Several Major League Soccer teams have seen spikes in season-ticket sales since David Beckham announced his transfer to the Los Angeles Galaxy last week -- and the bulk of the schedule hasn't even been released.
The Galaxy said on Monday it had sold 5,000 season tickets since Thursday while Toronto FC said it sold 2,600 of its 10,000 season tickets since the announcement.
"The announcement of David Beckham's signing to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy this summer has generated more interest in Major League Soccer than any other event in league history," MLS commissioner Don Garber said on Tuesday. "We didn't sign David to sell tickets and jerseys. He was signed because he's a world-class soccer player."
Beckham said he would join the Galaxy after his contract with Real Madrid expires on June 30, but that was clouded by Saturday's statement from Madrid manager Fabio Capello, who said Beckham would train -- but no longer play -- for the team.
If Madrid releases him early, Beckham might be available when the Galaxy begin their season on April 8 at the defending champion Houston Dynamo. Dynamo sales and marketing senior vice president Steve Powell said Houston's season-ticket sales saw a 200 percent jump last week over the previous week, and that was despite confusion among some potential ticket buyers surrounding Beckham's arrival date.
Other teams also said they have seen increases since the Beckham announcement.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
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