If your clients ever inquire about investing in a sports team, ask them to name the most valuable major league franchise in the U.S. The answer according to Forbes' 2013 ranking, is the New York Yankees, worth $2.3 billion. Then, tell them the story of a municipal bond issued to build parking garages at the new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009. On opening day of the 2013 baseball season, this $237 million bond issue defaulted on a $6.9 million interest payment, after running through its reserve fund. The revenue bonds were issued by "Bronx Parking" and are not backed by taxpayers or the Yankees. Bond repayment has been jeopardized because so many fans now use public transit to avoid the $35 per-game parking fee.

Next up in the stadium bond turnstile may be Atlanta, where a new $1+ billion home for the Atlanta Falcons has just been approved, with partial financing expected from a proposed $200 million muni issue backed by city hotel-motel taxes. The new stadium, which will replace the 21-year-old Georgia Dome, is projected to cost up to five times as much to build and possibly be ready by 2017.

For clients who prefer sports equity to debt, there is one "community-owned" major league franchise in the U.S. – the Green Bay Packers. Alas, shares are not currently available, pay no dividends and are not publicly tradable. Shareholders get a nice keepsake stock certificate and an invitation to attend an annual shareholder meeting at Lambeau Field.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.