By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
February 6, 2012
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. Women’s Professional Soccer cancelled the 2012 season as an ongoing legal battle with ex-owner Dan Borislow has diverted too many resources. The league last year terminated Borislow as an owner for being too difficult to deal with. WPS hopes to return in 2013 with eight teams.
2. Oakland’s Redevelopment Agency has abandoned plans to build a waterfront baseball stadium for the A’s, meaning the only plan to keep the team in Oakland is renovating O.co Coliseum. The A’s, meanwhile, are waiting to hear back from MLB about whether they can have territorial rights to San Jose.
3. Orlando’s Amway Center continues to receive complaints about poor cell phone reception at the year-old arena. Carriers are trying to fix the problems in advance of the NBA All-Star Game later this month, but the arena’s size and high digital traffic should continue to cause fans issues.
4. The St. Louis Rams’ plans to play home games in London in each of the next three seasons could be in jeopardy. The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission said the Rams’ lease requires the team to play all home games at Edward Jones Dome. The issue could go to litigation.
5. Several columnists are questioning NASCAR’s integrity after the governing body allowed a points transfer to guarantee Danica Patrick’s entry into the Daytona 500. Points swapping occurs regularly in NASCAR, but the issue’s receiving extra attention because of Patrick’s high visibility.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. MillerCoors and NASCAR signed a five-year extension of their sponsorship deal that sees Coors Light remain the sport’s official beer. The company also agreed to a multiyear extension with Penske Racing to continue having its Miller Lite brand sponsor the No. 2 Dodge.
2. Alcohol sales likely would be allowed at TCF Bank Stadium if the Minnesota Vikings temporarily had to play there while a new stadium is under construction. The University of Minnesota-owned TCF Bank Stadium currently bans the sale of alcohol.
3. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat both extended their marketing partnership with Kia Motors America. Kia’s NBA spending is its largest U.S. sports marketing effort to date. The cornerstone of the Cavs deal is community outreach programs, while the focus of the Heat deal is the designation as official car of the team and American Airlines Arena.
4. The Milwaukee Brewers are on pace to post record ticket sales in 2012 despite Ryan Braun’s pending 50-game steroid suspension and losing Prince Fielder to the Detroit Tigers. The Brewers expect to top last season’s franchise record 3+ million tickets sold.
5. The MLS Houston Dynamo signed a long-term sponsorship deal to make Mazda the official vehicle of the team and a founding partner of BBVA Compass Stadium. As part of the deal, BBVA Compass Stadium will have a preferred parking area for Mazda drivers.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. The Seattle Mariners are investing $300,000 to install 168 solar panels at Safeco Field. The panels are expected to generate 40,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually, enough energy to power four new electric vehicle charging stations at the stadium.
2. NASCAR is in the process of buying back its digital rights from Turner Sports, with plans to manage its own website beginning in 2013. According to John Ourand and Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal, Turner will continue to oversee digital ad sales through 2016.
3. The Detroit Pistons could eliminate nearly half of the suites at the Palace of Auburn Hills as part of a proposed renovation. The plan calls for the team to convert 80 suites into more profitable space such as a restaurant, social media meeting area or team hall of fame.
4. Following their third straight losing season, the Miami Dolphins will not increase ticket prices and might lower prices on certain seats. The Dolphins sold less than 44,000 season tickets in 2011, the team’s lowest total since 1984 and down from a season ticket base of 61,000 in 2006.
5. EPL club Tottenham Hotspur is looking into going on a three-city U.S. tour this summer, and among the cities the club might visit are Baltimore and Los Angeles. Tottenham’s current jersey supplier is Baltimore-based Under Armour.