SBD/March 1, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

League Notes

In Philadelphia, Paul Domowitch notes NFL owners have "made no promises to Indianapolis" in the event that Super Bowl XLVI gets canceled due to a season-long lockout. With the '13 and '14 Super Bowls already awarded, the "earliest Indy could be awarded another one" is '15. Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee President & CEO Allison Melangton said, "We haven't had that discussion with the NFL. But they've been great partners in the 5 years I've been working with them, and I know that we will be treated fairly." Still, Domowitch writes considering the "financial investment the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana have made in Super Bowl XLVI, the NFL almost certainly could expect to be sued if the Super Bowl is canceled" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 3/1).

QUICK OFF THE STARTING LINE: The AP's Jenna Fryer wrote NASCAR "could not have dreamed a better opening two weeks to the season -- the youngest winner in Daytona 500 history followed by the end of elder statesman Jeff Gordon's 66-race losing streak." The competition "has been stellar, with the first two races boasting record lead changes." In addition, Sunday's Sprint Cup Series Fresh Fit 500 sold out at Phoenix Int'l Raceway and "overnight ratings from Sunday show Fox has drawn more viewers both weeks." Fryer added, "More important, though, is the buzz since 20-year-old Trevor Bayne's upset Feb. 20 to win the showcase race" (AP, 2/28).

PRIVATE EYES: In London, Sylt & Reid reported F1 has "paid down a large tranche of the $2.8bn debt used by private equity firm CVC to buy the motor racing franchise in 2006." CVC reportedly "took advantage of the dip in interest rates in the economic downturn to begin repaying debt." CVC owns a 63.4% stake in Delta Topco, F1's commercial rights-holder, and it "financed its leveraged buyout in 2006 with $550m of debt from Lehman Brothers and $2.3bn believed to have come from Royal Bank of Scotland." Delta Topco in '09 "made interest payments of around $157.5m" (London TELEGRAPH, 2/27).
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