Moag & Company Sports Notes (03 Mar 2023)

Date: Mar 2023


Where were the Utah Jazz originally located? 

Last Week’s Answer: The first NHL All-Star game was held as a benefit for injured star Ace Bailey.


With the potential sale of the Washington Commanders uncertain, the team’s stadium search appears “similarly stuck in limbo,” but “whenever the stadium discussion resumes, a three-jurisdiction race may become a real possibility,” according to the Washington Post. On Dec. 2, one month after owner Daniel Snyder announced he was exploring the possibility of selling all or part of the team, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser that the “league supported her efforts to obtain the RFK Stadium site from the federal government because he wanted D.C. to have a seat at the table in the Commanders’ efforts to build a new stadium.” Sources said that Goodell also “offered lobbying assistance” from the league on Capitol Hill. Days after the December call, Bowser met with then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the office of Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) “in hopes of getting a provision attached to the 2023 government spending bill that would transfer ownership of the 190-acre parcel on which RFK sits from the National Park Service to the city.” The “lame-duck effort was Bowser’s boldest yet to gain control of RFK,” and it “circumvented” Norton and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson. For months, Norton had said that she “would not introduce RFK legislation in Congress until Bowser and Mendelson could agree on how to use the site and whether to try to lure the Commanders.” If Snyder does sell the team, it “could stoke competition for the new stadium".


On the heels of a World Series title in 2021, the Atlanta Braves last year generated a franchise-best $588M in total revenue, according to full-year financial results made public by team owner Liberty Media. That figure topped the previous high of $568M set in 2021. Baseball revenue increased for the full year due to increased capacity and ticket demand, World Series-related retail revenue and additional special events held at the ballpark. The increase in baseball revenue -- from $526M in 2021 to $535M in 2022 -- was partially offset by a decrease in the number of postseason home games and the absence of revenue from the Professional Development League Clubs, which were sold in January 2022. The Braves finished fourth in MLB in total attendance last season, with more than 3.1 million fans attending regular season games at Truist Park. In addition to baseball revenue, the Braves also generated $53M in mixed-used development revenue from the Battery Atlanta, an increase of $9M over 2021. The Braves, who played 11 home games during 2021’s fourth quarter on their way to their fourth championship in franchise history, played only four home games over the same period last year and were down $49M year-over-year in the fourth quarter. Additionally, operating income and adjusted OIBDA decreased in the full year and fourth quarter. Revenue growth was more than offset by an increase in operating costs due to higher player salaries, higher variable concession and retail operating costs. Facility and game day expenses were driven by an increase in attendance, an increase in the number of concerts at Truist Park and increased expenses under MLB’s revenue sharing plan. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased in the full year and fourth quarter primarily due to increased advertising initiatives for the 2022 season and personnel costs.


Milwaukee Bucks F Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nashville Predators F Filip Forsberg are "part of a new set of minority investors that have acquired a stake" in Nashville SC, according to Also "included in the group" are Antetokounmpo's brothers -- his Bucks teammate Thanasis, as well as Kostas, who plays in Turkey, and G-League player Alex. The terms of the investment were not disclosed. The addition of the new investors "continues a trend in MLS by which prominent athletes have invested" in the league's teams. Suns F Kevin Durant "purchased a 5% stake" in the Union back in 2020, while 76ers G James Harden "acquired 5%" of the Dynamo in 2019. Prior to that, Broncos QB Russell Wilson "purchased a stake" in the Sounders. In terms of Nashville SC, the addition of the Antetokounmpo brothers and Forsberg "adds to the team's list of high-profile investors," which includes actress Reese Witherspoon, her husband Jim Toth and Titans RB Derrick Henry.

A court fight in California revolving around Saudi Arabia’s creation of LIV Golf has “renewed questions about whether true separation from the Saudi government was ever possible” for English Premier League club Newcastle United, according to the Wall Street Journal. When Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund “took a majority interest” in Newcastle in 2021, the Premier League “set out a clear condition before approving the sale.” The league said that Newcastle “couldn’t in any way be controlled” by the government of Saudi Arabia. In the LIV litigation, the Saudis are “making a somewhat different case than the one they made to the Premier League.” In a filing submitted this week, the Saudi Public Investment Fund argues that it is “part of a foreign government.” The PGA Tour has argued that the Saudis “exercise substantial control over the golf circuit.” The Saudi investment fund has argued that while it is part of the Saudi government, the fund and LIV “are separate entities -- despite the fund owning nearly 100% of it.” The “intertwined complexities” of the Saudi’s investment in both LIV Golf and Newcastle “show how challenging it has been for the wealthy Gulf state to realize its global sports ambitions.” Premier League CEO Richard Masters in 2021 said that if evidence existed that the Saudi Arabia was “exerting control over the club, ‘we can remove the consortium as owners of the club’”.


Endeavor rode the wave of demand for live sports and entertainment experiences to “deliver solid revenue and adjusted earnings gains” for Q4 and full-year 2022, according to Variety. The company made progress on “shaving down its debt load, which has been a millstone” for the parent of UFC, WME and other major industry players ever since it "went public in 2021." Endeavor made about $500M in "debt payments, most of which were made in Q4, to bring its total long-term debt to just" $5.17B, from $5.63B as of the end of 2021. For Q4, Endeavor generated revenue of $1.26B, “down 16% year over year.” For the year, the company produced $5.268B in revenue, “up 4% from 2021,” and $1.2B in adjusted EBITDA, “up 21% from last year.” Net income for the year reached $321.7M, "compared with a loss" of $467.4M for 2021. For 2023, Endeavor “provided guidance” for revenue of $5.825-5.975B, which would “represent 10.6%-13.4%.” Endeavor’s Owned Sports Properties unit was “once again the star” of the Q4 earnings. The unit housing UFC and PBR “saw a 9% gain in revenue” to $301.4M.

Sources: SportsBusiness Daily;; USA Today; The Athletic;; Wall Street Journal; Tampa Bay Times;; Washington Post; Variety

The information on this page may have been provided by a contributor to ChinaGoAbroad, and ChinaGoAbroad makes no guarantees about the accuracy of any content. All content shall be used for informational purposes only. Contributors must obtain all necessary licenses and/or ownership rights from the relevant content owner(s) before submitting such content (including texts, pictures, photos and diagrams) to ChinaGoAbroad for publication. ChinaGoAbroad disclaims all liability arising from the publication of any content/information (such as texts, pictures, photos and diagrams that infringe on any copyright) received from contributors. Links may direct to third party sites out of the control of ChinaGoAbroad, and such links shall not be considered an endorsement by ChinaGoAbroad of any information contained on such third party sites. Please refer to our Disclaimer for more details.