Blackhawks won that night 3-1. It was a rare home defeat for the Predators and team president Sean Henry says the complaints came flying in from fans and players.

“I probably got, I don’t know, 50-75 e-mails; 10-12 phone calls,” said Henry. “People are saying ‘I don’t know if I want to come to the game anymore.”

So now, the team is outlining steps to maximize the Predators gold and navy blue in the stands. The team says it’s considering a mandate that season ticket holders clear it with them before re-selling their tickets.  The team is also offering to buy back tickets to certain games at 10 percent above face value.

“The first opportunity and last opportunity to buy Predators tickets should stay right here in our greater market,” said Henry.

Unlike goods that can be bought and re-sold, many professional teams consider their tickets non-transferable licenses.

The New England Patriots took the online site StubHub to court a few years back  over the re-sale of tickets.  And just last year, the Seattle Seahawks tried to ban anyone with a California zip code from buying a ticket to the NFC championship game, in what some say was an effort to keep San Francisco 49ers fans out.

If the Predators end up doing something similar, not only would that keep out-of-town fans away from the arena, it would likely keep them out of Nashville altogether, meaning downtown hotels might lose out.

 John Fleming is manager of the Renaissance Nashville.

 "I had two reactions. One, as a fan, and I said 'absolutely right', the best thing we can do is protect our home ice and go for it,” said Fleming.

But as someone running a hotel?

"We'll lose some business obviously if we do limit that,” said Henry. “It means we'll just have to find other business"

Season ticket holders are conflicted too. Greg Atwood may not like half the arena filled with rival fans, but he also doesn’t want the team to go overboard with new rules.

 "I spent a lot of money on these tickets and when I buy these tickets they're mine to determine what I do with them,” said Atwood.

The Predators say they’re most concerned with building a championship franchise and a regional fan base that will last for generations. They say keeping home-ice advantage is a key to moving in that direction.  

 

BYLINE: Emil Moffatt

BIO: Emil Moffatt is a reporter and news anchor with WPLN in Nashville.  

As Washington Prepares To Legalize Pot, Congressman Threatens To Arrest Mayor

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-25 11:51

Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city would continue with its plans to legalize pot at midnight. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, of Utah, said the District would be in "willful violation of the law."

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Chicago mayor in run-off election

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 11:27
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been forced into a tough run-off election after failing to gain 50% of voters in his re-election bid.

'Her Calling Was To Help People Understand One Another': Remembering Dori Maynard

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-25 11:14

Racialicious founder Latoya Peterson has a tearjerker of a tribute to journalism diversity pioneer Dori Maynard.

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TJ Maxx to raise US workers' wages

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 11:13
TJX, the owner of US retailers TJ Maxx and Marshalls, follows in Walmart's footsteps by raising the base hourly pay of its workers to $9.

Odeon cinemas to go on sale for £1bn

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 11:11
Terra Firma, the owner of Odeon and UCI, plans to put the cinema chain up for sale later this year for about £1bn.

Ed Sheeran wins first Brit Award

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 11:11
Ed Sheeran wins best British male at the 2015 Brit Awards, on a night when he goes head-to-head with Sam Smith for most of the main prizes.

Acclaimed Documentary Filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky Dies At 58

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-25 11:01

Sinofsky and his longtime co-director, Joe Berlinger, are perhaps best known for Paradise Lost, a trilogy of films about three teenagers convicted of killing three little boys in West Memphis, Ark.

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Pair admit stabbing takeaway owner

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:41
Two men have admitted stabbing a Chinese takeaway owner who tried to stop his car being stolen.

Qatar 2022 rifts 'beyond repair'

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:39
BBC Sports Editor Dan Roan says the fall-out from a winter Qatar 2022 World Cup could tear football apart.

Farah-Vernon rivalry 'adds spice'

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:39
Mo Farah's row with GB team-mate Andy Vernon is good for their sport, according to UK Athletics president Lynn Davies.

Google grows, its hometown feels crowded

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:37

It seems as if the whole of Silicon Valley is beset by one giant case of “Keeping up with the Joneses.”  First Apple announced a massive new expansion to its Cupertino headquarters. Then Facebook bought up 56 acres for growth in Menlo Park, and now it's Google’s turn.

Google’s plans have rekindled old tensions between an industry that is built on growth and a region that doesn’t want to change.

It’s tempting to look at Apple, Facebook, and Google and say that Silicon Valley would be nowhere without them, but that’s not necessarily the case. First the defense industry moved in, then the semiconductor manufacturers in the 1980s, then the dot-com bubble, and now the mobile internet.

"Silicon Graphics has come and gone, Sun Microsystems has come and gone, and companies stepped in to fill their place," says Mountain View City Councilman Michael Kasperzak.  Mountain View is headquarters to some 20,000 Google employees.

Unlike, say, Ford Motor Company a generation ago, companies like Google aren’t necessarily as enmeshed in the local economy. "Google doesn't do anything to generate sales tax, we don't tax the internet, we don't tax searches, we don't tax ad revenue," Kasperzak says. 

He notes there are plenty of other benefits that Google does provide, such as leasing city land and providing funds for local schools.

But, unlike previous eras, when a company with the size and clout of Facebook or Google could essentially own a town the size of Mountain View, population 80,000, that is not the case in 2015.

"To call the Silicon Valley communities new ‘company towns’ may be a bit of an overstatement," says Michael Woo, dean of the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly in Pomona.

"As much as the high-tech companies might want that level of control, they don't have that level of control or influence,” says Woo, “and even some of their own employees as voters, wouldn't necessarily vote to support what might be in the best interest of the companies."

Woo says the Googles and Apples of the world have largely resisted the urge to throw their weight around in local politics.  And to its credit, he notes that Google is even talking about ways it might create new affordable housing for its employees.

Al-Jazeera arrests over Paris drone

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:31
Three journalists for the Qatar-based channel al-Jazeera are arrested for the alleged illegal flying of a drone in the Bois de Boulogne area of Paris.

'Inadequate' free school to close

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:25
Durham Free School is to close at the end of this term after its action plan was judged insufficient to turn it around.

VIDEO: Sam Smith appeals for boyfriend

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:04
Sam Smith speaks to Sangita Myska on the Brits 2015 red carpet - about deja vu and wanting a boyfriend.

New York trio 'tried to join IS'

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:00
The FBI has arrested three foreign nationals living in Brooklyn who agents say sought to join the Islamic State.

VIDEO: Smuggler: How girls entered Syria

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 09:57
A people smuggler has told the BBC how three east London schoolgirls were taken across the border from Turkey to Syria.

Eyelashes Grow To Just The Right Length To Shield Eyes

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-25 09:56

Eyelashes keep dust out and fend off drying breezes, a study finds. To do that they need to be a very precise length. Extra-long fake eyelashes hurt more than they help.

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Greek ex-minister in tax list trial

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 09:41
A former Greek finance minister goes on trial accused of removing relatives' names from a list of HSBC account holders who may have underpaid tax.

FBI Arrests Three Men For Allegedly Plotting To Join Islamic State In Syria

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-25 09:40

The three men from Brooklyn were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Two of the men had already purchased tickets to Istanbul.

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