Sunday, August 16, 2009

From the Times: Money Walks: In Hard Times, Sports Is Bad for Business

A New York Times article today suggests that high-rollers are no longer able to spend on luxury suites at baseball games and at the U.S. Open because the high cost exceeds what they can now get reimbursed as business expenses:
Baseball’s deliberate pace and the increasingly lavish suites and box seats have made major league games an ideal setting for doing business. But for bankers, brokers and others in the financial industry, accepting an invitation to a game has fast become taboo.

Not only are companies cutting their entertainment budgets, but they are also facing increased scrutiny from regulators, shareholders and politicians — pressures that have forced workers even at healthy firms to avoid being seen at sporting events.

This is particularly true in New York, the capital of the financial industry, where the most expensive seats at the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, or at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, home of the United States Open, far exceed what many firms allow employees to accept from clients.


Presumably this extends to basketball, as well, and might just make Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment readjust expectations for revenue from the planned Brooklyn arena. And wouldn't that make the team that much less likely to pay off the arena bonds?

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