Hard Rock boots Metallica for Mo

Updated: September 26, 2013, 9:34 AM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

Throughout the year, teams have honored Mariano Rivera's final season in different ways. On Thursday, Hard Rock Cafe will offer its own special spin to send off the closer, who will be playing his last game at Yankee Stadium.

[+] EnlargeMetallica
AP Photo/Kathy WillensFans were treated to Metallica playing "Enter Sandman" on Sunday but will no longer be hearing Mariano Rivera's entrance music at Hard Rock Cafes.

In a ceremony before Thursday night's game, Hard Rock will announce that Rivera's warm-up song, Metallica's "Enter Sandman," will be yanked from its song system to be retired from all Hard Rock-branded restaurants, hotels and casinos worldwide -- with the exception of Hard Rock Cafe Yankee Stadium.

David Miller, director of operations for Hard Rock International, said it was a small gesture to honor "one of the greatest athletes of our generation." It's the first time the company, which has a total of 173 venues across 53 countries, has "retired" a song.

As part of the pregame ceremony, Hard Rock will present Rivera with a unique Martin D-18 1939 acoustic guitar and a check of $10,042 to the Mariano Rivera Foundation.

The song was played live at Yankee Stadium on Sunday by Metallica, whose "Enter Sandman" debuted on its 1991 album. The Yankees started using it for Rivera beginning in the 1999 season.

Aside from the Hard Rock at Yankee Stadium, the two brands are co-owners of NYY Steak, with locations at Yankee Stadium and Coconut Creek, Fla., and one scheduled to open in Manhattan in November.

Darren Rovell | email

ESPN.com Sports Business reporter



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