The Sixers eye Center City for a new arena, All-Star Game merchandise enjoys record sales and Drew Brees joins the ownership ranks.
If last night's ESPYs didn't satisfy your sports viewing pleasure, you're in luck today as games resume across Major League Baseball after a one day post All-Star Game break. The schedule includes a pair of double headers highlighted by the Yankees at Houston. There are a trio of WNBA games. Plus the PGA Tour stop in Minnesota gets underway today. Tour de France is still rolling, the Track and Field World Championships, and there's soccer because you can always find soccer matches to watch.
Good morning, it's Thursday, July 21st. This is your SBJ's Morning Buzzcast. I'm David Albright filling in for Abe Madkour. The 76ers are teaming up with Philadelphia apartment developer, David Adelman and others in a proposal to build a new NBA arena. The team wants to demolish a block of the Fashion District Philadelphia shopping center and build atop a key public transit hub. The $1.3 billion project would take up to nine years to plan and construct and be ready by the time the Sixers lease expires at the Wells Fargo Center in 2031. The new arena would seat 18,000 and Adelman will chair the project's development company, 76 Devcorp.
MLB drew its lowest audience yet for the All-Star Game telecast with Fox attracting 7.51 million viewers on Tuesday night, reports our Austin Karp. That figure is 8% below the previous low of 8.14 million viewers in 2019 when out of home figures were not yet rolled into audience numbers. This year's game is down 9% from last year's 8.24 million viewers. Despite the decline Fox still drew an easy win among all TV shows in prime time on Tuesday. MLB also saw declines this year for the Home Run Derby on ESPN and the MLB Draft on ESPN and MLB Network. The Major League Baseball All-Star Game audience still compares favorably though to other big leagues. The most recent Pro Bowl attracted 6.69 million viewers on ABC, ESPN and Disney XD. While the NBA All-Star Game drew 6.28 million on TNT and TBS, and the NHL All-Star Game drew 1.15 million on ABC.
As expected, Fanatics is reporting record sales at its 16,000 square foot MLB shop licensed emporium within the Play Ball Park area at the LA Convention Center. Over four days Fanatics surpassed by single digits record established at the 2016 All-Star Game FanFest in San Diego. When the store was administered by Aramark and opened for five days. Dodger Stadium surpassed the venue All-Star Game sales record set at Yankee Stadium during the 2008 Midsummer Classic by over 60%. Fanatics Co-President of Direct to Consumer Jack Boyle tells our Terry Lefton that the setup this year was the biggest FanFest store to date and had self checkout for the first time, but only around 10% of the transactions were handled without a cashier. Name and number jerseys from LA based MLB stars like Mookie Betts, Mike Trouts, Shohei Ohtani and Clayton Kershaw were among the top sellers. More Nike All-Star Game jerseys and New Era caps were sold on MLB shop.com than ever before. Overall, All-Star merchandise sales on the site are up 57% year to date compared to 2021.
The NFL is called a special owner's meeting on August 9th in Minneapolis to formally approve Walmart heir Rob Walton's record breaking $4.65 billion acquisition of the Denver Broncos, sources told our Ben Fisher. The league's finance committee has not yet voted on the deal, but that step is expected shortly, approval would end the Bowlen Family's ownership of the team after 38 years. In June, a group led by Walton his son-in-law Greg Penner daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and Mellody Hobson was chosen from a group of four finalists to buy the team from the Bowlen Trust.
Drew Brees has joined the ownership ranks of Major League Pickleball, the team Pickleball League now in its second year. Brees, who's an avid player, recently departed a broadcast role at NBC and in May he teased that his second act may involve the fast growing paddle sport. He is now the co-owner of the Mad Drops Pickleball Club 2022 expansion team owned by Good Alpha Industries along with investments from Lakers co-owner Jim Buss among others. It's one of four new MLP teams that's joined the ranks for the 2022 season. The co-ed team format league is hosting three events in 2022, the second of which will take place in Newport Beach, California next month with a total prize purse of $319,000.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment is partnered with HeadCount, a non-partisan, non-profit voter registration organization to encourage sports and entertainment fans to register to vote. The initiative will last through the summer of 2023. Volunteers from HeadCount will be stationed at tabling locations for all pre-season regular season and post-season games for the Capitals, Wizards, Mystics as well as concerts throughout the 2022-23 season. HeadCount will staff over 120 games and events between Capital One Arena and Entertainment and Sports Arena. The effort officially launches today as the mystics will return to play at Capital One Arena for one game this season.
On the latest episode of their podcast, Andrew Marchand and John Ourand discuss how Apple or Amazon could create a new distribution model for the NFL with the Sunday Ticket Deal, which could be global. To also discuss what's next for the Big 10 and its TV rights, ESPN Plus's monthly pay hike, and what it means. David Feherty's move to LIV Golf. The issues with the Derek Jeter doc and Tom Brady. And they end the show with a how many followers on Twitter does this person have game? You can listen to The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcast. That's your SBJ Morning Buzzcast for Thursday. I hope everyone has a great day. We'll see you back here tomorrow morning.