NFL leads on attendances
The NFL beat out Bundesliga soccer for the honor of being the best attended professional sports league in the world, Sportingintelligence.com reported on Friday. The NFL took the top spot with an average of 67,591 fans per game last year, an increase from 67,394 a year earlier. Germany’s Bundesliga came in second with 45,116 average fans per game in the 2011-2012 season — the highest average ever for that league — up from 42,673 from the season before. The English Premier League (34,602) took third place, surpassing Australia’s Aussie Rules football, which saw a season-on-season decline from 36,428 to 32,748. The NHL attracts the largest crowds of the indoor sports, with an average attendance of 17,455 in 2011-2012, finishing just ahead of the NBA (17,274). Two sports that have seen increases in average attendance year-on-year are Major League Baseball and the Canadian Football League (CFL). MLB came in fifth with an average attendance of 30,895, up from 30,366 a year earlier. The CFL sits seventh with an average of 27,882, compared with 27,192 previously.
Owen heading for Glory?
Former England striker Michael Owen is reported to be interested in playing for Perth Glory in the A-League. A story in the West Australian newspaper quoted a team spokesman as saying the club was interested in signing the Stoke City player, who has scored 40 goals in 89 internationals for England. It said Owen’s agent had been in contact with the team, but that negotiations were in their early stages. “Michael Owen’s agent has enquired about Michael playing in the A-League,” the spokesman told the newspaper. “Perth Glory are interested, but are yet to find out Michael’s terms and conditions. Until these are known, Perth Glory will not enter any further negotiations.”
Weather hits season opener
High winds and driving rain wiped out Friday’s round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, giving players a weekend restart in the PGA Tour’s season-opening tournament. The cancellation means all participants, weather permitting, were due to have to play 36 holes yesterday at the Plantation Course at Kapalua. Of the 30 players in the field on Friday, 20 had played at least one hole and some more. However, officials felt that the six who had yet to tee off would be given an unfair advantage because they did not have to deal with the wind and rain that forced two delays on Friday before the round was called off.
Spurs swoop for Holtby
Tottenham have agreed a deal to sign Germany midfielder Lewis Holtby from Schalke 04 at the end of the season. Holtby had recently confirmed he would be leaving Schalke and Tottenham announced on Friday that the 22-year-old will move to White Hart Lane when his contract with the German club expires in June. The 22-year-old midfielder had also been linked with Arsenal and Liverpool, but Andre Villas-Boas’ side have won the race for the highly rated playmaker. A Spurs statement read: “We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Germany Under-21 captain Lewis Holtby to join the club in July from Bundesliga side Schalke, subject to a medical.” Germany-born Holtby, who has a German mother, was eligible to play for England through his father, a former soldier in the British army, but opted to represent his country of birth. He has three full caps for the senior national side.