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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Crawford's Sports Business Weekend (2/23/2014)

By Gregory Crawford, Sports Business Analyst----on twitter @crawssportsbiz @wchoops

Big In Texas----We all know everything is big in Texas, if you do not believe that just ask any Texan and they will tell you as such. And things are about to get bigger.

Kyle Stadium, home of Texas A&M football will be getting quite the $450 million renovation. First the stadium will be expanded to 102,500 seats, which will then make Texas A&M the largest college football stadium in the state. It does not stop there, at the same time as seat expansion, the Aggies will put in the largest video board in the college football ranks, moving ahead of arch-rival Texas.

The new video board at Texas A&M will measure 55.5 feet high, 134 feet wide.

Daytona 500----With the Daytona 500 completed for the day, some interesting news on ticket prices. You could have got into one of the world's most famous auto races for $50, that is much below a month past where the average ticket price was $232 and much below the past five year average of $210.

Daytona has reduced the number of seats for the race this year to 145,000 full capacity, which is down from 168,000. By 2016 another 45,000 seats will be lopped off, making sellout capacity of the racetrack just over 100.000. Of course the most expensive seats will not be touched and the race officials are gearing future races as more of a fan total experience, by adding many more musical acts on race day and entertainment in the future.

Cheyenne Woods----With recent win by professional golfer Cheyenne Woods, the niece of the most famous athlete in the world, Tiger Woods,  propel her endorsement career? Woods recently has a big win in the Australian Ladies Masters and then backed it up last week with a great showing in the Australian Open.

Women's golf is starved for a key endorser, Woods might just be the ticket. Her current endorsement deal with Nike is for multi-years, but other sponsors are expected to jump on board soon. Cheyenne is much more engaging with fans, than her famous uncle and of course the Woods' name in golf is always going to be huge. This all keeping in mind, it would take Cheyenne 50 years of catching up, to match her uncle's mammoth fortune from endorsements.

Ed O'Bannon----Ed O' Bannon's class action lawsuit against the NCAA, is now cleared to proceed to trial on June 9th. O'Bannon is suing the NCAA over their restrictions of not allowing NCAA athletes to cash in on their likeness, age and image and this case has gotten huge publicity in the four years plus it has been in the news.

It has been 4 1/2 years since O'Bannon filed his suit and the wait will soon be over. The trial, providing their is no settlement prior is expected to be one of the most watched trials in all of sports law and for sure no matter what the verdict will have a major impact on the future of the NCAA and beyond.

Jay Paterno----Jay Paterno insists he is not going to run revenge campaign against people in government who were highly critical of his famous late father Joe Paterno, after the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State.

Jay Paterno has filed the paper work to run for lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania on the Democratic ticket. The Pennsylvania primary in May is expected to dram a minimum of 10 candidates running for the lieutenant governor position. 

Since leaving the Penn State football staff in 2011, Paterno has been writing a book and also working hard on his foundation, which is helping eradicate malaria in Africa.

Coming Saturday, March 1st, the debut of an exciting new basketball website, The Alford/ Crawford East West Hoops, which will feature all basketball, all the time, with Philadelphia's own Jovan Alford as senior editor and Portland's own Gregory Crawford as the managing editor. Will the bitter rivalry between Philadelphia and Portland ever since the 1977 NBA finals continue? You will just have to check in everyday. Website,

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