So what’s going to happen in the world of sports business in 2007? Rick Harrow, author of “When The Game is on the Line” and contributor to CNBC’s “On The Money” was on “Power Lunch” to give his predictions.
Harrow says the NFL will have many issues to wrestle with in ‘07. The league must resolve its recent image problems (35 indictments were issued this year for NFL players) and will also have to confront the matter of revenue sharing. As Harrow put it – how does the league get some of the money from the “haves” (franchises like New York and Philadelphia) into the hands of the “have-nots” (such as Cincinnati and Buffalo)?
The NFL will likely see some good news in the form of the heavily-anticipated draftees Brady Quinn and Troy Smith. In addition, the rookie-phenom Reggie Bush is set to become a superstar and will likely be the league's number one jersey seller. He is also bringing hope to the New Orleans Saints – a franchise Harrow says is likely to become “America’s Team” much like the Dallas Cowboys were in the ‘90’s.
The NFL, along with the NBA and NHL, will probably see some shakeups as several franchises are on the verge of moving cities, Harrow predicts. San Francisco, San Diego, Minnesota, Seattle and Los Angeles are all major markets that could see their teams moving. The Tribune Company may even sell the Chicago Cubs next year. Harrow also expects that Las Vegas will get a sports franchise – but probably not in ’07.
And Harrow’s final prediction: expect a year of more controversy – especially in baseball. As Bud Selig prepares to step down as MLB commissioner and Barry Bonds is set to break Hank Aaron’s homerun record in the coming season, 2007 is sure to be a busy year for the sports industry – and the business behind it.