By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
January 7, 2013
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. Attendance at college football bowl games is down nearly 5% compared to last year, with several games seeing year-over-year declines of more than 5,000 fans. One of the biggest disappointments was the Sugar Bowl, which posted its worst attendance since 1939 and the smallest crowd ever for a BCS bowl.
2. The Tampa Bay Rays are having a tough time generating local support for a new ballpark as a poll of Hillsborough and Pinellas County residents found a majority opposed to using taxpayer money. The team will meet with the Pinellas County Commission later this month to discuss stadium issues.
3. Showtime has decided not to renew “Inside NASCAR” after airing the show for the past three years. The network cited a change in programming strategy as the reason for discontinuing the relationship. NASCAR is seeking a new partner to air the show.
4. Prospective Phoenix Coyotes owner Greg Jamison was unsuccessful in trying to land minority investors through the U.S.’s Immigrant Investor Program. The program gives wealthy immigrants a green card in exchange for a $1 million investment in a U.S. business.
5. A record seven NFL head coaches and six general mangers were fired on “Black Monday,” the day after the regular season ended. One explanation for the unusually high number of firings is that no coaches were let go during the season.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. Major League Baseball this season generated $7.5 billion in revenue, up from $7 billion last year and a 435% increase over 1995, according to Maury Brown of BizofBaseball.com. With new national TV contracts going into effect in 2014, league-wide revenue could top $9 billion within the next few years.
2. The college football playoff that will begin in 2014 is expected to generate double the money from bowl entitlements than what the current system yields, according to research done by Kanter Media. Currently, BCS bowl title sponsors pay $15-20 million annually for the entitlement and a yearlong media buy. The projected playoff sponsorship fee is $35 million per year.
3. Included in the fiscal cliff compromise is a measure allowing racetrack owners to accelerate their depreciation expenses, thus reducing the taxes they must pay. The so-called “NASCAR loophole” is saving track owners $46 million this year and $93 million through 2017.
4. CBS is virtually sold out of advertisements during next month’s Super Bowl, with all but two 30-second spots remaining. Ads during the game are going for a record $3.8 million per 30 seconds, with some commercial time reportedly selling for $4 million.
5. New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek completed the process of refinancing the team’s debt and buying out his partners, making him the sole owner of the franchise. Terms of the buyouts weren’t disclosed, but Forbes recently valued the team at $205 million.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. The San Diego Padres launched a new membership rewards program in order to build a stronger relationship between the team and its fans. The program provides access to special team events and discounts at participating sponsors. The program will be open to both season ticket and single game buyers.
2. NASCAR unveiled a redesigned website after taking back control of the site from Turner Sports. The sanctioning body recently invested eight-figures in a new digital division, and hopes the new site will increase interest and attendance for the sport.
3. Proctor & Gamble’s Gillette brand has resigned Washington Capitols star Alex Ovechkin as a global ambassador, a role he’s held since 2010. The deal runs through 2014, intentionally coinciding with the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics. Ovechkin is from Russia.
4. Boise State, which had been highly coveted in conference realignment, is staying in the Mountain West after renegotiating its TV deal. Under the new agreement with the MWC, rights to Boise State’s home football games will be sold separately from the conference’s rights package.
5. The Minnesota Vikings are interested in putting a retractable roof on their new stadium, and the team should know by spring whether its within the building’s $975 million budget. The stadium, which is being designed by renowned architecture firm HKS, is scheduled to open by 2015.