From new hires and new owners to sparkling new locations, from record-breaking media rights deals to landmark legal and policy decisions, 2021 has offered something for everyone.


January 11
BetMGM announces the opening of a 3,800 square foot bookmaker in Nationals Park. The club will share the bookmaker’s income, calculated according to the grip. BetMGM also has access to its mobile app two blocks from the stadium.

January 11
MLS allows clubs to place a company logo on the left sleeve of players’ playing shirts.

January 20
The Pac-12 conference announces that Larry Scott’s nearly 11-year term as commissioner will end on June 30, one year before his contract expires. In May, the conference hired George Kliavkoff, who took over on July 1.


12 February
MLB announces Professional Development League as new replacement structure for Minor League Baseball. There are 120 affiliated clubs, compared to 160, and player salaries will increase for all four levels of play. Teams will have to modernize facilities and improve working conditions for players.

February 26
AT&T sells 30% of DirecTV to private equity firm TPG for $ 1.8 billion. As part of the deal, AT&T is covering up to $ 2.5 billion in losses related to the NFL Sunday Ticket package.


March 10
The Walt Disney Co. announces a seven-year, $ 300 million per year media rights deal with the NHL. Six weeks later, WarnerMedia signed a seven-year, $ 200 million annual contract to broadcast up to 72 NHL regular-season games each season on Turner Sports and HBO Max.

March 18
The NFL is finalizing media rights deals worth $ 110 billion over the 11-year agreements, 2023-2033. ESPN will collect an average of duties of $ 2.7 billion per year (a 35% increase). The broadcast networks each agree to roughly double their current average annual payment: NBC to $ 2 billion, CBS to $ 2.1 billion, and Fox to $ 2.25 billion. “Thursday Night Football” will switch exclusively to Amazon Prime for $ 1 billion per year.


April 6
Luka Garza, an Iowa basketball player and economics major, becomes the first college athlete to sell his own NFT card. The winning bid of the OpenSea auction was $ 41,141.81.

April 13
Fortnite creator Epic Games completes $ 1 billion funding round that includes an additional $ 200 million from the Sony Group and brings the company’s value to $ 28.7 billion.

April 13
Cisco, which supplies the hardware for the 30 NFL Stadium Instant Replay Control Rooms, becomes the league’s official technology partner and will fully connect 30 separate stadium computer systems with the league office.

April 15
The NFL chooses Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings and FanDuel as its top three sports betting sponsors in a package that could generate just under $ 1 billion over five years.

April 28
Endeavor Group Holdings, owner of UFC, Professional Bull Riders, IMG, talent firm William Morris and majority On Location, raises $ 511.3 million by selling 21.3 million shares through an IPO. Silver Lake is the largest shareholder with 39% equity and a majority of the voting rights.


May 13
ESPN signs a seven-year, $ 3.85 billion deal to retain MLB rights until 2028. The deal’s average payout of $ 550 million per year marks a 21% drop from the average of $ 700 million he is currently paying.

May 16
FC Cincinnati’s $ 250 million TQL Stadium opens, kicking off a summer that saw nearly $ 1 billion in professional football construction come to an end, including Field ( Columbus Crew), Q2 Stadium (Austin FC) and Weidner Field (USLC Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC).

FC Cincinnati fans watch the action at TQL Stadium, which opened in May.getty pictures


June 2
New York real estate mogul Ted Segal is paying $ 400 million to become the new majority owner of Houston Dynamo FC and NWSL Dash.

June 21st
The Supreme Court rules against the NCAA, saying the organization should not receive special antitrust treatment because of its academic mission. Days later, the NCAA board of directors passes a temporary rule change that opens the door to name, image and likeness activity, asking schools to set their own policy on what should be authorized.

June 24
Former NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon is leaving Fox Sports to become vice president of Hendrick Motorsports.

June 27
Dodgers president Mark Walter and co-owner Todd Boehly are buying the 27% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers held by AEG president Phil Anschutz, making them the club’s largest minority owners.

June 30th
Chip Ganassi sells his NASCAR team to Justin Marks, owner of Trackhouse Racing, and will retire from the nation’s top stock car series at the end of the season.


July, 1st
Bowlero, which owns PBA and approximately 300 bowling alleys in North America, agrees to go public through merger with Isos Acquisition in deal valuing the combined entity at $ 2.6 billion .

July 20
IndyCar signs multi-year extension of its media rights agreement with NBC Sports. NBC will broadcast 13 races next season, up from nine this year.

July 21
Minnesota Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf buy Orlando City Soccer Club, NWSL Orlando Pride, Exploria Stadium and all football-related assets for a combined estimated value of $ 450 million.

July 29
SEC presidents and chancellors vote unanimously to invite Big 12 co-founders, Oklahoma and Texas, to join the league in 2025. Since then, 22 more Division I schools have announced a new one. conference affiliation.


August 12
Adidas agrees to sell Reebok to Authentic Brands Group for “total consideration” of up to $ 2.4 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

August 30
Oak View Group and hotel and venue management company Spectra announce merger.


September 8
StubHub and Viagogo complete $ 4 billion merger.

September 17
The Los Angeles Clippers are inaugurating the $ 1.8 billion Intuit Dome in Inglewood, Calif., Which is slated to open in 2024.

September 18
New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement reports that its sports bets in September were $ 1.01 billion, making it the first US state to exceed $ 1 billion in a single month.

September 24
The Washington Capitals will have the Caesars Sportsbook branding on their home jerseys, for an annual prize of $ 6 million.

September 30
The Chicago Bears agree to pay Churchill Downs $ 197.2 million for the historic 326-acre Arlington International Racecourse property, fueling speculation about a future club move.


October 6
Bubba Wallace takes his first NASCAR Cup Series victory, winning the YellaWood 500 at Talladega in his # 23 Toyota with the McDonald’s logo. It’s also the first victory for 23XI Racing, which is co-owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin, and Victory Lane’s first visit to McDonald’s since 1994.

12 october
The Seattle Kraken debuts at the new $ 1.15 billion Climate Pledge Arena, a venue that will become the first arena in the world to achieve net zero carbon certification from the International Living Future Institute.

25 october
Esports firm FaZe Clan announces plans to go public through SPAC merger with B. Riley Principal 150 Merger. Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicate that FaZe Clan, whose investors include rapper Pitbull, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and Philadelphia 76ers player Ben Simmons, is ‘worth’ company ”of $ 713 million, the highest valuation ever for an esports company.

29 october
Greg Norman will be commissioner of LIV Golf Investments, a golf-centric league that has the Public Investment Fund – which operates on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia – as the majority shareholder. The league hopes to launch in the spring.


November 2
Chinese WTA player Peng Shuai posts a 2018 sexual assault allegation against a senior Chinese government official online and goes missing for three weeks. On December 3, WTA CEO Steve Simon suspended all WTA tournaments in China and expressed “serious doubts that Peng is free, safe and free from censorship, coercion and to intimidation “.

November 17
The NBA will transfer its streaming data, including live data used by sports betting, to distributor Sportradar starting in 2023 under an exclusive eight-year deal the sources of which are estimated to be over $ 1 billion. dollars, with the league ultimately receiving a 3% stake in the company.

November 18
NBC signs a six-year, $ 2.7 billion deal to retain its English and Spanish broadcast rights to the Premier League.

21 November
New York Islanders play their first game at $ 1.1 billion UBS Arena in Elmont, NY

24 november
Los Angeles Rams and NFL agree to pay City of St. Louis and St. Louis County $ 790 million to settle 4-year-old lawsuit sparked by team owner Stan Kroenke’s decision to move the team to LA

November 30
Fenway Sports Group agrees to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins for $ 900 million. Co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle are still part of the NHL team’s ownership group.


December 2
MLB owners initiate the league’s first work stoppage since 1994 by locking players out after the two sides failed to agree on the terms of a new collective agreement.

December 2
Maury Gallagher, also owner of GMS Racing, becomes majority owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. Petty, 84, retains a minority stake in the team and will be the team president.

December 6
President Joe Biden announces a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics, due to be held in Beijing in February, due to the Chinese government’s mistreatment of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang.

December 8
Endeavor is launching Diamond Baseball Holdings, which will own and operate 10 minor league clubs, including the RailRiders Class AAA Scranton / Wilkes Barre, Iowa Cubs, Memphis Redbirds, Oklahoma City Dodgers and Gwinnett Stripers.

December 10
Maryland becomes 30th state to allow sports betting, as MGM National Harbor’s Bet MGM Sportsbook and Lounge opens in Prince George County, minutes from Washington, DC

December 12
The race for a Formula 1 championship comes down to the season finale for the first time since 1974. In the United States, on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, F1 has averaged 934,000 viewers this year, an increase of 39% compared to 2019, when it last ran normal hourly.

Max Verstappen wins the Formula 1 championship in the season finale of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.getty pictures