3,968 sports businesses received $1.72 billion in Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, loans intended to help support small businesses during the pandemic. 286 sports businesses received loans of $1 million or more with $232 million of that money went to teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins, Orlando City SC, and Roush Fenway Racing.
According to a recent analysis of the PPP data, Sportico found that $781.8 million of that money went to fitness and recreation centers, $270.3 million went to sporting goods retailers, $181.9 million was given to athletic goods manufacturers, $170.4 million went to sports instruction businesses, $84.5 million went to assorted other sports-related enterprises, while the rest went to sports teams.
In all, 473 sports teams, athletic conferences and halls of fame received PPP loans.
Lemieux Group, which owns a large portion of the Pittsburgh Penguins, got $4.82 million in PPP money.
Major League Soccer teams in Washington D.C., Seattle and Orlando each received more than $1.7 million. (Sportico points out that Orlando City SC is reportedly close to selling for $400 million.)
Several racing teams also received millions in PPP loans, including RCR Enterprises ($6.33 million), Chip Ganassi Racing ($3.96 million), Andretti Autosport ($2.3 milion), and Roush Fenway Racing ($3.53 million).
The New York Racing Association, which operates the Aqueduct, received the maximum $10 million PPP loan, as did the Belmont and Saratoga horse tracks.
Fubo TV, which touts itself as a premier provider of sports content, received a PPP loan of $4.7 million. Yet, in October, this same company raised $183 million cash in an IPO.
According to the United States Small Businesss Administration (SBA), “The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.”
However, the definition of a “small business” by the SBA is probably not what the average person would consider to be “small.”
Small business financial resource website Fundera states that the definition of a small business by the SBA “varies by industry, but a small business is one that has fewer than 1,500 employees and a maximum of $38.5 million in average annual receipts.”
If 1,500 employees and $38.5 million in revenue seems like a but more than a “small” business to you, you’re not alone.
@MarioLemieuxFdn I'm willing to donate this autographed jersey in exchange for $4,798,800, the amount you received in PPP loans compared to my $1,200 "stimulus" check. Deal? @penguins pic.twitter.com/JQirO0VNgK
— Mark Little (@mal247) December 3, 2020
Hey $FUBO with your $5B post dilution market cap, perhaps you could consider paying back that $4.7MM PPP loan you took ? I know of restaurants and gym owners that actually need the money pic.twitter.com/JVN9Uo2fzv— The Friendly Bear (@FriendlyBearSA) December 11, 2020
@DGodfatherMoody Several race groups received large PPP loans, Richard Childress RCR Enterprises $6.33 million; Chip Ganassi Racing $3.96 million; Andretti Autosport $2.3 milion; and Roush Fenway Racing $3.5million. Total abuse of funds for small businesses by millionaires.
— Russell J. Shaw (@CWV09) December 8, 2020