By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
May 7, 2012
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. Plans to build a new basketball arena in downtown Sacramento appear dead after Mayor Kevin Johnson said differences between the Kings and the city are irreconcilable. NBA Commissioner David Stern said the league doesn’t intend to loan the Kings money to renovate their current arena.
2. The Nashville Predators continue to lose money despite on-ice success and millions of dollars in public subsidies. The team received $11.6 million in state and local money last year, and the Predators’ ownership group has injected $60 million into the team over the last five years to cover operating losses.
3. The Western Athletic Conference likely will fold after next college football season, according to Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com. The biggest victim of conference realignment, the WAC this fall will have seven football-playing members, with five of those planning to leave for other conferences in 2013.
4. The PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte could be removed from the annual calendar after its naming rights contract expires in 2014. As part of Quail Hollow’s deal to host the 2017 PGA Championship, the course agreed to not hold a PGA Tour event in either 2016 or 2017, potentially jeopardizing Wells Fargo’s renewal plans.
5. Miami Marlins President David Samson admitted lying about the team’s season ticket sales while playing at Sun Life Stadium. The team in recent years claimed 5,000 season ticket holders, but the number was closer to 2,000, by far the worst in MLB and lower than some Minor League teams.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. Despite concerns that the lockout-shortened season would hurt fan interest, ABC averaged 5.4 million viewers for its 15 NBA telecasts this season, the net’s best regular-season average since ESPN acquired rights in 2002. NBA attendance numbers also were solid on the season, with 18 of the league’s 30 teams posting increases or remaining flat year-over-year.
2. Former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley is making an aggressive push to buy the San Diego Padres, and he wants to close the deal by the All-Star break. The Padres recently landed back on the open market after Jeff Moorad’s attempt to buy the team fell through.
3. The Chicago Blackhawks and Bulls are collaborating on an estimated $80 million retail development around the United Center. The plan is to build 260,000 square feet of restaurants, bars, team stores and event space to revitalize Chicago’s historically downtrodden West Side neighborhood.
4. The LSU Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an $85 million expansion of Tiger Stadium. The project will increase the stadium’s capacity by nearly 7,000 seats to 99,500, the seventh-largest college football stadium in the country. Dallas-based architecture firm HKS is designing the expansion.
5. Tickets to Berckmans Place, the 90,000-square-foot hospitality structure under construction at Augusta National, already have sold out a year before the private club is scheduled to open, according to Michael Smith of SportsBusiness Journal. The passes, good for all week at the Masters, cost $6,000 each.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno reportedly is considering moving the team from Anaheim to downtown L.A. The team has an option to terminate their Angel Stadium lease when the building turns 50 in 2016. However, if they don’t exercise the escape clause, they must stay until 2029.
2. If the current BCS bowl games are incorporated into a four-team college football playoff, the location of the semifinal games could be determined based on the conference affiliation of the top two seeds, according to a proposal discussed at BCS meetings last week. Regardless, the current BCS format will remain in place for the next two seasons.
3. The Brooklyn Nets unveiled a new logo to coincide with the team’s move into the Barclays Center, and rap mogul and Nets investor Jay-Z designed the black and white emblem. Team officials hope the rebranding leads to increased merchandise sales.
4. Labatt Blue is ambush marketing around the NHL Playoffs, running a promotional campaign offering fans “Hockey Tickets for Life.” The NHL and Molson, the league’s official beer partner in Canada, are challenging the campaign.
5. The USGA is partnering with former HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg to produce a documentary about Jack Nicklaus’ 1962 U.S. Open victory, his first major championship. The hour-long special will air on NBC immediately preceding the final round of this year’s U.S. Open.