Why Sports Owners Are Teaming With Investors Like Bill Gates On Mega Real Estate Projects

Why Sports Owners Are Teaming With Investors Like Bill Gates On Mega Real Estate Projects


Mike Ozanian ,  

FORBES STAFF 

Traffic cop at the intersection of money and sports  

Powered by low interest rates, an abundance of liquidity, fancy new stadiums, captive audiences and strong sports brands, team TISI +2.41% owners and real estate developers are betting an unprecedented amount of money on sports-related projects.

Where land used to be bare or used for marginally profitable parking lots, stores and apartment buildings, owners want to build hotels, sports bars and hip retailers. CoStar, which says it has built and maintained the industry’s most comprehensive database of commercial real estate information, points out that "it used to be fairly common for wealthy real estate developers to buy sports teams. These days, owners of sports teams are turning the tables and becoming real estate developers."

The goal: get sports fans, even casual ones, to spend more time and more money, shopping, eating and, yes, to get people to work and live near the stadiums.

Here is a sample courtesy of CoStar

  • Related Cos.'s $6.5 billion City Place in Santa Clara connected with the NFL's San Francisco 49ers Levi Stadium

  • Ryan Cos.'s $400 million Downtown East project near the NFL's Minnesota Vikings new stadium

  • The Atlanta Braves $400 million mixed-use development project next to the baseball team's new SunTrust Park

  • The NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning's $1.07 billion waterfront development plan backed by Bill Gates' Cascade Investment

  • The NBA's Sacramento Kings are adding $250 million of development near their new downtown arena.

There are other big projects on the way. MLB's Chicago Cubs are going to spend $575 million renovating Wrigley Field and developing the surrounding area. The NBA's Orlando Magic are moving ahead on a $200 million project that will include new headquarters for the team and a hotel/convention center, parking garage, retail, restaurants and entertainment space, as well as a residential tower.

Perhaps the most intriguing of all is the Detroit Red Wings ambitious plan to build a $450 million, 650,000-square-foot arena for the NHL team and invest at least $200 million in five new neighborhoods in a blighted area just north of downtown. I spoke with Chris Ilitch about the plan during an interview for Forbes SportsMoney, where he discussed how the project would help the bankrupt city and the significance of Motor City native and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert investing a lot of money in the city's redevelopment.


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Phone: 956-330-9330
Dated: January 25th 2017
Views: 168
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