• What Do NBA Players Do with Complimentary Tickets?

    by Andy Larsen December 2018

    It’s a problem you might have faced before — you have tickets to a game, but you’re busy with work. What do you do with them? It turns out that NBA players face that problem 82 times per season.

  • MSU Applications Down in Wake of Nassar Scandal

    by Paul Steinbach December 2018

    Michigan State University continues to realize the tangible cost of the Larry Nassar scandal, as applications to the university have decreased for the second consecutive year, even as Big Ten Conference peer institutions and other schools across the nation continue to see increases.

    Nassar, the osteopathic physician employed by Michigan State and USA Gymnastics, was convicted earlier this year of sexually abusing multiple girls and women in his care and possessing child pornography. He is currently serving a minimum 100-year prison sentence.

    ESPN reports that undergraduate applications to Michigan State fell 8.3 percent over the past year, a drop of roughly 3,000 applications to 33,129, and an even steeper slide than the 3.6 percent decline realized in Fall 2017 applications.

    The Nassar story broke in 2016, and the headlines keep coming.

    On Tuesday, the university announced that it had completed its financial transfer to a court-created settlement fund, thus fulfilling its agreement with Nassar's sexual assault survivors. According to the Lansing State Journal, the $425 million transferred is earmarked for 332 survivors. That fund will now be frozen, though prior claims will be honored.

    A separate Healing Assistance Fund set up by the university will likewise be frozen. Closing the fund early, interim MSU President John Engler wrote in a memo to trustees, "permits us to use the $8.6 million remaining balance in the Healing Fund to reduce the amount of our borrowing to pay the settlement," the State Journal reported.

    Also on Tuesday, Michigan lawmakers advanced more bills inspired by the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case — voting to ease the prosecution of alleged abusers, stiffen child pornography penalties and let more people speak at sentencings under certain circumstances, according to an Associated Press report.


  • Counterfeiting Leads Ohio State to Nix Printable Tickets

    by Paul Steinbach November 2018

    After taking steps to warn fans of the potential for fraudulent online ticket sales, Ohio State University has resorted to suspending its print-at-home ticketing program ahead of the winter sports season.

    Four days before the Buckeyes' home football game against rival Michigan on Nov. 24, OSU's department of athletics issued a press release warning fans about fraudulent sales, particularly in the form of PDF-style printable tickets. It listed authorized sellers as Ticketmaster, the Ohio State ticket office and the Ohio State ticket exchange. An email to fans during the week leading up to the game encouraged fans to cover ticket barcodes when posting photos of them on social media. Social media is another channel used by the athletic department to reach fans prior to the start of the football season and before big games.

    Still, some 300 individuals arrived at the turnstiles Nov. 24 with tickets that weren't legitimate. In some cases, the bar code was scanned and rejected. In others, the barcode worked but the seat assignment had been manipulated to scam buyers into thinking they would be sitting in seats worthy of higher pricing. Such tickets could come from such unauthorized sources as StubHub, eBay and Craig's List. "Tickets that are printed in a PDF format, printed on a home computer, those are very easy to manipulate," associate athletic director Brett Scarborough told The Lantern student newspaper. "Fans that don’t have a trained eye can easily get duped."

    The often emotional confrontations that result from fans being turned away have factored into Ohio State's decision to simply scrap the whole concept.

    "A step we’ve taken moving forward is we’re eliminating the option to print tickets to PDF, which is where industrywide a lot of the counterfeit tickets are being seen," Kate Nushart, director of ticket operations and analytics at Ohio State, told The Lantern. "What we’re doing moving forward is allowing customers to either use traditional, hard tickets that we would print or that Ticketmaster would print, or their mobile phone for entry."

  • Reds Announce Plans for 150th Anniversary Celebration

    by David Jablonski November 2018

    The Cincinnati Reds, the first professional baseball franchise, turn 150 years old in 2019, and they unveiled plans Monday for a season-long party.

  • NFL Partners with Fortnite to Offer Team-Branded 'Skins'

    by Adam Woodard November 2018

    On Monday, the NFL and Epic Games announced a partnership that will make gear, known as skins, for all 32 teams available as part of the wildly popular game's Battle Royale mode Friday.

  • SIU Edwardsville Guarantees Hoop Win or Next Visit Free

    by Paul Steinbach October 2018

    Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has a seemingly novel approach to customer satisfaction lined up for the 2018-19 basketball season. The school is offering "Guaranteed SIUE Win" tickets for its single-game ticket sales, meaning one ticket is good for admission to as many games as it takes for the Cougars to post a victory.

  • Looking Ahead to AB Show 2018

    by Jason Scott October 2018

    "Elevating Facilities. Enriching Programs. Empowering Leaders." That phrase is at the heart of what Athletic Business strives to do — our mission. Next month, Nov. 7-10, professionals from all corners of the athletics, fitness and recreation industries will unite in New Orleans, La., to bring those values to life at the 37th annual AB Show. Whether you hope to improve yourself as a professional, give your programs a boost or build a facility to be proud of, AB Show is a must-attend event for anyone seeking to get ahead of the competition. Here's what AB Show attendees can look forward to:

  • Ex-NBA Star Bosh Joins Esports Franchise

    by Jeff Zillgitt October 2018

    Chris Bosh admits his premature transition from NBA player to non-playing days was a struggle. "It's extremely different because as athletes, especially in the NBA, you work your whole life and sacrifice to get this point professionally."

  • Opinion: Baseball Attendance Woes Worse than Football

    by Christine Brennan October 2018

    For many months now, we've been talking about the NFL as a sport in trouble. It turns out we've been focusing on the wrong sport.

  • San Diego Takes Issue with Grand Jury's Stadium Stance

    by Paul Steinbach September 2018

    A subcommittee of the San Diego City Council on Wednesday disputed recent conclusions of a grand jury assembled to assess the financial management of San Diego County Credit Union Stadium in Mission Valley.

    According to KPBS public broadcasting in San Diego, the grand jury report took issue with some aspects of stadium management being assigned to third parties rather than stadium staff. Following the Chargers' departure as the stadium's main tenant, the city contracted with Fox Sports to handle stadium advertising sales and with the San Diego College Bowl Association to sell skybox and luxury suite leases. While the grand jury determined those duties could and should have been handled in house, the city argues that the outsourcing of those tasks, which were beyond the staff's expertise anyway, freed up stadium personnel to focus on booking lucrative events — a strategy that paid dividends.

    "In fact, by spending so much time on booking additional stadium events, the city was able to garner $3.7 million in additional revenue above and beyond what was actually budgeted for fiscal year '18," said Lisa Byrne, speaking for the city's office of the Independent Budget Analyst.

    Stadium officials had been hopeful that the stadium could finally be profitable without the Chargers, who had collected the lion's share of advertising, concessions, parking and ticket revenue from their NFL home games.

    The grand jury further recommended that the city make policies and rules to evaluate future stadium contracts, and the city council and mayor now have until mid-November to accept those recommendations or make a case for refuting them.