Moag and Company Sports Notes (26 October 2018)

Date: Oct 2018


When was the second World Series played and who won that series?

Last Week’s Answer:  Boston Bruin great Phil Esposito was the first NHL player to score over 70 goals in a season with his 76 goals in the 1970/1971 season.


Bill Bowlen filed a motion with the Arapahoe County (Colo.) District Court to "remove trustees" of his brother Pat Bowlen as his "power of attorney 'due to their failure to uphold" the longtime Denver Broncos owner's wishes and act in the best interest of he, his family and the team, according to The Athletic. Bill Bowlen said of Broncos President & CEO Joe Ellis, Exec VP & General Counsel Rich Slivka and Denver-based attorney Mary Kelly, the trustees named in the motion, "I have real concerns with these trustees, their conduct and how they got to the positions they are in. They have little or no accountability to anybody but themselves. They have not complied with the rules of the NFL and I am uncomfortable with the way they have handled my brother's affairs." Bill Bowlen alleges Ellis, Slivka and Kelly, the non-family trustees tasked with electing the next controlling owner of the Broncos, have conflicts of interest that "impair their ability to act impartially in Pat Bowlen's best interest." Bill Bowlen also alleges the trustees have "'refused' to implement a long-term succession plan for the Broncos that follows Pat Bowlen's wishes of ensuring his seven children retain control of the team." Bill Bowlen "contends that Pat, who has suffered from Alzheimer's for more than a decade, did not fully comprehend the documents he signed" allowing for changes to his estate planning. Bill Bowlen "owned a stake in the Broncos until selling his share" in '02 to Pat Bowlen, who owns 76% of the team. His brother, John Bowlen, "owns the remaining interest." Bill Bowlen said that he will "not have a financial gain" if his motion is successful. Two of Pat Bowlen's daughters, Beth Bowlen Wallace and Brittany Bowlen, have "expressed interest in succeeding their father" as controlling owner of the Broncos.

The death of Seattle Seahawks Owner Paul Allen last week "will likely lead to the eventual sale of the franchise," according to Sources said that the "exchange of the franchise is likely to follow a similar path as when Ralph Wilson passed away as owner of the Buffalo Bills." In that instance, there were "provisions about the franchise remaining in that region". The succession plan Allen put in place "has not been made public." The Seahawks at last week's NFL owners meeting "were represented" by CFO Karen Spencer. If the team is sold, it "would draw a great deal of interest" given its "strong fan base, an excellent stadium and a hometown flush with tech money." Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is one "obvious name the league would no doubt be interested in bringing into the fold." Bezos is based in Seattle, and the NFL is "already in business with him" through the "TNF" streaming deal. A few other names that "could make sense, given their net worth, location, ties to professional sports teams and/or the NFL’s desire to have them join the ownership," are Los Angeles Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer, Oracle Founder & Exec Chair Larry Ellison, Golden State Warriors co-Owner Joe Lacob and Salesforce Chair & co-CEO Marc Benioff. The NFL's relaxed cross-ownership rules could open the door for "someone who has an interest in a team in another market," like Ballmer, to bid for the Seahawks. Even if that doesn't happen, it creates leverage because prospective buyers know that there is a bigger market.


The Ilitch family, which owns the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings, is considering "forming a regional television network dedicated to coverage" of the teams, according to the Detroit News. A source said that the RSN would "not be launched until early in the next decade," after current contracts with FS Detroit have expired. Both teams have on FS Detroit for the past two decades, and in their "peak years posted ratings that per-capita were among the best of any market in professional sports." The teams have "consistently finished 1-2 in local prime-time programming during their regular-season schedules, even in recent years as both teams have fallen out of the playoffs and dealt with the desolation of rebuilding cycles." The Ilitch family is "studying the potential" for an RSN that would "rival other sports’ teams that are covered by in-house networks" such as the New York Yankees (YES Net), Boston Red Sox (NESN), New York Knicks and NHL Rangers (MSG) and Los Angeles Dodgers (Spectrum SportsNet). It is also "possible" the teams could re-sign with FS Detroit once the current deal expires.


Miami-Dade County has "decided to take over talks" for the next naming-rights agreement at county-owned AmericanAirlines Arena, as the airline has only a year left on its original deal signed in the '90s, according to the Miami Herald. The Miami Heat "privately opposed the move, which is allowed under the team’s 2014 updated lease for the county arena." The county receives "almost no revenue" from the $2M that American "pays the Heat each year." County consultants "expect the sponsorship to at least triple in value once the American deal expires" at the end of '19. Miami-Dade is "exercising its option" in order to get a "broader search for sponsors." American has "already reached out" to Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez about remaining on the building and "began negotiations with the Heat earlier this year to extend" the deal. By taking over talks, the county will "end American’s current negotiations with the Heat and start fresh," with Cleveland-based consulting firm Superlative Group advising. Miami-Dade had until the end of '18 to "exercise its option," and doing so now, the county "must pay the Heat" an additional $2M annually starting in '20 to "make up for the money the team currently receives from American Airlines".


The MLS Players Association salary guide showed that the number of MLS players making at least $1M in compensation has "increased to 53," up from 46 in May, according to Toronto FC F Sebastian Giovinco "leads the way" with $7.115M in guaranteed compensation. Among the "new members to the league's millionaires club" is DC United F Wayne Rooney, who has the league's ninth-highest salary at $2.776M. Rooney has "become the highest-paid player in DC United history," passing the previous record set by MF Marcelo Gallardo's $1.9M in '08. However, sources said that Rooney is "making far more than the listed numbers," as he reportedly will collect about $5.1M this season, the "balance coming largely from guarantees tied to his image rights and other unspecified compensation." Rooney is an "designated player," meaning MLS covers $504,375 and DC United is "responsible for the balance".

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