Moag & Company Sports Notes (29 Jul 2022)

Date: Aug 2022


Who is the all-time assists leader in the NBA?

Last Week’s Answer: The all-time WNBA scoring leader is Diana Taurasi


Metro Nashville officials will “forgo a competitive-bidding process to have a $200,000 'condition assessment' report of Nissan Stadium fast-tracked” before making a deal with the Titans for a new stadium, according to the Nashville Tennessean. In May, a consultant working for the Titans found that it would cost $1.8B to "renovate and maintain the stadium to 'first-class' standards for the next decade." That “conflicted” with a 2017 assessment by Brentwood-based Venue Solutions Group that determined the stadium “needed only $293.2 million to stay in tip-top condition through 2037.” The “unexpectedly high cost of renovations led the team to focus on building an entirely new facility estimated to cost $2.2 billion.” Metro Deputy Dir of Law Tom Cross said that in order to finish the report "in time," the staff chose to "hire Venue Solutions Group for another review of the facilities.” They said that going through a “normal request-for-proposals vendor solicitation process would take too long.” The hurried timeline will “still delay a proposed deal in the fall” between Metro and Titans officials. The earliest this report can be finished “will be the first week of November”. When Titans CEO Burke Nihill presented the $1.8B figure to the Sports Authority in May, he said that he “hoped to have a deal done by early fall.” At that time, he also said that another year of “bandaid solutions” could mean a "7% increase in projected construction costs.” Cross said that delaying the deal till November will “likely tack on added costs”.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot offered to "put a dome on Soldier Field," at a potential cost of $2.2B, in a "desperate attempt to keep the Bears in Chicago or save face if they leave for Arlington Heights,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times A portion of the cost “would be paid for by selling naming rights ‘in a way that respects Soldier Field’s legacy as a war memorial by keeping Soldier in the name of the facility.’” There also are “sponsorship opportunities in other areas inside the stadium.” If the Bears opt to stay, hundreds of millions of dollars in NFL "league financing" also "could be made available.” But key details about how the rest of the money would be raised “were not revealed and must await a soon-to-be-launched feasibility study.” Lightfoot “refused to say how she planned to bankroll a domed and expanded Soldier Field," and “didn’t rule out building the dome without the Bears." Adding the dome to Solider Field is “one of the three options for improving the stadium." The other two options are “preparing the lakefront stadium to receive a dome without actually building it," or "allowing the Bears to leave and proceeding with a more modest stadium renovation" for the Fire, college football games, concerts and other potential uses. Ever since the Bears signed the agreement to purchase the old racetrack site, Lightfoot has "sounded almost resigned to losing the team.” However, with or without the Bears, she has said that she "wants to improve Soldier Field and maximize year-round revenues”.

The NFL has launched its streaming service, NFL+, for mobile and tablet devices. The service will have two tiers: one for $4.99 per month/$39.99 per year that will have live local and primetime games and a premium tier for $9.99 per month/$79.99 per year that will feature game replays. In a prepared quote, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell described the launch as “an important day in the history of the National Football League.” In addition to featuring live local and primetime games, NFL+’s regular $4.99 tier will have all out-of-market preseason games, live game audio featuring home, away and national calls for every game and library programming. The premier tier will have full game replays, condensed game replays and Coaches Film including All-22. With the launch of NFL+, NFL Game Pass will no longer be offered in the U.S.


Toronto Blue Jays President & CEO Mark Shapiro said the $300M, privately funded, multi-year Rogers Centre renovation project that will break ground this offseason has "been a long time coming," according to The renovation will "impact nearly every part of the stadium’s interior," including a "full overhaul of the 33-year-old building’s lower bowl." This winter’s work will "focus primarily on Rogers Centre’s outfield." The bullpens will be "raised from the field of play and surrounded by both traditional and bleacher seating," as well as viewing platforms that will "allow fans to watch relievers warming up to enter games." Several new fan areas will be "added around the 100- and 200-level," while outfield seating closest to the field will "extend forward to the ballpark’s realigned walls." In the right-field corner, where many of the seats "don’t point towards the pitcher’s mound," the club plans to "rip out rows of seats and create a series of decks around the foul pole" to make room for more fan areas. The club’s renderings "depict a bar in the right-field corner and seating within the outfield walls." Outfield seats in the 500 level will "be removed," making way for "a pair of new non-ticketed areas overlooking left and right field." One of the areas will be "family-focused while the other will house a bar." Every seat around the upper bowl will "be removed and replaced." The club will "build a new family area and 5,000-sq. ft. weight room for its players, as well as staff locker rooms." The next phase of the renovation will be during the 2023-24 offseason, when the club plans to "demolish and replace Rogers Centre’s entire 100-level infield bowl." The project is "piloted by Populous," and is "intended to buy the Blue Jays 10-15 years to envision a longer-term solution for its outdated stadium".

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that a Congressional hearing regarding MLB's antitrust exemption could "take place 'in September or October,'" according to the L.A. Times. As the committee considers "legislation to kill the antitrust exemption," it has "focused on the impact on the minor leagues." Durbin said, "I’d like to see a new body of law, but I’m a realist. What I’d like to see, other than that, is concessions made by Major League Baseball." The committee has asked MLB and nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers about how the antitrust exemption "impacts minor leaguers." The advocates "responded earlier this month," and the league’s response is due Friday. In between, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred "triggered national outrage in his response to the question of whether owners cannot pay minor leaguers a living wage or choose not to do so." In a handbook for new draftees issued this week, the advocates said that they would "like to change the compensation system from one in which teams control minor leaguers for seven years and pay according to a scale to one in which players could negotiate the terms of their contracts." That could "lead to an unintended but easily anticipated consequence" of big markets "buying up all the best prospects." Those would be the "kind of details Durbin would like the parties to discuss: how to come up with a newer and fairer minor league system, not whether change is necessary at all." Durbin: "What I am looking for at this stage of my career is actual change. If there’s a way to move toward a better scenario, and they are willing to do it, I want to listen".


Following Vince McMahon's decision to retire, it is now “more likely” WWE will “get sold,” according to CNBC's. Jim Cramer said WWE will “have a buyer” because “you get a sense anything fighting wins, like people just want to watch people beat the heck out of each other.” Cramer: “They have subscription businesses, and everybody likes subscription businesses". CNBC said the WWE is “a no-brainer acquisition for Amazon or Netflix." Brown: "I think it’s very likely to happen now that Vince McMahon is stepping down”. Deadline notes WWE shares yesterday "jumped to a new 52-week high" amid the speculation that McMahon's departure "could nudge a sale of the company." Loop Capital media analyst Alan Gould said, "There is demand for live event programming, and it is the first time that one could realistically think that WWE could be for sale." With sports rights "in high demand and surging in value, he called the franchise unique, with significant upside." Goldsmith noted even before WWE's scandal this summer, the company’s "digestible size put it on most lists of potential acquisitions as the media biz consolidates." Private equity firms have been "extremely active in the space as well." In this case, the strategic value could "make it too pricy for PE, especially given higher interest rates". 

Sources: SportsBusiness Journal, Sportico, LA Times, Chicago Sun Times, CNBC, Sportsnet, The Nashville Tennessean

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.