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SPORTSBRIEFING

NASCAR in Nashville

(AP) – It’s music to NASCAR’s ears: the stock car series is set to return to Nashville, Tennessee in 2021.

Nashville Superspeedway will hold a Cup race for the first time next season, ending NASCAR’s decade-long absence from the track. The Nashville track is owned by Dover Motorsports, Inc., which has held Cup race weekends each year since 1969. Dover will give up one of its dates and move it to Nashville for an expected late June 2021 race weekend.

Nashville Superspeedway held Xfinity and Truck events from 2001 until 2011.

The 1.33-mile concrete track was built in 2001 by Dover Motorsports and hosted NASCAR and IndyCar events until 2011. The track is situated on approximately 1,000 acres just outside Nashville, and currently has 25,000 permanent grandstand seats.

Notre Dame-Navy football opener moved

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The college football season opener between Notre Dame and Navy has been moved out of Ireland because of the cornavirus pandemic.

The Irish and Midshipmen were scheduled to meet in Dublin on Aug. 29, but instead will seek to play at the Naval Academy during the Labor Day weekend. The decision to move the venue came after discussions between the Irish government, medical authorities and the leadership teams at Navy and Notre Dame.

“Our priority must be ensuring the health and safety of all involved,” Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said. “I am expecting that we will still be able to play Notre Dame as our season opener, but there is still much to be determined by health officials and those that govern college football at large.” The game is usually played at a larger alternative site when the Midshipmen host.

BGSU baseball saved

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) — Thrown out, Bowling Green baseball is now safe. The school said Tuesday it is immediately reinstating its baseball program, which had been dropped last month due to financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bowling Green was facing a $2 million athletic budget shortfall due to the coronavirus outbreak, and baseball was cut in hopes of saving other sports from a similar fate.

However, soon after the school’s announcement, a fundraising effort led by former BGSU players and donors brought in enough money to save a program that produced former Dodgers and Indians All-Star pitcher Orel Hershiser.

“In just days, our passionate baseball alumni and donors have committed $1.5 million over the next three years,” the school said in a statement provided by athletic spokesman Jason Knavel. “During this time, the university, in partnership with a select group of baseball alumni, will pursue a long-term funding solution to sustain and support the program.”

That means 34 players — including freshman outfielder Parker Hydrick from United High School and four coaches — have their team back.

Bowling Green has said previously it costs $750,000 per year to run the baseball program.

Other Mid-American Conference schools as well as others around the country have been forced to make difficult financial decisions due to the pandemic. Akron dropped women’s tennis along with men’s cross country and golf.

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