Sunday, December 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs owners donate $1M for Hurricane Irma relief

The Bucs-owning Glazer family is donating $1 million to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts for Hurricane Irma.

"Hurricane Irma left a path of destruction throughout the entire state of Florida," Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer said in a statement Monday. "The long recovery process is already under way, and the entire Buccaneer organization stands in support of all those who have been impacted.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected, as well as the countless numbers of first responders and everyone who is working so selflessly to keep our communities safe."

The Glazer family has owned the Bucs since 1995 and has been deeply involved in charitable efforts in the bay area through the Glazer Family Foundation. The foundation's donations include $5 million for what became the Glazer Children's Museum in Tampa.

U.S. WOMEN'S HOCKEY TEAM OKAY; The U.S. women's hockey team took a day off after riding out Irma inside a ballroom of a resort in Tampa. The team was safe and hoped everyone else in the path of the storm was, too, captain Meghan Duggan said.

The team arrived in Wesley Chapel in August to train at the Florida Hospital Center Ice complex for the 2018 Olympics and was going to officially start its residency program over the weekend. Irma scrapped those plans.

Reagan Carey, USA Hockey's director of women's hockey and the national team's general manager, said they consulted with local officials and the Lightning in advance of the storm. They decided not to evacuate after learning the team was not in any of the anticipated flood or evacuation zones, Carey said.

One player agent criticized USA Hockey for not evacuating last week ahead of the storm.

GULFSTREAM PARK REOPENS: Horses were scheduled to be back on the track for training today at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, as well as at their Gulfstream Park West and Palm Meadows facilities.

Hurricane Irma caused minor damage to some of the track's older barns, mostly roof shingles. But all the horses — and those who work on the backstretch and live in dorms there — handled the storm safely.

Gulfstream Park general manager and vice president of racing P.J. Campo said the track has invested over the past two years "by installing a flood retaining wall and pump stations, and they worked. The stables were not flooded." Cards for the Saturday and Sunday racing programs will be drawn Wednesday. Simulcasting will also resume Wednesday at the track.

The track is waiting until Saturday to resume racing because "we have to wait for outside resources and utilities in the South Florida area like power, gas and clean-up to catch up," Campo said.

MINOR DAMAGE FOR HEAT ARENA: Roof damage to the Heat's AmericanAirlines Arena was superficial, the team said.

The outer membrane of the practice court alongside Biscayne Bay, which was left exposed on the side of the building, is believed to a "minor and nothing structural," the Heat said.

The practice court is a separate facility from the main arena bowl, sitting alongside the team's basketball-operations offices.

Most of the players departed South Florida in advance of the storm. The Heat open training camp Sept. 26. Its next scheduled appearance at AmericanAirlines Arena is an Oct. 1 exhibition game against the Hawks.

ELS WITHDRAWS FROM TOURNEY: Ernie Els has pulled out of the KLM Open golf tournament in the Netherlands so he can stay with family and friends in Florida to deal with the fallout from Hurricane Irma.

Els said his "first concern at the moment and the coming days is to support my family and our friends and staff at Els for Autism. We must be ready for the consequences of this terrible storm."

Els for Autism, the school that Els and his wife, Liezl, built for autistic children in Jupiter, was forced to close as Irma bore down on the state, tournament organizers said.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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