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Thursday October 29th, 2020 9:57PM

The Latest: Navy coach expects fans at game with Notre Dame

By The Associated Press
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The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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Navy football coach Ken Niumatalolo remains optimistic that the Midshipmen won’t be playing in an empty stadium in the season opener at home against Notre Dame.

The longest continuous intersectional rivalry in the country was moved from Ireland to Annapolis because of COVID-19 and is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 5.

“At this point I feel good about all the plans we have in place,” Niumatalolo said Wednesday. “Obviously it won’t be a full stadium and it will be a lot different from other games that we’ve ever played at the Naval Academy, but that’s the new norm now.”

This will be the first time Notre Dame visits Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in the 94-year history of the rivalry. It will not be sellout because social distancing will be required.

“I would love to have the stadium packed with all of our fans,” Niumatalolo said. “I’m grateful that there will be some fans there if we do play, and it looks like everything is pressing forward that way.”

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The University of Connecticut is eliminating four athletic teams as it deals with an expected budget deficit driven by issues related to the coronavirus pandemic.

UConn President Thomas Katsouleas told the school’s Board of Trustees Wednesday that the school will reduce the number of sports it supports from 24 to 20, eliminating its men’s cross-country, men’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis and women’s rowing teams.

He said eliminating those programs, along with mandating a 15% cut in the operating budget of all sports and cutting some scholarships, should result in a requested savings of $10 million annually, or 25% of the school’s subsidy to the Division of Athletics over the next three years. That subsidy was $42 million in 2019.

The school will continue to support the eliminated sports through the 2020-21 academic year, allowing the 124 affected athletes time to transfer or make other decisions, officials said.

“While this is a painful decision, it is in the best interests of the long-term viability of UConn and of UConn athletics,” Katsouleas said.

The decision came as the Board of Trustees approved a $1.5 billion spending plan for its main campus in Storrs and regional campuses.

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Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila says one player and one staff member have tested positive for COVID-19.

Avila said on a video conference that the player was living in Florida, but was not working out at the team’s spring training facilities in Lakeland. He did not identify the two people who tested positive.

“They’re going through the process, obviously, of recovering as we speak,” Avila said. “It was just recently, a few days ago, so they’re still in the recovery stages, and at some point they’ll be tested again.”

With baseball returning for a shortened season, the Tigers are set to have training camp in Detroit.

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Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore will open Thursday for wagering on simulcast horse races.

Fans will be required to wear masks, maintain social distancing and follow safety protocols to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

The race track will open the first and second floors of the clubhouse. All fans must wear masks or a face covering upon entering the facility.

Pimlico is scheduled to host the Preakness on Oct. 3.

Nearby Laurel Park remains closed to the general public.

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This year's Berlin Marathon has been canceled following months of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers say “after extensive examination and various discussions” they were not able to find a later date. Authorities in Germany have blocked the hosting of major events through October.

The marathon was scheduled for Sept. 27.

The Berlin Marathon is one of the fastest in the world. The current men’s world record was set in Berlin by Eliud Kipchoge in 2018.

It will be the first year with no Berlin Marathon since the race was founded in 1974.

The announcement came on the same day that the New York City Marathon was canceled. That race had been scheduled for Nov. 1.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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