All-Star Economics for NHL: While hockey fans generally don't love the NHL All-Star Game, the economic benefits are clear. The 2011 extravaganza generated an estimated $11.4 million in visitor spending for Raleigh and Wake County. The weekend also produced $49 million is media value for the city.
It brought an estimated 18,900 visitors from outside the Triangle to the area and generated 10,551 hotel room nights. Total attendance figures, including both local and out-of-town attendees, for the weekend's events were estimated to be 138,000.
Banking on New Olympic Sponsor: Citi has signed a deal to become the official bank of NBC and the U.S. Olympic Committee for the 2012 London Games after signing a media-driven deal valued at $30 million.
Over Under: Under Armour has signed a 5 year deal to provide jerseys and other team apparel to Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League. The deal is valued at $81 million.
AFL Continues Recovery: The Arena Football League is back for its second season after emerging from bankruptcy, where the league was purchased for $6 million. The league has 18 teams, with 2 teams relocated. Bon Jovi is no longer an owner, while TB Lightning owner Jeff Vinik owns the TB Storm. The league is in Week 3.
Founded in 1987 by Jim Foster, the AFL played 22 seasons from 1987 to 2008 before large debts forced the league to suspend operations in search of a more profitable business model. In December 2008 the league's owners canceled the 2009 season to begin work on developing a long-term plan to improve its economic model. Unable to agree upon a viable economic plan for the future of the league, the AFL suspended operations indefinitely on August 4, 2009, with Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation following in December of that year.
Doing It For Damon: Red Sox have broken ground on a new spring training facility in Fort Meyers. Scheduled to open next season, it's complete with an 11,000 seat ballpark, 6 practice fields and rehab center. No word if the facility includes a cot for Matt Damon.
Isle Seat: The Isles hockey team has released a new application for Apple devices. It gives fans access to live game broadcasts, news, stats, videos and feature stories. The App doesn't include a link to Kevin Connolly's take on games; he's too busy as an assistant coach and draft advisor.
Expos At Habs Games: At the Habs/Capitals game in Montreal on March 26, players from the 1994 Montreal Expos team were in attendance as special guests. Who was there? Pedro Martinez, Rondell White, Cliff Floyd, John Wetteland, Marquis Grissom, Denis Boucher, Lenny Webster, Mel Rojas, Wil Cordero and Moises Alou, along with manager Felipe Alou and general manager Kevin Malone.
The fans greeted them warmly. The only problem - it was far too short. It would have been great for the fans in attendance (I was one of them) if there was a pre-game ceremony to honor the players. Fans were left wanting more.
I didn't see Kirk Rueter at the game. It's possible, though, he just left early. No Darren Fletcher either. Word, though, is that he's still stealing second base. Was happy to see Moises Alou in his seat. Rumour was Steve Bartman took it.