By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
January 30, 2012
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center isn’t generating enough tax revenue to cover its debt payments and its bonds are at risk of being downgraded to junk status. The Louisville Arena Authority created a tax increment financing district to pay its $349 million in bonds.
2. With owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz mired in the Bernie Madoff scandal, the New York Mets’ Opening Day payroll is expected to drop to $90 million from $119 million last season. The Mets haven’t had an Opening Day payroll under $100 million since 2002.
3. With the Rams playing a home game in the United Kingdom in each of the next three years, fans are worried about the team’s long-term future in St. Louis. The Rams’ Edward Jones Dome lease states that the venue has to be “first-tier” or in the top 25% of NFL stadiums by 2015.
4. Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas skipped the team’s visit to the White House to protest the state of American politics. Thomas, who blames both political parties “for the situation we are in as a country,” typically sports the Tea Party symbol on the back of his goalie mask.
5. Danica Patrick will skip this year’s Indianapolis 500 to race in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. While Patrick plans to compete occasionally in IndyCar, not having its most marketable star for its biggest race is a huge loss for the IndyCar Series.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. At least 20 groups submitted bids to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers, with several opening bids reportedly in excess of $1 billion. Current owner Frank McCourt believes the Dodgers could sell for $1.5 billion, which would set a record for a North American sports franchise.
2. The San Diego Union-Tribune offered a proposal to build a new Chargers stadium on the water. The plan calls for development in different phases, including a sport and entertainment district, a new arena and a public beach. The total cost for the proposed project is $1.5 billion.
3. The NHL and the NHLPA settled a dispute over hockey-related revenue from last season. The league couldn’t disburse revenue-sharing payments to teams and escrow refunds to players until both sides agreed on final numbers. The escrow pool had about $200 million, or 12.4% of salaries, in it.
4. LG extended its NCAA corporate partnership in the home entertainment, appliance and mobile phone categories through the 2015 men’s basketball tournament. According to Michael Smith of SportsBusiness Journal, the deal was brokered by CBS and Turner Sports, which jointly manage the NCAA’s marketing rights.
5. Banana Boat sunscreen signed a sponsorship deal with Chip Ganassi Racing teams in both NASCAR and the IndyCar Series. The company also reached agreements with 10 tracks, including Daytona, Talladega and Indianapolis, to set up displays on race days.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. Not afraid to shake things up, new Houston Astros owner Jim Crane reversed a long-standing ban on bringing food and drinks into Minute Maid Park and lowered ticket prices for the upcoming season. Crane also indicated he’ll consider name and uniform changes for the Astros.
2. Kia released a teaser trailer for its Super Bowl commercial in 18,000 movie theaters across the country. The carmaker will debut its actual advertisement on February 1 in the same 18,000 theaters, marking the first known time a Super Bowl spot has premiered on a movie screen.
3. Operators of the Circuit of the Americas F1 track in Austin will sell personal seat licenses to help finance construction. Suites at the track range from $100,000-$200,000 a year for 24-30 people, plus $1,000-$5,000 for the PSL. The Formula One U.S. Grand Prix is scheduled for this November.
4. The Colorado Avalanche will auction off camouflage jerseys with the proceeds benefitting military charities. The team plans to celebrate “Military Appreciation Night” for its February 10 game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Players will wear the special jerseys during warm ups, but not in the game.
5. Navy will join the Big East for football only beginning with the 2015 season, becoming the sixth school to jump to the conference in the last year. Navy made the move because of the conference’s willingness to let the school maintain traditional rivalries against Army, Air Force and Notre Dame.