It’s now been a year since the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) was sold for $949 million and it’s interesting to look back at the numbers and see how much buyers actually paid for this historic racetrack. Forbes has just published an in-depth article about what happened and they’ve compiled a complete list of the top seven selling sports venues including IMS. Now, let’s take a look at what each property is worth and how much money the new owners will make.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway
As mentioned above, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was sold to an investment group called Speedway Ventures in August of 2017 for a price of $949 million. In its 2018 annual report, Cushman & Arpels said the track has a pre-tax economic impact of $27 million per year. From a business standpoint, this makes sense as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a goldmine. Not only is it one of the largest stadiums built in the 20th century, it has also become a cultural icon and is a source of tourism for the city. What’s more, the facility is mostly leased with the exception of a few parcels of land.
Considering all these factors, it’s not hard to see why the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is such a hot property. With its brand new owners determined to invest in new facilities and grow the racing program, there’s plenty of opportunity for the property to increase in value.
Red Bull Arena
Red Bull Arena (RBA) is located in the gorgeous Austrian city of Salzburg and replaced the former salt mine that the venue occupies. RBA was purchased by a group of investors in 2014 for around 7.3 million euros (approximately $8.4 million at current rates) and the venue now has a pre-tax income of $13.6 million per year. Like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Red Bull Arena is also considered a cultural icon with its stunning music concerts and international competitions such as the Red Bull Ski-in/ski-out.
As with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Red Bull Arena is also considered a goldmine from a business standpoint. Since its opening, Red Bull has hosted numerous famous music concerts and festivals and it’s anticipated that the list of performances will continue to grow thanks to its new Swiss owner, Matthias Dünser. The former CEO of the famous chocolate brand, Barry Callebaut, bought a controlling stake in Red Bull in 2016 and the venue’s value should increase after the company’s purchase by Barry Callebaut.
Old Trafford is the largest stadium in the world by capacity with 95,000 seats and it’s estimated that the property generates around $27 million per year in revenue. Like the other sports venues above, Old Trafford is also partly owned by a company called MMTC Ltd which operates the stadium. It was initially purchased by the football club, Manchester United, from a company called Associated British Petroleum in 2006 for $375 million.
With an area the size of a football field, Old Trafford has enough room for both Manchester United and Manchester City to play their matches and it’s anticipated that this will increase attendances and revenues for both clubs. The stadium also hosted the inaugural International Champions Cup back in August of 2017 with Inter Milan taking on Barcelona and Juventus facing off against Real Madrid. With the UEFA Champions League set to expand to include group stages in the USA, it’s only natural that the tournament would be hosted in either of these venues.
On the opposite end of the sporting spectrum, you’ll find Tottenham Hotspur’s Wembley Stadium which is valued at 6.3 million pounds (approximately $8.3 million) and it’s reported to be the 25th most expensive stadium to buy. Like the other properties on this list, Wembley Stadium is owned by a company called King George’s Park which operates and leases the stadium. Spurs purchased Wembley Stadium for 7.6 million pounds in 1910 and it’s been a financial windfall ever since.
Montreal’s Olympic Stadium
Montreal’s Olympic Stadium underwent a renovation project in 2017 which valued the property at 4.9 million euros (approximately $5.7 million). It’s been the home of soccer since it was built in 1924 and it currently holds 63,500 spectators. Locals have embraced the sport and it’s now considered to be one of the greatest sporting venues in North America, if not the world. Not only is it the seat of the Montreal Football Club, it’s also the venue for the Toronto Blue Jays’ games as well as the annual Canada Cup tournament.
Soccer is a popular sport in the city with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts and Toronto FC both playing their games at the 70,000-seat stadium. The Toronto Blue Jays have also played several exhibition games at the venue as well as the first ever Major League Soccer match between Toronto and Chicago Fire in the original venue in 1983.
FIFA World Cup 2022
Although FIFA’s headquarters are in Zurich, Switzerland, the organization’s hosting rights for the next World Cup were sold to Russia and it was announced in December of 2018 that the tournament will be played in Saint Petersburg and the Luzhniki Stadium. The 2026 World Cup will also be held in Uruguay.
FIFA’s decision to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was met with fierce criticism from politicians and human rights activists alike, and even within the organization itself. The 2022 edition of the World Cup will almost certainly be the last held in a country with a history of human rights abuses. It’s likely that the 2022 World Cup will also be the last World Cup to be held in the Middle East due to political upheaval and the effects of extreme heat. This will be a huge blow to the region’s economy as well as its reputation as a leisure destination.
With the 2022 World Cup just over a year away, there’s still plenty of time for the global football community to right some of the wrongs of the past and the property market has already started to reflect this as the Russian group, EkhoSport Holdings, purchased the stadiums for Spartak Moscow and Lokomotiv Moscow for a combined price of $125 million. The two Russian football clubs share a mutual commitment to social justice and in 2018, they became the first Russian sports organizations to sign the Athlete Ally Charter which aims to eliminate sexual abuse in sport.
Based on figures from ValuEx, a sports asset manager, the 2022 World Cup will generate $16.2 million in gross revenues for the city of Saint Petersburg and it’s expected that the event will attract more than 500,000 international tourists to the city per year. The tournament is also anticipated to have a positive effect on the city’s real estate market with property prices expected to increase by 7% following the 2022 World Cup.
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
The Los Angeles Coliseum is one of the most famous stadiums in America and it’s been the home of the Los Angeles Rams since it opened in 1923. In April of 2018, the Rams officially moved out of the LA Memorial Coliseum and will play their games at the new $1.9 billion LA Stadium from now on. It’s anticipated that the venue will host some of the first Major League Soccer games in October of this year.
The Rams have been playing at the Coliseum since it was the only NFL franchise that would have them and it was also the team’s regular home until they moved to Los Angeles in 1979. The stadium’s architectural style is mostly Art Deco and it currently has a capacity of 101,000 spectators. Not only does the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum attract big-name sports and music performances, it’s also a popular location for Hollywood movies with its large screen, golden sunlight, and dramatic history.
The Rams will continue to reap the benefits of the Los Angeles Coliseum for years to come as it’s still the team’s regular home and they’ve sold-out every game since their inception. What’s more, the organization saved more than $10 million in 2015 alone by holding some of their games at the Coliseum rather than their own stadium. Finally, as mentioned above, the stadium is now the home of the Los Angeles Rams and it’s anticipated that the property will continue to increase in value after the team’s move to the new LA Stadium.
Sporting Events Are Far From Over
It’s been a tough 18 months for sports fans with the world of professional football still reeling from the corruption scandals that rocked English football in 2018. In August of that year, six English football officials were sentenced to jail time for their roles in match-fixing scandals that tarnished the sport’s image and hurt its fan base. The trial and subsequent verdicts are considered landmark cases in English history and even now, people are arguing about whether or not football should be considered ‘essential’ sport. What’s more, there are rumblings that the English Football Association (EFA) might not even bother to compete in the upcoming World Cup in Russia.