With the new year underway, Biz Ball Insider Andy Dolich examines the Top 17 Bay Area sports business stories you can expect to read about in 2017...
17. MLB revenue sharing
Baseball has five years of labor peace with the signing of a collective bargaining agreement with its players. The A’s revenue sharing agreement, which brought in over $30 million last year, will be phased out over the next four years. The A’s will have to get used to a new definition of “Moneyball.”
Amazon is ramping up its quest to purchase professional sports broadcasting rights. Who will be first to take the cash?
Former A's sparkplug Eric Byrnes continues his crusade for technological balls and strikes callers.
14. Cal Athletic Department
The huge, multi-million dollar deficit caused by the Memorial Stadium retrofit may cause cuts for other Golden Bear team sports.
13. Fan safety
The world is a dangerous place. How will authorities effectively create secure fan environments without taking away the openness of our sporting events and venues?
12. Selling Chase Center
The Warriors begin the sales process selling Chase Center to their fans. How much will tickets cost to the best show in the NBA? Will this be the first arena with PSLs?
11. Cord cutting
Many fans are plugging into new methods of sports consumption. Is this generation going to spend more time looking down than up when they go to a live sporting event or will they just bypass the event altogether? The smartphone is well on the way to becoming the ultimate arena in 2017.
10. Los Angeles' Olympic bid
LA's bid to host the 2024 Olympics goes to a vote of the IOC in Lima, Peru on Sept. 13. Budapest and Paris are the competitors. How many billions of dollars will it cost and where -- especially if LA wins the bid -- is the money coming from?
9. Taking a stand
More and more, players and coaches are taking public positions on societal and political issues. From John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s black-gloved protest in the 1968 Olympics to Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the anthem this year, expect active involvement in social causes to increase significantly in 2017.
8. Donations from Kaepernick/49ers
What are the programmatic elements and results of the $1 million donations from Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers to groups involved in social change? What will happen if Kaepernick moves to another team?
We're seeing ongoing CTE fallout in all contact sports and football in particular. The basis of sports business is player participation. As the science improves on diagnosing head injuries, every family that is associated with heavy contact sports will be monitoring the risk-reward tradeoff in their children’s participation.
6. Back to winning?
After three Giants parades and a Warriors parade since 2010, will there be at least one championship parade in the Bay Area in 2017?
5. 49ers' dwindling attendance
Empty seats speak louder than any leather-lunged fan. If fans don’t believe their investment in seat licenses are living up to the promise, you’ll see many more listed on secondary ticket sites for resale.
4. 49ers front office changes
What will the 49ers rebuilding strategy and look like? Who will be creating and implementing it?
3. ... Home of the Oakland A's
Do the A's make a concrete decision in 2017 as to where they will are going to build?
2. Can Warriors reclaim the throne?
Will the Warriors reap the fiscal benefits of another NBA title? Will they beat the Cavs and LeBron in the 2017 NBA finals?
1. Raiders of the Lost Park
Will Team Turnaround be announcing a new home in Oakland, Las Vegas, Inglewood, Santa Clara or a new location in 2017? Without a current viable new stadium plan, Oakland could lose another pro sports franchise. I predict they will be kicking off the 2017 football season at O.Co as NFL owners continue to figure out the Rubik’s Cube that is their relocation puzzle. Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like the Black Hole.