Bulls of the Week
There is no sport market in North America making more headlines these days than Metropolitan Dallas, the home of the Cowboys of the NFL, Mavericks of the NBA, Texas Rangers of MLB, Stars of the NHL and FC Dallas of MLS.
Only the New England Patriots have appeared in more Super Bowls than the Cowboys, the five-time champions who haven’t won a title since 1995.
Yet the Cowboys are the richest franchise, not only in the NFL, but in North America and globally, with a Forbes valuation of US$5.5 billion. They play in one of the three biggest stadiums on the continent, with naming rights worth $17 million per year for AT&T Stadium, a venue of 80,000 seats that is expandable to 100,000 — at least when not constrained by a pandemic.
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones watches over the biggest revenue-producing machine in team sports, with projected income of more than US$980 million per year. He hasn’t, however, been able to translate that kind of world-leading success to his own football operations.
Founded in 1980, the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA won their only championship in 2011 but have one of the fastest-rising stars in stone-cold shooter Luka Doncic. They also have their own mercurial owner in high-tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban, one of the highest profile personalities in professional sport. The Mavs share American Airlines Center with the Stars of the NHL and both went into the COVID-19 stoppage in mid-March with top-three attendance numbers in their respective leagues.
And the Stars — relocated from Bloomington, Minn. in 1993 — are 20 years past their one Stanley Cup win in 1999. Under Canadian owner Tom Gaglardi of Vancouver, however, the Stars have quietly built a superb business operations unit that — except in the current circumstances — presides over sellout crowds and an increasingly strong brand footprint in the Lone Star State.
Unaccustomed as they might be to it, the Stars are currently in the spotlight as they prepare for the most unusual Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Add in Globe Life Park — home of baseball’s Rangers — and the Dallas-Fort Worth television market area (with a population of 7.2M) will be among the most prominent in North America this fall when MLB slides into its hub-city model of playoffs, expanded from 10 to 16 teams.
Globe Life Park will host the World Series, raising the possibility that MLB may attempt to sell tickets on a physically-distanced basis given the Texas state protocols that allow for fan attendance up to 50 per cent capacity.
Bears of the Week
There are eight Canadian-owned franchises in the NHL. Only one of them — Gaglardi’s Dallas Stars — reached the final four in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
That means the Stanley Cup drought for Canadian-based teams is now at 27 years and counting. Yet there’s no bigger loser this week in the business of sport than the Los Angeles Clippers, out of the NBA playoffs after blowing a 3-1 conference semifinal series lead against the Denver Nuggets.
To owner Steve Ballmer and the Clippers’ front office, that’s a travesty given what they gave up to pair Paul George with free agent Kawhi Leonard.
• The Sport Market on TSN Radio rates and debates the bulls and bears of sport business. Join Tom Mayenknecht on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. for a behind-the-scenes look at the sport-business stories that matter most to fans. Follow Tom Mayenknecht at: Twitter.com/TheSportMarket
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