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Bust, Boom, and Hope: August 20, 2013


By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

August 20, 2013

“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near

1. Failed Sacramento Kings bidder Chris Hansen was unveiled as the anonymous donor behind an effort to force a public vote on the city’s proposed downtown arena. Hansen, who hoped to relocate the Kings to Seattle, apologized for the donation, but the ploy could hurt his chances of getting a team in the near future.

2. The San Diego Chargers are struggling to reach a new stadium deal amid turmoil and dysfunction in the city government. The team has been trying to get a new stadium for more than a decade, as Qualcomm Stadium is one of the oldest, non-renovated facilities in the NFL and needs $70 million in repairs.

3. The University of Maryland athletics department expects to operate at a deficit until at least the 2017 school year. The school posted a $21 million operating loss during its last academic year primarily due to past financial decisions and the ACC withholding $15 million in revenue.

4. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig may intervene in Tampa Bay Rays stadium talks due to the lack of negotiating progress with the city of St. Petersburg. The Rays are locked into their lease at outdated Tropicana Field until 2027, and rank second-to-last in the MLB in attendance despite six straight winning seasons.

5. Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk acknowledged that last season’s lockout was “extremely painful financially” for his club. The Senators reportedly are operating with an internal salary cap of $48 million, far below the league limit of $64 million.

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

1. The average NFL franchise is worth $1.17 billion, up 5% from values last season, according to an annual study done by Forbes. With an estimated value of $2.3 billion, the Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable NFL team for the seventh consecutive season. All but nine teams are worth more than $1 billion.

2. MLB and Sirius XM Radio announced a six-year extension of their media rights deal that keeps the carrier as the league’s official satellite radio partner through the 2021 season. The deal is believed to build on the 11-year, $650 million contract the parties originally signed back in 2005.

3. After years of financial instability, the New Jersey Devils finally have adequate capital after being purchased by private equity investor Josh Harris. Previous Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek had burdened the team with approximately $200 million in debt, which Harris is assuming in his $320 million purchase price.

4. LSU has sold out of its football season tickets for the 10th consecutive season, tying a school record for ticket sales in the process. The school has sold out of its season tickets every year since winning the 2003 BCS Championship. LSU next year will increase the capacity of Tiger Stadium to nearly 100,000.

5. The rebranded New Orleans Pelicans are seeing record season-ticket sales in advance of their “inaugural” season. In addition to the brisk sales, the team also is in the midst of a $50 million renovation to New Orleans Arena that will include a new lobby, an improved club level, and a bar in the upper deck.

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

1. MLB radio broadcasts are seeing a proliferation in drop-in ads to offset rising programming costs, according to Richard Sandomir of The New York Times. Among the more creative ads is Geico sponsoring the 15th out of a Yankees game to promote their “15-minute call” tagline.

2. Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck signed a four-year endorsement deal with audio products manufacturer Klipsch. The deal includes a provision allowing Luck to design his own line of products, including headphones. The rollout of the Luck marketing campaign is expected within the next three months.

3. The Nashville Predators are offering a special ticket plan aimed at keeping rival Chicago Blackhawks fans out of Bridgestone Arena. Rather than sell single-game tickets when the Blackhawks are in town, fans will have to buy tickets to a second game as well. The team hopes the added cost will serve as a deterrent for Blackhawks fans.

4. The Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 conferences are teaming with USA Football to launch a series of safety PSAs in advance of the college football season. Networks airing football games for any of the conferences have allotted ad time in broadcasts for the PSAs, which will run through Thanksgiving.

5. Several NBA teams are unveiling new jerseys in advance of the NBA season. The Phoenix Suns beginning in January will wear orange-sleeved jerseys for Friday home games, while the Detroit Pistons on ten occasions during the season will wear a jersey that says “Motor City” across the chest.




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Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.
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