February 29, 2012

Kings to stay in Sacramento

Filed under: National Basketball Association — Giorgio Varlaro @ 3:08 am

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On Monday the Kings and the NBA announced a tentative deal which would keep the team in Sacramento, California. A new $387 million arena would upgrade be an upgrade from Power Balance Pavilion, the Kings home since 1988. The new arena will be an upgrade from the Power Balance Pavilion, which has the lowest seating capacity in the NBA (17,317).

As early as February 2011, David Stern had serious discussions to relocate the team to Anaheim. The Maloof Family, which owns the Kings, went as far as preparing a case for relocation to the Board of the NBA in New York City, but Ron Burkle showed strong interest in buying the team to keep them in Sacramento. Due to this and a strong support from their fans, any thought of the Kings changing to the Anaheim Royals vanished.

Under the proposed terms of the deal, the city will contribute $200-$250 million, mostly by leasing out parking garages around the facility. The Maloofs have agreed to contribute $75 million in upfront cash, which includes the sale of land around the team’s current suburban arena, along with paying off a current $67 million loan to the city. Arena operator AEG also agreed to pay almost $60 million.

Despite attempts by Anaheim to lure the Kings, the fate of the franchise is in the hands of the Sacramento City Council, which has approved every arena measure to date under the current project. The arena, which would open for the 2015-16 season in the downtown Sacramento rail yards, is a vote away from breaking ground.


January 18, 2012

Candlestick No More…

Filed under: National Football League — Giorgio Varlaro @ 12:40 am

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When the San Francisco 49ers host the New York Giants this weekend at Candlestick Park for a chance to play in Super Bowl XLVI, it could be the final playoff game the 49ers host in San Francisco.

The team has been looking to move to Santa Clara, California, 37 miles south of Candlestick, since the winter of 2007. In mid December (2011) the Santa Clara City Council voted 7-0 to approve plans to develop and pay for a new 68,500-seat stadium, down from 70,207 (at Candlestick Park).

Construction could begin as soon as next year, but the team still needs the City Council to sign off on an environmental impact report and then residents will have another chance to vote on whether to build the $937 million stadium. The city has agreed thus far to foot $79 million in costs ($42 million from the city’s Redevelopment Agency, $20 million to relocate a power substation and $17 million to build a 700-space parking garage). To help the city with its investment, the team has agreed to advance Santa Clara $12 million to be repaid when the economy rebounds and the NFL has agreed to invest $150 million.

Furthermore, the 49ers agreed to keep all revenue from ticket sales from games, ad revenue from NFL events, ticket premium fees for use of suites and club rooms for non-NFL events, and revenue from the team store. Santa Clara would get revenue from naming rights, net revenue from concession sales and parking lots, and annual rent payments from the team that would total roughly $40 million over the life of the contract.

It’s estimated that building and maintaining the stadium will generate 2,330 new jobs and $249 million in annual economic activity for the region. It’s also estimated that the city would receive $800,000 in annual tax revenue.

With the financial situation now revealed, approval could be the closest it has ever been since negotiations began in 2007. The recent success of the team could help as well.

If you’re interested in the 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara, check out the Web site made for the stadium at Once the team leaves Candlestick Park, they will leave 65 years of history and five Super Bowl championships.

December 20, 2011

Rugby Creates Buzz with RFID Tags

Filed under: Rugby — Giorgio Varlaro @ 12:03 am

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The mindset of an athlete is to become “Stronger, Faster and Smarter”. Due to this perception, which goes back to the culture of the ancient Greece, the physique of professional athletes has changed as well. No longer do athletes train a couple months before their respective season, they train year-round.

Professional athletes’ ambition to become “Stronger, Faster, and Smarter” has created exceptional sports programming for the sports enthusiast. With high-flying alley oops dunks in basketball and bone-crushing hits in football, athletes have created excitement in fans all around the world due to their amazing abilities.

Individuals who have not liked this change in performance are officials. Officiating is becoming more-and-more difficult with athletes more determined than ever to cash in with million dollar signing bonuses. Technological advances on the field of play, such as the inclusion of instant replay have dramatically increased the efficiency of officials and their ability to make the correct call, but errors still persist.

Changing the way athletic contests are officiated is European Rugby. With the incorporation of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Technology) tags, rugby is trying to rid itself of incorrect officiating calls. RFID tags, a micro location technology, transmit the exact coordinates of the ball and players at an astounding 2000 times per second. It can also be used to calculate movement, speed, accuracy, and even force of impact. RFID tags could do away with any type of bad call in relation to ball location thus eliminating the guess work from officiating. Not only that, but the type of data we could receive before, during, and after every play would be nothing shy of amazing.

I would expect to see the incorporation of RFID tags in the United States if they are found to be an exceptional product. No longer would owners, fans and other participants in sports have to blame an official for the consequence of a call.

December 5, 2011

NBA back for the Holidays

Filed under: National Basketball Association — Giorgio Varlaro @ 8:01 pm

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The past six months for sports enthusiasts has been demanding with the NFL and NBA discussing labor negotiations. Both leagues had pressing issues with the downfall of the recent economy. Teams were not making projected revenues thus causing a serious change in shared revenues between owners and players. With increasing costs for both parties, each wanted more to secure their respective future.

In regards to the NBA, which released its Christmas Day television line-up last Friday, players’ shares decreased from 57 percent to 51.15 percent this season, and could drop to 49 percent if revenue falls short of projections. The six percent decrease is expected to make up the reported $300 million the NBA lost last season.

Other important labor changes occurred with the amnesty clause, a punitive luxury tax, rookie extensions, and contract length.

The amnesty clause will allow teams to release one bad contract (the player must still be paid), but none of his salary will count toward the salary cap or luxury tax thresholds. The contract must be in place at the start of the new CBA, but the team does not have to play the amnesty card immediately. The clause can be used one time during the length of the new CBA.

Furthermore, players released in this manner will go through a modified waiver process in which teams under the cap can make offers to assume some of the player’s remaining contract, with the remainder paid by the team that released him.

The punitive luxury tax is the NBA’s way of trying to instill a hard salary cap. Small-market teams did not get the hard salary cap they sought, but some have argued that the punitive nature of the new luxury tax is just like a hard cap.

The previous luxury tax was $1 for each $1 a team was over the luxury tax threshold. Now there will be a sliding scale based on how much over the cap a team is. That tax could reach as high as $4.75-to-$1 or more if a team was more than $25 million over the cap in four of any five seasons beginning in 2011-12.

In regards to rookie extensions, each team can designate one player to be eligible for five seasons at the maximum salary of up to 30 percent of the salary cap, provided he has been named the NBA MVP or an All-Star starter twice or a first, second, or third-team NBA player twice (Derrick Rose). All other will abide by the former four-year rookie scale.

This new provision could help small-market teams retain their young stars by allowing them to cash in quicker, but whether that will be enough to keep them with their original teams remains to be seen.

Finally, the maximum contract length for a sign-and-trade is four years with maximum 4.5 percent salary increases, and the maximum length of an extend-and-trade contract is three seasons.

Starting in 2013-14, teams are prohibited from acquiring a free agent in a sign-and-trade if their team salary post-transaction would exceed the tax level by more than $4 million. This is expected to keep players with their small market teams, but the possibility of it actually working still needs to be seen.

November 7, 2011

Trends Changing in Communication Habits

Filed under: Digital Media — Giorgio Varlaro @ 9:43 pm

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The habits of today’s teenagers are changing just as the digital world changes with them. As stated by Jon Seitz, “Today’s high schoolers have grown up with computers and cell phones and most don’t remember not having them.” Due to this, the way each consumes media and distributes information is different.

Backing Seitz is research from Nielsen. According to June 2011 statistics, high school graduates send 100 text messages per day, talk on their cell phones roughly 17 minutes per day, watch 11 fewer hours of television than the average American, view nearly three more hours of video on their mobile device and visit their social networks and blogs four to five times a day.

Hurting for this new age is e-mail. Today’s generation has no use for it. According to comScore, 24 percent fewer people age 12 to 17 used Web-based e-mail in the past year. Taking over is texting, Facebook messaging, video chatting, twitter DM, etc.

With the digital world changing the way youngsters communicate on a daily basis, it will be interesting to see if businesses change also. The first question businesses will ask however is if this change is less expensive and more efficient.

October 27, 2011

Is Stem Cell Therapy Here to Stay?

Filed under: National Football League — Giorgio Varlaro @ 2:53 am

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With the pressure of winning looming over every professional athletes head in today’s athletics, no athlete wants to let a teammate down. Due to this, many play hurt which has resulted in long lasting injuries which sometimes do not forth come until a professional is a decade or two beyond their playing days.

Some athletes recently have resorted to stem cell therapy to deal with nagging injuries in hopes of staying away from surgery. Two prominent names and professional football players are Peyton Manning and Terrell Owens. Over this past summer, each traveled outside of the United States with the intentions of having an injury taken care of.

Manning, who has already had two surgeries on his neck in the past five years, sought stem cell therapy in Europe with the hopes of avoiding a third surgical procedure.

Owens went to Asian and Korea after going under the knife to fix an ACL injury in late June. His intentions were to decrease the typical 12-month rehabilitation time associated with the injury.

As of today, both Manning and Owens are still not on the field. Manning still had to go under the knife a third time to fix a bulging disk, but Owens has recently held a workout for all 32 NFL teams. And from the looks of it, Owens seems to be able to pass a physical which is remarkable.

Stem Cell Therapy is considered a controversial medical treatment, thus why it’s not allowed to be practiced in the United States. Stem Cell Therapy involves injecting cells taken from the patient’s own body which are then put back into spots where an individual has injuries. The cells then repair the damage.

Web site:

June 28, 2011

From Quarterback to Cop; The Manning’s do it all

Filed under: Sports — Giorgio Varlaro @ 3:52 am

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Since all NFL players have more free time than their used too, some have taken advantage, like Eli and Peyton Manning, starring in a new Direc TV series ‘Football Cops’. The title reveals the exact premise of the entire show. Both Manning brothers pose as former football players who turn into cops.

Peyton plays as Mike Tahoe and Eli plays as C.J. Hunter. Peyton’s character was living the dream as a big-league quarterback until a personal tragedy brought him back to the mean streets of his childhood. Tahoe (Peyton) vows to bring those who wronged him to swift justice with his biggest rival Hunter (Eli). Both Tahoe and Hunter grew up together as orphans in a home for wayward boys. Each overcame the odds, and became successful sports stars. Now both are the only hope for the rigged streets they originally called home.

The show, which has aired three times now, has had mixed reviews. Maybe fans aren’t used to seeing each longer than 30 seconds, as each have made quite a name for themselves in television ads. Peyton even had the chance to star on Saturday Night Live in March of 2007.

“Nobody escapes the long arms of the law” is the slogan of the show.

Maybe these two athletes should stick to their day jobs, but you can’t blame them for trying something different with the NFL still trying to come to agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Watch ‘Football Cops’ at

June 15, 2011

Sabermetrics progressing in the NFL

Filed under: National Football League — Giorgio Varlaro @ 4:58 am

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With the NFL still trying to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, fans of the game still need their fix of football. I came across an article on which determined the best pass protecting offensive linemen based on the formula [Sacks + (.075 x Hits) + (0.75 x Hurries) / Pass Pro Snaps] x 100. Called the ‘Pass Blocking Inefficiency formula’, it adds a players total amount of sacks to three quarters of hits and hurries which is then divided by the amount of snaps taken during a pass play and then multiplied by 100.

It’s a simple formula compared to some of the stats tallied within baseball, however this stat is interesting due to the fact that rating the success of an offensive linemen is difficult to do. With so many different variables to consider during a professional football game, it’s astonishing to find a tangible way to compare these athletes, especially when it relates to their ability to protect the quarterback.

The specific article read pertained to offensive tackles, which established Jake Long (Miami), Andrew Whitworth (Cincinnati), D’Brickashaw Ferguson (New York Jets), Joe Thomas (Cleveland), and Doug Free (Dallas) as the top pass protecting left tackles last season. As for right tackles, Sean Locklear (Seattle), Kareem Mackenzie (New York Giants), Eric Winston (Houston) , Marshal Yanda (Baltimore), and Damien Woody (New York Jets) where considered the best at their respective position.

The Web site has recently amassed a list of the best and worst pass protecting guards and centers last season, which finds pro bowlers Shaun O’Hara (New York Giants) and Maurkice Pouncey (Pittsburgh) rated within the bottom 10, thus claiming flaws within these respected offensive linemen.

The incorporation of the ‘Pass Blocking Inefficiency  formula’ provides interesting statistics previously not available. Economics in football is still a new phenomena, but since Michael Lewis wrote Moneyball it’s hard not to take notice of the statistical side of professional sports.

Web site:

May 16, 2011

Global Entertainment fails again

Filed under: Sports — Giorgio Varlaro @ 9:16 pm

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Within the last decade, professional sports franchises have complained for the need of state-of-the-art facilities to bridge the gap in their growing deficits. The incorporation more seats, better sight lines, and more amenities would seem to attract more fans, however attendance is still down for most sports franchises.

Taking advantage of the boom in state-of-the-art sports facilities has been Global Entertainment. Global Entertainment has persuaded nine cities (Youngstown, Ohio, Hidalgo Tex., Wenatchee, Wash., etc) to invest in new facilities, guaranteeing increases in financial projections. However, Global Entertainment has not been able to establish the correct business plan to create a flourishing business in each of the nine cities a facility was built.

Recently, Global Entertainment was taken to court in Rio Rancho, New Mexico because of its inability to pay the bills at the Santa Ana Star Center. The city fired the company and sued to recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars. Since that time, Rio Rancho has had to use money from their state budget to keep the arena afloat. New management has helped, but Rio Rancho is still suffering from their decision to build a state-of-the-art facility.

The arena consumes nearly seven percent of the city’s $53.8 million budget, thus workers have been furloughed, spending on parks has been curtailed and a reserve fund has been drawn down. An additional $550,000 was asked for by management at the Santa Ana Star Center due to increasing operational costs. Whether the arena will get that needed money is still in question.

What the future holds for Rio Rancho and the Santa Ana Star Center is uncertain. However, more situations like these are popping up with more professional sports franchises not being able to create a profit. Two prominent sports franchises, the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, are facing the same situation as Rio Rancho because new state-of-the-art facilities are not creating a revenue surplus like projected. It has caused a decreased brand image and created uncertainty within the sports world.

Web site:

March 28, 2011

NBA Lockout on the Horizon?

Filed under: National Basketball Association — Giorgio Varlaro @ 9:48 pm

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With some exciting hoops action over this past weekend in the NCAA, thanks to wins by Virginia Commonwealth and Butler, the game of basketball seems to be at an all-time high publicity wise. Once a champion is found out next week however, more college players will play the waiting game as to whether there will be a 2011-2012 NBA season. The current National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to end on June 30th and players and owners have been unable to come to terms on a new salary cap or player contract revisions.

The owners have proposed a hard salary cap to replace the current system that allowed for certain exceptions. They also seek lesser contract lengths, values, non-guaranteed deals and the loss of freedom for free agents. The players have countered this offer, but both sides have yet to come close to a new deal. Trying to help both sides is Executive Director Billy Hunter. Hunter has had frequent talks with NBA Commissioner David Stern and Union President Derek Fisher, but with the season ending and the playoffs starting in the next week or so, discussions have been at a standstill.

The NBA  is enjoying its most talked about season possibly ever with the “Big Three” in Miami, Derrick Rose’s play in Chicago, and the trade for Carmelo Anthony to New York. Even with this success, the league is this projecting around $350 million in losses. Due to this, and the current downturn of the economy, the owners of NBA teams have proposed their current offer to the players and have been quoted by reporters to want to get a deal done.

Which league in your opinion has a better chance of having a regular season next year, the National Football League or the National Basketball Association? Is it smart for the owners to try and restrict player’s contracts and thus security with career-threatening injuries possible every night? Would a lockout hurt the NBA, like it did in1999 when only 50 games were played in the regular season?

Web site:

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