SBJ Morning Buzzcast

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: May 25, 2022

Episode Summary

Boehly approved on Chelsea; Anaheim walks away from Moreno deal; Combine to stay in Indy for now and Chase Center gets new GM.

Episode Transcription

The last thing I watched before going to bed last night was a video of Golden State Warriors' coach, Steve Kerr, making an emotional plea for gun control legislation during his pregame press conference where he refused to talk basketball. He instead urged Congress to mandate background checks for gun purchases. It's well worth a watch on this sad day, when we're all thinking about what we can do to make the tragedies like we've been witnessing lately, far less likely.

This is your morning Buzzcast for Wednesday, May 25th. Good morning. I'm Abe Madkour. Let's add Todd Boehly to one of the most powerful sports team owners in the world as he and his partners at Clear Lake Consortium, and Mark Walter, have been approved as the new owners of Chelsea. Remember the club was put up for sale after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the government for his links to Vladimir Putin following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The slight delay on the deal of Chelsea was to guarantee that Abramovich could not gain financially from this deal. The sale proceeds will initially go into a frozen account before going to a charity. If you have time to read one thing today, read the New York Times, which has a very good look at the details of the deal and said Boehly and his team were asked not only to pay a record price for the team, but also to commit to a number of pledges, including as much as $2 billion more in investments in Chelsea. We've noted that on the buzz cast before. The deal was handled by Joe Ravage of the Rain Group, who said bidders couldn't sell their stake within the first decade of ownership, they must earmark $125 million for the club's women's team. The new owners must invest millions more in the club's academy and training facilities, and commit to rebuilding Stanford Bridge, which is Chelsea's stadium.

We've talked a lot about this on the Buzzcast, but this story really puts in all the conditions to the sale in very fine detail. But again, it was all agreed to, and on Tuesday, the Premier League and the government formally approved the Boehly led takeover in a deal that all in is worth $5.3 billion, easily the largest team transaction in history. As well as being part owner of the Dodgers, Boehly and Mark Walter also have minority stakes in the Lakers and of course the WNBA Sparks, and now they have Chelsea. So that is what makes them among the more powerful and influential team owners in sports.

Let's move on. Keep your eye on the situation in Anaheim around the angels. The Anaheim city council voted late Tuesday night to void the deal to sell Angel Stadium, to team owner, Arte Moreno's business partnership. Now this deal has been very controversial. It led to the resignation of Anaheim's mayor earlier in the week, and the move by the city council ends more than two years of deal making and trying to reach a deal that would keep the Angels in Anaheim for years to come. 

Now, this doesn't mean the Angels are a threat to leave anytime soon. Their current stadium lease remains in effect through 2029 at the very least, but team owner, Arte Moreno will not be happy with the city council's move. He could respond with litigation. This is a $320 million sale of a 150 acre property. It was billed as the biggest real estate deal in the city's history. It centered around a deal to a business of Arte Moreno's that was slated to develop up to 5,000 new apartments and condominiums, restaurants, shops, hotels, offices, as well as a new ballpark for the angels. Now, obviously all of this is back to the drawing board and really you have to watch Arte Moreno's reaction and what action, if any, he takes against the city of Anaheim. 

Let's shift to a couple of quick hitters from the NFL's one day owners meeting in Atlanta yesterday. First, Indianapolis will keep the NFL scouting combine for at least another two years. Owners approved that during yesterday's meeting. There was a lot of interest, and we talked about this on the Buzzcast, in having the combine move different locations like the draft. There was interest by Los Angeles. There was interest by Dallas to bring the event to those cities, but at the end of the day, Indianapolis won out and NFL owners voted to keep the scouting combine in that city for at least the next few years. But I do see the scouting combine eventually having a rotating schedule. 

Meanwhile, and not a surprise, the NFL is considering radical changes to the Pro Bowl. They realize that the game no longer meets its quality standards. Discussions will continue in the coming months about what those changes are. They do hope to make changes in time for the next Pro Bowl, which is scheduled for February in Las Vegas. 

Let's put a bow on ratings around two big weekend events that I was asked about. First, ratings for the PGA championship, which was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma were solid. Yes, they were down, as expected, from last year. That's when Phil Michelson became the oldest major championship winner and that had great numbers. But the numbers for this year were up compared to 2020 and 2019. So the PGA of America will certainly take that. The final round Sunday averaged just over 5.2 million viewers. That's when we saw Justin Thomas win in a three hole playoff. That number was down 20% from the final round last year, but it was up 2% from 2020, and it was up 5% from 2019. 2019 was the first year in a long time that the PGA championship was shifted from August to May. And that title had Brooks Koepka winning. So it had star power, but this year's number was up 5% over 2019 and 2% from 2020. 

If you want to see how important it is for the triple crown races to have some continuity, look at the numbers from Saturday's Preakness stakes on NBC. Remember Kentucky Derby winner, Rich Strike did not run at Pimlico on Saturday, and it's the likely reason that this year's race is among the least watch Preakness since 2000. Yes, since 2000, when it was on ABC. The only race lower was in 2020. That's when the Preakness was moved to October and it drew just over 2 million viewers. So on Saturday, NBC average, 5.3 million viewers for the race. Remember early voting won the second leg of the triple crown, but that number is down 25% from last year's race. So we all know that interest builds as viewers look to see if a triple crown winner could possibly emerge. And when Rich Strike did not run, that took away much of the interest for viewers in the Preakness stakes. 

And finally, we'll end the Buzzcast around people. The Golden State Warriors are announcing today that Donna Daniels will become general manager of the Chase center. Donna Daniels has more than 30 years experience in sports and live entertainment. She spent 25 years at the NBA's league office and she will oversee all Chase Center operations. This is one of the most high volume, highly trafficked arenas in sports. She will report to Warrior's president and COO Brandon Schneider. She'll begin her new role June 20th. She most recently worked for Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, where she served as general manager of the Prudential Center from 2019 through 2021. And of course in her new role, she'll be charged with operating the venue of the Chase Center and tasked with booking events at that facility. So, Donna Daniels joining as general manager of the Chase Center starting June 20th. 

So that is your morning Buzzcast for Wednesday, May 25th. I'm Abe Madkour, and as we remember the 19 kids that went to school and never saw their parents again, let's hope we can all be better to each other in the future. So stay healthy, be good to each other. I'll speak to you tomorrow.