By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
May 7, 2013
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig isn’t willing to interrupt the league’s schedule to help boost baseball’s chances of being readmitted as an Olympic sport. Some critics have suggested that major leaguers could play in the Olympics during an extended All-Star break, an idea Selig is adamantly opposed to.
2. Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel is upset with the Alberta provincial government for its lack of support for the Oilers’ proposed arena project. The city needs to find another $55 million to complete funding for the $475 million arena, which will be the centerpiece of a $2 billion downtown development.
3. NBA TV viewership during the regular season was down from the record-setting 2011-12 campaign for all networks that broadcast games. Of the NBA’s TV partners, TNT experienced the biggest year-over-year drop in viewership at nearly 20%.
4. Al Jazeera has no interest in purchasing the Tennis Channel, despite a recent N.Y. Post report to the contrary. The Qatar-based Al Jazeera, which owns the soccer-heavy beIN Sport, reportedly is interested in expanding its sports presence in the U.S, market.
5. Civil rights groups are threatening to sue Santa Clara and the San Francisco 49ers over the lack of minorities working construction jobs on the team’s new stadium. The groups claim minorities own none of the companies working on the stadium.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. Thanks in large part to an 88% season ticket renewal rate, the NBA generated more than $1 billion in gate revenue this season, according to John Lombardo of SportsBusiness Journal. At least 20 of the league’s 30 teams saw an increase in average per-game gate revenue, with more than $100 million in revenue coming from the sale of new season tickets.
2. The NHL can expect to generate up to $180 million in revenue from the six outdoor games it plans to hold next season. The outdoor games are part of the NHL’s three-year strategy to increase hockey related revenue by $1 billion. The league and players will split the proceeds evenly.
3. Two of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments announced sizable increases in total prize money for this year’s events. Wimbledon is boosting its purse by 40% to $34.5 million, while the French Open is increasing its prize money 16% to $28.7 million. The other two Grand Slam events – the Australian Open and the U.S. Open – previously announced increases to their purses as well.
4. The Charlotte City Council unanimously approved giving the Carolina Panthers $87.5 million to help renovate Bank of America Stadium. In exchange for the public funds, the Panthers, who own the stadium, agreed to keep the team in Charlotte for the next six years.
5. The Florida Legislature agreed to implement new tax incentives aimed at keeping Spring Training camps in the state. New stadiums built to serve two MLB teams would receive $50 million over a 37-and-a-half year term. Florida over the past decade has spent $40 million on Spring Training incentives.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. Roc Nation Sports, the new sports agency founded by entertainment mogul Jay-Z, is interested in getting into NHL representation. The agency reportedly is targeting top prospect Seth Jones, son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, for marketing and branding. Jones could be the NHL’s first black player taken first overall in the league’s draft.
2. NBA Commissioner David Stern recently took an ambassadorial trip to India to help grow basketball and the league’s brand in the country. Though the league in 2011 opened a six-person office in India, it was Stern’s first time visiting. India broadcasts three NBA games per week during the season.
3. Cincinnati-based LaRosa’s Pizzeria has given out more than $100,000 in free pizzas this month thanks to a promotion with the Reds. Fans receive a free small pizza in exchange for their ticket stub when the Reds strike out 11 batters at a home game.
4. Porsche signed Maria Sharapova to a three-year endorsement deal, making the tennis star the car company’s first-ever global ambassador. The agreement marks Sharapova’s second car endorsement, as she previously had a deal with Land Rover from 2006-08.
5. NFL Hall of Famer Barry Sanders beat out Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson in the vote to grace the cover of this year’s Madden game. In honor of the game’s 25th anniversary, EA Sports held a fan vote for the cover athlete that put current stars against retired greats.