Moag and Company Sports Notes (23 Aug 2019)

Date: Aug 2019


In baseball, what is a “golden sombrero”?

Last Week’s Answer: The first AFL preseason game was played on July 30, 1960 with the Boston Patriots defeating the Buffalo Bills 28 to 7. The first AFL regular season game was played between the Denver Broncos and the Boston Patriots on September 9, 1960. The Broncos won the game 13 to 10.


Reports that Jay-Z has a "handshake deal for partial ownership of an NFL team" under his new deal with the league are "simply false," according to sources cited by A TMZ report speculating possible ownership was connected to the deal Jay-Z's Roc Nation has to "become the 'live music entertainment strategist' for the NFL's major events." However, the "timing of the report, amid an already-charged atmosphere, has further complicated a murky situation which will take time to play out." That is "not to say that Jay-Z will not at some point get a piece of a team through his work with the league and its owners." However, he would have to be "fully vetted and approved by membership, and he would have to divest himself of his growing athlete representation empire as well". Denver Broncos President of Football Operations & GM John Elway said it "would be great" to have Jay-Z among the league's ownership ranks based on the "success he's had in his business career." Elway: "I’m sure there are a lot of ownership groups that’d like to have him a part of it”.


A New York Supreme Court judge upheld an MLB decision that "ordered MASN to pay" the Washington Nationals approximately $100M in additional rights fees, according to the Washington Post. Justice Joel Cohen "rejected a request from the Baltimore Orioles to overturn a May ruling by a three-member panel of MLB’s revenue sharing committee" that the Nationals were owed $296.8M from MASN. That number reflected approximately $59M in annual TV rights fees from '12-16, whereas the network had disbursed $197.5M, as "proposed by the Orioles, for that period." Cohen also ruled that the Nationals were "entitled to interest, to be determined by a court-appointed officer," on the amount they had "not yet received". The court's ruling "did not come as a surprise." There were reports in May that the arbiter had "made its decision in favor of the Nationals, but the ruling had been sealed until now." MASN is "expected to exercise the 'reserve appeal' included in the original court ruling to send the case to the New York Court of Appeals." A source said that the Orioles "retained a right to appeal, but could not exercise it until the second arbitration process was complete".


The Boston Celtics are "looking to replace the General Electric logo on their jersey, perhaps as soon as this season," according to the Sports Business Journal. One source said that GE’s "initial purpose behind signing on" with the team was a planned corporate HQ in Boston, so "it made good corporate sense to put their logo on the team’s uniform with the company returning home." But with GE having since "scrapped those plans, it appears as if the goodwill gesture is no longer necessary." Celtics Senior VP/Corporate Partnerships & Business Development Ted Dalton said, "We couldn’t be happier with the overall impact, exposure and value of the jersey sponsorship, which has outperformed our expectations significantly. We look forward to another great season of this partnership." The Dallas Mavericks last week became the "first NBA team to announce an end to their initial patch sponsorship," ending their deal with local company 5miles.


St. Louis has officially been named the 28th franchise in MLS, and it will be the "first female majority-owned club" in league history, with an ownership group led by Enterprise Holdings Foundation President Carolyn Kindle Betz, according to World Wide Technology CEO Jim Kavanaugh, EH Exec Chair Andy Taylor and "six female members of the Taylor family" make up the rest of the club's ownership group. Betz said, "It's an incredible feeling to now be able to say St. Louis is home to the first official majority female-led ownership group in MLS". The city's patience produced "one of the best expansion bids in MLS history, one that pushes the envelope by putting women in positions of power." The focus will "soon shift to what comes next -- finalized plans for stadium design, sponsorships, team branding and more" -- but announcement is a "day to celebrate". The MLS St. Louis ownership group has partnered with Snow Kreilich Architects co-Founder Julie Snow and architecture firm HOK to design a stadium that will "seat between 22,000 and 25,000 people." The stadium will be "primarily privately financed." The ownership group will also "pay for stadium maintenance, repair and upkeep".  The ownership group will "pay for the construction of the stadium, but the project proposal includes plenty of breaks." Some of the incentives include: "Free use of the land, currently owned by the Missouri Department of Transportation; a sales tax exemption on stadium construction materials;" a 50% sales tax exemption on ticket taxes (with revenues from the other 50% going toward stadium upgrades); and a 3% "user-only sales tax on stadium goods going toward the stadium's operation and construction"

The proposed site for MLS expansion club Inter Miami CF's stadium and mall is "far more toxic than previously expected, with arsenic contamination levels reaching more than twice the legal limit and surface-level soil samples containing debris that poses a 'physical hazard,'" according to the Miami Herald. The "severity of the pollution underneath the grass" at Melreese Country Club is a "significant factor that could alter Inter Miami’s future on the 131-acre site." Nearly the entire site is "sullied by ash from an old municipal incinerator that was shut down decades ago." Soil testing found contamination levels at "twice the allowable limit for arsenic." Barium and lead levels also "exceeded legal limits." It "wasn’t immediately clear whether the cost of fixing the problem would make the plans for a stadium and commercial complex unfeasible." Inter Miami officials have in the past estimated the cleanup would cost in the range of $35M, a number "repeatedly offered" by the team’s Managing Owner Jorge Mas. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said that team officials have "more recently estimated the cost could reach" $50M. 


Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues will announce that it has sold two more franchise slots for the forthcoming Call of Duty esports league to Misfits Gaming and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. Activision is doubling down on the city-based, franchised model for esports by launching the CoD league next year, while also running the second-year Overwatch League. Misfits’ team will be based in Florida -- no city was named in a press release -- while KSE will run a second team in L.A. Activision is selling slots in the CoD league for a reported $25M, and the addition of these two brings the league’s currently announced total to nine. OWL started its first season off with 12 teams, and the same minimum amount is expected here. Esports outlet Dexerto recently cited an Activision sales deck that indicated the league wants to eventually expand to 28 teams.

Sources: SportsBusiness Daily; The Athletic;;;; Washington Post;; Miami Herald

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