Bust, Boom, and Hope: October 15, 2012

By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

October 15, 2012

“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near

1. Three weeks into its season, the UFL is on the verge of financial collapse. Players from the league’s four teams have complained about not receiving full paychecks or not being paid at all. The money problems have led some players to quit the league.

2. The WNBA averaged 7,457 fans per game this season, marking the league’s lowest average regular season attendance since its inception 16 years ago. Additionally, of the WNBA’s 12 teams, only the Los Angeles Sparks have a paid local TV rights deal.

3. The New York Mets are seeking banks’ help in raising money to cover the team’s debt payments. The Mets lost tens of millions of dollars over the last few years, and still have twice-a-year payments to cover Citi Field’s bonds. Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz were hit hard by the Bernie Madoff scandal.

4. Despite closing in on their first playoff appearance in five years, MLS club DC United is on pace to post their worst attendance total in franchise history. At 13,483 fans per game, DC United ranks 17th among MLS’s 19 teams, and has experienced a 32% drop in attendance since 2008.

5. Talladega Superspeedway officials estimate last weekend’s NASCAR race drew 88,000 fans, the smallest turnout for a Sprint Cup race in Talladega’s history. Across NASCAR, attendance at Sprint Cup races this season is down 2.4% over last year and 8.5% from 2009.

“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner

1. MLS Revolution owner Robert Kraft is looking into building a new $100 million stadium for the club. Kraft is considering two sites for the stadium, and he hopes to make a decision within a few months. The club currently plays at Gillette Stadium, home of the Kraft-owned New England Patriots.

2. MLB teams this season averaged nearly 31,000 fans per game, marking the league’s best regular season attendance since 2008. Fourteen teams had year-over-year attendance increases, with eight of those seeing double-digit attendance growth. The Marlins led all teams with a 44% gain.

3. Bass Pro Shops has signed on to be the co-primary sponsor of Tony Stewart’s No. 14 car for 18 races next season. The company has had a deal with Stewart since 2001, but never as his car’s primary sponsor. The one-year deal is valued at $12 million.

4. Broncos QB Peyton Manning and former NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway will be limited partners in prospective Memphis Grizzlies buyer Robert Pera’s ownership group. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Also expected to be part of Pera’s group are Justin Timberlake and former congressman Harold Ford, Jr.

5. Mercedes-Benz is returning to the Super Bowl this year after deciding not to advertise in last year’s game. The game will be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Ads in this year’s Super Bowl are going for $3.8 million for a 30-second spot.


“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival

1. Pocono Raceway announced that tickets to the two 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at the track would be available for purchase at select Redbox kiosks throughout Philadelphia. The Raceway joins the Wells Fargo Center and Villanova University as Philadelphia sports properties that have partnered with Redbox.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan was in London last week to promote his team to the British population. While there, Khan made several media appearances and met with members of Parliament. Beginning next season, the Jags will play a game in London for four consecutive years.

3. Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble has committed $2 million to the Reds’ Urban Youth Academy, a baseball and softball training facility set to open in 2015. The Reds’ academy is modeled after similar MLB academies in Houston, Philadelphia, and New Orleans.

4. The Chicago Fire are partnering with their jersey sponsor, Quaker Oats, to help defender Austin Berry win the MLS Rookie of the Year award. The team distributed special boxes of Quaker’s Life brand to national and local reporters, featuring Berry and his stats and urging the reporters to vote for the Fire star.

5. With a schedule that includes 13 of their 41 home games on Wednesday nights, the Charlotte Bobcats are putting together a new marketing campaign to sell tickets. The campaign, called “Wednesday Night Basketball,” will feature various ticket and concession discounts and giveaways.

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