Sports Facility Agreements: A Financial Snapshot

For sports fans, our focus is mainly on the teams, the athletes, and the outcomes. However, one of the most crucial parts of the game are the venues and facilities used to host a given match. There are many elements that are considered before finalizing facility deals for sports clubs and sporting events. Facility contracts are generally drawn up between the facility operator and team that will be utilizing the facility for its tournaments. However, in cases where the facility deal is done with a committee or conference, seen more frequently in tournaments such as the Olympics, there are several different ways a facility deal could be drawn up. One of the more common ways to create a facility deal between the facility operator and the committee is through a financial partnership for the duration of the tournament. This blog will provide insight on a typical financial breakdown of such a partnership within a facility contract.  There are three main issues that are considered and agreed upon by parties within the four corners of a basic facility contract; financial/economic, technical/operational, and liability considerations.  Although no two facility contracts are the same, the financial and economic considerations of such contracts have the highest degree of variability.  In the cases of tournaments such as the Olympics, creating a financial partnership between the committee and the facility operator is one common method that can be utilized. A breakdown of this portion of the facility contract would detail the distribution of net revenue as well as the division of the responsibility surrounding the expenses. From a financial standpoint, the contract would detail the...

Gender Wage Inequality in Sports – U.S. Woman’s National Team Seeks to Make History

It is indisputable that equal pay for women has been a long held controversial topic across the country. Pay discrepancies are beginning to be addressed in corporate America, Hollywood, and very recently in the world of sports. In March of 2016, five elite female athletes serving the U.S. women’s national soccer team (“WNT”), filed a complaint accusing the United States Soccer Federation (“USSF”) of pay discrimination, siting significant pay discrepancy with the U.S. Men’s National Team (“MNT”).[1]  The case, submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), a federal agency that enforces civil rights against workplace discrimination, provides leverage for the women’s team when they renegotiate their collective bargaining agreement at the end of 2016.[2]  The plaintiff’s named on the law suit are star players Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Alex Morgan. The five are representative parties to the suit. One of the chief issues in the case, and also the economic focal point, is the amount of revenue the women’s team grosses compared to the men. According to the budget report from the USSF, the women’s team is projected to bring in more than $17 million in revenues, including a $5 million surplus for fiscal year 2017, nearly doubling their male counterparts, who are expected to run a deficit.[3]  Despite this, the women’s team is being pad significantly less than their male peers. For example, in 2018, the MNT is projected to make $76,000 per player just for making the World Cup roster, while the women’s team made $15,000 in 2015 for the same accomplishment.[4]  Furthermore, when a player on the men’s team qualifies...