Media Quotes

“In the name of competitive balance, the quality of the NFL game itself has also deteriorated into the random mediocrity of equally bad teams beating each other.”

 “Traditional media fan bases have suddenly shifted from devoted fans of traditional football to newer, less traditional fantasy fans who could care less about the quality of the games themselves, or the performance of any team other than their own fragmented fantasy squads.”

— John Vrooman, CBS News

“As monopoly cartels, all of the leagues artificially restrict the number of franchises to inflate the asking and selling prices. As a result the final auction selling prices are systematically overvalued by about 25 percent on average.”

“If the Pens are worth an estimated $600 million, then normally the selling price could go as high as $750 million for the defending Stanley Cup champions. If no potential NHL buyers were taking the Pens’ bait at $750 million, then the Penguins are obviously overvalued by the owners and undervalued by potential investors.

“There were no bidders from the NHL-superior Seattle market at an inflated $500 million because the NHL expansion fee should have probably been in the $300 million range.”

— John Vrooman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Czech version

“The economic loss of a one-time event like the NBA All-Star game is overtly embarrassing for Charlotte but amounts to small-time chump change compared to the mega-hit now being taken by the progressive economic reputation of Charlotte and ultimately all of Carolina because of Raleigh’s reactionary politics of HB2.”

— John Vrooman, Charlotte Business Journal

“How ironic it would be, if the mighty, macho monopoly power of the NFL cartel was ultimately taken down by the holistic, protective feminine wisdom of soccer moms united.”

 “Talk of economic cataclysm  (without the NFL) is probably exaggerated precisely because the NFL cartel is a self-contained, risk-free economic island, a natural-born automatic moneymaking machine disconnected from the cultural fabric and the economic grid.”

“New venues are hermetically sealed to capture all economic gains for the home club and the rest of the monopoly cartel. So, ironically, there would be few, if any, economic spinoffs, multipliers or indirect effects lost, because the league gets everything while it passes the stadium funding bill to local taxpayers.”

— John Vrooman, Sports illustrated

 “Bottom line: NHL hockey can probably survive, but not thrive in Las Vegas.”

“It’s highly doubtful the expected cash flow from hockey in the desert can justify the bloated expansion sticker price of $500 million.”

“Visitors are not coming to Vegas to watch hockey, and unstable transient fan bases do not create value in the corporate-client driven NHL.”

— John Vrooman, Las Vegas Sun

“The Raiders would be desert-locked in a small economically isolated and lopsided Vegas“

“The Broncos rule the Mountain West. The Cards now rule the Southwest desert. The 49ers would have NoCal locked down, and that leaves the Rams and Bolts to split SoCal.”

“There is just no economic room for the Raiders and the Las Vegas market doesn’t have the size or depth to carry the club.”

— John Vrooman, USA Today / CBS Sports

“This talent depth no doubt won Lord Stanley’s Cup on the ice, but the resulting payroll structure of the Pens drives down its asset value in the open market.”

— John Vrooman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“The non-traditional Las Vegas demographic is not hockey friendly. Visitors are not coming to Vegas to watch hockey and unstable transient fan bases do not create value in the corporate client driven NHL.”

— John Vrooman, Yahoo Sports

“It is unlikely the Chargers or the Raiders will relocate to Vegas, but if they did the NFL would consume almost all of the corporate fan base and the NHL team would be relegated to being a stepchild. Vegas is a shallow market overly dependent on the gaming and tourism industry.”

— John Vrooman, Yahoo Sports

“Ironically, the empty L.A. market has probably been more valuable to the NFL as the third leg in a public funding extortion triangle over the past 20 years than if a football team were in residence.”

— John Vrooman, CBS News

“The mega-hit already taken by the Queen City’s progressive reputation by the discriminatory and divisive NC LGBT law will be economically real and significantly larger and more tangible than the actual economic impact of the loss of a one-time event like the NBA All-Star Game.”

— John Vrooman, Charlotte Observer

“Men and women now receive equal prize money in all four Grand Slams, but the battle between the sexes for a shallow pool of prize money at the top seems somewhat petty when compared to the gross earnings disparity from top to bottom of both the WTA and ATP.”

— John Vrooman, The Daily Beast

“It is entirely possible that the L.A. football market has been more valuable to the NFL empty than if it had been occupied since 1995. It is standard operating procedure for the N.F.L. commissioner and other concerned owners to drop the not-so-veiled threat of relocation to L.A.”

— John Vrooman, New York Times

“The franchise valuation key in professional sports leagues is to solidify the season ticket base, and the best way to accomplish that is to build a credible long-term strategy toward winning.”

— John Vrooman, NBC News

“The NFL will probably defy all pretzel logic and set the fee at $620 million or $20 million easy money-for-nothing for each non-Kroenke member of the monopoly cartel — just because they can.”

— John Vrooman, The Street

“Depreciation tax shelters are critical in the land of the bottom line. Any good sports accountant can turn a $30 million profit into a $30 million loss with accepted accounting procedures… all consistent with the existing tax code.”

— John Vrooman, Atlanta Journal Constitution

“The actual auction price for an NHL franchise is usually biased upward, so the price (for the Penguins) in a seller’s market could go as high or even higher than the reported asking price of $750 million. But rumors of NHL expansion have probably flipped the advantage to the buyers.”

— John Vrooman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

“Kroenke is the only relocation candidate that could break even on the stadium deal and still make mega-bucks over, under, around and through the Hollywood Park project. Those synergies were not there in the Carson joint venture.”

— John Vrooman, CNN Money

“The local sports bars will probably rock, but most direct spending at the stadium stays at the stadium. The injection of new cash flow into the local economy is negligible because it’s coming at the expense of local spending someplace else.”

“The indirect spin-offs are also small because most of the spending leaks out of the economy like a sieve and so the urban/regional multipliers are usually zero, zip … nada.”

— John Vrooman, Los Angeles Daily News

“The Rams’ relocation application to L.A. is more exaggerated and loosely fabricated than a custody battle in a messy divorce.”

— John Vrooman, Associated Press

“Barca and Real Madrid are so intertwined in their competition that the sudden negative-sum absence of Barca would lay waste to La Liga and adversely affect twin giant Real Madrid.”

— John Vrooman, International Business Times

“This is why a second NHL expansion team in Toronto makes perfect sense in terms of hockey fan welfare, but is not likely to happen because it would result in negative sum for internal NHL profit. The competitive economic damage to the Leafs would always exceed the gains to a second team in Hamilton.

— John Vrooman, Toronto Star

“The history of North American professional soccer has been the pro soccer league fantasy of capturing World Cup lightning in a bottle.”

“Women’s soccer has come a long way, even if it seems to proceed in fits and starts at the rate of continental drift.”

“The appealing aspect of women’s soccer—besides US success on the world level—is that women seem to play the beautiful game the way that it is supposed to be played.”

— John Vrooman, The Daily Beast

“Two-thirds of NFL revenue is derived from media and probably half of the TV or new digital media viewers are fantasy league players who could care less about the traditional NFL product. Welcome to the new NFL.”

— John Vrooman, Sports Illustrated / Wired

“Over 40% of the current $1.15 billion annually drawn by the EPL from its overseas contracts comes from Asia. EPL is blowing away the European competition in the new pan-fanatic game of football neo-imperialism.”

“European football now has a TV rights problem that has become seriously complicated by its foreign exchange rate problem”

— John Vrooman, Fortune Magazine

“Goldman Sachs’ job is to use, if not disguise, every public stadium funding tax shelter and loophole.”

— John Vrooman, Los Angeles Times

“The move to L.A. is an economic no-brainer even if the Rams pay for their own stadium.”

— John Vrooman, Los Angeles Times

“On this important and revealing issue (tax-exempt stadium bond finance), Obama ends up being the fiscally conservative responsible adult in the room.”

— John Vrooman, Buffalo News

“It will be interesting to see if the corruption scandal is more of a FIFA negative image factor than the human rights violations in selecting World Cup host countries at issue in the scandal.”

— John Vrooman, CBS News

“The two teams may split the stadium cost 50/50 but their mutual competition will shrink the total SoCal revenue pie regardless of their relative market share. The Raiders and Bolts are worth more as separate monopolies in separate markets than combined in L.A.”

— John Vrooman, Los Angeles Times

“The best financial analogy would be like comparing the NFL as a well-diversified S&P index portfolio with an all-or-nothing NASDAQ roulette wheel. European football, particularly in La Liga and Serie A is make-it-or-break-it unless you are one of the top three or four clubs.”

— John Vrooman, Fortune Magazine

“Roger Goodell is the paid enabler for the 32 lords of the NFL realm. To give this expendable front man credit for NFL’s revenue growth would be like giving the rooster credit for dawn.”

— John Vrooman, Washington Post

“The economic weakness of the Las Vegas market is the disproportionate reliance on a now very competitive gaming industry combined with a fluid fan base. The underlying financial structure of Vegas is fragile. Almost one-half of the home mortgages are still under water.”

“The secret to success in a marginal edge sports market like Vegas is revenue certainty and the non-traditional demographic is risky business. This is particularly true in the gate dependent NHL. “

— John Vrooman, USA Today

“Nothing (Super Bowl beer pricing) is really sacred anymore. The monopoly rule is to gouge half as many fans more than twice as much on everything.”

“The NFL will become increasingly more exclusive fewer fans having less access at higher prices to generate more certain media, venue and gate revenues.”

— John Vrooman, USA Today

“Transfer spending is analogous to the international balance of trade, where wealthy leagues usually import more talent than lower revenue domestic leagues.”

— John Vrooman, Fortune Magazine

“The NFL is usually considered economically untouchable, and the demand for sponsorship rights deals is highly inelastic with respect to scandal and gross misconduct. Sponsors feel fortunate to just hang with the league.”

— John Vrooman, Sports Illustrated

“World Cups are notoriously bad economic development anchors, particularly in developing countries, and four of the last five hosting countries have lost money.”

— John Vrooman, Fortune Magazine

“These buyers are perhaps irrational and exuberant but not altogether foolish. There is method to Ballmer’s ‘madness.’”

“About $1.6 billion of the Clippers price is sustainable investment and the extra $400 million may be what a billionaire owner with a Harvard degree in economics simply wants to pay for his NBA buzz.”

— John Vrooman, Associated Press/USA Today

“The NFL is a well-oiled, perfectly diversified, recession- and bullet-proof, legalized cartel.”

“The violence against women problem is not new to the NFL; nor is the league’s ambivalence. This unique in-our-face episode is perhaps the beginning of a deeper accountability.”

— John Vrooman, CBC News

“There are more hockey fans in any random block in greater Toronto than in perhaps any of the potential expansion sites.”

“Unfortunately the internal decision is made based on what is best for the league and not necessarily for the external welfare of hockey fans.”

“The league will always prefer two monopoly markets to one duopoly (two-team) market. This is because the damage to the existing team, in this case the Leafs is always greater than the increase in value to the new team.”

— John Vrooman, Toronto Star

“Americans, like Europeans, love scandals, especially those involving fallen sports heroes, champions and especially corruption at the top of the sports pyramid.”

“Americans who were previously unaware of the shady history or even the existence of FIFA … will now be inundated with news of scandal and there is no such thing as bad publicity in the US sports market.”

— John Vrooman, Agence France Press

“The bad news for San Diego is that both L.A. stadiums would be cash cows, but the good news for San Diego is that the Chargers would have to pony up all of the stadium costs in L.A. and the other owners in the NFL would probably tax away whatever advantage was left in the form of a hefty relocation fee in the range of $500 million.”

“The unfortunate aspect for San Diego is the public subsidy goes up as the city size goes down.”

— John Vrooman, San Diego Union-Tribune

“The reasoning of Congress in passing the SBA (Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961) was that collective negotiations and even revenue distributions would lead to increased competitive balance in the Big 4 sports leagues. The classic behavior of a sports league cartel is to charge half as many fans twice as much.”

— John Vrooman,  Associated Press

“The networks would be psyched for extra live playoff TV rights. Ad rates for live sports programming are exploding because of the vanishing availability of live broadcasts in the new age of streaming and fast-forward recording.”

“NFL TV rights jumped 62 percent from $127 million annually per club to $206 million per club 2014-2022; NBA rights have almost tripled; MLB rights have doubled; and NHL rights have quadrupled.”

— John Vrooman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“MLB clubs usually threaten to abandon ship if they don’t get the concessions that they want, but in reality they rarely do because in MLB it still matters in what market you play.”

“The good news is that MLB relocation threats are not credible, and Stuart Sternberg should be taken at his word: He will stay in the 15th largest market and bargain in good faith, because he has no superior alternative.”

— John Vrooman, Tampa Tribune

“The NFL is economically bulletproof, and $25 billion in revenues is within reach in a dozen or so seasons, if they don’t implode from self-destructive internal governance.”

“More importantly, NFL revenue and player costs are both almost certain (because of a hard cap and extensive revenue sharing) with a value/revenue multiple of 4.8, whereas MLB is still a risky business with a multiple of 3.5.”

— John Vrooman, CBS News

“The marginal gains to economic powerhouse football factories like Ohio State and Oregon are minimal.  Although playing in the championship game increases the visibility of both schools and in turn increases the quantity and quality of prospective student applications for admissions, it is more likely that the on‐field success of both teams is more a result of hefty booster donations rather than the cause.”

— John Vrooman, The Fiscal Times

“The killer fact is that the 2011 BCS final was the most watched show in the history of cable TV. But it is now being replaced by both of the CFP semi-final games in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. Each had about 28 million viewers.”

— John Vrooman, Dallas Morning News

“When dealing with the NFL, it is critically important to realize that the league is more effectively diversified and risk-free through time and space than any local or regional government or sports authority in any mid-market or large market”

— John Vrooman, NPR

“Welcome, Cuba, to a crash course in baseball capitalism.”

— John Vrooman, Pacific Standard

“In the cash cow economics of ballpark finance, the $24 million plus buyout over 12 seasons is chump change for Rays GP Stuart Sternberg.”

“Given the economic obsolescence of the Trop and the alternative futures for the land in St. Pete, the deal cut between Stern­berg and Kriseman through 2027 is fair and reasonable.”

— John Vrooman, Tampa Tribune

“This recent attendance collapse in South Florida is not necessarily another harbinger of the complete demise of the Sunbelt strategy. Attendance in non-traditional markets is very sensitive to the quality of the team on the ice and the Panthers are no exception.”

“So the current attendance collapse in BB&T Center in Sunrise is probably a combined result of the 2012-13 lockout and the discouraging face-plant reversal of the Panthers on the ice in 2012-13 and last season 2013-14.”

“In volatile non-traditional markets the economic solution to bottom line is usually to simply improve the quality of the product on the ice and Sunbelt fans will respond.”

— John Vrooman, Yahoo Sports

“Unfortunately, US interest in the men’s national team peaks with the onset of the World Cup and declines thereafter.”

“As a result, US fan interest cycles in sync with the major international competitions and is never fully internalised in our domestic leagues. The breakthrough in US soccer is still probably a generation away”.

“In spite of all the challenges facing domestic club competition and league development in the US, it is entirely possible – if not likely given the nature of the tournament process – that the US will contend for a World Cup by Qatar 2022.”

— John Vrooman, Financial Times

“The leagues have obviously already decided to join the fantasy gaming competition and its exploding cash flow rather than fighting it.”

“The same now appears to be becoming true for legalized sports betting in the not-so-distant future.”

— John Vrooman, Business Week

“The nontraditional, more Southern sun-belt markets have enjoyed some success, but attendance is very volatile and heavily dependent on the quality of the product on the ice. This is not so much the case in the traditional (Original 6) markets particularly in Canada.”

— John Vrooman, CBS News

“It is not altogether clear that the tax-exempt status gives the NFL an additional advantage in the credit market, but it sure looks that way. This seems to be the only real financial reason for the NFL league office to keep its tax exempt status in the face of now-troubling P.R.”

— John Vrooman, Bloomberg

“The advantage of PSLs is that they shift the cost of new stadiums to the fans who are the people who actually benefit from the team and the stadium, as opposed to the general state, local and federal taxpayers who will never benefit from the project.”

— John Vrooman, Buffalo News

“The league and its sponsors are an uniquely elite gentlemen’s club, and the Super Bowl has become a year-end gala for all insiders to celebrate. All of its inside sponsors enjoy the simple association with the most powerful league in the world.”

“Soon we will be barraged with feel-good sponsor ads touting a deeper respect for women and celebrating their clever acumen as NFL fans, but the NFL shield is now transparent, and the powerful league and its owners have lost something more important in this episode that they may never recover. We have all been diminished in the process.”

— John Vrooman, Sports Illustrated

“When Superman (MLSE) speaks the league listens. An expansion club inside GTA cannot compensate the (Toronto) Leafs and the NHL for the reduction in value that they will cause MLSE and the league,”

— John Vrooman, Toronto Star

“The stadium revolution is now coming around for the second circle, and the Bills will have to get on board in Buffalo or move to a new venue in Toronto,” 

“Soon Jerry Jones and the parade of other ‘egalitarian’ owners will show up in Buffalo just like they did in Minneapolis and Indy and other mid-markets to encourage public support (read public spending) for a new venue.”

— John Vrooman, Buffalo News

Pegulas and the Toronto group, which is headed by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment executive Larry Tannenbaum  appear to be the only local heroes with enough big boy pop to pull it off.” 

“There may be silent bidders in this auction, but this is real big boy football, and the bidders with enough chips to play the game are few.”

— John Vrooman, Buffalo News

“Trump is probably blowing smoke, so his prospects (buying the Bills) are dim.”

— John Vrooman, Buffalo News

“The NFL is a perfect portfolio.”

— John Vrooman, The Economist