Moag & Company Sports Notes (15 Nov 2021)

Date: Nov 2021

Trivia

How big is an Olympic sized swimming pool in meters?

Last Week’s Answer: The Triple Crown is awarded to a horse that wins the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes in the same year.

Football:

Sales during Indianapolis Colts home games last season took "a deep dive, a nearly $50 million dive" due to the pandemic-related restrictions at Lucas Oil Stadium, according to the Indianapolis Star. Among the biggest losses were "ticket sales, an estimated $38.2 million loss." Nearly 490,000 fans came to Lucas Oil for the '19 season and accounted for $45.8M in ticket revenue, compared to $7.6M in '20. Only 79,560 people total "streamed through its doors" for the eight home games last season. A second "major hit" came in "beer sales." Just $653,000 was "spent on beer and soft drinks" during the season, a drop from $4.8M in '19. For the Colts, the "brightest spot in local revenue" came from "money made inside Lucas Oil's 139 executive and luxury private suites." Associate Professor of Accounting with Indiana Univ.'s Kelley School of Business David Farber said, "Suite sales did a lot better than vanilla-flavored concession sales." Still, those sales dropped from $1.8M in '19 to $404,000 in '20. Overall, adding up "ticket, concessions, suites and catering sales," the Colts lost $47M during the pandemic.

Baseball:

The Atlanta Braves "brought in revenue of $234 million" during the July-through-September quarter this year, up from $212M from the corresponding quarter in '19 and $110M in pandemic-impacted '20, according to a disclosure by team owners Liberty Media. The Braves’ total revenue for '21 now has "reached $466 million." For Q3, the Braves’ operating profit before depreciation and amortization "was $58 million." After depreciation, amortization and stock-based compensation, that number was $35M, "compared with a loss of $15 million in the third quarter last year." Of the Braves' $234M in Q3 revenue, Liberty Media attributed $222M "to baseball" and $12M to "real-estate development (primarily rental income in The Battery Atlanta mixed-use development)." The Braves’ debt "increased to $721 million," up from $694M as of June 30.

Basketball:

The NBA is launching an investigation into allegations that Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver has made "repeated racist and sexually inappropriate remarks to his employees," creating a "hostile work environment within the organization," according to the Arizona Republic. Sarver "strongly denied the allegations" in the ESPN.com report and "called the story 'inaccurate and misleading,' blaming it in part on a disgruntled former head coach." He also "welcomed the league's investigation." Sarver in a statement said, "I continue to be shocked by the false reporting from (ESPN reporter) Baxter Holmes. ... I would entirely welcome an impartial NBA investigation which may prove our only outlet for clearing my name and the reputation of an organization of which I’m so very proud." Suns President & CEO Jason Rowley in a statement on behalf of Suns Legacy Partners, LLC said that the team had "retained a defamation attorney." Suns Vice Chair Jahm Najafi  in a statement called the conduct alleged in the ESPN story ''unacceptable''.

Soccer:

The EPL is "set to announce a record-breaking U.S. television rights deal" worth at least $1.48B (all figures U.S.), according to the London Times. It is "understood that a 50 per cent rise in the value of the rights, over a new six-year deal, could be announced next week," as final bids will "be accepted until Monday." The new deal should "help push the total overseas rights income" for '22-25 above the $5.38B received for '19-22. Given that a rollover of the $6.72B domestic TV rights deal "has already been agreed," that should "take the Premier League past" the $12.1B total for this three-year period. NBC Sports holds the rights until next year and is "likely [to] secure at least some of the new rights." Competition to NBC is "expected from ESPN and CBS." There also is "the possibility of more than one U.S. broadcaster being able to show matches." The U.S. is "one of the most important growth areas for the Premier League, especially given the collapse of the sports broadcast market in China" (LONDON TIMES, 11/5).

Sources: SportsBusiness Journal, Indianapolis Star; Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Arizona Republic; London Times

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