WNBA Players Spotlight Travel Woes

Thanks to legions of Taylor Swift fans, Ticketmaster’s alleged monopoly on sports grounds has come to the attention of the US Senate Judiciary Committee. During Tuesday’s meeting, SeatGeek co-founder and CEO Jack Groetzinger told the committee that Ticketmaster controls ticket sales for more than 80% of NFL, NBA and NHL venues.

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The discussion about charter travel for WNBA teams is heating up.

Private flights are in focus free-agent talks in the league, according to ESPN, as Phoenix Mercury player Brittney Griner — who was detained in Russia last year — will likely have to fly privately for security reasons.

If she does, the WNBA will have to decide how to proceed with charter travel — the league currently do not allow charter flights.

  • Cost estimates for all teams traveling by charter are close 30 million dollars — an amount the WNBA cannot afford. Commissioner Cathy Engelbert previously said she would not “jeopardize the health of the league” with charter flights.
  • Even if an individual team has enough money to fly charter, it is not allowed unless all 12 teams can afford it – New York Liberty was fined $500,000 for secret charter flight in the 2022 season.

Griner has reportedly not requested special travel accommodations yet.

Private proposals

Players incl Breanna Stewartwho reportedly made charter travel a factor in her free agency suggests ideas.

“I would love to be part of a deal that helps subsidize charter travel for the entire WNBA,” Stewart tweeted. “I would contribute my NIL, posts + production (hours) to ensure we all travel in a way that prioritizes player health + safety, which ultimately results in a better product. Who is with me?”

The tweet had responses from other big names including Sue Bird, Paige Bueckerand In Morant.

According to a recent analysis, Formula 1’s Las Vegas Grand Prix will have more than twice the economic impact of the Super Bowl.

The F1 race weekend, scheduled for 16-18 November, is expected to bring 1.3 billion dollars in expenses to the city, according to Applied Analysis.

  • That sum includes an expected 966 million dollars in visitor consumption and 316 million dollars in event operation and support.
  • F1 is building a permanent four-story, 300,000-square-foot paddock building off the Vegas Strip.
  • The organizers are waiting around 100,000 entrants each day of the event, culminating in a rare Saturday Grand Prix on November 18.

Applied Analysis conducted a similar projection for the 2024 Super Bowl, which will also be held in Las Vegas, and found that the game and associated events would bring a 600 million dollars economic consequences for the city.

More to Miami

Meanwhile, organizers of the Miami Grand Prix announced that they had increased the event’s grandstand capacity by 3,000 to meet demand, bringing it to 56,000. Team field areas will be located on the Miami Dolphins field, where the track circles Hard Rock Stadium.

The race will offer “campus pass” general admission tickets that provide wide access around race areas.

The first Miami Grand Prix in May 2022 pulled over 240,000 people to the city.

Investments in European football by consortiums from the Middle East have forced owners of Manchester United and Liverpool to consider full and partial sales, according to a Reuters report.

Middle Eastern investment groups have strengthened their reach in football with high-priced deals, forcing two club owners to seek new investment to compete and turn a profit – without what appears to be unlimited access to oil industry funding.

  • In 2011 Qatar Sports Investments acquired an ownership stake of 70% Paris Saint Germain for about $67.9 million.
  • As of May 2022, the Ligue 1 club was rated at 3.2 billion dollarsthe seventh most valuable football team according to Forbes.
  • In 2021, a consortium was led by Public investment fund — Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund — purchased Newcastle United for 409 million dollars.
  • As of January 23, Newcastle – currently placed third in the Premier League – are rated at 440 million dollarsfor Sportico.

The soaring valuations have caught the attention of the Liverpool owner Fenway Sports Group and Manchester United owners Glazer family. In addition 5.2 billion dollars sale of Chelsea in May 2022 to a consortium of investors led by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lakers and Sparks co-owner Todd Boehly strengthened the potential returns for a European football club.

Lost earnings

Let down by European Super League – and its accompanying revenue streams – have also forced football team owners to consider new investors. In April 2021, a group of major European clubs announced plans to create the Super League, which was met with public outcry.

The league initially offered 3.4 billion dollars in entry bonuses and a winning prize of 392 million dollars.

A California-based software development company is seeking help from the NBA.

Nianticcreator of the augmented reality gaming hit “Pokémon Go,” is expanding its reach with “NBA All-World” — an interactive gaming experience that launched on January 24. The mobile game allows players to compete against NBA stars and collect new gear using their rankings.

  • “NBA All-World” comes after a wave of early success for “Pokémon Go” that made 5 billion dollars between the publication in July 2016 and July 2021, per Sensor Tower.
  • Since then, Niantic has shut down its second AR-based game title, “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite,” just two years after its launch.
  • The company is closed 8% of its workforce — around 85-90 employees — in June 2022 and canceled four projects.

A game title featuring NBA talent arrives on the heels of record assets for the NBA Players Association. Earlier this month, the NBAPA reported that assets reached 428.1 million dollars in the financial year ending September 30, 2022 – an increase of 9.5% from the previous year. But money owed to players nearly doubled year over year 199.9 million dollars in the same period.

Great potential

“NBA All-World” allows Niantic to maintain its position in a mobile gaming market expected to exceed a valuation of 215 billion dollars by 2028, according to SkyQuest Technology Consulting.

The title could be a promising venture for Niantic – the world’s five highest-grossing mobile games generated 7.2 billion dollars in revenue by 2022, up $400 million from the previous year.

  • Luka Doncic’s heavily modified Jeep Gladiator, which has thermal and night vision cameras, a five-blast train horn and 850 horsepower, is said to be value $250,000.
  • Josh Heupel has received one expansion from Tennessee, where he will earn $9 million annually through January 2029 – moving him into the top 10 highest paid football coaches nationally.
  • Take a look at this POV: a Viking battle from the catwalk at US Bank Stadium.

*All times are EST unless otherwise noted.
*Odds/lines are subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

Are you planning to watch any of the 2023 Women’s World Cup?

Tuesday’s answer
23% of respondents play video games 1-4 hours per week; 11% play 5+ hours per week.

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