New ESPN deal will help Terps, but how much?

The University of Maryland’s financial future just got a lot more stable, but how exactly that will help the school build up its athletic programs remains to be seen.

Thanks to a 12-year, estimated $1.86 billion television deal the Atlantic Coast Conference made with cable sports giant ESPN, the conference’s member schools stand to see nearly double their television revenue and get more exposure for their sports than ever before.

While the greater exposure will help Maryland’s lesser-televised sports, just how the Department of Athletics can benefit from extra money depends on the economic climate.

“A lot of it’s going to depend on where everything else is at that time,” said the university’s interim director of athletics, Randy Eaton. “If tickets and donations are still down, all it’s going to do is keep us whole.

Group wants to build $30M tennis complex in Howard County

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

Art Tollick said his Howard County Tennis Patrons decided to ‘do something that really makes a mark on the county and region in terms of a regional sports destination.’A private group trying to build a $30 million tennis and sports complex in Elkridge says it’s one step closer to bringing a formidable economic engine to Howard County that could generate up to $69 million in spending in its first three years.

Howard County Tennis Patrons Inc. has agreed to terms with the Howard County Recreation and Parks Department for a 40-year lease of 14 acres in Troy Regional Park for the construction of the Troy Park Tennis and Sports Center.

What started off more than five years ago as a push to get more tennis courts built in the county turned into a coordinated effort for a privately funded sports complex, said HCTP President Art Tollick.

Depleted film fund could hurt chances for filming lacrosse movie in Md.

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

The state’s depleted film incentives budget may keep Hollywood’s first sports movie about lacrosse from filming in Maryland where it is recognized as the official team sport.

“Crooked Arrows” is nearing its financing goal of $5 million for production and $2 million for distribution. Reebok has signed on as an official sponsor and co-marketer, the movie’s Facebook group has gone from 1,000 to more than 5,000 fans in the last month and lacrosse publications are chattering away about the film.

The film is slated to shoot this fall with a release after the lacrosse season in the summer of 2011. Co-producer J. Todd Harris said Friday he was “definitely looking at Maryland” to shoot the film, but there’s a hitch.

“The concern is that Maryland’s funds are more limited,” said Harris, who has produced 35 films in the last 15 years including “Bottle Shock” and “Jeepers Creepers.” “The kitty doesn’t have as much in it. If we make a five-million-dollar movie you should get back about a million and a quarter.”

March madness hits the workplace

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

Upper Marlboro attorney Richard Jaklitsch, who is also president of the Terrapin Club, says that in prior years when Maryland has had a game during working hours, his firm has taken off to a nearby watering hole called ‘The Office’ to watch.They call it March Madness for a reason — and it’s not always about what happens on the basketball court.

During the first two days of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which started Thursday, offices around the country are transformed, and otherwise normal employees can become strangely insane.

Conservative business attire is ditched for unfashionably bright team colors, pizza and other junk food replaces the well-rounded lunch, and the only conferences going on in conference rooms are during commercial breaks to discuss how everyone’s bracket predictions are faring.

The tournament can create quite a dilemma for people when normal life interferes with their alma maters’ games.

Loyola University Maryland raises the bar

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

After more than a decade of planning, fundraising and construction, Loyola University Maryland is counting on its new $62 million Ridley Athletic Complex to impress recruits and boost the school’s image.

“It engenders pride,” said The Rev. Brian F. Linnane, Loyola’s president. “We feel that … done in the right way, it will give us great momentum internally with our students and faculty, and externally it will attract more students and alumni.”

And in going from one 4-acre field on campus to a 71-acre sports complex that eventually will have two fields and a running track, Loyola’s athletics facilities have definitely been supersized.

J. Richard Awalt Field will host soccer and lacrosse games and the adjacent Sean Lugano Memorial Field will be used for practices and rugby games. Both of those facilities are completed. Construction on the 400-meter track is scheduled to begin soon at the complex, which is about three miles from Loyola’s Evergreen Street campus.

Annual lacrosse convention brings 5,000 to Baltimore

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

It’s the fastest-growing sport in the country, and as thousands of key decision makers in the lacrosse world flock to Baltimore this weekend, companies new and old are hoping to make their mark.

Friday marks the start of the 12th annual U.S. Lacrosse National Convention, an event known around the industry as the place to woo potential clients.

“You’ve got all the top product manufacturers here … exhibiting their product — they’re here because the coaches are here,” said Bill Schoonmaker, COO of Baltimore-based U.S. Lacrosse. “It is an opportunity for them to put their best foot forward in a unique environment.”

A big goal for Towson retailer Lax World

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

After opening seven stores over 20 years, Towson-based retailer Lax World is in the middle of an aggressive, three-store expansion to capitalize on the growing popularity of lacrosse while there are still deals to be had in the depressed commercial real estate market.

Lax World, which specializes in lacrosse equipment, clothing and accessories, opened a store in York Galleria Mall in York, Pa., in October and three weeks ago opened a store in the new Maple Lawn development in Howard County. The company is now scouting out a location in Bethesda, and executives say they hope to open a store there within a few months in time for the 2010 season.

Two of Lax World’s stores have also gotten bigger this year — its flagship store in The Shops at Kenilworth expanded into the open space next door in the mall, while its Bel Air location moved to the Harford Mall in a space 50 percent larger than its former South Main Street location.

Jerry Scott, the company’s director of operations, would not specify what kind of leasing deals Lax World was able to get but said they were “just too good to pass up.”

New complex will help Coppin share the wealth

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

Derrick Ramsey, Coppin State UniversityWhen Coppin State University’s basketball team tips off against local rival Morgan State University in its new home Saturday, the crowd will be louder, the lights brighter and that new-building smell may still linger in the air.

After more than 20 years in Coppin Center, the team is debuting its state-of-the-art arena — part of a $130 million physical education complex many hope will not only help recruiting but will lift the school and its Northwest Baltimore community’s revitalization.

“This is an opportunity for the people in the community to share in the wealth of the building,” said university President Reginald S. Avery, adding the new buildings could host concerts, town halls and other events. “This is not only Coppin’s building but the community’s as well.”

For Univ.of MD., keeping Friedgen the safe business move

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

Maryland’s football team has a 66-46 record in nine years under Ralph Friedgen, but four of the last six seasons have been sub .500.On the heels of a 2-10 season, one high-profile college football coach being fired and another resigning under pressure, University of Maryland’s Ralph Friedgen was given another shot Tuesday in what many are calling the safer business decision.

Friedgen, who has $4 million and two years left on his contract as head coach of the Terrapins, said he was thankful for the opportunity to continue as coach and was optimistic for the future of the program.

“Hope I wasn’t just judged on this year, and I think this shows the confidence the administration has in me,” he said.

But it’s likely a short leash he’s been given.

At Morgan State - turning March Madness bid into bucks

Daily Record Business Writer
March 16, 2009 7:53 PM

The school pride in Morgan State University’s first-ever March Madness appearance is one of those intangibles sports marketers say can translate later into cold hard cash — but only if the school takes action now.

Morgan State Director of Athletics Floyd Kerr: ‘The excitement on campus is phenomenal…our kids are creating their own ‘good old days.’ I think the residual impact will be more clearly defined after the school year.’“When enthusiasm is high, people make the mistake of saying that’ll do it all by itself,” said Bob Leffler, a Baltimore-based sports marketer and a Morgan State alumnus.

“[Morgan] has a new stadium, a new [basketball] coach and they’re winning — you’ve got to grab that by the neck and spend money and make it happen,” he said.

For a small school like Morgan State, those crowd-pleasing rewards to making the NCAA Division I basketball tournament are the ones that can really represent big bucks.

“The excitement on campus is phenomenal ... our kids are creating their own ‘good old days,’” said Floyd Kerr, the university’s director of athletics. “I think the residual impact will be more clearly defined after the school year.”

In the meantime, Morgan’s marketing company plans on doing a promotion for 2009-10 basketball season ticket sales around the tournament appearance and is creating other athletics department promotions based on the berth, according to Kerr.

NCAA lacrosse Final 4 coming back to Baltimore in 2010, 2011

Daily Record Business Writer
February 6, 2009 3:01 PM

The men’s NCAA lacrosse Final Four will return to Baltimore in 2010 and 2011, the Maryland Stadium Authority announced Friday afternoon.

Baltimore last hosted the championship at M&T Bank Stadium in 2007 and notched a then-record total attendance of 123,215 people for the three-day event.

“We are elated the NCAA Lacrosse National Championships will be returning to Maryland,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley in a statement. “Our state is recognized nationally as the cradle of lacrosse with its storied history, perennial powerhouse teams and loyal fan base.”

Baltimore was awarded two out of the three years it bid for. Boston, New Jersey and Denver also submitted bids last year to host the championship for years 2010–2012. Boston will host in 2012.

The state’s newly created Office of Sports Marketing, and its director, Terry Hasseltine, also added a new face to Baltimore’s bid for the championship. Hasseltine, the former deputy executive director of the Kentucky Sports Authority, arrived last August.