Three things that have caught my eye in the past 24 hours have made it very clear that times are a changing in the sports world.
Item #1-Tiger Woods and GM have parted ways due to the financial crisis. GM just couldn't justify paying someone seven million dollars to endorse their product which in this case was Buick. If you can't pay the most recgonizable athlete in the world to push a bad car line you ARE in trouble as a company.
Item #2-Two politicians in New York City are asking for Citibank to change the name of the New York Mets new Stadium from Citi-Field to Citi/Tax Payer Stadium because Citi had to take a bailout of taxpayer money. This is one political move I am actually in favor of. All of these financial institutions are arrogant enough to not even say thank you to the Amercian people for bailing them out for their failed policies and actions. Not a one of them has had their COO come on TV and thank the American people for saving their hides. This would be a nice gesture even if the companies don't believe they need to say something like that.
Item #3-Have you noticed how slow the Major League Baseball free agency period has been? There has been a few minor moves here and there but it sure seems to me that all of the MLB teams are holding onto their wallets pretty tight right now. My belief is that there are more than a few teams (possibly including the one located a few blocks away) who are really concerned that the money is not going to continue coming in like it has the past 10-15 years. Times are tight and you have to think sporting event tickets are moving down the list of people's disposable income choices.
It is clear we are in the midst of a very scary time. I don't know of too many companies in this country (ours included) that aren't talking about layoffs, hiring freezes, and/or wage freezes. Everyone is walking around on eggshells and the sports world is not immune. All the signs are there.