Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Sport Ticket Sales Dribbling


Teams scramble to boost revenue in slowing economy.

Another formerly recession-proof industry is being ensnared by the credit crunch.

The Wall Street Journal reports Americans are shelling out fewer of their precious dollars to attend sporting events, despite creative sales ploys by franchises. As New Jersey Nets CEO Brett Yorkman put it, "We're not just competing for people's entertainment dollars anymore. We're going up against milk and orange juice."

Consumers are shunning extravagances -- including overpriced tickets to sporting events -- as they turn away from debt, credit and generally spending money they don't have. Which spells trouble for teams and cities alike, many of whom have recently sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into new stadiums and the infrastructure improvements required to support them. With tax revenues sinking and borrowing costs skyrocketing, municipalities may have trouble keeping up with their monthly payments.

During the previous decade of easy money, cities and counties issued debt -- often backed by bond insurers MBIA (MBI) and Ambac (ABK) -- to finance stadium projects. Glitzy new venues went up in place of old, crumbling ones steeped in history and tradition. Now, however, that credit has tightened up like a frightened sphincter, future plans are in jeopardy of being put on hold.

New York City, as usual, is on the leading edge of the storm.

Both the Mets and Yankees inked deals to build new stadiums just before the credit crunch began in earnest last year. The Mets even managed to corral a big-name sponsor to plaster the venue with its logo: Citi Field will open for business next season, and Citigroup (C) will shell out $20 million per year for the naming rights.

The Nets were a little late to the game, and may not be so lucky. Plans to build the Barclay's (BCS) Center arena in Brooklyn are in the works, but ground is yet to be broken. The British bank, recently the recipient of a generous cash injection from the U.K. government, has reiterated its commitment to supporting the project. However, legal setbacks and rising construction costs continue to imperil the arena's future.

Meanwhile, back in New Jersey, 2-for-1 season ticket offers, gas-card rebates and a recently launched buy-now-pay-later still haven't allowed the Nets to meet their goal of selling enough tickets to make up for lost renewals.

For now, fans appear inclined to stay at home, flip on the television and salivate over those court-side seats they once could afford.
< Previous
  • 1
Next >
No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opin= =3D =3D3D ion about the performance of securities and financial markets by = the wr=3D iter=3D3D s whose articles appear on the site. The views expresse= d by the wri=3D ters are=3D3D not necessarily the views of Minyanville Medi= a, Inc. or members=3D of its man=3D3D agement. Nothing contained on the web= site is intended to con=3D stitute a recom=3D3D mendation or advice address= ed to an individual investor =3D or category of inve=3D3D stors to purchase= , sell or hold any security, or to =3D take any action with re=3D3D spect t= o the prospective movement of the securit=3D ies markets or to solicit t=3D= 3D he purchase or sale of any security. Any inv=3D estment decisions must b= e made =3D3D by the reader either individually or in =3D consultation with = his or her invest=3D3D ment professional. Minyanville write=3D rs and staff= may trade or hold position=3D3D s in securities that are discuss=3D ed in = articles appearing on the website. Wr=3D3D iters of articles are requir=3D = ed to disclose whether they have a position in =3D3D any stock or fund disc= us=3D sed in an article, but are not permitted to disclos=3D3D e the size o= r direct=3D ion of the position. Nothing on this website is intende=3D3D d = to solicit bus=3D iness of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Mi= ny=3D3D anville mana=3D gement and staff as well as contributing writers wi= ll not respo=3D3D nd to em=3D ails or other communications requesting inves= tment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Featured Videos