SBJ Morning Buzzcast

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: July 18, 2022

Episode Summary

MLB settles lawsuit with minor leaguers, SEC Media Days start in Atlanta and legislation could clear the way for a new soccer stadium in Boston.

Episode Transcription

We've reached the MLB All-Star break, which is either a sign that summer is in full swing, or that football is right over the horizon. More on that in a few minutes. Last night at L.A. Live, Major League Baseball held the first two rounds of this year's Amateur Draft, and the top two picks, Jackson Holliday and Drew Jones, both sons of former Major Leaguers, went to Baltimore and Arizona respectively. The Draft continues today with rounds 3 through 10. will stream all nine rounds starting at 2:00 PM Eastern, with one minute between picks. The Draft concludes with rounds 11 to 20 on Tuesday, starting at 2:00 PM Eastern with no delay between selections, all heard on And tonight from Dodger Stadium, it's the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at 8:00 PM Eastern on ESPN, with the likes of back-to-back defending champ Pete Alonso from the Mets, top seed Kyle Schwarber from the Phillies, and even sentimental pick, Albert Pujols of the Cardinals.

Good morning. It's Monday, July 18th, and this is your SBJ Morning Buzzcast. I'm David Albright, filling in for Abe Madkour. MLB will pay $185 million to settle the federal class-action lawsuit filed by Minor League players who sought pay for minimum wage and overtime violations by teams, pending a judge approving the settlement. A document filed in California court on Friday revealed the settlement. The suit, filed in February of 2014, was settled May 10th, three weeks before it was set to go to trial. Thousands of players will be eligible to receive part of the 120 million due to the players, with the rest going to attorneys' fees and other costs.

As part of the settlement, MLB will issue a memo that allows teams to pay Minor League players during spring training and extended spring training, as well as instructional leagues in Florida and Arizona. Teams previously had been blocked from doing so. This is the latest step in a general reorganization of Minor League Baseball, that includes the takeover of the Minor League system by the 30 Major League clubs, and the contraction and reorganization of the teams and leagues. Now MLB will have to arrive at a new system to pay Minor Leaguers.

Concession workers will not strike during All-Star events at Dodger Stadium this week after the union representing the workers said that substantial progress had been made in contract negotiations with Levy Restaurants, the venue concessionaire that employs the workers. A joint statement posted to the union's Twitter account said both parties look forward to a successful All-Star game and continued negotiations. The union earlier in the week had revealed that workers had authorized a strike at any time while pursuing a fair new union contract, without specifying any demands. The MLBPA subsequently issued a statement in support of the workers.

The 2022 SEC Media Days begin today at the College Football Hall of Fame, marking the second time they are being held in Atlanta. This year's media event, which typically credentials more than 1,000 journalists from across the country, is expected to feature much discussion about off-the-field topics, including Oklahoma and Texas joining the conference by 2025, as well as the continuing developments around name, image and likeness. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, who has become the most powerful voice in the industry, is likely to address those and other concerns when he gives his annual State of the Conference Address to kick off Media Days later this morning.

After 89 years, the SEC now has official beans. Bush Beans, based within SEC territory in Knoxville, Tennessee inked a three-year sponsorship with the conference that includes an official beans designation, along with ads and product integration on the SEC Network. Planned activation includes branded games and other consumer engagement plays, along with couponing and premium giveaways at SEC football, basketball and other championships. Retail displays are planned in time for the college football season. Bespoke Sports & Entertainment, based in Charlotte, helped negotiate the deal for Bush's and will assist with the activation. Bush's controls around 80% of the domestic canned baked bean market, but its new deals will also enable it to use SEC IP to market its chili beans and other bean products. Other sponsorships for Bush's have included a NASCAR team deal and a hookup with the American Cornhole League.

The Massachusetts House passed legislation late last week that could clear the way for Revolution owner Robert Kraft to build a long-sought soccer stadium for the New England Revolution on a waterfront property near the Encore Boston Harbor Casino in Everett. Lawmakers added language to a wide-ranging, multi-billion dollar economic development bill that would exempt the 43-acre industrial property straddling the Everett and Boston line from a slew of environmental requirements, so it could be developed as a sports recreation or event center. Sources said that the amendment is designed to aid Kraft's pursuit of a soccer stadium. The language must pass the Senate before it could become law. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is expected to support it.

The new issue of Sports Business Journal is out and features recently-retired Penn State Athletic Director, Sandy Barbour, on the cover. Also in the issue is an examination of where MLB stands at the mid-season break, and a look at NBA agent Jessica Holtz, who brokered two max contract extensions on the same day. Logon to to read those stories and more in the July 18th issue of SBJ. And that's your SBJ Morning Buzzcast for Monday. I hope everyone has a great day, and we'll see you back here tomorrow morning.