Officials concerned over business impact of delayed Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS — The postponement of the Indianapolis 500 from Memorial Day weekend until late August because of the coronavirus pandemic has created a “void” for businesses near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that rely on spending by race fans and tourists, local officials said.

Connie Harris, executive director of the Greater Speedway Area Chamber of Commerce, said May is usually a busy month for restaurants and businesses in the Marion County town of Speedway, which sees its population jump from about 12,000 residents to more than 200,000 during race weekend.

But Chris Gahl, Visit Indy’s senior vice-president for marketing and communications, told The Indianapolis Star that this year’s race delay until Aug. 23 will hurt businesses during what is normally their most profitable time of the year.

“Not having that is certainly a void that we will feel from an economic impact standpoint. It’s fair to say it’s hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact and that’s very conservatively estimated,” said Gahl, who added that Visit Indy doesn’t track the event’s fiscal impact.

“Their decision to postpone the Indy 500 past the Memorial Day weekend was a smart decision,” Gahl said. “We know now that just wouldn’t be healthy this weekend to take place in a meaningful way.”

The Indy 500 has taken place on the Sunday before Memorial Day every year since 1974. Tourism and government officials are hoping that the rescheduled date will draw similarly sized crowds as the May race.

Kelly Buck, spokeswoman for the town of Speedway, said the community has united to ensure that local businesses are still operating in August.

The COVID-19 outbreak nearly brought the U.S. economy to a halt, as Indiana joined other states in enacting stay-at-home directives by limiting large gatherings and closing nonessential businesses to stem the virus’s spread.

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The Last Ride episode 3 preview: The Undertaker wrestles with retirement

Across sport and entertainment, it is a rare sight to see someone truly go out on their own terms.

At the height of their game, as their star shines brightest.

There always tends to be one last match, or a final season, where the star fades and we finish with a somewhat tainted version of the legend that has been with us for years.

In the third installment of the WWE Network’s The Last Ride, chronicling the The Undertaker – both in his own words, those of his contemporaries and some incredible never before seen footage – we see The Deadman faced with the same dilemma.

With his body starting to creek, it’s clear Taker wants to call it a day – but on his terms, his way.

With the career he has had, he deserves the box-office ending. The show-stopper match, that leaves everyone breathless, the fitting ‘Last Ride’, if you will.

That could have been at Wrestlemania 34 with John Cena, but a three-minute squash match was no way to write the final chapter. His disappointment at that is tangible, and fuels his fire to carry on and pursue the perfect ending.

Fascinating is the look back on Taker’s Wrestlemania matches with Shawn Michaels, and then Triple H.

The matches with the Heartbreak Kid offered him the perfect route out of the business, the like of which Taker yearns for.

The follow on matches with Triple H, are pure joy. Storytelling at its best, this is what the wrestling business is all about.

Fans in the Middle East can also look forward to Taker’s first foray into Saudi Arabia.

He speaks of his honour to be in the Kingdom, the fans, and his match with Rusev

Another installment not to be missed.

The Last

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Geje Eustaquio hopes to build on latest gains

Team Lakay’s Geje Eustaquio prepares to throw punches against Yuya Wakamatsu in ONE: Dawn of Heroes. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

MANILA, Philippines–For someone who had been knocked off his lofty perch, Geje Eustaquio remains an inspired man.

“I really want to build on my last win,” the former ONE Flyweight champion told the Inquirer in Filipino. “That’s why I’m doing my best to improve my arsenal.”

Eustaquio tabbed a rebound victory at the expense of Finland’s Toni Tauru in the promotion’s last event here in November of last year, hiking his win-loss record to 13-8 since losing the crown to Brazilian rival Adriano Moraes.

And like many athletes around the world whose plans were hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, Eustaquio is making the most out of free time to refine his craft.

“I want to develop my wrestling and my accuracy,” he said.

Eustaquio said he is also drawing inspiration from the meteoric rise of his Lakay teammate Danny Kingad, who has become the second-best contender in flyweight just behind MMA icon Demetrious Johnson, and the recent success of the fight stable as a whole. Joshua Pacio has again successfully defended his strawweight throne, while Lito Adiwang, too, is on pace to make his own ascent in the division ladder.

“I feel like their achievements are mine, too,” said the 31-year-old striker said.

Eustaquio, however, acknowledged the fact that the trek back on top won’t be devoid of challenges.

During his 2019 campaign, he suffered an opening-round loss to top contender Yuya Wakamatsu. Also on the horizon as Eustaquio’s biggest hurdles are Reece McLaren and Kairat Akhmetov.

“I know our division is challenging,” he said. “But I know we haven’t fallen far behind.”

“I believe I am one of the veterans in the (flyweight class) and I feel that could

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