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Bust, Boom, and Hope: November 14, 2011

By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

November 14, 2011

“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near

1. Alex Meruelo and the Atlanta Spirit have mutually agreed to terminate his deal to buy the Hawks.  The deal reportedly was called off because Meruelo refused to meet certain economic conditions mandated by the NBA.  The Spirit said it would own the team “indefinitely.”

2. Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan canceled plans to serve as an assistant captain of the U.S. Presidents Cup team in Australia because of the NBA lockout.  Jordan last served as a Presidents Cup honorary captain in San Francisco in 2009.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is required to pay ex-wife and former team CEO Jamie McCourt $131 million by April as part of their divorce settlement.  The Dodgers and MLB plan to sell the team through a court supervised auction in order to maximize purchase price.

4. Financial services company The Hartford has decided against extending its NCAA partnership, which expires at the end of the year.  The company, which had been a NCAA sponsor since 2003, was spending an estimated $10 million annually on the deal.

5. Architecture firm Populous is urging Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organizers to drop plans to have air conditioning it its stadiums.  One of the directors in charge of the development plans called the project too expensive and "notoriously unsustainable."


“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner

1. The NBA lockout isn’t preventing the Memphis Grizzlies from giving back to local charities.  The Grizzlies Charitable Foundation is donating $370,000 to Memphis nonprofit organizations, bringing the total giving by the foundation to more than $28.3 million.

2. The Boston Red Sox have generated an estimated $45 million over the last nine years by renting city streets outside of Fenway Park to fans, according to Stephen Kurkjian of the Boston Globe.  The Red Sox pay Boston an average of just $186,000 a year in lease fees.

3. Major League Soccer’s 18 clubs averaged 17,872 fans per game this year, breaking the league’s attendance record set during the inaugural season in 1996.  The league’s total attendance topped 5.4 million, and was boosted by big turnouts for expansion teams in Portland and Vancouver.

4. The SEC formally announced the addition of the University of Missouri, effective next July.  Expanding to 14 schools, the SEC has decided to move from an 8-game to a 9-game conference schedule.  Adding Missouri also would help TV distribution should the SEC launch a conference network.

5. The Nationwide Tour announced it would move its championship to the TPC Craig Ranch course near Dallas next year.  The course, which Golf Digest recently named one of the top ten in Texas, hosted the 2008 Nationwide Tour Championship.  The event should bring more than $10 million in local economic impact.


“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival

1. The Phoenix Suns launched “Operation Orange Nets,” a community outreach initiative to hang 1,968 orange basketball nets at schools, parks and recreation centers throughout the Valley.  The number of nets signifies the Suns’ inaugural 1968 season.

2. The Portland Timbers will expand capacity at Jeld-Wen Field by 2,000 seats next season to accommodate increased demand.  The Timbers in their inaugural MLS season ranked sixth in the league in total attendance, averaging 18,827 fans per game.

3. The PGA Tour is looking for a new title sponsor for its Tampa tournament.  Current sponsor Transitions Optical has decided not renew its contract when it expires after the 2012 event.  The annual tournament at Innisbrook has had four different sponsors over the last 10 years.

4. New York Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz reportedly are selling 12 equity stakes in the team for $20 million each.  A deal to sell a large piece of the team to investor David Einhorn fell through in September.  The Mets are losing an estimated $70 million annually.

5. The Collegiate Licensing Co. is aggressively starting to license virtual products, according to Michael Smith of SportsBusiness Journal.  Among the new CLC-licensed items in recent months are Facebook games by Zynga and outfits for Xbox Live avatars.

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Beyond the Scoreboard
Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.
Beyond the Scoreboard eBook
Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.

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