By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
December 12, 2011
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. National League MVP Ryan Braun has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and faces a 50-game suspension. Braun reportedly passed a second urine test and now is appealing the initial finding, however, no MLB player has successfully appealed a positive steroid test.
2. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Las Vegas developer Steve Wynn are facing local opposition for a proposed casino next to Gillette Stadium. After hearing complaints from hundreds of citizens, Foxborough’s Planning Board voted against two zoning changes sought by Kraft and Wynn.
3. LSU is trying to stop production of unlicensed merchandise featuring the likeness of Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu, nicknamed the “Honey Badger.” According to the school, since “Honey Badger” is a recognizable nickname, the illegal merchandise sales could affect Mathieu’s eligibility.
4. Penske Racing announced that driver Kurt Busch will not return to the team next year. Busch was fined $50,000 by NASCAR for poor behavior after the season-ending Ford 400. Shell, which sponsors the No. 22 Dodge that was driven by Busch, plans to stay with Penske.
5. The Nashville Predators are considering raising the ticket tax for events at Bridgestone Arena as part of a lease renegotiation. The current tax is 5% of the ticket price up to $1.75 for hockey games and 5% up to $2 for other arena events.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. Shortly after committing more than $300 million to free agents Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a new 20-year, $3 billion TV rights deal with Fox Sports. The Angels last year opted out of a much less lucrative 10-year, $500-million contract with the network.
2. A week after disagreements threatened a deal between Canada’s two largest telecom companies, Bell Media and Rogers reached an agreement to buy 75% of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The deal is valued at $1.3 billion.
3. Sprint signed a three-year extension of its NASCAR title sponsorship through 2016. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the original deal that was scheduled to run through 2013 was worth $750 million over 10 years. The new contract length coincides with NASCAR’s five-year Industry Action Plan.
4. The Green Bay Packers have sold more than 185,000 shares of ownership since a stock sale that began last week. The Packers are holding the sale to raise money for a Lambeau Field renovation. At $250 a share, the team has generated more than $46 million for the $143 million project.
5. Tulane University expects to have an on-campus football stadium by 2014. The school has raised $40 million in pledges over the last year-and-a-half for a proposed $60 million, 30,000-seat stadium. Tulane is trying to raise the next $30 million from the public through a “Home Field Advantage” campaign.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. The NHL Board of Governors approved a proposal to realign its teams into two eight-team conferences and two seven-team conferences beginning next season. The top four teams in each conference will make the playoffs, with the first two rounds of the playoffs featuring intra-conference games. Then, the four conference champions will meet in the third round of the playoffs, with the winners playing for the Stanley Cup.
2. Major League Baseball has become the first North American pro sports league to institute a dress code for media members. The code prohibits beachwear, sandals, visible undergarments, tank tops or team-licensed clothing. The idea came from an incident with a reporter at the New York Jets’ training camp last September.
3. The Santa Clara City Council plans to vote Tuesday on a financing plan for a proposed $1 billion San Francisco 49ers stadium. The plan has Santa Clara taking on more than twice as much debt as was originally promised to voters. The deal also calls for the 49ers to pay the city $30 million per year to lease the city-owned land.
4. Having lost three major partners for next season, NASCAR is expanding its sales team to generate more sponsorship revenue, according to Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal. NASCAR is coming off its first season since 2005 in which TV viewership increased over the previous year.
5. The ACC football championship will return to Bank of America Stadium in 2013 and 2014, but the conference will wait a couple years before announcing Charlotte as the game’s permanent home. This year’s ACC championship game drew a record crowd of 73,675.