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Bust, Boom, and Hope: October 8, 2012

By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

October 8, 2012

“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near

1. Having made little progress on a new collective bargaining agreement, the NHL will cancel the beginning of the regular season. It’s the fourth time in the last 20 years that the NHL has lost regular season games to a work stoppage. The league reportedly lost $100 million from the cancelled preseason.

2. The UFL could be on the verge of collapse after at least three players weren’t paid for opening-week games. Players are supposed to be paid $28,000 in eight installments over the course of the season. The league reportedly has lost $120 million since being founded four years ago.

3. Attendance for the Miami Marlins’ first season in their new ballpark fell 500,000 people short of preseason projections. With the average Marlins ticket costing $30, the attendance shortfall potentially resulted in a $15 million loss. The Marlins’ attendance was the worst for a new MLB stadium since 2001.

4. As if his team’s inexplicably terrible start isn’t bad enough, Arkansas football coach John L. Smith is deeper in bankruptcy than he originally thought. Smith first filed for bankruptcy in September claiming liabilities of $25 million, but a new filing last week shows the coach actually owes $40 million.

5. The U.S. Labor Department is examining the NBA Players Association for the union’s spending practices. The NBPA’s finances have been under scrutiny since last year when it was revealed that several of Executive Director Billy Hunter’s family members are on the union’s payroll.

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

1. MLB officially announced extensions of its TV rights deals with Fox and Turner for a combined $6.8 billion over eight years. Combined with the league’s renewal with ESPN, MLB will bring in $12.4 billion in TV revenue from 2014-2021. The $1.55 billion per season average more than doubles the league’s previous rights deals.

2. The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved the environmental impact report for AEG’s proposed Farmers Field. The approval is the last major hurdle to beginning construction on the $1.2 billion project once a NFL team commits to relocating to L.A.

3. The Massachusetts State Lottery and the Boston Celtics reached an agreement to expand their partnership for scratch-off lotto tickets. Sales from 2012 Celtics-branded tickets are expected to generate $30.2 million in revenue, with $5.8 million going to local communities.

4. With no end to the lockout in sight, EA Sports is capitalizing on the NHL’s work stoppage by posting record sales for its hockey video game. The company estimates sales of NHL 13 are up 9% over last year’s game, which marked the previous record for the game franchise.

5. Penn State football revenue will not take a hit this season despite the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Season-ticket sales are on par with last year’s numbers, and donations tied to ticket purchases are projected to reach a school record $17.5 million this season.

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

1. A new twist to buying national championship tickets, the BCS this year is partnering with Forward Marketing Media to allow fans to pay a non-refundable deposit for rights to tickets should their favorite team make the title game. The reservation fee/deposit ranges from $10 to $325, depending on demand for the team. The cost of the ticket isn’t included in the deposit price.

2. Ticketmaster announced it will donate a portion of October NFL ticket sales to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Additionally, all NFL tickets sold this month through Ticketmaster will be pink. The NFL has actively promoted breast cancer awareness month for the past four years.

3. Houston Rockets PG Jeremy Lin is in talks with his alma mater, Harvard University, to create a co-licensed merchandise line. The line would be produced in collaboration with Nike, which counts Lin as an endorser and has an outfit deal with Harvard’s basketball team.

4. Marlins Park will host its first-ever boxing card in December when welterweight champion Timothy Bradley defends his title. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum plans to feature several Cuban fighters on the undercard to appeal to local citizens. Marlins Park is located in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.

5. ESPN has signed a deal with Russian hockey league the KHL to show games featuring NHL players on ESPN3. The online network already has picked up five games over the next two weeks, three of which feature Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin.

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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.
Beyond the Scoreboard: Chapter 1. The Mega-Master Super Series XLXL eBook chapter

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