MONEY Taxes

Why Boston Refused to Host the 2024 Olympics

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Steve Dunwell—Getty Images

“I will not sign a document that puts one penny of taxpayers’ money on the line for Olympics cost overruns,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.

Boston and the U.S. Olympic Committee jointly announced on Monday the ending of the city’s campaign to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Earlier Monday, Boston mayor Marty Walsh said he would not put taxpayers at risk by signing a contract with the United States Olympic Committee and would drop the city’s bid to host the Summer Games in 2024 if required to sign on Monday.

“I will not sign a document that puts one penny of taxpayers’ money on the line for Olympics cost overruns,” Walsh said at a press conference on Monday.

Olympic organizers set a provision that requires the host city to cover any cost overruns in the lead-up to the Olympics. A $4.6 billion plan was released in late June as part of Boston’s revised bid, in which about half of the originally planned venues were changed or relocated.

Walsh also said he would have “no regrets” about Boston’s Olympic bid being pulled and that he had spoken with Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker about the possibility.

“As we reflected on the timing and the status of our bid in this international competition, we have jointly come to the conclusion that the extensive efforts required in Boston at this stage of the bid process would detract from the U.S.’ ability to compete against strong interest from cities like Rome, Paris, Budapest and Hamburg,” Boston 2024 partnership chairman Steve Pagliuca said in a release. “For this reason, we have jointly decided to withdraw Boston’s bid in order to give the Olympic movement in the United States the best chance to bring the Games back to our country in 2024. In doing so, Boston 2024 Partnership will offer our support and the extensive knowledge we have gained in developing our Bid 2.0 to any American city that may choose to participate in the 2024 bidding process going forward.”

The USOC has expressed interest in working closely with city and state leaders in an effort to help the U.S. secure hosting rights for the first time since the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. New York and Chicago failed in their attempts to secure the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, respectively.

Los Angeles, host of the 1932 and 1984 Games, may be ready to take the place of Boston as the USOC’s candidate city. National Olympic committees have until Sept. 15 to submit their candidate city selection to the International Olympic Committee.

“When Boston was selected in January of this year, we were excited about the possibility of partnering with Boston’s great universities in a bid that would take advantage of existing college facilities and spur the development of much-needed sport, transportation and residential infrastructure for the City of Boston,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a release. “The cornerstone idea behind Boston’s bid was sound. We want to compliment and thank Steve Pagliuca and his team at Boston 2024 for the remarkable work they have done in the last two months to transform a powerful idea into a fiscally responsible reality that would have benefited the City of Boston and America’s athletes for decades to come. Because of the good work of Boston 2024, we know that the Boston Games would have been good for Boston, just like the Olympic Games were good for Lake Placid, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Salt Lake City.

“When we made the decision to bid for the 2024 Olympic Games, one of the guiding principles that we adopted was that we would only submit a bid that we believed could win.”

This article originally appeared on Sports Illustrated.

TIME olympics

Catching Up With the Stray Dogs of Sochi

Many of the stray dogs adopted by the Olympians are now settled in their new homes in the U.S.

Some athletes took home more than just medals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Some took home new best friends.

Sports Illustrated visited the homes of athletes who rescued stray dogs to see how the pooches were settling in.

Watch above, and read more at SI.com

TIME Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby Odds: American Pharoah the Betting Favorite

American Pharoah is a 5/2 favorite as the 2015 Kentucky Derby approaches, according to Bovada’s latest odds.

The 141st Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Post positions will be announced on Wednesday. With all prep races finished, the Kentucky Derby 20-horse field is set, barring anyone backing out.

Last year’s winner, California Chrome, entered the race as the favorite at 5/2. Last week, American Pharoah was given 2/1 odds to win the race.

Here are the complete odds, as of Monday, from Bovada:

American Pharoah 5/2
Dortmund 4/1
Carpe Diem 15/2
Mubtaahij 10/1
Materiality 12/1
Firing Line 16/1
Frosted 16/1
International Star 18/1
Upstart 20/1
El Kabeir 33/1
Far Right 33/1
Bolo 40/1
Danzig Moon 40/1
Itsaknockout 40/1
Keen Ice 40/1
Mr Z 40/1
Ocho Ocho Ocho 40/1
War Story 40/1
Tencendur 66/1

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Boxing

10 Observations From Floyd Mayweather’s Training Camp

LAS VEGAS – Ten observations from Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s training camp in preparation for his May 2 fight against Manny Pacquiao.

1. Mayweather loves to FaceTime. It’s his preferred method of communication. He FaceTimed with Stephen Espinoza from Pacquiao’s hotel suite in the middle of negotiations. He also FaceTimed with four-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, with an assist from the Showtime broadcaster Jim Gray, who does a radio show with Brady during the NFL season. This happened, oddly, twice.

“Brady, my guy!” Mayweather shouted during one commercial shoot, the one where he walks toward Pacquiao that has been playing on endless loop. (Quick aside: the boxers filmed that commercial separately, much to Mayweather’s chagrin. He had wanted, well, a little face time with his opponent. They saw each other at the initial press conference and that was it.)

“Defense wins championships!” Mayweather said to small-screen Brady, who, of course, is an offensive player.

Another aside: Brady is expected to attend the fight. We’re told he appealed directly to Leslie Moonves, president of CBS.

2. Mayweather can read, contrary to reports that surfaced before his rematch last September against Marcos Maidana. (He won, by unanimous decision.)

At the commercial shoot, Mayweather read a series of promos. “Hi Puerto Rico, I’m Floyd Mayweather,” and stuff like that. Granted, it wasn’t Hemingway, but it was reading nonetheless.

This was not lost on Mayweather. “Come on now!” he shouted to no one in particular. “You know I can’t read!”

3. Pacquiao’s dog is named Pacman. That’s one of the boxer’s nicknames, too.

There’s now a Ms. Pac-Man video game in the lobby of the Mayweather Boxing Club.

Speaking of, Mayweather renovated the gym before he started training for Pacquiao. He added a clubhouse in the back, near the locker room, complete with two black leather couches, two refrigerators and a flat-screen television. He had the walls repainted. And he added signage, TMT, or The Money Team, splashed everywhere in sight.

There’s also a painting in the locker room of Mayweather smashing Pacquiao’s face into pieces. That was a birthday gift from Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics guard and one of Mayweather’s best friends. He had the Art Mobb, a company based in Los Angeles, put the painting together. “It was tough to come up with something,” Thomas said. “What do you get someone who has everything?”

It’s worth mentioning that Mayweather gave Thomas a $200,000 Bentley earlier this year.

4. Mayweather’s friends and associates all have very specific jobs. Some of the jobs are normal, or normal for someone like Mayweather. Like: his personal assistant carries a backpack filled with cell phone chargers, lip balm and whatever cash Mayweather needs to place bets on NBA basketball games. Some of the jobs are stranger. Like: there’s a guy who picks up Mayweather’s underwear when he finishes a workout. And then there is Nate Jones, a former Olympic heavyweight, whose sole job as it relates to Mayweather is to wear a chest protector and be punched repeatedly in the stomach.

During one workout, as the Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino looked on, Jones grimaced through a series of heavy blows. He says that sometimes he pees blood, which he chalks up to an occupational hazard. “Thatta boy, Nate!” someone shouted from the crowd.

“What the hell is Duke doing with all them black players?” Mayweather asked Pitino between sit-ups, as the coach stifled a smile.

“Is that why they win they won the championship?” Mayweather asked.

“There are a million motherf–king Plumlee brothers,” he said later.

5. On one recent training day, some 18 Ferraris rallied from Los Angeles to the gym to show support for Mayweather. Obi Okeke, one of two Mayweather car guys, organized the rally. Okeke runs Fusion Luxury Motors, and he has sold Floyd 39 cars, including a red Ferrari Enzo that Okeke procured in Abu Dhabi and shipped to the United States. He said there are only 400 of those cars made in the world, and only 111 in the United States, and those numbers don’t count the cars that have been crashed (see this video of the comedian Eddie Griffin on YouTube.)

Okeke has sold cars to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jessica Simpson and Brittney Spears, among others. But no one quite like Mayweather.

“He calls me in the middle of the night, whenever,” Okeke said. “He called me once at 3 a.m. and said, I need a Bugatti in 12 hours in my driveway. I found a way to get it done.”

“This is the real Fast and Furious,” said someone in the crowd.

6. Mayweather’s uncle, Roger, remains in camp. But he’s struggling with diabetes, and his eyesight is deteriorating. He still does mitt work with his nephew most training days, and he’s in the gym most every day, also doing mitt work.

Speaking of Roger, a former world champion boxer in his own right, and of the familiarity in both camps, he once sparred with Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer. Roach noticed the 5-year-old that accompanied his uncle to the gym – Floyd Jr. He already flashed the talent that would make him an unbeaten world champion. “I mean, he was born to fight,” Roach says.

As for their sparring session, “I chased him for four rounds,” Roach says. “He never hit me once. So the next day, he says, you want to spar again? I said, no, I already ran this morning.

“I don’t like Roger too much,” Roach said. “But Floyd always called me Mr. Roach.”

7. Maybe true. Maybe not. But someone in Mayweather’s camp tells us that Macy Gray’s assistant called five times in a single day to lobby for Gray to sing the national anthem at the fight.

8. Floyd Mayweather Sr., the boxer’s rhyme-spewing dad, now has his own publicist. Not that he needs one. He considers all microphones friends.

Someone asked him recently to describe Pacquiao’s biggest flaw. “Getting into the ring with Floyd,” he answered.

9. For this camp, Mayweather still allows around one hundred to two hundred guests to watch him train. But they are not allowed to take pictures or video with their cell phones, which is a new development. This rule is strictly enforced.

There’s a sign on the door.

No cell phones

While Floyd Mayweather is training leave your phone in your car

No videos

No pictures

No texting

No phone calls

Violators will be asked to leave the premises and will not be allowed to return

For emphasis, there is also a picture of a cell phone with an X through it.

10. It’s too early to tell how much this means, but those close to Mayweather insist that he will fight Pacquiao once and only once. “No way they do a rematch,” one person close to Mayweather told us. “No. Way.”

Mayweather, of course, has about $150 million reasons to fight Pacquiao again.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

Read next: Tickets for Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight to Go on Sale

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Basketball

WNBA Player Brittney Griner Arrested for Assault and Disorderly Conduct

Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury speaks with the media in Phoenix on Sep. 7, 2014.
Barry Gossage—Getty Images Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury speaks with the media in Phoenix on Sep. 7, 2014.

Griner's fiancée Glory Johnson was also arrested on same charges

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner was arrested on Wednesday on charges of assault and disorderly conduct, according to records from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Griner, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2013 WNBA draft, was taken into custody and booked into Maricopa County Jail.

Tulsa Shock forward Glory Johnson, who is Griner’s fiancee, was also arrested on charges of assault and disorderly conduct.

Griner averaged 15.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game last season for Phoenix en route to a second straight All-Star selection. She helped the Mercury win the WNBA title in 2014, when the team swept the Chicago Sky.

The former Baylor star averaged 15.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.0 blocks in two WNBA finals games last season.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Boxing

Tickets for Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight to Go on Sale

BOX-US-PACQUIAO-MAYWEATHER
Robyn Beck—AFP/Getty Images Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr, left, and Manny Pacquiao gesture during a press conference on March 11, 2015 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Tickets are reported to cost between $1,500 and $7,500

The May 2 bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao was made official on Wednesday after Top Rank, Mayweather Promotions and the MGM Grand came to an agreement to resolve multiple issues associated with the fight, according to Yahoo Sports.

The parties had been trying to iron out an agreement on several issues, including ticket allocation, credentials and other aspects of the much-hyped fight. The promoters and the MGM Grand, where the fight will take place, had not yet signed a contract, even though the fight was agreed to in February.

Now that the parties have reached an accord, tickets for the fight will be made available to the public. Tickets will cost as much as $7,500 and as little as $1,500, according to Yahoo Sports.

“We resolved all of the issues and now we’re waiting for the paperwork,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told Yahoo Sports. “I said on the call that if what we agreed upon is in the paperwork we receive, we will sign it and the tickets will be released.”

BISHOP: Mayweather’s new training device

The fight is likely to be the richest bout in boxing history, with both Mayweather and Pacquiao each expected to bring in more than $100 million. Tickets will be required for the weigh-in before the fight, with each costing $10 and proceeds going to charity.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Football

NFL Suspends Cowboys Player Greg Hardy for 10 Games

Greg Hardy on October 21, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Grant Halverson—Getty Images Greg Hardy on October 21, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Suspension follows NFL investigation of whether he violated its personal conduct policy

The NFL has suspended Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy for 10 games without pay, the league announced Wednesday.

The suspension comes after the NFL investigated whether Hardy violated the league’s personal conduct policy. Hardy is able to appeal the decision within three days.

Last year, while Hardy was a member of the Carolina Panthers, the defensive end was found guilty by a judge in a bench trial of assaulting and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder. The charges were dismissed in February after Holder failed to appear in court and could not be found by prosecutors, who said she received a settlement from Hardy.

Hardy only played one game in 2014, as he spent most of the season on the commissioner’s exempt list.

Despite the possibility that the NFL would issue a suspension, the Cowboys signed Hardy to a one-year deal worth up to $13 million in March. The 10-game suspension means that Hardy’s first game as a Cowboy would come against the Panthers, his former team.

A North Carolina judge ruled earlier this month that the NFL could view photos submitted as evidence in the case as part of the league’s investigation.

On Tuesday, Hardy filed a petition to expunge domestic charges against him.

In 2013, Hardy had his best season in the NFL, recording 15 sacks and 40 tackles en route to Pro Bowl honors.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Football

Tim Tebow’s Contract With Eagles Includes No Guaranteed Money

Tim Tebow speaks during a television broadcast in Atlanta on Dec. 5, 2014.
Brynn Anderson—AP Tim Tebow speaks during a television broadcast in Atlanta on Dec. 5, 2014.

It includes only the "typical, one-year, $660,000 deal"

Tim Tebow’s contract with the Philadelphia Eagles includes no guaranteed money, USA Today reports.

The deal, signed Monday, offers a $660,000 base salary, the minimum available to a three-year veteran. It includes an injury split that would drop the quarterback’s salary to $388,000 if he is placed on injured reserve, according to USA Today.

It’s a typical, one-year, $660,000 deal — paid in weekly installments of $38,824 during the season if Tebow makes the team — that comes without a signing bonus or other guaranteed money, according to contract details obtained by USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday.

Tebow, 27, last played for the New York Jets in 2012. He signed with the New England Patriots in June, 2013 but was cut before the season. He spent last season working for ESPN and SEC Network as a college football analyst.

In 2011, Tebow quarterbacked the Denver Broncos to the playoffs and fired a game-winning pass to Demaryius Thomas in the team’s first-round win over the Steelers. He completed only 46.5 percent of his passes on the season.

The Eagles currently have four quarterbacks on their roster in addition to Tebow: Sam Bradford, Matt Barkley, Mark Sanchez and G.J. Kinne.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Basketball

Oklahoma City Thunder Fire Head Coach Scott Brooks

Head Coach Scott Brooks at an Oklahoma City Thunder game on March 28, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Melissa Majchrzak—NBAE/Getty Images Head Coach Scott Brooks at an Oklahoma City Thunder game on March 28, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Brooks took over the Thunder on an interim basis in 2008

The Oklahoma City Thunder have fired head coach Scott Brooks, the team announced Wednesday.

Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that the Thunder were uncertain whether Brooks would return as coach next season. Brooks’s contract had been guaranteed for next season, with a team option on his deal for the 2016-17 season.

“As we all know, this past year we had unique and challenging circumstances and as I have conveyed, not many people could have accomplished what Scott and this team were able to,” Thunder GM Sam Presti said in a statement. “Therefore, it is very important to state that this decision is not a reflection of this past season, but rather an assessment of what we feel is necessary at this point in time in order to continually evolve, progress and sustain.”

Read more: Enes Kanter undergoes knee surgery, sidelined 4-6 weeks

Brooks took over the Thunder on an interim basis in 2008 after the firing of P.J. Carlesimo and was hired permanently after the end of the 2008-09 season. The Thunder made the playoffs in each of the following five seasons but failed to qualify this season. OKC star Kevin Durant, a four-time NBA scoring champion, was limited to just 27 games by a foot injury.

University of Connecticut head coach and former Thunder player Kevin Ollie was rumored to be a target to replace Brooks, but Ollie said in a statement issued Wednesday that he has “no plans to pursue other opportunities.”

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

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