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The Big Deal Weekly: Inside AFL Gather Round, Illawarra sacks coach, Bayern's push for Reds young star, Formula 1 and the Las Vegas Sphere & more
Newsletter no.59, 14 November 2023
Plenty has happened in the world of sports business, with fixture announcements, coach departures and more on our favourite Las Vegas sphere.
Tune in to the episode with Tredders and Huddo below or scroll down for the weekly notes.
AFL GATHER ROUND
The fixture for the second AFL Gather Round has been released, which will see Adelaide and Port open the weekend on Thursday and Friday night respectively.
It’ll be Round 4 of the 2024 season, with the Crows to play Melbourne and the Power to face Essendon, which will see Xavier Duursma potentially battle his old team.
Norwood Oval will again host two games, with Brisbane playing North Melbourne on Friday afternoon before St Kilda and Richmond face off on Sunday.
Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills will host two as well, with Sydney facing West Coast on Saturday and Gold Coast playing GWS Giants on Sunday.
It’s believed the AFL wanted both Port and the Crows as standalone as it affected fans getting to the ground earlier or hanging around for double headers.
There’s also no Barossa Valley game in 2024, but 2025 is likely, with it being too soon for the oval and infrastructure upgrades at the likes of Tanunda for this year.
AFL GATHER ROUND FIXTURE
Thursday, April 4
Adelaide v Melbourne, Adelaide Oval, 7.10pm ACDT
Friday, April 5
Brisbane v North Melbourne, Norwood Oval, 4.40pm ACDT
Port Adelaide v Essendon, Adelaide Oval, 7.40pm ACDT
Saturday, April 6
Sydney v West Coast, Mount Barker, 1pm ACDT
Carlton v Fremantle, Adelaide Oval 3.50pm ACDT
Geelong v Western Bulldogs, Adelaide Oval, 7.40pm ACDT
Sunday, April 7
Gold Coast v Greater Western Sydney, Mount Barker, 12pm ACST
Richmond v St Kilda, Norwood Oval, 2.50pm ACST
Collingwood v Hawthorn, Adelaide Oval, 4.40pm ACST
ILLAWARRA COACH GONE
Illawarra Hawks have parted ways with Jacob Jackomas, with the club languishing at the bottom of the NBL ladder.
Illawarra extended his contract for an extra year, which was due to take him through to NBL26, despite the Hawks finishing last.
NRL DRAW IS OUT
The full 2024 NRL draw has been revealed, and Cronulla is set to be the big winners, while the Melbourne Storm is at the opposite end.
The Sharks will play eight games against the bottom four sides, and play the fewest matches against top eight teams.
Meanwhile, the Storm have 12 matches against top eight teams, with six of those against sides who were also in the top four.
NESTORY TO BAYERN?
Adelaide United prodigy Nestory Irankunda is set to join German giants Bayern Munich in a deal worth almost $6 million AUD.
The 17-year-old’s move to Germany was confirmed by reputable football journalist Fabrizio Romano.
He would move at the end of the A-League Men season, as European football rules restrict him from moving until he’s 18, which he does in February.
The reported fee is $5.76million AUD, plus add-ons and incentives.
The fee smashes the previous record, which saw Marco Tilio move from Melbourne City to Celtic for $2.9 million AUD.
The Reds have pocketed decent funds in recent months after cashing in on star Craig Goodwin to Saudi Arabia for $1.25 million AUD.
WORLD CUP CASH POT
The winners of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup will see the winners earn $4 million USD, along with the trophy on November 19.
Runners-up receive $2 million USD, while the losing semi-finalists receive $800,000 USD each.
HOW THE F1 IS SET TO CHANGE FOREVER
The much-hyped $684 million Las Vegas Grand Prix will change Formula 1 forever.
It’s said it will be the keystone race in the sport’s United States revival, as only 15 years ago, it was dead to the country.
Now, the US has three races - Miami, Austin and Las Vegas.
The race will be huge for ownership group, Liberty Media, who took it over from the Bernie Ecclestone-fronted CVC Capital Partners six years ago.
While the Miami Grand Prix is a joint venture with Hard Rock Stadium owner Stephen Ross, the Las Vegas Grand Prix is a fully F1-underwritten operation.
To the end of September, F1 had reportedly spent around $684 million AUD in capital expenditure, including a brand-new pit building, paddock zone and more prep for the 6km track, which is $55 million AUD more than forecast as recently as August.
The Grand Prix is also in strife with lacklustre ticket sales.
They’ve been so slow that Formula 1 has pulled a whole grandstand from the map, which is supposedly for ‘sightline’ reasons.
One analysis of Ticketmaster’s ticket reserves estimated there were roughly 10,000 unsold seats as of last Friday.
According to CNN, the average grandstand ticket has plunged from around $3140 AUD to around $1570 AUD, having declined by 35 per cent in the last month.
SPHERE SHUT DOWN FOR VEGAS RACE
The Formula 1 is taking over Las Vegas, so much it’s even forced the Sphere facility to shut down.
The $2.3 billion USD venue opened on September 29, has been hosting a 25-show residency from U2.
But the F1 track for the competition’s Vegas debut runs across the grounds of the facility, forcing F1’s owners Liberty Media to lease out the venue and effectively shut down the brand-new Sphere.
U2 played their last show on November 4, and won’t return until December 1.
US SPORTS BUMPER AD REV INCREASE
Major US sports leagues have pulled in a record $6.7billion USD in ad revenue.
Teams across the MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL and MLS penned a record-breaking $6.7 billion over the last year, which is a 17.5 per cent increase year-over-year, according to SponsorUnited.
MLB saw the most growth with a 23 per cent increase due to more fan engagement, with the NHL next at 21 per cent.
$120 MILLION FOR…WHAT?
Texas A&M has fired Jimbo Fisher and is set to pay a full, record buyout of $76.8 million.
The payout is nearly four times the old record, could cost up to $150 million and there’s no offset for Texas A&M if he obtains employment elsewhere.
It will take eight years for Fisher to collect his full buyout. Here’s the breakdown:
Within 60 Days: $19.4 million
Within 120 Days: $7.27 million
2025: $7.27 million
2026: $7.27 million
2027: $7.27 million
2028: $7.27 million
2029: $7.27 million
2030: $7.27 million
2031: $7.27 million
CAPPER’S NEXT CAREER MOVE
Warrick Capper has gone down a new career path, with the former high-flyer taking ownership of the Westminster Secrets brothel in Oakleigh in Melbourne’s southeast.
Capper said he plans to make an appearance at the brothel once or twice a month holding a barbecue for clients.
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