When Michael Jackson died suddenly yesterday afternoon, media outlets the world over pored through their archives to find a unique angle on the pop icon’s death. Most of Jacko’s connections to real-world areas of interest like cars and sports were of the bizarre, whimsical variety (like his head-scratching speech to English soccer team Exeter FC). I mean, let’s face it, the guy was a human trainwreck, and we’re all gawking.
But there’s one ongoing Michael Jackson storyline that could make some very serious waves in the world of sports. Anschutz Entertainment Group, the world’s largest owner of sports teams and venues (including the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, the MLS’ Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy, English soccer team Newscastle United, and stadia like the Staples Center), was also the company producing and bankrolling Jackson’s 50-concert “comeback tour.” Now, with no Jacko and no tour, AEG faces a whopping $500 million dollar insurance liability and over $85 million in ticket refunds. Sports fans -prepare to bend over and solve AEG’s problems for them.