The NFL American football league is in talks with Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees owner Jerry Jones about creating a $1.5bn (£1.1bn/€1.3bn) hospitality company offering travel and ticketing services at the league’s games and potentially some of the world’s top sporting events.
According to the Wall Street Journal newspaper, the NFL would combine its existing NFL On Location Experiences hospitality and events business with Jones’ Legends Hospitality Management.
The platform would offer travel, hospitality, accommodation and tickets linked to NFL games, with the possibility of expanding to other events at a later date. The Ticketing Business reported in May that the NFL is said to be considering ending its $200m exclusive ticketing partnership with Ticketmaster, which expires in 2018. The NFL was said to be considering a new open platform model in which authenticated tickets are sold through a range of providers, league and teams, the website reports.
Legends already partners with the Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers, and has links with the Oakland Raiders’ new stadium in Las Vegas and the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams.
An NFL-Legends deal would need approval from 24 of the league’s 32 team owners and commissioner Roger Goodell because NFL On Location is a league-owned company.
The Wall Street Journal reports that while there are concerns about Jones’ increasingly central role in the the league’s expanding business ventures, some owners could be swayed by the influx of hospitality and naming rights opportunities with other sporting events such as the Olympics or Formula One racing.
The NFL declined to comment, but a Dallas Cowboys spokesman said the deal “doesn’t appear to be anything serious”.
On Location Experiences, the NFL’s official hospitality partner, was spun off by the league in 2015 and is owned by RedBird Capital Partners, Bruin Sports Capital, 32 Equity (the entity that oversees the NFL’s private equity efforts) and Jon Bon Jovi. It had an allocation of 9,500 tickets for this year’s Super Bowl, with patrons spending up to $12,000 on VIP packages.