Start your morning with Buzzcast: Takeaways from World Cup site selections; Manfred talks media and progress in Oakland; and LIV Golf players face mostly friendly gallery.

WWE's Vince McMahon stepping back amid probe

WWE Founder & CEO Vince McMahon has “'voluntarily stepped back' from his roles as CEO and chairman of the sports entertainment powerhouse amid an 'investigation into alleged misconduct'" by him and WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis. WWE said McMahon will "retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE’s creative content during this period and remains committed to cooperating with the review underway." McMahon's move comes a day after a Wall Street Journal report of "multi-million dollar hush money payments paid to women who allegedly had sexual relationships with McMahon" (, 6/17).

Predators near deal to sell team to Bill Haslam

The Predators are "nearing a deal to reach an agreement to sell the franchise" to former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. Haslam is "expected to become majority owner over an unspecified period of time, according to a report from Sportico." Herb Fritch is the current majority owner, and the franchise "lists 16 other owners on the team's website." The construct of the franchise is "not expected to change." The team's current ownership group bought the franchise for $175M in '07. It "wasn’t immediately clear how much of a stake Haslam is buying" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 6/16).

Warriors cement dynasty with latest NBA title

The Warriors defeated the Celtics in last night's NBA Finals Game 6 at TD Garden, then "hoisted the title trophy for the fourth time in eight years." With the win, the club is "further solidifying their place as one of the greatest teams ever assembled." They completed their "climb back to the top and remind the basketball world" of an undeniable reality: For as long as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are "on the court together, the Warriors aren’t going anywhere" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/17). In an era of the NBA "marked by parity and fleeting allegiances, the Warriors had cemented themselves as the great exception" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/17). This is the franchise's seventh title overall, its first two coming as the Philadelphia Warriors. Curry won the newly renamed Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award (SBJ).

The Warriors' latest championship parade will be held Monday in S.F. The procession will start at 11:20am PT, and NBC Sports Bay Area "will air live coverage of the parade and pre-parade festivities" from 9:30am-2:00pm. The franchise "held parades in Oakland" following their '15, '17 and '18 titles, but "after moving from Oracle Arena to Chase Center in Mission Bay before the 2019-2020 season, the franchise will invite fans to celebrate alongside the team closer to its new home" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 6/17).

FRONT-PAGE HEADLINES: S.F. CHRONICLE: "Fourever Champs" ... MERCURY NEWS: "Warriors Roar To Another NBA Title" ... BOSTON GLOBE: "In the end, it could have been more" ... "Stephen Curry's Legacy Is Cemented"

A-B giving up Super Bowl category exclusivity

Anheuser-Busch "will not renew its exclusivity deal for Super Bowl 57," having held the category exclusively for beer advertising during the game since '89. The NFL "does not plan to sign a new exclusivity deal with a rival alcohol brand." While A-B "still plans to run ads in the Big Game," its decision gives competitors the "option to run a national commercial in the Super Bowl for the first time since the ’80s." Diageo, the NFL’s official spirits sponsor, "also has an opportunity to purchase a slot." A-B "remains committed" to the NFL; in December it agreed to a multiyear extension "as the league’s official beer and hard seltzer sponsor" (, 6/17).

FIFA goes big with '26 World Cup host venues

FIFA last night unveiled the 16 North American cities that will host World Cup matches in '26, selecting 11 markets in the U.S., two in Canada and three in Mexico. No "specific games -- the opener, semifinals or final --were allocated Thursday." FIFA President Gianni Infantino: "We will take our time with that decision. There are some discussions to go on, and we’ll certainly choose the best cities there as well for the opener and the final." Five of the '26 host cities also were "among the nine host markets" in '94, when the U.S. hosted the World Cup for the first time. Mexico City's Estadio Azteca will stage World Cup matches for the third time; it is one of "only two stadiums to host two men’s World Cup finals (Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã is the other)" (, 6/16).

What "stands out about the selection of stadiums in the 11 U.S. cities FIFA named" is "simply their sheer size." The smallest is Miami's Hard Rock Stadium. With a capacity of 65,326, it is "bigger than all but one stadium used at the World Cup in Russia four years ago and all but one stadium built for Qatar 2022." All the U.S. venues are NFL stadiums (, 6/17). On Monday, representatives from the 16 host cities will "fly to New York to meet with FIFA officials and learn about the next steps in the process" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/16).

Host sites for 2026 FIFA World Cup
Atlanta  Mercedes-Benz Stadium*
Boston  Gillette Stadium*
Dallas  AT&T Stadium 
Guadalajara  Estadio Akron 
Houston  NRG Stadium 
Kansas City  Arrowhead Stadium 
Los Angeles  SoFi Stadium 
Mexico City  Estadio Azteca 
Miami  Hard Rock Stadium 
Monterrey  Estadio BBVA 
New York/New Jersey  MetLife Stadium 
Philadelphia  Lincoln Financial Field 
San Francisco Bay Area  Levi's Stadium 
Seattle  Lumen Field*
Toronto  BMO Field*
Vancouver  BC Place*

NOTES: * = Current home to an MLS team.

Download the
2026 World Cup host venues

Jazz expected to launch new branding today

The Jazz’s "long-awaited rebrand launch will take place" today, with the "expectation that it will occur" at 1:00pm ET. Potential jersey concepts have "leaked -- a white and yellow one, a yellow and black one, and a black and yellow one." As time has gone on, "noise has grown louder that those three jerseys are indeed part of the rebrand." Yesterday, photos "began to surface on Twitter showing that the 'J Note' is being changed from black to purple with the mountain logo that was featured on the team’s primary jerseys from 1996-2004 and was a secondary jersey in the 2019-20 season" (DESERET NEWS, 6/16).

Brewers unveil Nike City Connect uniforms

By Erik Bacharach
Brewers are the fifth MLB club this season and 12th overall to take part in City Connect initiativeBrewers

Just over two years after the Brewers rebranded with a new look, the club on Friday unveiled another new uniform, this time as part of MLB’s Nike City Connect program. The Brewers are the fifth MLB club this season and 12th overall to take part in the initiative, which launched last year and gave the team a license to be “more bold, more edgy, more experimental,” Brewers President of Business Operations Rick Schlesinger told SBJ.

Schlesinger called the concept and design a love letter to Brewers fans. It features details and elements that Schlesinger said directly appeal to the fan base.

  • Colors: The color palette is a tribute to the People’s Flag of Milwaukee.
  • Chest Graphic and Font: The Brew Crew chest graphic highlights the team’s fan-given nickname and uses custom typeface emblematic of Milwaukee’s industrial past, yet with a modern twist.
  • Hat Logo and Jock Tag: Milwaukee’s 414 area code and MKE airport abbreviation have been artistically merged to create a new mark.
  • Right Sleeve: A stylized grill patch is found on the right sleeve, a nod to the city’s love of outdoor grilling and the Brewers tailgating experience.
  • Sleeve Piping: As a tribute to both the club’s name and the city’s brewing tradition, the yellow and white piping on the jersey sleeves represents a beer’s foam head.

The Brewers will debut the new uniforms on the field when they host the Blue Jays on June 24. After wearing them through that three-game series, the club will wear its City Connect uniforms every Friday home game and on community nights. The new line of merchandise is now available online at and, and in-store at the club’s team store at American Family Field. “The goal is for a diverse group of people wearing this apparel,” Schlesinger said. “I think it's going to appeal to a wide swath of avid fans, casual fans and people who maybe don’t love baseball, but just love the design.”

Schlesinger helped lead the effort with key involvement from club Owner Mark Attanasio, his wife, Debbie Attanasio, and their son, Mike Attanasio, who, according to his LinkedIn, serves as the Brewers’ Dir of Brand Strategy.

Richmond Raceway set to name Waran president

By Adam Stern
Lori Collier Waran is now one of three women running NASCAR tracks that host Cup racesRichmond Raceway
Richmond Raceway today will name local business woman Lori Collier Waran the track's new president, making her the first woman to hold the role in the history of the venue. She replaces Dennis Bickmeier, who stepped down earlier this year from the NASCAR-owned track. Waran has a background in media and event management in Virginia, having previously worked in oversight roles at publications Virginia Business Magazine + Media and Style Weekly. She will start the role on July 11. Her hire means NASCAR now has three women running tracks that host its top level series: Jill Gregory at Sonoma, Julie Giese at Phoenix and Waran at Richmond.

Jeers muted as LIV golfers play U.S. Open

The first round of the U.S. Open in Brookline, Mass. included 15 golfers who "recently spurned the established PGA Tour" to align with LIV Golf, and the setting "had all the elements of a stirring, emotional clash." As Phil Mickelson "walked past a corridor of fans toward the course, he was enveloped in applause." The reception was "passionate and animated." There were "whoops and whistles that had Mickelson tipping his cap." When the applause "would diminish slightly, Mickelson turned to his trademark gesture -- a smile and a hearty thumbs up -- that would reignite the ovation." Dustin Johnson’s greeting was "muted but still affectionate." There was speculation we "might hear booing at the Country Club," but that "did not occur." Mickelson on the opening tee "did not hear anything close to jeering" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/17).

It was "clear from the outset there would be no great confrontation or evidence of some great golf schism." For the "occasional jeer of 'sell-out' or sneer of 'you’re the worst,' Mickelson was far more likely to be serenaded by Happy Birthday wishes to mark his 52nd birthday" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/16). The "hope was that the Boston crowd could retain their anger at seeing their week in the major spotlight hijacked by the issue casting" (London TELEGRAPH, 6/16).

Speed Reads....

In commemoration of the 55th anniversary of the '67 Cleveland Summit, the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition, Cavaliers and City of Cleveland today are dedicating a monument at the Summit’s original site in downtown Cleveland from 10:00-11:00am ET (SBJ).

Quick Hits....

“This deal promises to achieve things around the arena that I don’t really think we have an executable plan to achieve” -- Charlotte City Councilman Braxton Winston, on why he voted against a $275M renovation and construction package for the Hornets, which he further characterized as demanding “extraordinary capital investments” for a “lame duck arena” in Spectrum Center (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/16).

Twitter Me This....

Morning Hot Reads: Jumping Through Hoops

GOLFWEEK on why NBC and the USGA are making viewers "perform remote-control gymnastics" for the U.S. Open this week. The "good news" is that NBC Sports is "providing more than 45 hours of live championship coverage Thursday-Sunday, not to mention a staggering 100-plus hours of live streaming coverage from Brookline, Massachusetts, including featured groups and featured holes." But to do so yesterday viewers had to "bounce from Peacock to USA Network to NBC back to USA and a final stop at Peacock." It was "harder to keep up with than a game of three-card Monte." Unless a viewer "had a cheat sheet, good luck."


Final Jeopardy!

Last night’s "Final Jeopardy!" category was "Debut Novels."

"Published in 1991, this novel, the first in a series, has been described as 'historical fiction with a Moebius twist.'"

Today's Back Pages....

The Morning Buzz offers today's back page sports covers from some of North America's major metropolitan tabloids:

N.Y. Post N.Y. Daily News Newsday Boston Herald Chicago Sun-Times Philadelphia Daily News