Editor Note: ‘Early Entrants’ is a series of sports business ‘rumblings’ before the news breaks.
Miami Businessman Buying MLS Club?
A well-connected private equity source says that Joe DaGrosa, Jr. – chairman of General American Capital Partners and owner of the French Ligue 1 club Girondins de Bordeaux – is strongly considering the purchase of an MLS club. It’s not clear which team DaGrosa is targeting, but it’s not believed to be Inter Miami CF (despite living in the city); he wants to be the controlling owner and that’s not realistic in an ownership group that also includes both Jorge Mas and David Beckham. Orlando would make sense; the team has a willing seller and plays just an hour (by plane) from home. One league office executive said that MLS was not aware of any discussions surrounding DaGrosa and the purchase of a franchise.
Pac-12 Commissioner Reinvents Himself, Long-Term Future Remains in Doubt
Jon Wilner’s (The Mercury News) recent story on the reinvention of Larry Scott (and his management style) indicated that the changes the Pac-12 Commissioner has made have been favorably received by the member institutions. While that may be true, it certainly does not mean that Scott’s contract will be extended beyond its current expiration date (spring ’22). One high ranking Pac-12 administrator told JohnWallStreet that “[Scott] has some support at the president/chancellor level (as opposed to at the athletic director level) – Michael Crow (ASU) and Gene Block (UCLA) are in his corner, but there’s been a lot of turnover in the room and those coming in are asking tough questions about how the conference got into this position (see: +/- $20 million/year behind the B1G in broadcast revenues). His long-term future [in the position] hinges on finding a strategic media partner (i.e. not a P.E. investment) to take a stake in the [Pac-12] network.” ESPN and Fox Sports would be obvious candidates. Sinclair would make sense too.
Spence-Porter Projections All Over the Board
Mike Coppinger (The Athletic) reported that the Errol Spence, Jr. v. Shawn Porter fight was “tracking over 300,000 buys.” Bob Arum has since disputed that projection claiming “the actual number is around 170,000 buys.” The two well connected boxing insiders we spoke to (one on the network side, one on the promotion side) said that the truth is likely somewhere in the middle. One said “extrapolations and experience tell us a range that I’d bet my house on – 275,000 to 300,000 (max).” The other, not nearly as bullish, said the figure “isn’t as low as Arum is saying – it was over 200,000 – but it didn’t get to 250,000.” For comparison purposes, Spence v. Mikey Garcia (March ’19) did 305,000 buys. Anything less than that total would have to be considered a disappointment for Fox.
Chargers May Not Be Long for L.A.
It’s been widely reported that the Los Angeles Chargers have struggled to sell personal seat licenses to SoFi Stadium (set to open next year), but even the most pessimistic of fans wouldn’t have imagined that the team is +/- $350 million below their initial sales target. As noted on October 10th, one high ranking team executive told JohnWallStreet that the Bolts have sold just +/- $50 million dollars’ worth of PSLs to date; by comparison, the Rams have peddled +/- 10x that total. The tepid interest in the San Diego transplants has become a concern for executives at the league’s highest level. If the market continues to reject the franchise, one must wonder how long the team stays.
Interested in Sports Business? Sign-up for our free daily email newsletter list, here!