Moag and Company Sports Notes (24 May 2019)

Date: May 2019


According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, what was the first Baseball movie?

Last Week’s Answer: The Texas Rangers were founded in Washington DC in 1961 as the Washington Senators. They moved to Texas and became the Rangers in 1972.


Outback Steakhouse will "extend its title sponsorship contract" with the New Year's Day bowl game at Raymond James Stadium until January '26, bringing Outback's "name sponsorship of the bowl out to a total of 31 years," according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal. The Outback Bowl is the "longest-standing title sponsorship in college football," and is currently in negotiations with ESPN and Big Ten and SEC officials about "extending those relationships as well." Over the next seven games, the Outback Bowl will contribute $45M to universities and donate at least $3.5M to charities "through its Charitable Giving Initiative." Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands is the parent company of Outback Steakhouse and "one of the area's largest public companies".


Montreal businessman Stephen Bronfman's investment firm Claridge and local real estate developer Devimco have "agreed on the development" of a ballpark in the city's Peel Basin area, where Bronfman's Montreal Baseball Project group "wants to build" a new ballpark for a potential MLB team, according to the Montreal Gazette. Devimco would "purchase the land from the Canada Lands Company and Claridge would act as a financial partner for the approximately 950,000-square-foot development". It "wasn't clear how long completing the purchase would take." Bronfman said that he "hopes to make an announcement in the summer, but he isn't too hung up on dates." He added that planning is "underway but certain details could not be divulged." Former Expos Owner Charles Bronfman, Stephen's father, said that he is "convinced that his son's project is sound" and that a proper ballpark is "necessary for it to succeed." His advice to his son was to "remain patient".


The Phoenix Suns have refuted a report that team Owner Robert Sarver was "looking to sell," according to the Arizona Republic. The Suns called the report "100 percent false." Things got “stirred up” after a segment on KJZZ-FM in Phoenix was discussing the Arizona Coyotes' "ongoing ownership situation." "There are a great deal of rumblings -- more than rumblings -- that, very quietly, Robert Sarver has put the Suns up for sale." This was "not public yet, but he certainly has launched a very quiet, private sale message out there. I can tell you that my sources are absolutely impeccable on this story about the Coyotes. And then what came to discussion last night from another story was that yes, in fact, Mr. Sarver is quietly trying to sell the basketball team as well." It was also reported that there is an "impending sale" of the Coyotes by Owner Andrew Barroway. Barroway "will be vacating his majority position within the hockey club, will still maintain a minority position with the hockey club as the NHL and the new owners close the deal, probably between now and the board of governors (meeting) in June." It has been "no secret that Barroway has been seeking an investor to join the Coyotes as a minority owner".


Inter Miami CF Managing Owner Jorge Mas has told Miami-Dade County officials that the MLS expansion team plans to pay $9M to "close on three acres of Miami-Dade land in the Overtown neighborhood and ask Miami for permits to build" a soccer-specific stadium there, according to the Miami Herald. Overtown was David Beckham's pick for a stadium until early '18, when his group "switched to a larger proposal on Miami’s Melreese golf course." Mas has previously said that Overtown is a "back-up option if Melreese falls through, even though he has also described it as too cramped for the kind of entertainment and shopping destination he wants to create" at Melreese. Melreese "remains the preferred site." That means Inter Miami "could have three stadium sites in play," with Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale "already approved." After Inter Miami's "recent legal victory" in a case against local activist Bruce Matheson, the group has 30 days to "make its next down payment" on the Overtown site. That deal is "contingent upon building a stadium on the property at a cost" of at least $175M.


NASCAR has reached an agreement to acquire ISC in a deal valued at around $2B, or $45 a share. The merger is not expected to close until later this year but the announcement signals that NASCAR has completed the largest hurdle facing the proposed deal -- getting ISC’s special committee of independent directors to unanimously accept the terms of the acquisition. The deal still needs to be approved by a majority of non-France shareholders, among other details, before it closes. NASCAR’s original bid was for $42 a share, but it faced some opposition from shareholders about those terms, eventually resulting in a class-action lawsuit. Today’s announcement indicated that suit will be dropped as part of the increase of the offer to $45 a share. As has been noted since NASCAR’s bid was first revealed in early November, the move has the potential to help reshape the sport on several fronts from schedule shakeups to who ultimately will own and control the sport for years to come. Meanwhile, rival track operator SMI is also in the process of trying to go private via the Smith family’s Sonic Financial holding company. SMI announced earlier this week that the special committee reviewing Sonic Financial’s offer has retained Morgan Stanley. ISC’s stock was halted from trading briefly this morning as part of the announcement, but it was later tracking up 2% to $44.97.

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