Who was the NBA’s first Coach of the Year?Last Week’s Answer: According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the first baseball movie was Little Sunset from 1915. You can find this out, and other baseball movie trivia at the “Baseball at the Movies” exhibit on the first floor of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
Private lending company SoFi has "acquired naming rights" for the $5.2B NFL stadium in Inglewood, according to sources cited by Venues Now. Sources said that terms of the deal are "believed to be in the range" of $20M per year over 20 years. That annual value would be "on par with the naming-rights agreement for MetLife Stadium." Sources also said that the deal was "signed two weeks ago," though it is "not known what the exact name of the stadium will be." Sources added that the price of the deal is lower than the $35-40M per year the district "proposed when it initially went to market with the naming rights." SoFi "already has a presence in sports marketing," after last year signing a multiyear deal to be presenting sponsor of the Big Ten's men's basketball tournament. The firm has also "sponsored the Pac-12 Conference men's basketball tournament and the Winter X Games," as well as this year's NBA Playoffs. The deal "would be a coup" for SoFi CEO Anthony Noto, who spent three years as NFL CFO. The negotiations "largely involve" Noto, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Rams Owner Stan Kroenke.
MLB's overall season-to-date average attendance is 26,854, 1.4% "below the 27,242 through this similar point last season," when the final season average wound up below 30,000 for the first time since '03, according to the AP. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred "attributes this year’s drop to fewer season tickets but emphasizes day-of-game sales are up 6%." Of the 30 teams, 19 have seen their average "fall from a similar point last year." The league's average attendance in '15 was at 30,517 "before sliding for three straight years." But Manfred "points to other metrics that please MLB: Games top prime-time cable ratings in 24 of 25 markets, and MLB.tv streaming is up 8.5%." Florida "remains a problem on both coasts." The Miami Marlins are on track to have the "lowest home attendance in the National League for the seventh straight season." The Tampa Bay Rays' attendance is at the "bottom of the AL for the fifth consecutive year" despite a 35-19 record.
The Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Council is considering whether to issue $40M in bonds to reimburse the Cleveland Cavaliers for "repairs the county is required to cover under the team’s lease agreement on Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse," according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Another measure under consideration would refinance $40M of the $60M in bonds sold by the county in '15 as an "advance on revenues from the county’s so-called sin tax." The money set aside for repairs at the venue "has been used up, and the Cavs have been using their own money to pay for major capital repairs up to $500,000, which the county is required to fund under the lease." The sin tax on alcohol and tobacco sales generates about $7.5M per year per team, and the "cost of repairs over the last four years alone has far outpaced that average income." Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse CEO Len Komoroski said that the lease "does not speak to how the county money generates that money." He added that the "expectation is that the county and the Cavs will continue to meet their lease obligations." Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians paid for about $7.5M in Progressive Field repairs beyond their initial $37M. The Indians have "not asked for reimbursement" for that $7.5M, so they will "not receive money from the proposed bond issue".
EPL clubs netted record combined revenues of £4.8B last season, "bolstered by strong performances in European competition," but profits fell as top teams "ramped up spending on players." The 20 teams in the EPL lifted revenues over the '17-18 season by 6%, according to Deloitte’s Annual Review of Football Finance. The increase was "driven primarily" by five EPL teams reaching the knockout rounds of the Champions League. The Bundesliga generated £2.8B in '17-18, followed by LaLiga (£2.7B), Serie A (£2B) and Ligue 1 (£1.5B). The EPL also ranked first "among the big leagues for stadium attendance" in '18-19, filling 96% of seats. The European soccer market in '17-18 was estimated to be worth £25.1B. Meanwhile, Read Madrid "unseated" ManU as the world's most valuable soccer club, according to Forbes' annual list. Real Madrid was valued at $4.24B, up 9% from a year ago. Barcelona ($4B) and ManU ($3.8B) were second and third, respectively.
Orlando City Chair & Majority Owner Flavio Augusto da Silva said that he is "open to selling the club" in '22 when he turns 50 to "focus on philanthropic efforts," according to ProSoccerUSA.com. A source said that da Silva’s dedication to charity "doesn’t mean he would likely sell all shares of the team." Instead, he would just be "less involved in club day-to-day operations." Da Silva, speaking to Brazilian outlet Estadão, said, "I’m not making a sale announcement. The announcement is that I will dedicate myself to philanthropy." Last season, da Silva "sold a minority stake in the team" to investor Albert Friedberg for about $42.3M. Da Silva currently has a 79% "ownership stake in the club." Da Silva: “I have several alternatives. I can make the full sale, quit the deal, stay on the board or sell a minority share. Nothing is discarded (or) established".
The Las Vegas City Council will "consider a deal next week to build a new soccer stadium on the site of Cashman Field to house" a potential MLS expansion franchise, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. If city leaders approve the exclusive negotiating agreement with Arizona-based construction management firm The Renaissance Companies, it will "set off a 180-day window for talks to construct the stadium and mixed-use development on 62 acres where city-owned Cashman Field is located near downtown, with hopes of reaching a master development agreement." Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said that the idea beyond the new stadium would be to "build hotels and apartments while keeping Cashman Field to allow Las Vegas Lights FC to continue to play" in the USL until the team was "ready to join the MLS, and then be used as a practice field." The exclusive negotiating agreement also requires that Lights ownership "work with the city to submit an application to MLS for the Lights to become an expansion team." Lights Owner & CEO Brett Lashbrook said that he has "agreed to sell the team to an investor represented by Renaissance, contingent upon the company and the city entering into the master development agreement." City documents made public "show the investor is Baupost Group LLC, a hedge fund managed by billionaire Seth Klarman". Goodman "plans to attend the MLS expansion committee meeting in Orlando in July to lobby for Las Vegas as an expansion city". Las Vegas five years ago "attempted a bid for an MLS team." Developers proposed a $201M stadium, of which the city of Las Vegas "would pick up" 76% of the cost and "own the stadium." City officials said that they "expected the split to be closer to 50-50".