Moag & Company Sports Notes (21 Oct 2022)

Date: Oct 2022

Trivia

Who was the first president to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a Major League Baseball game? 

Last Week’s Answer: In 1982, the NFL regular-season schedule was made up of 9 games.

Football:

Rams owner Stan Kroenke will be able to recover nearly half his tab for the St. Louis settlement from the rest of league under fine points of the deal approved Tuesday, sources said. Those terms, not previously disclosed, mean the rest of the league will eventually shoulder more than double what it initially appeared. The total at issue is about $820 million: $790 million to St. Louis, plus another $30 million in interest and attorney fees. Kroenke must pay about $600 million of that, with the other 31 owners having already paid about $220 million. Kroenke’s roughly $600 million obligation is broken into two tranches: $320 million due to the league in March, and another $283 million due in five years. Here’s the important part: the Rams will be able to get that second part back over 30 years by holding onto ticket revenue at SoFi Stadium they’d normally have to share -- similar to how teams can already finance stadium upgrades. This solution means that Kroenke’s liability is substantially lowered while still not requiring the other 31 teams to actually cut checks. The others’ initial $220 million payment came in the form of $7 million-per-team deductions from national revenue distributions this year. Their share of the far-out payback to Kroenke will be felt in gradual cuts to future distributions from SoFi gate receipts.

Baseball:

A group led by Monumental Sports & Entertainment Chair & CEO Ted Leonsis is "emerging as the clear front-runner to buy the Nationals" from the Lerner family. A source said that Leonsis’ group "has been ahead of the others for the last month or so." But multiple sources said that a sale "is not imminent." The sale "would not likely be completed before MLB’s Winter Meetings in San Diego in December, leaving the possibility for the sale to not be concluded until 2023." One holdup in the discussions "may be the uncertain status" of MASN. Leonsis’ group "is being co-piloted" by Carlisle Group co-founder David Rubenstein. If the purchase is completed, Leonsis would join Stan Kroenke in owning teams in three major U.S. men's stick-and-ball leagues.

Basketball:

Nine Campus Apartments CEO David Adelman bought a “significant share” of Fanatics owner Michael Rubin’s “roughly 10% stake” in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and is now a 76ers limited partner, according to Keith Pompey of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. It was announced in June that Rubin would sell his stake in the team after “growing the business and acknowledging conflicts that made it difficult for him to remain in team ownership and meet requirements laid out” in the NBA and NHL CBAs. The rest of Rubin’s stake is being “consolidated by managing partner Josh Harris, co-managing partner David Blitzer and additional limited partners.” Adelman is Chair of 76 Devcorp, a new development company “responsible for building 76 Place” at Market East, where the company “hopes to bring" a $1.3B, 18,500-seat arena. Adelman said, “This is Josh and David’s team. ... Being the Philadelphia partner, I can bring some perspective of the city and things like that. You know working, being partners with them on the arena, it feels very natural there.” A “diehard Sixers fan,” Adelman has shared “four floor-seat season tickets between the scorers table and Sixers bench” with Campus Apartments founder and “Sixers superfan” Alan Horwitz for 15 years. In the “coming weeks,” HBSE “intends to condense their ownership group.” Some limited partners “will remain while other limited partners will leave”

Other:

The opening of football season delivered the expected rise in handle for U.S. sportsbooks in September, but the surge was also not as big as expected.  DraftKings did pick up notable gains in online handle share in each of five states that report results from individual sportsbooks. The company gained four to seven share points in each of the those states, including three of the five largest markets. In four of those states, the rise came largely at the expense of market leader FanDuel. In New York, DraftKings was up 6 points, from 28% to 34%, while FanDuel fell from 43% to 40%. In Pennsylvania, it gained seven points to 34%, pulling to within one of FanDuel, which dropped by four. In Michigan, it rose six points to 30%, passing FanDuel, which dropped four to 29%. In Indiana, where DraftKings led FanDuel 33%-32% in August, it opened the lead to 37%-31%, with Caesars and MGM also losing ground. In Iowa, where the two were tied at 27% in August, DraftKings rose to 37% while FanDuel fell to 24%. It’s difficult to surmise exactly what’s going on here using only the data available publicly. It could be as simple as DraftKings luring customers away from FanDuel in a way that might stick. But a closer look under the hood indicates that it may be something else -- something that hints at the pivot FanDuel promised when it began talking more about turning a profit this past summer.

Sources: SportsBusiness Daily; ESPN.com; S.F. Chronicle; USA Today; ProFootballTalk; Sportsnet

 
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