Virus To Have Smaller Impact On Houston Sports Infrastructure
While the coronavirus has "injected worry into every aspect of life, its impact on the brick and mortar element of Houston’s sports infrastructure will be limited,” according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Harris County Houston Sports Authority Chair J. Kent Friedman said that a '14 bond restructuring "ensured that the sports venues will not be an additional drain as the economy attempts to recover from the anticipated downturn." Friedman: “We designed the bonds to weather a financial storm like this one. We have reserve funds and bond insurance. It is unclear now what the depth and breadth of this all will be, but the leases we have with our teams require them to pay their rent whether or not they play games. From that perspective, there won’t be any impact." Meanwhile, former MLB Rangers exec Marty Conway, who teaches at Georgetown Univ.’s School of Continuing Studies, said that gate and concession receipts account for 17% of NFL income and 22% of NBA income. To restore the live-gate revenue stack, Conway said that leagues and teams will face "considerable challenges even when teams return to play." Conway: “I think they’ll start without fans. Then they look at gradually adding inventory. Do you start with 50 percent of fans, not going back to full capacity immediately?" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/23).