Moag and Company Sports Notes (23 February 2018)

Date: Feb 2018


Who did the Chicago Cubs play in the 1908 World Series?     

Last Week’s Answer: The first points scored in Super Bowl I were on a 37-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter from Bart Starr to Max McGee, who had replaced injured starter Boyd Dowler. Don Chandler kicked the Super Bowl’s first extra point after the touchdown.


Pittsburgh Steelers investor David Tepper is "considered a strong contender" to purchase the Carolina Panthers, according to Another source said Tepper was the "leader in the clubhouse." Tepper, who owns a 5% stake in the Steelers, is Founder & President of Appaloosa Management, a global hedge fund firm based in Miami Beach. His net worth "has been estimated" at $11B. While Tepper is "considered a leading contender to purchase the team, the Panthers are still vetting other potential candidates." South Carolina businessman Ben Navarro is "among those interested in buying the team and has been working on putting together a bid". Tepper’s route to buying an NFL team "would mirror that" of Cleveland Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam, who "owned a minority stake in the Steelers before divesting himself of that interest in order to buy the Browns" in '12.


San Diego Padres Exec Chair Ron Fowler is "hoping to break even" financially in '18 after the team this week signed 1B Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144M contract, "nearly doubling their previous record in free agency," according to The Athletic. The deal for Hosmer was a "commitment the front office weighed for months," but Disney's recent purchase of BAMTech "arrived at a convenient time" as each club received roughly $50M as a result of the transaction. Fowler said of the one-time payout, "We're going to spend a good portion of that. We've got $20 million in payroll not here and we've got another $20 million we just added." Fowler said that the Padres will spend about $18M this year on Petco Park, where a "new video board is going up in right field." The BAMTech payment will "help the club retire some debt." The Padres "failed to break even in each of the last two years," and to "fund their course correction," the team required a $20M capital call in '16 and a $15M capital call in '17. That money helped cover the $78M spent on "international prospects and overage taxes" during the '16-17 signing period. Meanwhile, the Hosmer deal "does not preclude another significant free-agent deal" for the Padres before '19 or '20. Fowler: "We still have some capital calls we can make if we decided somebody was the appropriate person, but we feel like (Hosmer's signing) gives us a jump on where we hope to be next year".

Despite "repeated setbacks and one outright rejection, the Oakland A's aren’t giving up" on any of the three potential ballpark sites the club has been working on in Oakland, according to the S.F. Chronicle. A's President Dave Kaval said that he is "still aiming for the A's to have a deal for a new ballpark -- somewhere -- by year's end." Kaval: "That's kind of our deadline." The latest bad news for the A's was Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District GM Grace Crunican's letter to the team that "nixed the idea of building a station" near a possible ballpark site on the Oakland waterfront because it would be "costly and too disruptive to transit service." Kaval said, "I don't think one letter rules out a BART station." However, he "acknowledged that a station at the Howard Terminal site might not happen until well after a ballpark is built." The A's setback with BART "follows the 'no go'" by the Peralta Community College District BOT for the team's "preferred ballpark site next to Laney College." Kaval said the third option of rebuilding at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is now "probably the front-runner" in terms of getting a ballpark built quickly. But he added that its location -- five miles from downtown -- is "still a problem". Kaval has maintained that any new ballpark would be 100% "privately financed".


Miller Brewing Co. was named a "Founding Partner" for the new Milwaukee Bucks arena, a deal that includes "three Miller-branded concession stands in prominent locations," according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The new arena's three Miller concession stands will include a "Miller Brewing Co. bar on the main concourse, and, on the upper concourse, Leinenkugel’s and Coors Light bars." The Miller bar "served as the venue for the announcement, with stainless steel bar equipment, beer taps and Miller signs in place." The Bucks said Miller also will lease a party suite, the Coors Light Silver Bullet Suite, "which will be an exclusive event space for limited events with a capacity of up to 60 guests." Bucks Senior VP/Communications Barry Baum said that Miller will be the "'exclusive' beer for the Bucks and the arena, a marketing arrangement that doesn't extend to beer sales in the facility." He added that products from other breweries "will be available at the new arena." Other founding partners include "BMO Harris Bank, Johnson Controls and Froedtert Hospital." Meanwhile, Nelson notes the Miller deal "does not include the naming rights for the new arena." Bucks President Peter Feigin has said that the team "hopes to secure a naming rights deal" of up to $10M a year for 10 years. Feigin said the naming-rights discussions are “moving forward.” When asked for an update on his statement in December '17 that the Bucks were negotiating with two finalists, Feigin said: "There are still two finalists. I think both of them will end up being partners".


Vision Esports, the conglomerate launched by former San Jose Sharks co-Owner Stratton Sclavos, former NBAer Rick Fox and venture capitalist Amit Raizada, has just closed on a $38M investment from a "host of investors" led by CAA and TPG Growth joint venture Evolution Media, according to Tech Crunch. Golden State Warriors F Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s Durant Company also "came in to back Vision Esports" along with Shamrock Holdings -- the personal investment vehicle for the Walt Disney family; the MLB St. Louis Cardinals; and New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. Through the new investment, Vision Esports will take a "majority position in the Echo Fox franchise that was Fox’s brainchild and launched the group’s journey to the center of the esports earth." The conglomerate is also going to include Twin Galaxies, which began in '81 as the "ultimate source for video game world records, stats, and player analytics and is now creating in esports leagues in conjunction with game publishers." Finally, the group "used some cash to take a majority position in Vision Entertainment, which produces esports related stories and livestreams for esports events." Now all of the various esports properties will "sit under one roof and the team at Vision Esports can work on rolling out their first league, a battle royale-based competition the Twin Galaxies’ H1Z1 Pro League," which will begin its inaugural season in April '18. Echo Fox "received investment" from the New York Yankees in October. They were also "awarded a franchise slot" in the North American League of Legends Championship Series the same month. It has participated in that league since its "initial buy-in".

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