By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
March 11, 2013
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. Nassau County claims the New York Islanders and SMG owe them much as $3.8 million in unpaid Nassau Coliseum rent, utilities and other expenses dating back to 2011. The Islanders will leave Nassau County for Brooklyn when their lease expires in 2015.
2. Some of NASCAR’s most popular drivers still have unsold car sponsorships for races later this season. Stewart-Haas Racing has six races remaining for Tony Stewart and three for Danica Patrick, while Hendrick Motorsports has 13 unsold races for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Primary car sponsorships for NASCAR’s top drivers range from $600,000 to $1 million per race.
3. Attendance for MLS’s nine opening weekend games was down 9.5% from the opening games at the same venues last season. The defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy, playing their first game since the departure of star David Beckham, saw its opening game attendance drop a league-high 25%.
4. The Arizona Cardinals and the Arizona Sports & Tourism Authority are being sued for failing to offer adequate accommodations for hearing-impaired fans at University of Phoenix Stadium. The suit calls for the Cardinals to provide game play-by-play captioning on video boards and concession monitors.
5. No Atlanta Braves games will appear on Turner networks this season after the team sold its remaining local telecasts to FS South and SportSouth. Turner networks had aired Braves games every year since Ted Turner bought the team in the mid-1970s.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. Despite the lockout-shortened season, the NHL expects hockey-related revenue (HRR) to reach $2.4 billion this year. The total would be 72.7% of last year’s record-setting $3.3 billion in HRR, despite the league playing 58.5% of those games and not having a Winter Classic.
2. Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens have agreed to a six-year contract worth $120.6 million, making the Super Bowl MVP the highest-paid player in the NFL. Flacco will receive $52 million guaranteed, including a $29 million signing bonus, as part of the deal.
3. Lowe’s signed a two-year extension with Hendrick Motorsports to continue as the primary sponsor for all 36 Sprint Cup Series races on Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 car. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but the deal is estimated at $30-35 million per year through 2015.
4. StubHub has signed on replace Home Depot as the naming rights sponsor of the AEG-owner MLS stadium in Carson, California. While terms of the six-year deal were not disclosed, an AEG spokesperson said the contract is more valuable than Home Depot’s original 10-year, $70 million agreement.
5. Florida Governor Rick Scott will earmark an extra $5 million per year in state funding to maintain Spring Training baseball stadiums. The governor’s office also said it would spend $20 million per stadium project, provided local governments match the state dollar for dollar.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. NASCAR, which launched a new brand campaign this season, only plans to air TV ads during NASCAR races, according to Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Daily. The sanctioning body wasn’t able to convince its media partners to let them shift inventory from races to other broadcasts, and has no interest in buying additional media time.
2. After being given favorable licensing terms from MLB, 2K Sports released MLB 2K13 under a one-year test to see if they can make the game profitable. The game has been losing 2K Sports more than $30 million annually, and industry insiders expected the company to let its licensing deal expire after last season.
3. The NHLPA has agreed to the NHL’s four-division, realignment proposal, paving the way for the change to go into effect next season. The new system will run through the 2017 season, but the league and union will reevaluate the model’s success after the 2015 season. The new divisions help minimize team travel.
4. MLS could consider expanding into Miami if Dolphins owner Stephen Ross successfully completes a $400 million renovation of Sun Life Stadium. No MLS team has played in Florida since the league contracted the Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Storm after the 2001 season.
5. In their ongoing effort to prevent player brain trauma, the NFL has updated its mandatory sideline concussion test to be administered from an iPad app. The app creates a scoring system to determine if there’s a material difference between a player’s baseline score and their post-injury score.