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NASCAR Teams Have Hired A Top Antitrust Attorney In Their Revenue Dispute. Here’s What It Means

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The NASCAR season has begun, with 38 races to select another stock car racing champion in the 76th season of the main motorsports series in the United States.

There is a significant issue for NASCAR and its teams: negotiations on a new revenue-sharing plan have stalled. In mid-February, officials from five teams notified The Associated Press that they had recruited renowned antitrust sports lawyer Jeffrey Kessler as an adviser.

The action was a power play by the 15 teams with the 36 charters that ensured entry into every race, sending a message that they would not be intimidated in negotiations. Here’s what you need to know about this off-track battle worth millions:

Charters are comparable to NASCAR franchises, but the series can withdraw them at any time. The current market rate determines their worth, but the specifics are not publicised. Live Fast Motorsports reportedly paid $40 million for a charter that Spire Motorsports bought last year, a significant increase from the $6 million Spire Motorsports paid in 2018 when it became the first team to purchase a charter from another team.

NASCAR chose which teams were granted charters in 2016. Four charters have yet to be offered for sale and are being held by NASCAR for use if a fourth manufacturer joins the Cup Series.

The present pact expires after the season, and teams have been negotiating with NASCAR for two years to get a better deal, including making the charters permanent.

NASCAR stated it needed to finish a new media rights package first, and a new $7.7 billion broadcast rights agreement was revealed in December. NASCAR’s economic offer to the teams arrived shortly after that.

The five-person negotiation committee for the race teams told the Associated Press that NASCAR was clear: “We’ve been informed, ‘This is all there is; there is no flexibility.’ “That is not a negotiation,” said Curtis Polk, co-owner of 23XI Racing with Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin.

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NASCAR’s Financial Health

NASCAR’s stability has ebbed and flowed for years, with significant emphasis on empty seats in the bleachers and viewing figures from season to season. The series has been through it all, and the TV contract is deemed significant.

According to a recent S&P Global Ratings report, NASCAR will continue to see strong growth in live attendance, sponsorship, and advertising-related revenue this year, and the new rights deal “provides good revenue visibility” until 2031.

The report also raised its credit rating for NASCAR, highlighting the series’ capacity to pay down debt while increasing revenue. This year, NASCAR’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation are expected to climb by 6% to 8%, according to Standard & Poor’s.

S&P also anticipates a positive cash flow of $135 million to $145 million, which could be lowered to $85 million following infrastructure repairs and utilised to reduce debt further.

Polk stated that the data demonstrates that NASCAR is financially solid and has had minimal difficulty repaying the almost $1.5 billion borrowed in 2019 to take its racetracks private.

“The rating agencies have upped NASCAR to a better rating based on the health of NASCAR,” Polk said in a statement. “NASCAR’s debt is now reduced to around $400 million. They repaid $1 billion in debt in less than five years.

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WHAT IS THE ISSUE?

The teams seek more than simply a bigger financial stake.

In addition to a rise in the proportion of the television rights deal, the teams want the charters to be permanent, as they are in other leagues. With so many of NASCAR’s top team owners in their 70s (Roger Penske turned 87 this week), they want their investments to be legacies for their families.

NASCAR has declined to contemplate making the charters permanent.

The teams also want to have a say in governance and foster a collaborative environment to generate new revenue prospects.

WHAT CAN TEAMS DO?
The teams are unaffiliated with NASCAR, which regulates the 38 races each year and provides payouts and cash from licencing, merchandise, and other sources. It also owns several top-tier tracks.

The teams wish to refrain from launching their breakaway series, noting CART’s downfall when Tony George removed the Indianapolis 500 and founded a competing league. Two open-wheel racing series could not be sustained. Thus, they merged in 2008 to form IndyCar. However, the damage had already been done: NASCAR bypassed what was formerly the leading US motorsports series during the split.

Currently, the teams do not intend to promote a race outside of NASCAR’s supervision. They want to strike a deal.

Teams could legally go on strike and cease turning up at the track, but it makes no financial sense, and NASCAR would most likely fill a field with teams from a stock car league it does not currently own.

Who is Jeffrey Kessler?
The attorney specialises in sports labour and antitrust conflicts. In 2021, he helped obtain a 9-0 victory at the United States Supreme Court in NCAA v. Alston, a significant issue on athlete remuneration. He also led the United States women’s soccer team in its winning fight for equal pay and lawsuits against the NBA and NFL’s current free agent rules.

Although employing Kessler could imply that the teams are considering litigation, the negotiating representatives said the attorney was hired to advise them during discussions.

The Race Team Alliance convened at Daytona International Speedway; NASCAR failed to attend, and the teams say NASCAR is no longer negotiating with them collectively. Instead, they feel NASCAR is attempting to communicate with teams individually to create division among what is now a unified front.

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WHAT IF A DEAL IS NOT ACHIEVED?

NASCAR could completely overhaul the eligibility system and develop its income distribution guidelines. NASCAR does not have a collective bargaining agreement for teams, and the RTA, founded to fight this struggle, is not a union.

The teams might file an antitrust lawsuit challenging NASCAR’s market dominance, arguing that NASCAR operates stock car racing as a monopoly.

But NASCAR has already won legal battles, including a 2009 case in which Kentucky Speedway failed to demonstrate that its refusal to host a Cup Series race constituted an illegal monopoly.

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Man Set Himself Ablaze Outside New York Courthouse

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Man on Fire New York
The smell of smoke lingered: Getty Image

A man set himself on fire outside the New York courthouse where former President Donald Trump’s historic hush-money trial was taking place, but officials said he did not appear to be targeting Trump.

The man burned for many minutes in full front of television cameras stationed outside the courthouse, which is hosting the first-ever criminal prosecution of a former United States president.

“He was on fire for quite a while,” one witness told reporters, declining to provide his name. “It was pretty horrifying.”

Officials said the man, who is in his late thirties, survived and was in critical condition at a hospital.

According to witnesses, the man removed leaflets from a rucksack and hurled them into the air before dousing himself with liquid and setting himself on fire. One of the booklets mentioned “evil billionaires,” but the portions accessible to a Reuters witness did not mention Trump.

According to the New York Police Department, Max Azzarello of St. Augustine, Florida, did not appear to target Trump or any other trial participants.

“Right now, we are labeling him as a conspiracy theorist, and we will proceed from there,” Tarik Sheppard, a deputy commissioner of the Police Department, said at a news conference.

In an online manifesto, a man using that name admitted to setting himself on fire and apologized to friends, bystanders, and first responders. The message warns of “an apocalyptic fascist coup” and condemns Bitcoin and US politicians but does not mention Trump specifically.

A Reuters witness reported that smoke persisted in the plaza shortly after the incident and that a police officer sprayed a fire extinguisher on the ground. A flaming rucksack and a gas can were both visible.

US Truckers Boycott New York, Rally Behind Trump

US Truckers Boycott Corrupt New York, Rally Behind Trump

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G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

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AP - VOR News Image

Paris police find no weapons on a man detained at Iran’s consulate.

Police said Friday that they discovered no weapons on a man held at the Iranian consulate in Paris after responding to a report of a suspicious man carrying a grenade and an explosives vest.

A Paris police spokesperson told The Associated Press that authorities were verifying the man’s identity but discovered no such weapons on him or in his car.

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AP News – VOR News Image

G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not permitted to be publicly identified under police procedure.

Some of the police, special agents, and firefighters who rushed to the situation at the consulate were later spotted leaving the area after being arrested. A police cordon remained in place, although traffic had resumed in the area.

According to the official, the individual was observed late Friday morning, and police initiated a special operation as soon as they were notified.

The event occurred at a time of heightened tensions in the Middle East, as Paris prepares to host the summer Olympics.

The director of the United Nations’ nuclear inspector says there was no damage to the Isfahan nuclear facility following a purported Israeli drone attack on a major air base near the Iranian city.

When asked about the nuclear facility on Sky News, International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi stated, “There hasn’t been any damage at the site or anything that would indicate that (there) were hits nearby or something that could lead you to believe that there was an intention to reach these places.”

The Isfahan facility has three small research reactors supplied by China, as well as fuel production and other activities for Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

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G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

Isfahan also contains locations related with Iran’s nuclear program, such as the subterranean Natanz enrichment facility, which has been frequently attacked by suspected Israeli sabotage strikes.

Iranian authorities claim that air defenses fired on a key air base in Isfahan, which has long housed Iran’s fleet of American-made F-14 Tomcats, purchased prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Missile remnants were discovered Friday near Latifiya, southwest of Baghdad.

An official with an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with journalists, said the missile was shot down due to jamming efforts. The Iraqi army lacks jamming systems similar to those used to destroy the rocket, but Iran has handed such gear to its allied militias.

It was unclear whether the rocket was part of an Israeli attack on Iran or last weekend’s Iranian attack on Israel. Local media images of the site showed what seemed to be an air-to-surface missile. There were no reports of Iran firing air-to-surface missiles during Saturday’s onslaught, which comprised over 300 drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles.

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G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

Tehran launched the attack in response to a purported Israeli strike in Syria on April 1, which killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consulate building.

SOURCE (AP)

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Police Arrest Six People Over US$14.5 Million Gold Heist in Canada

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Gold Heist in Canada
Largest Gold Heist in Canadian History: File Photo

Six people have been arrested, including a jeweler and a commercial airline employee, and police have issued warrants for three more suspects in connection with what they say the single-largest gold robbery in Canadian history.

According to Peel Regional Police in Ontario, a joint investigation with the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) resulted in the filing of nearly two dozen charges against the suspects in connection with the nearly $20 million Canadian dollar ($14.5 million) heist that occurred a year ago.

During a news conference in Ontario on Wednesday, Peel Regional Police Detective-Sergeant Mike Mavity told reporters that 400 kilograms of gold bars weighing more than 900 pounds, as well as approximately CA$2.5 million ($1.8 million) in stolen bank notes, were hijacked at Toronto Pearson International Airport after arriving on a commercial flight from Europe.

In total, 6,600 gold bars of various sizes were stolen, each of which was “99.9% pure and contained individualized serial numbers,” according to Mavity.

Gold Heist Air Canada

Gold Was in Hull of Air Canada aeroplane: File Photo

According to Peel Regional Police in Ontario, a joint investigation with the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) resulted in nearly two dozen charges being filed against the suspects in connection with the nearly $20 million Canadian dollar heist that occurred on April 17, 2023.

On April 17, 2023, the gold and money were loaded into the hull of an Air Canada flight in “an approved airline container” bound for Toronto.

At 3:56 p.m. same day, the flight arrived at Toronto Pearson International Airport, and the gold and cash were quickly removed from the aircraft and transported to an Air Canada facility.

At 6:32 p.m., a man suspect came at air can freight driving a 5-ton truck and approached the property with what police called a counterfeit airway bill, a document used by carriers to track shipments.

Shortly after, a forklift arrived and loaded the item into the suspect’s truck. The suspect then drove off.

fake shipping bill

Fake Shipping Bill: Photo Peel Police

According to a police press release, officials discovered the document bill at 2:43 a.m. the next day to be a duplicate of an airline bill for a valid shipment of fish delivered and picked up the day before.

According to Mavity, the fake bill was produced at the Air Canada facility, and when officials discovered the products were gone, they used security footage to monitor part of the suspect’s subsequent trip until losing track of the truck in north Milton, an Ontario suburb.

Police stated that the crime was an inside operation and that a former Air Canada manager was wanted in the case.

So far police said they have arrested the following suspects in connection to the gold heist case:

  • Air Canada employee Parmpal Sidhu, 54, of Ontario
  • Jewelry store owner Ali Raza, 37, of Toronto
  • Amit Jalota, 40, of Ontario
  • Ammad Chaudhary, 43, of Ontario
  • Prasath Paramalingam, 35, of Ontario

All five were released on bail and are scheduled to appear in court at a later date, Mavity said.

The truck driver who allegedly picked up the gold, Durante King-Mclean, 25 of Ontario, is currently in custody in the U.S. on firearms and trafficking related charges.

Here are the suspects at large:

  • Air Canada manager Simran Preet Panesar, 31, of Ontario
  • Archit Grover, 36, of Ontario
  • Arsalan Chaudhary, 42, of Ontario

Only CA$90,000 ($65,000) of the more than CA$20 million recovered, said to Peel Regional Deputy Chief Nick Milinovich.

According to US Today, U.S. ATF Special Agent Eric DeGree, King-Mclean was detained in Pennsylvania following a traffic stop that resulted in the seizure of 65 illicit guns destined for Canada. According to DeGree, King-Mclean attempted to flee after police discovered the firearms in a rental car he was driving.

According to Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick, two of the individuals identified by police worked for the airline’s cargo division at the time of the crime.

“One left the company prior to the arrests announced today, and the second has been suspended,” he stated, according to the site. “Because matter is now before the courts, we are unable to speak further.

According to the announcement, only about CA $90,000 (one kilogram of gold) has been found and melted down into bangle bracelets. According to authorities, the remaining gold was most likely melted down and used to purchase illicit weaponry.

“I commend our investigators, the ATF, other law enforcement partners, and our community for working together to identify and arrest those responsible for this brazen crime,” Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said in a statement this week.

Anyone with information regarding the case should contact Peel Regional Police.

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