👋 Good morning! Short one this morning (only 1,131 words), as I'm currently writing this on a plane traveling cross country.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
As sports becomes less localized and our lives become more digital, stadiums of the future — and, in some cases, even the present — could look vastly different than stadiums of the past.
Flashback: 50 years ago, your average sports fan rooted for his or her hometown teams because, for the most part, those were the only teams being shown on TV or written about in the newspaper.
The big picture: This has had a profound impact on modern sports fandom, affecting who we root for and how we consume and follow sports.
My take: Sports fans are constantly engaging with their favorite athletes, teams and leagues through some form of media — and there's a ton of money to be made by keeping their attention.
The bottom line: In our digital-first world, media rights are skyrocketing and attendance numbers are already on the decline. So my question is: Could we reach the point in the future where live attendance doesn't even matter?
Paul Rabil co-founded the Premier Lacrosse League, which is one of the rare pro sports leagues actually born in the digital-first age.
The PLL's teams don't have home cities and the league has placed a heavy emphasis on content creation and broadcast innovation, so I asked Rabil what his thoughts were when it comes to live attendance.
"I don't particularly see a future where digital viewership, impressions, and TV are mutually exclusive of attendance. If done appropriately, they should work in concert together."
"That said, the dog days of attendance as a leading revenue figure for major sports leagues are over. ... The increasing benefits of the social and digital era are that brands are looking to spend more in these categories — where 10 years ago, this revenue stream didn't exist."
"In 2009, the fan who attended your games, purchased a ticket, merch and a concession was measured on a per cap basis. And while that's still an accurate metric today, there are fans in 2019 that are driving new revenue streams through their mobile device — purchasing league OTT packages, subscribing to social."
"The major difference? Fans onsite come a dozen times a year. Online? 365 times."
The NFL and Black College Football Hall of Fame are currently hosting a quarterback coaching summit for minority assistant coaches at the pro and college levels, Axios' Mike Sykes writes.
Why it matters: The goal is to strengthen the development pipeline for coaches of color on the offensive side of the ball, where the NFL currently lacks diversity.
By the numbers: Offensive coaches — and particularly offensive coordinators — are prime targets for head coaching jobs, and in the NFL, almost all of those positions are currently held by white men.
The bottom line: The NFL's Rooney Rule was created to increase diversity among NFL coaches, and while it has certainly had a positive impact, the rule has its holes. This summit and other similar events are an attempt to fill them in.
Thanks to two penalty-kick goals from Megan Rapinoe, the United States survived a scare in the round of 16, defeating Spain 2-1.
The big picture: After watching them coast through the group stage, yesterday's nail-biter raised some concerns about Jill Ellis' squad (and Jill Ellis) ahead of Friday's much-hyped meeting with host and co-favorite France.
The Yankees have hit a home run in 27 straight games, tying an MLB record set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Nationals have released reliever Trevor Rosenthal following one of the worst starts to a season ever. In his first year with the team, he walked/hit almost as many batters (18) as he got out (19) and finished with a 22.74 ERA in 12 games. The end of an era — and of an ERA.
Zack Greinke homered off Clayton Kershaw last night in the Diamondbacks' 8-5 win, giving him a career-high three on the young season. Greinke's current slash line: .306/.342/.667.
The Orioles are giving No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman a record $8.1 million signing bonus, eclipsing the previous high set by Gerrit Cole ($8 million) when he went No. 1 overall to the Pirates in 2011.
🏆 Can We Just Let One Season End Before Predicting The Next? (FiveThirtyEight)
"As the lines begin to blur between one season's end and the next one's beginning … there's too much interest in far-off futures odds for anyone to ignore them. So that means we're in store for plenty more speculative champions being crowned, even if the actual ones aren't finished celebrating yet."
"A 300-pound Juco D-lineman died from heat stroke on his first day of practice, and his mother's search for clarity is still going almost a year later."
⚾️ The Mets Are MLB's Masters of Self-Inflicted Misery (The Ringer)
"The latest controversy from baseball's Picasso of creating bizarre dustups out of nothing is a masterpiece."
Luis Suarez, in front. Photo: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
Five years ago today, FIFA banned Luis Suarez for four months after he bit Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in the middle of a World Cup match.
Go deeper: A look at Suarez's three bites
At the NBA awards show last night, Luka Doncic became the second player in Dallas Mavericks history to win the Rookie of the Year award.
Answer at the bottom.
With so much chatter about "Space Jam 2," I figured now was the perfect time to reminisce about the original "Space Jam."
See you tomorrow,
Kendall "Bet you guessed Dirk" Baker
Trivia answer: Jason Kidd (1994–95)