I want to juxtapose two items because they demonstrate the fact that the NFL enjoys stratospheric revenues as compared to other North American sports endeavors.
- A report at Sportspromedia.com says that Allegiant Airlines and the NFL Raiders are about to close on a naming rights deal for the Raiders’ new stadium in Las Vegas. It is not final, but the report says that Allegiant will pay the Raiders $25M per year for the next 20 years. That comes out to a cool $500M over 20 years for the privilege of slapping a logo on a stadium.
- Meanwhile in the Maritime Provinces of Canada the Atlantic Schooners hope to join the CFL in 2021 by playing in a temporary facility in Moncton, New Brunswick until their stadium is finished in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The “bare bones stadium” in Halifax – which would need temporary seating to accommodate CFL games – would cost an estimated $130M to construct.
If these numbers are close to accurate, the Raiders will take in more money in the first 7 years they are in Las Vegas solely from the naming rights fees on the stadium than the entire construction cost of the basic stadium in Halifax will cost.
If you want more details on the work that various folks are doing to get approvals and funding for that Halifax stadium, here is a link that will get you up to speed pretty quickly.
There is a “football experiment” under consideration here in the “Lower 48”. The PAC-12 folks think that they do not receive sufficient national attention and that geography is partly to blame. There are loads of football fans in the East – – particularly in the Southeast – – who do not get to see lots of PAC-12 games because they tend to be played at night in the Pacific Time Zone and folks in the east tend to be in bed long before such games are over. So, the PAC-12 idea/experiment is to think about starting some of the conference games at 9:00 AM Pacific time. That would put games on the air in the east at noon – going up against second-tier matchups in the Big 10 and or ACC.
This early start-time idea would almost assuredly get the PAC-12 more East Coast viewers and in so doing it would likely increase the TV revenue taken in by the conference. In matters of this kind, it is important to keep in mind an adage attributed to Stephen King:
- Money talks, bullshit walks.
The ADs and the school administrators in the PAC-12 will see the potential for added dollar signs and act in a perfectly normal way here. However, I would like to suggest that they turn the volume down a bit here and do some second order thinking.
- Starting games at 9:00AM Pacific Time means that the entire atmosphere of PAC-12 games will change. Instead of energetic and aroused fans in the stadium who might not be able to pass a breathalyzer test because they have been tailgating/partying for 6 hours before the game, the fans will be hungover from Friday night and/or still asleep in the dorms/frat houses.
- The fan-experience at college football games is built around energy and adrenaline and enthusiasm. Some of those intangibles will be in shorter supply if the games start on Saturday morning at 9:00 AM.
- If anyone were to think that none of that “energy in the stands” matters, let me suggest that someone should tune into some MAC games on Wednesday evenings. There are few if any fans in the stands and most of them spend most of the game sitting on their hands. Watching on TV, the vibe here is a lot closer to funereal than it is to raucous college hijinks.
There is probably more money to be made in the short term for PAC-12 schools if they make this change in starting time for some games. However, I think that change and that increased revenue comes at a price; that price is less enthusiasm in the stands and that can lead to more empty seats and empty seats do not make for a “tasty TV experience”.
Last week there were reports in several places saying that two members of the MLB Hall of Fame would likely boycott next year’s ceremony when Derek Jeter is a shoo-in to be inducted in Cooperstown. Supposedly, Andre Dawson and Tony Perez are still unhappy that Jeter fired them from their “advisory positions” with the Miami Marlins after Jeter and others purchased the marlins and proceeded to cut the payroll to its bare bones.
I would be hard-pressed to tell you how little I care if these guys attend or do not attend. The day in Cooperstown is not about people who were inducted in the past; the day in Cooperstown is about the newbies. Unless “indisputable visual evidence” surfaces in the next 6 months showing Derek Jeter inflagrante delicto with a small household pet, he is going to be elected to the Hall of Fame. The presence or absence of two enshrined members to hear someone introduce him and then to hear his prepared remarks is hugely inconsequential.
This protest/boycott/whatever must be ignored lest it become an “acceptable thing” in the future…
There is a story this morning at CBSSports.com that ought to be a misdemeanor punishable by caning or the lash. The headline is:
- Bracketology: 2020 tourney field
Finally, Greg Cote channeled Carnac the Magnificent in the Miami Herald a few weeks ago:
“Answer: The U.S. championships in taekwondo and fencing are both going on.
“Question: What are two sports nobody except participants and their families will watch?”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………