Posts Tagged ‘Basketball’

United States in Olympic Lockout

August 31, 2011 1 comment

It seems money is standing between the United States and hosting the Olympic Games

Every four years the world comes together despite any conflict or disagreements to participate in the Olympic Games. The Summer Games brings competitive sports such as Track & Field, Basketball, Swimming and Diving to the worlds eyes. We all remember Michael Phelps eight gold medals of the 2008 Beijing games or the 2004 Athens games where the United States lost in the 400m Relay by a step to Great Britain. What many don’t remember is the last time the United States hosted the Summer Olympic Games. Unfortunately, this will continue as the United States Olympic Committee has announced they will not be bidding for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky released a statement stating “Our focus is on other things,” including preparations for next year’s summer games in London and ongoing negotiations for a new revenue-sharing arrangement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “That precluded us from being focused on any sort of bidding process”

USOC Spokesman Patrick Sandusky

Apparently the bidding was cancelled due to a revenue split dispute between the USOC and the IOC. Currently the United States sponsors generate the most revenue and naturally the USOC receives the biggest portion of this revenue at nearly 13 percent of the Television money and 20 percent of the sponsorship money. The current revenue spilt has resulted in a troubled relationship with the IOC. It is because of this relationship that the U.S. has failed in two previous bids for the Olympic Games including the most recent Chicago bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games that will be hosted in Rio. Sandusky stated “Until that deal is done we would not be in a position to potentially bid.” U.S. cities such as Las Vegas, Tulsa, Minneapolis, Dallas, New York, and Chicago were interested in potentially hosting the 2020 Summer Games.

The United States has not hosted the Summer Games since the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Olympic Stadium in Atlanta, GA in 1996

With the U.S. not bidding for the 2020 games the U.S. will go at least 28 years until they host a Summer games.  I remember when I was seven years old driving through Atlanta and seeing all the glory that is the Olympic Games. An experience I believe to many American citizens are being stripped of because a money dispute. Sound familiar? Seems as if we have just ended the NFL Lockout, just started the NBA Lockout, now we have another Lockout on our hands. Lockout seems to be the trend of the year in the sports world. Just to give you a idea of how long its been since the Summer Games was hosted on American Soil lets see what has changed since 1996:

  • Bill Clinton was President (Good Times)
  • U.S. average gas price per gallon was $1.23 ( less than a 1/3 of what it is today)
  • “Macarena” was on the top of the Billboard 100 (Ha!)
  • E.R. on NBC was the most popular T.V. Show
  • Dallas Cowboys won Super Bowl XXX
  • Chicago beat Seattle in the NBA Finals (Yeah, Seattle)
I believe the list above speaks for itself. If we’ve learned anything from the NFL Lockout is that when it comes to money, two parties will not give up easy. Unlike the NFL Labor Dispute the demands are not clearly cut out. Whatever it takes I hope the USOC and the IOC reach their deal while I’m still young. If its money the USOC is concerned about, they will make plenty of it by entering a bid and potentially hosting the games.. Their are several short term and long term benefits to hosting the Olympic Games such as the creation of tens of thousands of jobs, increase tourism revenue, new facilities that will bring in revenue to the host city, and also the groups and events the Olympics will bring during and after the Games.Moral of the story, its been to long. We need to bring the games back to the United States!

Viewing Parties Potential as the Next Best Thing

Through out the NBA Playoffs we’ve seen the Miami Heat and recently the Dallas Mavericks host Watching Parties when their team was on the road. These parties are free, with the exception of parking, and give the fans a home game feeling as hundreds of fans usually show up to support their team as they watch on the big screen.

Miami Heat fans gather outside American Airlines Arena to watch Game 5 of the Heat vs Bulls series

Seeing the reaction of the Dallas fans at their home arena during Game 2 of the NBA Finals as well as how many fans there were I begin to think, what if this became a every game thing in the NBA Finals and maybe during the regular season for highly anticipated games? Also what if teams sold tickets to these viewing parties?

Dallas fans watch their Mavericks play the Oklahoma City Thunder in the American Airline Center.

Teams could make revenue on both home and away games during the post-season. Fans always gather together to watch big games. Friends get together, either at home or at bars and restaurants, order food, and cheer on their team. Fans would be able to gather in bigger groups and watch games at their home arena with hundreds of other fans. It’s no secret that games are more entertaining to watch when you are surrounded by people who support the same team.

Tickets for Viewing Parties would be sold at the beginning of each series.  Initially tickets would be general admission, but could potentially lead to normal game seating based on demand. To encourage more fans to purchase these tickets, each ticket could include some sort of concession discount or coupon. Fans gather together to watch games as is, certainly given the opportunity to watch their game not only together, but in their home arena fans would come in packs. In-Game Promotions could be used for giveaways and contests just as they would be if the game was being played at that arena. You would want to create a near identical game experience. The revenue from these Viewing Parties would not  a franchise, but it would be revenue none the less and you can never have to much of that.

I believe this idea has the potential to take off, not only in Basketball, but Hockey as well. With a series Hockey fans could watch games in their home arena.  I know WHEN the Pistons make the finals again I’d love to go back to the Palace and watch a game on the big screen.

Detroit Pistons Still in Need of Owner

The Pistons have gone nearly there entire season without an owner. In the past three months their have been several potential owners come forth and express their interest, but for one reason or another their interest eventually dwindles. Before the Pistons can become a threat in the league, they need someone to make the off court decisions.

In the last few months the Pistons have grasped the interest of big times names like Magic Johnson, George Postolos, Mike Illitch, and Tom Gores. All four investors very successful in their respected area of business. Johnson, without saying a great player in his day with the Los Angeles Lakers, George Postolos a former executive with the Houston Rockets as well as with the NBA, Mike Illitch current owner of both the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers among other venues, and Tom Gores, a home town man now residing in California with a Net Worth of $2.2 Billion. Like I stated before three months ago it was anyones team. All four investors had claimed to set up meetings with the Pistons to move forward in the deal, but as time went on many of these investors begin to drop out. Magic Johnson was the first name on the list to disappear

ar, with no official reasoning. After Johnson Mike Illitch entered a 30-day Negotiation with the Pistons Organization. Local fans were excited about the thought of Illitch expanding his ownership to the Detroit Pistons. Plans  surfaced stating that Illitch would move the Pistons back to Detroit. In doing this Illitch would build a new arena to replace the Palace and Joe Louis arena that would host both the Pistons and the Red Wings and it would be located in the heart of Detroit near Ford Field and Comerica Park. This would make the heart of Detroit an Entertainment hotspot with all four major sports as well as the MGM Casino within five minutes. Unfortunately, this deal would fall through. In December Illitched announced he would not be purchasing the Pistons. It was said that the deal fell through due

Tom Gores is a Flint, MI native and Michigan State graduate

to inflations of revenues by the Detroit Pistons. Once Illitch knew this information he offered Karen Davidson, who currently owns the Pistons, less and it was said that the deal eventually dwinlded. Most recently is Flint native and Michigan State Grad Tom Gores. Following Illitch’s purchase falling through Gores entered his name in bidding for the Pistons. Weeks after the initial rumors surfaced it was announced that Gores had entered his 30-Day Negotiation period with Davidson. After four weeks it was announced that no deal had been made and it seemed as Davidson was back t square one with no potential owners. Fortunately it was announced that Gores was given a two-week extension to continue negotiations with Davidson. Soon after more rumors came out that Davidson and Gores had reached a deal. One article even gave specific details of the deal. Davidson has announced that no deal has been met, but negotiations continue.

The Pistons on court performance is nothing to be proud of, but I believe you need someone steering the ship to help that. Everyone wants to blame specific players, Coach Kuester, and even Joe Dumars, but you  need an Owner who has the best interest of the organization in mind before you can expect the Detroit Pistons to get back to Contending for a NBA Title.