Wednesday, June 19, 2024 Jun 19, 2024
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Commercial Real Estate

Tom Sutherland: The Business of Sports

It’s times like these that I start daydreaming about cooler weather and football in the fall. Last month, Forbes magazine released its list of the world’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams for 2012, and our Dallas Cowboys came in tied at No. 3 with the New York Yankees, both teams valued at $1.85 billion. Why is it that so many of us get such enjoyment from watching professional sports and spend so much of our time and money to support them?
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Tom Sutherland

It’s times like these that I start daydreaming about cooler weather and football in the fall. Last month, Forbes magazine released its list of the world’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams for 2012, and our Dallas Cowboys came in tied at No. 3 with the New York Yankees, both teams valued at $1.85 billion.

Why is it that so many of us get such enjoyment from watching professional sports and spend so much of our time and money to support them?

According to my rough calculations, we have six teams in the Lone Star State that together are valued at more than $5 billion. I was surprised to see that the Houston Texans were No. 13 on the Forbes list, valued at $1.2 billion, and our Texas Rangers came in at No. 50, being valued at $674 million. Missing the cut-off in this top 50 list worldwide were the Dallas Mavericks (valued at $497 million), Houston Rockets ($453 million), and the San Antonio Spurs ($404 million)—none of which are price tags that we should dismiss.

So why are these numbers important? Sports teams generate more revenue for one event hosted in the area than most companies can generate in an entire year. More important, sports brings visitors. You have people coming into the state to either support one of our teams or gain a bit of enjoyment by watching them get beat. Without a doubt, Texas makes money—hotels fill up, restaurants are packed, local attractions gain tourists.

From a commercial real estate perspective, we hope that a few of these executives arriving for the weekend might find a site that they wish to develop. It could be homes, shopping, manufacturing, entertainment, banking or any other line of business. We hope that they have a pleasant experience and that we don’t have disastrous weather, such as what we experienced during Super Bowl XLV in 2011.

For me, I am extremely thankful to be located here in the state of Texas, where the benefits of doing business and living here are continually echoed to the world through our business partners, competitors, news outlets, social media, and word of mouth. As a broker who represents tenants looking for space, I find this extremely helpful, because I can jump right into the conversation about where a company should locate in Texas without ever having to sell them on the state. I have had some of my best conversations with potential customers while watching the Cowboys or my beloved Aggies play some ball.

I am happy to contribute to the billion dollars worth of success from our Texas sports organizations—professional, college, or minor leagues—because in the end, I think it benefits all of us.

Yes, I do wish it was more affordable for families to attend and companies to buy into, but from a business perspective, I completely respect the fact that the owners have made such a goliath of a business from watching people play sports. It’s pretty incredible if you think about it.

OK, enough daydreaming and back to trying to stay cool this summer. I look forward to seeing you out on the fields or in a stadium soon.

As principal, Tom Sutherland oversees all operations of CASE Commercial Real Estate Partners. Contact him at [email protected].

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