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Industry News

2022 in review – December

Featured image credit: Troutfarm27/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

December saw billionaire mortgage lender Mat Ishbia agree terms on a reported $4bn (£3.29bn/€3.67bn) takeover of the Phoenix Suns, a deal that would represent a record price for an NBA team.

Ishbia entered into a majority stake purchase agreement, which also includes the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. The deal would set a new benchmark for an NBA franchise, surpassing the $3.3bn Joe Tsai paid for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center in 2019.

There was also takeover news in England as US businessman Bill Foley, who owns the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team, completed his purchase of Premier League football club AFC Bournemouth.

The takeover was worth a reported £100m, with Foley eyeing upgrades of Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium, which is the smallest in the Premier League with a capacity of 11,364.

Premier League rival Aston Villa was also given a boost after Birmingham City Council approved plans to increase the capacity of Villa Park to over 50,000.

In other news, the International Olympic Committee delayed plans to award hosting rights to the 2030 Winter Olympics as it sought to assess the long-term future of the event.

The budget for the next summer Olympics, which will take place in Paris in 2024, was also set at €4.38bn, an increase of around 10%, or 5% net of inflation.

There was trouble in Australia as fans were charged after a pitch invasion led to a player and the referee being injured during the A-League match between Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory.

Supporters had been protesting during the game to show their disapproval at a decision to take the A-League grand finals to Sydney from 2023.

Meanwhile in the US, the NFL’s Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys detailed plans for major stadium upgrades.

The Broncos will carry out more than $100m worth of upgrades at Empower Field at Mile High, with the project to include renovations to videoboards, premium hospitality areas, technology, concessions, the team store and elevators.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the team’s $295m renovation project will make AT&T Stadium “better than new”.