By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
August 6, 2012
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. A new poll finds 67% of Atlanta residents oppose using a hotel-motel tax to finance a new Falcons stadium. The Falcons are negotiating with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority about a deal to replace the Georgia Dome, with the hotel-motel tax covering $300 million of the proposed stadium’s cost.
2. Although King County approved plans to build a new sports arena, the Seattle City Council won’t move forward unless it receives some of the tax revenue to improve traffic. Of the arena’s proposed $490 million price tag, public dollars would cover $200 million.
3. Visa machines last Sunday broke down at Wembley Stadium during two soccer matches, creating long lines and forcing fans to pay with cash. Visa, the IOC’s exclusive consumer payments sponsor, is the only credit card brand accepted at Olympic venues.
4. Critics are questioning whether NASCAR is still viable at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after last weekend’s Crown Royal Brickyard 400 had scores of empty seats. IMS used to draw 300,000+ for the Brickyard race, but attendance this year was estimated at 125,000.
5. Though not surprising, the hits keep coming for Penn State’s football team. A handful of players and recruits, including star running back Silas Redd, have announced plans to transfer from Penn State in the aftermath of NCAA sanctions levied against the program.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. Comcast Chairman & CEO Brian Roberts said NBC has generated a network record $1.2 billion in ad sales for its coverage of the London Games. Because ratings are off to a strong start, NBC released ad inventory that it was keeping in reserve in case it needed to make good on failed minimum ratings guarantees.
2. Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner has agreed to sell the team to Pilot Travel Centers President & CEO Jimmy Haslam for $920 million. The deal reportedly is close enough to being finalized that owners could approve it during a special meeting next month. Haslam currently is a Steelers investor.
3. ESPN has agreed to a 12-year, $960 million deal to broadcast the new Champions Bowl between the Big 12 and SEC champions. The deal, which runs through 2026, is roughly the same rights fee as what ESPN is paying for the Rose Bowl. The conferences will split the revenue evenly.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA Lynx owner Glen Taylor has found a successor to eventually take over both teams, and he’ll sell 25% of the franchises in the near future. The new owner, who Taylor has yet to identify, has pledged to keep both teams in Minnesota.
5. International Speedway Corp. is upgrading the wireless coverage at all 12 of its tracks that host NASCAR events, according to Michael Smith of SportsBusiness Journal. The cell towers that are being installed will benefit all NASCAR fans, not just those that use series sponsor Sprint.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. Grizzlies Prep School, a charter school created and backed by the Memphis Grizzlies, opened last week. The boys-only charter middle school will start with 75 sixth-graders, and will add a grade each of the next two years. The curriculum will focus on math and literacy.
2. Joining a trend that’s become extremely popular in professional sports, the University of California and the University of South Florida will use dynamic ticket pricing for football and basketball games this academic year. Cal and USF are the only two major colleges known to be using dynamic pricing.
3. Kellogg’s will put Ganassi Racing drivers Dario Franchitti, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Scott Dixon on the cover of breakfast cereals at Target stores. The cross-promotion is the first since Kellogg’s partnered with Ganassi Racing, whose main sponsor is Target.
4. In order to limit the empty seats that appeared frequently throughout the early Olympic events, LOCOG nightly is making tickets available for the next day’s events. LOCOG officials are meeting every night with the various sporting federations to determine which blocks of tickets will be put up for sale.
5. NFL Network last Monday debuted “NFL AM,” a new morning show that airs from 6:00-10:00 am ET. The show covers a range of NFL news, including fantasy football, and features various debates and interviews. “NFL AM” is produced and broadcast out of NFL Network’s LA studio.