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Team Owners Say Providing Unique Experience Key To Building Business
Published April 4, 2013
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LABOR CERTAINTY: All four of the major pro team sports have signed a new CBA in the last two years, and Jacobs noted that is one major problem that has been fixed. Jacobs, who was considered one of the main hard-liners during the recent NHL lockout, said, “We’ve got certainty, an eight-to-10-year certainty, and that means a lot to your fans and your sponsors. So I think we’ll build our business with this agreement. … The greatest thing we’ve done is we’ve fixed it for the long term.” 76ers investor MICHAEL RUBIN said, “The businesses over the past decade, many of them have been pretty bad businesses. But with better CBAs, television going the right way … I’ve seen pretty bad businesses grow out of it and actually become much better businesses.”
MONEY WELL SPENT? The question was asked whether buying sports teams was still a good investment. Vinik noted when he bought the Lightning three years ago, he “took a franchise that had a lot of upside opportunities if you could get everything right.” Vinik: “That includes making the building better, improving the product on the ice, treating our fans better, the parking situation, food and beverage, etc.” But he noted it “takes a long time to turn all this around and get it right.” After initially believing he and his people could change things in six months, he said, “We’re three years into it right now and we probably have another year or two to go.”
-- Ricketts, on what surprised him when he took over the Cubs: “There are lots of little learning curves. Chicago politics is one.”
-- Vinik: “Sports are in danger of the have and the have-nots becoming more separated over time.”