Giving you the (L.A.) Business: Six months into 2020 COVID-19, what’s the dollars and sense of L.A. sports business? LABJ looks into it

By Tom Hoffarth

In trying to piece this story together for the Los Angeles Business Journal for its Sports and Business issue that lands today, we reached out to Roy Weinstein, the managing director of Micronomics, the L.A.-based research and consulting firm that often does work for the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission.

IMG_1270The question here: Is there a way to quantify the economic impact that Los Angeles sports is having from the current COVID-19 pandemic? It’s a broad ask, but Weinstein gave it a far more direct response that we anticipated:

“Although the economic impacts are having devastating effects on people’s lives, I believe that for now, the focus must be on containing the pandemic rather than the economy. Should we really be concerned about economic impact of cancelled sporting events in the face of a pandemic producing unimaginable death counts and debilitating illness?
Until the case count declines, and reliable, rapid testing becomes accessible to all, and a commercially and medically successful vaccine arrives, and treatments are available for those who don’t receive or choose to take the vaccine, the community will be unable to get out from under, and children will be unable to safely return to school — let alone Dodger games.

“The choices we face are not binary, i.e. 1) open up to help the economy or 2) shelter in place and take preventive measures to contain the virus. Since without containment, the economy will never reach its full potential, for the moment, I’m not thinking about sports, ticket sales, sponsorships and TV rights. I’m thinking about testing, vaccines and treatment so as to protect both athletes and attendees. Until investments in these areas bear fruit, we need to keep the focus on protecting the citizenry (stay at home orders, social distancing, masks, etc.). There will be plenty of time down the road to assess the impacts.
“I’m sorry I can’t be of more help for now. Take care and stay safe.”

Weinstein said what goes beyond charts, number crunching and recovery plans.
In talking to leadership at major L.A. sports franchises — the Lakers’ Tim Harris, the Dodgers’ Stan Kasten and the Rams’ Kevin Demoff — we still measured their take on what they can, can’t and are hopeful to try to accomplish in these times, all careful to mirror if not repeat what Weinstein was saying as well.
With that, here are links to the two cover stories (you get a few free looks per month at LABJ until the paywall comes up, and why the heck not get a subscription while you’re in this journalism business model):

== The state of L.A. sports as the Lakers, Dodgers, Rams, Chargers and Clippers are in Forbes.com’s latest World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams for 2020
== How LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment media company can increase its impact with the Lakers’ latest NBA title run all the way in Orlando, Fla.

Also: Last March, we had an extended conversation with Rams owner Stan Kroenke about the state of SoFi Stadium and everything else. If you want to revisit that, it’s at this LABJ link.