If this winter’s Crypto Bowl made you think the NFL might be relying too much on techno cars, fear not. This year’s crash of cryptocurrency broker FTX and bitcoin’s plunge has not even created ripples in the league’s bond ratings.
Ten months after crypto ads dominated the Super Bowl, six months after the NFL opened its doors to teams chasing blockchain sponsors, Fitch on crypto collapse in the league’s latest debt rating. Confirmed the investment without even mentioning it. Grading in the latest review released Friday morning.
“The NFL’s structure promotes a balance between financial stability and league competitiveness through high revenue share and potential supplemental revenue share. ,” Fitch said in a note. The agency rates his NFL Ventures debt at A+, at $1.37 billion, and league-wide credits at his facility, at $8.6 billion. These valuations are unchanged from Fitch’s previous valuations, even though the league has increased the amount of debt a team can have to his $600 million. From $500 million at a recent ownership conference. The additional debt will not hurt the rating “because of the league’s strong visibility into media revenues under its domestic media contracts,” the agency wrote.
Similarly, strong MLB credibility and franchise support has allowed the New York Mets’ stadium to maintain its BBB rating with concurrent rating notes from Fitch. (MLB’s debt-bearing entities are rated A and A- by Fitch.) The Queen’s Ballpark Company (QBC), the entity that owns Citi Field, has its 600 million debt issued in 2006. A $24 million bond rating was affirmed. The robust yet competitive New York City market has the highest levels of personal wealth, the largest population and the deepest corporate base of any metropolitan area in the United States,” Fitch wrote. It also helped that in the 2022 season he recorded 101 wins, his third most in the league. “Spectator and fan support to the stadium shows volatility that correlates with on-field performance,” Fitch said.
Citi Field also benefits from a higher percentage of naming rights fees backing the municipal bonds used to build the facilities, Fitch said. While cryptocurrency corporate sponsorships are causing problems for his Miami Heat in the NBA, the Mets are probably clearly enjoying their old-school financial naming sponsor, Citigroup.
Perhaps the only negative for the Mets in Fitch’s report is the inevitable comparison to other baseball teams in town. “Yankee Stadium is rated one rank higher than QBC, which reflects the strength of the Yankees franchise and its stable and robust levels of attendance and ticket revenue.”
The rating agency also confirmed the rating of the USTA National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, not far from the Mets in Queens. Tennis Center holds an A- rating thanks to a long-term broadcasting deal that provides about half of the revenue pledged to back the bond. The other half came from U.S. Open ticket sales, which the agency said had a track record of steadily rising average ticket prices.