By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
March 12, 2012
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. New York Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, their families, businesses and charities must pay $83 million to Irving Picard, the trustee of victims in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. The two sides also will go to trial later this month over an additional $303 million Picard is seeking.
2. The Sacramento Kings could struggle to have their new arena finished in time for the 2015 NBA season, according to Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee. The city needs to construct new roads and sewer lines before shovels can break ground, and city planners still need to determine how to fit the arena on its tight triangle of land.
3. Infineon won’t renew its naming-rights deal with the speedway in Sonoma when the deal expires this May. The original deal was worth $34.2 million over 10 years. The only NASCAR Sprint Cup Series track currently with a naming-rights partner is Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.
4. The University of Oregon has lowered revenue projections for Matthew Knight Arena because games and events aren’t generating as much money as expected. Revenue estimates from men’s basketball tickets are down 15%, while projections from events including concerts and rodeos are off 30%.
5. NFL Network decided to pull a scheduled airing of the 2010 Saints- Vikings NFC Championship amid New Orleans’ bounty scandal. The network said the decision not to air the game was a “programming decision,” not a directive from the league.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the league is projected to generate a record $3.2 billion in revenue this season. The total represents 50% revenue growth in the seven years since the league lost the 2004-2005 season to a work stoppage.
2. The Green Bay Packers raised $67 million through the sale of more than 268,000 shares of stock. The Packers, the NFL’s only publicly owned team, added 250,000 new shareholders during the six-week sale, increasing its total to more than 360,000 minority owners.
3. Allstate signed a multiyear deal to become an NCAA corporate partner, effective immediately, according to Michael Smith of SportsBusiness Journal. NCAA corporate partnerships range from $10-15 million per year and include heavy advertising on CBS and Turner properties.
4. The two biggest spenders in MLB free agency saw their investments pay dividends last weekend. Over 40,000 fans showed up at the Marlins’ new ballpark for the team’s annual FanFest, buying more than 130,000 single game tickets in one day. Across the country, the Angels sold 30,000 single game tickets in the first day they were on sales.
5. In spite of the down economy, ticket sales for the Izod IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach are up compared to last year. Race organizers have focused on increasing and improving hospitality amenities as a way to provide added value to attendees.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. LeBron James signed an endorsement deal with Dunkin’ Brands Inc. to promote Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins in China, Taiwan, India and South Korea. Dunkin’ has more than 5,400 stores in the region, with plans to open at least 250 more stores over the next few years.
2. MLB Network last week experimented with an “enhanced audio” broadcast, putting microphones on players, coaches, and umpires in a game between the Diamondbacks and Indians. The game was shown on a seven-second delay so producers could screen profanity.
3. Penske Racing will switch next year from Dodge to Ford in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Penske currently is the only major Sprint Cup Series team associated with Dodge, having partnered with the manufacturer for nine years. The team previously was with Ford from 1995-2002.
4. The Pac-12 Conference is seriously considering moving its college basketball tournament to Las Vegas’ MGM Grand. The tournament has been held at Staples Center for the last decade, but the conference hasn’t been happy with the size of crowds.
5. NFL Films and Vivendi Entertainment last week premiered their “Super Bowl XLVI Champions: New York Giants” DVD in, of all places, Times Square. Extra features on the DVD include media day interviews, a recap of Super Bowl XLII, and an interview with former receiver David Tyree.