Lots of got stuff for y’all to digest (along with your Super Bowl feast) today:
- Two Bay Area sports families are at odds. According to Matier and Ross, the heirs to former Warriors owner Franklin Mieuli are suing the York family over the value of a 5% minority share of the 49ers. The Yorks say the team’s only worth $360 million, making the stake’s value only $18 million. The Mieuli heirs are pointing to Forbes’ recent valuation of the 49ers, $990 million, and want to sell the stake 5% of that valuation, or $49.5 million. Considering how the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars were sold two months ago for $760 million, you have to think the Yorks will come out on the losing end of this or settle before any trial begins.
- The Detroit News has a new profile of Tigers and Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch. During his tenure as Tigers owner, Ilitch went from miser to saint. What changed? Strategic moves to properly build a team and bring in free agent talent after a new ballpark was built. It’s a clear case of a ballpark not being the panacea, but rather the foundation upon which a competitive team can be built, rebuilt, and sustained.
“They had an old ballpark in Tiger Stadium that was self-limiting in terms of attendance and revenue. There would be a Catch-22 to Ilitch’s early years: Until he got a new ballpark, he could not subsidize big contracts. Once he got a new ballpark, he was stuck with a bad team and heavy debt.
The combination punch was a haymaker, at least in the early years after Comerica Park opened in 2000.
But by late 2003, after the team had bottomed out, Ilitch made a series of Red Wings-caliber moves.
He expanded payroll at the same time a new front office was about to chart an upward plan in strategies that, coupled with investments in Rodriguez, Ordonez, etc., fueled a baseball revival in Detroit.
Once the stimulus package was in place, team fortunes — and revenues — soared.”
- The Marlins are laying down grass at their 97%-complete ballpark, and they plan to grow it long to support an aggressive running team.
- A San Francisco-based hedge fund manager, Christopher Hansen, is aiming to buy the Sacramento Kings and move them to his hometown, Seattle, where he and city leaders are working on a new arena deal. Two reports are in from the Sacramento Bee and the Seattle Times.
- Yet another plan to replace the Metrodome is being “fast-tracked” through the Minnesota legislature. The plan would require playing as few as two games at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium after the Metrodome was torn down and while the new stadium was being built.
- Did you know that Reno-Tahoe is putting together a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics? A group has formed to explore a possible bid. Reno-Tahoe may be competing with Denver for the honor of representing the US for the 2022 games. Denver would seem to have the advantage in terms of facilities, though the distance between Denver and the region’s best ski resorts in Vail/Beaver Creek and Breckenridge is pretty long (though that didn’t stop Vancouver, whose 2-hour trip to Whistler was even longer). Preliminary cost estimates for the bids are around $1.5 billion, which would be less than Vancouver’s 2010 effort.
- For some unknown reason, secondary ticket prices for today’s Super Bowl are down 50% compared to last year, even though the game is being played in a smaller venue.
- The Nats are trying out a “Take Back the Park” campaign, in which they are pre-selling tickets to a single April series between the Nats and Phillies. The catch? They’re only selling to buyers with DC/VA/MD addresses, verified via credit card records. The Phillies, whose own ballpark is frequently sold out, often have fans take the 2.5-hour trip down I-95 or Amtrak to the District to catch their team drub (maybe not for much longer) the Nats.
That’s all I got. Enjoy the game.