Extra Innings - Vol. 26
Welcome to this week's edition of Extra Innings. This week, Extra Innings investigates new ways that betting is integrating into the sports world. D.C. United offers a new model for teams to take a cut from the sportsbook in their stadium. Also covered in this edition is how the Coronavirus continues to affect the start of the college and professional basketball seasons.
D.C. United and FanDuel entered into a ten-year deal that includes a retail sportsbook at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. Terms have yet to be released, however, D.C. United will receive an annual payment plus a percentage of every dollar bet at the stadium. The creation of this retail sportsbook will add to the overall fan experience in the stadium and provide an additional source of revenue for the team. While this isn’t the first sportsbook to be incorporated in a stadium, it is the first deal to provide a percentage of betting money to the team.
D.C. United walked back on a previous partnership with Caesars Entertainment in order to create this new deal with FanDuel. The previous deal had Caesar’s logo on D.C. United’s jersey as well as throughout the stadium. In soccer, there has been a push to remove betting partners’ logos from jerseys because fans tend to prefer purchasing jerseys without betting logos on them.
Due to MLB’s truncated season, they have accrued total debt of $8.3 billion. Additionally, the 2020 season ran at a $3 billion deficit. This deficit will weigh on decision-makers entering into the 2021 season, especially as much of the MLB financials rely on fans attending games in person. Major League Baseball will be in an even more precarious position if the next season is similarly impacted by the Coronavirus.
With the MLB running at a deficit this year, players will be the first group affected. Contracts for free agents will stagnate and the luxury tax ceiling will most likely decrease. This will then have consequences on the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations that the league and players will enter into after next season. It is safe to say, that the sooner there is a vaccine for the Coronavirus, the better for Major League Baseball and its supporters.
Notable Information From the Sports World:
NBA: The NBA Board of Governors met this week to discuss the 2020-2021 season. The start date was originally proposed for the new year, but new reports suggest that the league will capitalize on Christmas Day games and related advertisements. The season could start as soon as mid-December. Fan attendance is still undecided.
NFL: The Super Bowl is expected to have fans in attendance this season as they announced that 20% capacity will be allowed in Tampa’s stadium. Similar to the World Series, seating will be spaced out and fans will be required to wear masks. The NFL has no plan to change the day the Super Bowl is played in early February.
Callaway x Top Golf: Callaway purchased Top Golf for a whopping $2 billion. This will provide an advantage to Callaway as a way to reach new and younger golfers, a demographic that has been traditionally difficult for brands in the golf space to reach.
ESPN: Any plans for ESPN to create a bubble for the start of the college basketball season have been canceled. There were plans to bring eight early-season tournaments (like the Maui Invitational) to the Orlando venue. Without a bubble, teams will be forced to find new opponents before the season tip-off date of November 25th.