Moag and Company Sports Notes (28 Jun 2019)

Date: Jul 2019

Trivia

What U.S. professional sports team has been in the same city with the same name for the longest period of time? Founded in 1883 in the City of Brotherly Love as the Phillies in the National League, the Philadelphia Phillies hold the record for the longest amount of time in the same city with the same name.

Last Week’s Answer: While playing for the New York Yankees, in a game against the Philadelphia Athletics on May 24, 1936, Tony Lazzeri hit 2 grand slams. Tony had 11 RBIs in that game.

Football:

The Cleveland Browns have taken Brooklyn-based Hard Beverages to court for "nonpayment of a sponsorship fee" of more than $500,000, according to Crain's Cleveland Business. The brand was "on display last year at the team's games at FirstEnergy Stadium and at its training facility." However, the Browns earlier this month "filed suit in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas to enforce an arbitration award it won" against the soft drink firm for "failing to pay a $525,000 fee for the first year of a five-year sponsorship of the team and its events." According to the sponsorship agreement, the Hard Beverages logo "would be displayed in a variety of situations, including being on the backdrop used during player or coach interviews on the practice fields or other locations," and its products "would be displayed on-set during team-sponsored television broadcasts and its noncaffeinated beverages would also be available for sale within the stadium." Former Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Richard Markus "awarded the team $525,000 plus interest, a total of $587,050.25".

Baseball:

Montreal businessman Stephen Bronfman said that he is "willing to buy a share of the Tampa Bay Rays and, more importantly, buy into the idea of a team playing in two cities," according to the Tampa Bay Times. Bronfman at a news conference in Montreal discussing the Rays' two-city plan said, "People just want to see baseball, and people are adaptable." For the most part, Bronfman "stuck to the same script that Rays Owner Stu Sternberg used in his news conference in St. Petersburg." Bronfman said, "There are risks with anything interesting and anything innovative. I think having two scenarios and having two different partners and two different cities, I think you also have some less risk because you’re derisking a project." Former Montreal Canadiens exec Pierre Boivin, who is part of Bronfman’s bid group, said, "We’re not going to start building a stadium until we have a definite plan, a definite agreement and definite approval by the league". Bronfman said his group is "not looking for an investment from the city" to build a new ballpark. While Bronfman and Boivin "shied away from timetables, they did say that it will take one year of planning and two years to build" a new ballpark. Bronfman said, "Even in a split scenario, it’s a return of baseball permanently to Montreal." However, Bronfman and Boivin noted that there were "still many obstacles to overcome." The pair said that it was "still not clear how many games would be played in each city, where the team would play during playoffs, or what the team would be called." But Bronfman said that the opportunity was "too good to pass up".

Basketball:

Kaiser Permanente "isn't saying how much it's paying" the Golden State Warriors for the naming rights deal to the Thrive City plaza outside the new Chase Center, but the total cost could hit $295M, according to the S.F. Chronicle. In addition to the "naming rights for the plaza and park adjacent to Chase Center in Mission Bay," the 20-year deal "calls for the nonprofit health care giant to become the team's official health care provider and jointly engage in community projects." The minutes from a Kaiser Foundation finance committee meeting on Dec. 1, 2016 shows that the panel approved the pursuit of a "new sponsorship arrangement" with the Warriors in an amount "not to exceed" $295.58M. Kaiser Permanente VP/Communications John Nelson said that number was the "most Kaiser would pay," though he would not say what the final total might be. Nelson said the exact total will "ultimately depend on whether various optional components are included or declined, over the 20-year period." He added it is "possible the final figure could be much less than that upper limit." In May, Kaiser and the Warriors "announced a 20-year partnership that included Kaiser replacing Stanford as the team's official doctors, the opening of a sports medicine center and the naming of the plaza as Thrive City." Nelson said the deal would cost Kaiser about $2.5M per year for expenses "associated with Thrive City".

Hockey:

The expansion NHL Seattle franchise and Oak View Group (“OVG”) have "submitted an application for a minor league NHL team, which if approved, would play" in a new downtown arena in Palm Springs, Calif., by fall '21, according to the Palm Springs Desert Sun. The proposed 300,000-square-foot arena "will be built on 16 acres of tribal land and include roughly 10,000 seats." An adjoining facility "will be built alongside it for use as a community gathering space and training center for a minor league hockey team." Live Nation Entertainment also has "signed on as a strategic partner with the project." Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Tribal Chair Jeff Grubbe said that the arena "will be privately funded ... exclusively by the tribe" and OVG. Grubbe said that he "doesn't have details on what the arena would look like yet, and not to expect renderings anytime soon." However, he did note that the arena would be "state of the art and would fit in with the overall look of downtown Palm Springs." Groundbreaking and construction is "scheduled to begin" in February '20, with the arena "expected to open" by fall '21 in time for the hockey season. OVG CEO Tim Leiweke said that the new arena "will be the most expensive ever built as an AHL-specific venue," with a projected cost of $250M. NHL Seattle had also "looked at the possibility of acquiring and relocating an existing AHL team but will instead look to start up a brand-new one if the AHL approves the application." The most recent AHL expansion franchises sold in the $5M range. NHL Seattle President & CEO Tod Leiweke said that his group had "worked together on the application 'in consultation' with AHL officials to 'best position the application.'" He "anticipates the potential for a strong rivalry between the new club and the Ontario Reign, which are only 70 miles away while the San Diego Gulls franchise is just 140 miles away".

Soccer:

Carolina Panthers Owner David Tepper, President Tom Glick and other team execs have been "laying the groundwork for an MLS expansion bid," with league officials having visited Bank of America Stadium in February and team execs making "multiple trips" to N.Y. to meet with MLS Commissioner Don Garber, according to SI.com. Glick said Charlotte is "now in a position to say that this is going to work incredibly well and we can play earlier or later to best suit" the needs of MLS. Glick added Tepper is "convinced" that an MLS team is "not only needed here, but the market is ready for it and it'll be highly successful." Panthers execs could visit with the MLS expansion committee as early as next month, though Glick "wouldn't/couldn't offer dates and details." Garber has said that there would be "no timetable set" for adding a 30th MLS team, and there will likely be "owners who believe it's in the league's interest to stand pat and let a bidding war develop." However, Charlotte's "upcoming meeting suggests Tepper is eager to move quicker." The bid would forego the "new 'soccer-specific' stadium that's been the centerpiece of so many" other expansion bids. Tepper will "argue that an upgraded Bank of America Stadium is more than suitable for a growing league and that Charlotte's other attributes are too attractive to ignore". 

Sources: SportsBusiness Daily; The Athletic; ESPN.com; Crain's Cleveland Business; Tampa Bay Times; S.F. Chronicle; Palm Springs Desert Sun; SI.com

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