While none of the four major U.S. sports leagues received loans, numerous other sports-related businesses appeared on the list. Five MLS clubs, many national governing bodies for Olympic sports, and businesses founded by NFL quarterback Tom Brady and former professional boxer Floyd Mayweather were approved for loans through one of the largest economic stimulus packages created by the federal government.
Brady’s TB12, a health and wellness company co-founded by the six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, received between $350,000 and $1 million. The self-reported data did not include the number of jobs that loan saved. Mayweather Promotions, founded in 2007 by the 12-time world champion, received a loan of the same size, which supported 15 jobs, the firm reported.
Rapper Ice Cube co-founded Big3, a three-on-three professional basketball league that canceled this summer’s season because of the coronavirus. The business received a $1.6 million loan but returned $700,000, a company spokesman said. (Other companies could have returned all or part of their loan, which might not be reflected in the released data.)
The federal government released loan amounts in ranges, and the data includes only active loans, which are part of the $2 trillion Cares Act. The recipient businesses applied and self-certified that they were eligible. The loans are made by third-party lenders and guaranteed by the Small Business Administration. They can be forgiven if companies and nonprofits show that the money helped save jobs.
The National Women’s Soccer League received a loan of between $1 million and $2 million. The nine-team league was the first U.S. team sports league to return to competition this summer with its month-long Challenge Cup in Utah, which ends July 26.
“Our sole intent in applying for the PPP loan was to continue player compensation,” NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird told the New York Times. “With ours, the calculus was pretty simple. Either you’re going to pay your players or you’re going to furlough them. What could we do?”
OL Reign, an NWSL club based in Tacoma, Wash., received a loan for between $150,000 and $350,000. Carolina FC, the group that owns NWSL and United Soccer League teams near Raleigh, N.C., received between $2 million and $5 million.
Five MLS clubs — Seattle Sounders, Orlando City, Philadelphia Union, Inter Miami and D.C. United — received loans. The groups that own Orlando City and the Sounders received between $2 million and $5 million, while the others were approved for loans between $1 million and $2 million.
Smaller leagues, such as the Premier Lacrosse League and Major League Rugby, also received loans.
The Los Angeles Lakers, valued at $3.7 billion, applied for and received one of these loans, but the organization returned the roughly $4.6 million it received following news that the program had run out of money. The U.S. Soccer Federation also returned the loan it received. The organization had laid off and furloughed 50 staffers, according to ESPN, so the USSF would have had to repay the loan, assuming those positions were not refilled.
At least a dozen national governing bodies received loans, including the U.S. Ski Association and USA Hockey with loans in the $2 million to $5 million range. Governing bodies for cycling, swimming and volleyball ($1 million to $2 million), as well as gymnastics, basketball, figure skating and wrestling ($350,000 to $1 million) were among the others included. The Associated Press reported in May that at least 70 percent of U.S. Olympic sports organizations applied for government assistance through the program.
The New York Racing Association, a nonprofit that operates horse racing tracks, and Richard Childress Racing, one of the largest organizations in NASCAR, received loans between $5 million and $10 million, which was the highest range listed in the data. Many NASCAR and IndyCar teams, as well as raceways, were approved for loans, including Roush Fenway Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Jeff Gordon Inc. and Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Multiple college sports conferences received loans, including Conference USA, the Mountain West and the Sun Belt. The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, the nonprofit that hosts the Rose Bowl, received a loan for between $350,000 and $1 million. The groups that run the Holiday Bowl and the Sugar Bowl received between $150,000 and $350,000.
The Ole Miss Athletics Foundation received between $350,000 and $1 million, and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics received a loan of the same amount. The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, a nonprofit, was approved for a loan.
Numerous minor league baseball teams were among the millions of businesses that received aid. Last week, Minor League Baseball canceled its 2020 season, which had been delayed by nearly three months. Other teams in smaller leagues, as well as many youth clubs, also were approved for loans.