Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 114

Events and Attractions

The inclusion of the big four pro commissioners at Allen & Co.'s retreat in Sun Valley, Idaho, is “further proof that sports is now firmly entrenched as one of America's big businesses, deserving of a seat alongside business and media and politics and technology as a shaper of popular opinion and culture,” according to Brian Murphy of the IDAHO STATESMAN. The inclusion of the NHL’s Gary Bettman, NFL’s Roger Goodell, MLB’s Bud Selig and NBA’s David Stern is “only fitting, given sports' place in the American culture." The commissioners “belong in meetings with the other executives, given the size of the businesses they run and the enormous influence they peddle.” The four commissioners “will be joined by more than a dozen others with heavy sports ties at the gathering, representing some of the most popular and most successful franchises in the country,” including the Lakers, Red Sox, Patriots and Bulls. Murphy: “Given the media and business power-brokers in Sun Valley, could someone strike a deal that vastly changes the way we watch and consume our sports? Or the way they are run?” (IDAHO STATESMAN, 7/7). PRO FOOTBALL TALK’s Mike Wilkening noted Rams Owner Stan Kroenke and 49ers CEO Jed York are “among the NFL figures slated to attend.” Goodell today is “to participate in a sports-related discussion,” but the nature of the talk “is unclear” (, 7/9).

:’s Julia Boorstin noted IMG is a “big asset on the block,” and it is “expected to sell" for as much as $2B in the next few months. The company “doesn't have a representative at the conference, but two determined bidders are here" in CAA Managing Partner Bryan Lourd and Wasserman Media Group Chair & CEO Casey Wasserman (, 7/9).

The ATP World Tour Winston-Salem Open is an event many players "use as preparation for the U.S. Open" and Tournament Dir Bill Oakes "has been busy recruiting players, talking to prospective sponsors and preparing his staff for what’s to come," according to John Dell of the WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL. Three players who have committed are John Isner, Tommy Haas and Sam Querrey. Oakes "wouldn’t name names" of the other committed players. But he said that he is "confident the field will be deep" for the final event before the U.S. Open. Oakes said, "Right now, we have a lot of guys in the top 30, and we are feeling pretty good about the field and how it’s shaping up." Fans will "see some changes, starting with the stadium -- it will be a solid-bowl configuration, with more spacious seating." Oakes: "We’ve changed our vendor for our stadium, and we are actually using a temporary stadium from Switzerland. The seats are structured a little different, so there’s a little more leg room and that will make it more enjoyable for the spectators." There also will be "more seating around the practice courts." Oakes said that ticket sales are "a little behind where they were at this time last year but that he isn’t worried." Oakes: "We are a little different in that fans want to see particular players, so they wait to see the draw and then buy tickets. ... And we do very well with walk-up sales, so we aren’t concerned" (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 7/9).