Moag & Company Sports Notes (21 Apr 2023)

Date: Apr 2023


What is the only team in the NFL to neither host nor play in the Super Bowl?  

Last Week’s Answer: San Francisco Giants have a seal mascot appropriately named Lou Seal.


The M&T Bank is extending its entitlement of the Baltimore Ravens home stadium five years early, and for an additional 10 years, through the 2037 NFL season. The Inner Harbor stadium has held the M&T nameplate since 2003. The extension comes as Maryland has allocated $600M for renovations at the stadium, construction of which should start this year. Ravens Chief Sales Officer Kevin Rochlitz, who worked on the original M&T deal, said this extension took more than a year to complete. “With the improvements, hospitality and experiential areas at the stadium will change,” he said. “We’re looking at everything from adding named gates and plazas, along with suites and clubs. This will allow us to move forward easier with those.” The multiple decades with M&T naming rights contrasts with the stadium’s early years. What’s now often called “The Bank,” was originally called Ravens Stadium at Camden Yards changed to PSINet Stadium in 1999, until PSINNet declared bankruptcy in in 2002, and the venue reverted to Ravens Stadium. M&T, then entering the Baltimore market, purchased naming rights the next year.


The Oakland A’s appear to have focused their sights on Las Vegas after agreeing to buy land in the city for a new ballpark, which deals a “major blow to Oakland, which had been negotiating to keep the team in the city,” according to the S.F. Chronicle. The team envisions a 35,000-seat ballpark on the 49-acre site, and A’s President Dave Kaval said, “For a long time we were on parallel paths and right now, at this moment, and with this transaction that we just entered into, we are really focusing our efforts on Las Vegas.” Kaval said that the A’s next step in Las Vegas would be to “pursue a public-private partnership" to help finance a ballpark. The A’s still need approval from MLB owners to relocate via a 75% approval vote. Kaval said that if the A's can "strike a public-private partnership and get MLB approval to relocate ... the team could break ground on a Las Vegas ballpark next year with a projected 2027 opening date." Shortly after taking office in January, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao publicly indicated that the two sides were “back at the negotiating table despite the team’s focus on negotiations in Las Vegas.” The A's and the city had been “meeting every day this week and were hammering out details on how to pay for off-site infrastructure” for the Howard Terminal project. If the A’s do leave, Oakland will have “lost three major professional sports teams in five years”. The Vegas ballpark deal is “for the land only,” with the A’s having an “option to purchase an additional 8 acres at a later date.” Kaval said that a $1.5B ballpark with a partially retractable roof "would be built on the site,” and that ancillary development, “including but not limited to food and beverage establishments and even an amphitheater, are also in the cards.” With the location being just over I-15 and west of the Strip, Kaval said that the site “works out for residents and visitors alike.” Kaval: “About 70 percent of our fans are going to be locals, so we want to make sure we cater to them, to have a great experience at the ballpark. And this location will do that.” The site is in close proximity to both Allegiant Stadium and T-Mobile Arena, and there is a possibility that the A’s would have a “pedestrian bridge constructed from their ballpark over I-15 linking to Park Avenue at T-Mobile Arena".


Former Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry said he does not "think there was a ‘why now’" moment to sell his share of the team but it "sort of felt like this was the right time,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Lasry added that he does not "know if there is any specific reason" for the sale and does not "think it’s ever a good time.” Lasry sold his share to Jimmy and Dee Haslam at a $3.2B valuation. Lasry: “I think it was a good price. I don’t know where valuations keep on going. We’ll find out in five years if it was a smart decision or not.” He said that there were "only serious discussions" with now Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia, fellow Buck co-owner Wes Edens and the Haslams about the "purchase of his share." Lasry added that he "had no prior relationship with the Haslam Sports Group," but Edens’ "friendship and comfort with the Haslams was a part of the reason for selling to them." Lasry did "not sell his real estate holdings in the area, however," which includes the "plot where the Bradley Center was." Bucks SVP Alex Lasry also "sold his separate share of the team to the Haslams for an undisclosed amount".


A full sale of Manchester United “remains the likeliest outcome” from the club’s search for investment as April 28 has been “set as the deadline for third -- and final -- offers from interested parties,” according to the London Daily Mail. There are “multiple other parties who have offered investment in exchange for a stake” in the club. Such offers would allow the Glazers to “redevelop Old Trafford or build a new stadium and upgrade the club’s training ground while remaining in control.” That scenario would be “likely to trigger outrage.” The prospect of ManU “becoming a toxic brand should the owners choose not to sell is likely to be one factor under consideration”. There are “still only two parties interested in taking complete control” of ManU: a group led by Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamid Al Thani and British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe. The club’s co-chairs Avram and Joel Glazer are “known to be the most reluctant to sell up,” while Bryan, Edward and Kevin Glazer, as well as their sister Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, are “eager to cash in.” The Glazers are “understood to value United at more like” $6.57B, which “explains why a second and then a third round of bidding have been needed.” And with “no indication yet that either of the two main bidders appears willing to sink their opponent with a huge increase in their offer,” the "consensus over what happens next is shifting”.


SeatGeek filed confidentially with regulators this month for an IPO, "adding itself to a long list of firms aiming for IPOs once market conditions improve," according to a source cited by The Information. SeatGeek is "hatching listing plans as a post-pandemic boom" in live events "helps bolster its business." The company "expects to pull in more than" $500M in revenue this year, which would "represent a roughly tripling of sales from 2021" that the company reported in a filing last year. The filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission "doesn’t guarantee that the company will go public this year." This would be SeatGeek’s "second effort in as many years to go public." SeatGeek tried for a public listing last year by "merging with a special-purpose acquisition company" run by A's Senior Advisor Billy Beane. But the deal "fell through as investors soured on money-losing tech companies, particularly those merging with SPACs." SeatGeek’s larger rival StubHub "also has been planning to go public".

Sources: SportsBusiness Daily;; USA Today; The Athletic;; Wall Street Journal; S.F. Chronicle; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; London Daily Mail; The Informatio

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