The first AFC-NFC Pro Bowl was played at the end of the 1970 season, the first season of the post-merger NFL. In what city was this all-star game played?
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.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are "raising prices for new season-ticket holders for the third year in a row" despite a disappointing 5-11 season, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Season-ticket holders got an email telling them that they "had until March 15 to renew their tickets for the upcoming season, or they'd be charged the newer, mostly higher prices, in some cases as much as $500 more per ticket." The team had "gone eight years in a row without raising prices" until '16. Lower-level tickets on the home side of Raymond James Stadium are "up about $250 per seat." Lower end-zone seats are "up less, from $800 to $900, but the lower corner sections have among the largest increases, going from $950 to $1,300 per seat".
NBC averaged 103.4 million viewers for Super Bowl LII from 6:31-10:25pm ET, marking both the 10th best audience for any program in U.S. TV history and the least-watched Super Bowl since ’09. The Philadelphia Eagles-New England Patriots game now ranks just behind the ’83 “M.A.S.H.” finale on CBS (106 million viewers) among all-time U.S. shows. Every Super Bowl since ’10 has averaged over 100 million viewers, with the high coming in ’15 for Patriots-Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX (114.4 million). Eagles-Pats is down 7% from Pats- Atlanta Falcons last year on Fox. Sunday night’s telecast peaked at 112.3 million viewers from 10:00-10:15pm during the fourth quarter. Using a total audience delivery -- which totals the game delivery across NBC, NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app, NBC.com TV Everywhere, Universo, En Vivo app, NFL.com, NFL Mobile app on Verizon, Yahoo Sports app and go90 -- Eagles-Pats delivered 106 million viewers. That figure also will go up by a few million more viewers once out-of-home measurement is added later this week. For streaming of Super Bowl LII, there was an average minute audience of 2.02 million viewers across all platforms. That figure marks the most live-streamed Super Bowl on record and the most-streamed single game ever for NBC Sports Digital. The halftime show starring Justin Timberlake from 8:15-8:30pm averaged 106.6 million viewers on NBC.
The Milwaukee Brewers are “on track to increase their payroll by more than 50% from last season,” and it “could go higher.” Of course, it is “not difficult to bump payroll higher when you were operating with the lowest” in MLB in ‘17 -- just shy of $60M to start the season. That left the Brewers with “financial flexibility heading into this year and they’ve taken advantage of that position to boost their talent level.” The payroll appears to be “headed toward” about $90M. That number would “still be near the bottom” in MLB for the Brewers, who are in the “smallest media market”.
A study done by The Boston Consulting Group estimates that hosting the ‘26 FIFA World Cup could generate more than $5B in short-term economic activity across North America. The report, done on behalf of the United Bid Committee that represents the national federations of Canada, Mexico and the U.S., said that the overall net benefit to the region would be between $3-4B, with individual host cities seeing a net benefit of approximately $90-480M per city after accounting for potential public costs. The group hopes the report further emphasizes not only the commercial opportunity that a World Cup would offer to FIFA and its member associations, but also the certainty in terms of ability to meet those promises. The only other bid for the ’26 World Cup is by Morocco. “Our vision for what we’re looking at with this competition is simple: we believe we offer FIFA and the member associations an unpresented and united opportunity to stage a new World Cup that is low risk and has high operational certainty,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada Bid Director and General Secretary of Canada Soccer. “The study really demonstrates that this will yield benefits to our communities, as well as world football.” Mexico Bid Director Yon De Luisa said the numbers produced by this report would represent a 30-60% increase of the net economic output compared to previous World Cups. While some of that is due to the fact that the ’26 World Cup will be the first since FIFA announced it would expand the number of the matches in the tournament from 64 to 80, it also is due in part that each city will see more net benefit due to the fact that there are no plans to invest in stadiums, roads, airports or any other infrastructure specifically for the World Cup in any of the cities that are in the running for hosting. “We have the infrastructure to host these events, but also the experience of hosting them in the past,” said De Luisa. “That will provide an amazing opportunity for economic benefit.”
Newell Brands "began 'exploring strategic options'" for Rawlings and several other businesses, but a recent report suggests that the sports equipment manufacturer "may be the least attractive of the assets Newell wants to sell," according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Rawlings, a "prestigious name in sports equipment," makes basketballs and footballs but is "best known as the official ball manufacturer" for MLB and a leading producer of gloves and bats for both baseball and softball. Deutsche Bank analysts estimate that Rawlings will fetch about $360M, or eight times the brand’s EBITDA. That’s the lowest projected multiple for any of the businesses Deutsche Bank looked at. The company estimates Rawlings’ profit margin at just 10% of sales, "well below the average" of 17% for the eight businesses on the sale block. Rawlings "suffers from operating in a slumping category," but potential buyers "might include Finnish company Amer Sports, owner of the Wilson and Louisville Slugger brands, or the investment firms that bought Performance Sports Group, owner of Easton and Bauer, out of bankruptcy last year".
Sources: SportsBusiness Daily; ESPN.com; Tampa Bay Times; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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