The ink is drying, and pending a couple small legal hurdles, your favorite NFL team has a new managing partner, and his name is Martin Shkreli. Mr. Shkreli has made headlines for gouging HIV-positive patients on the price of a widely used drug, and then putting the resultant largesse to quick use to buy the sole copy of a Wu Tang Clan album for $2 million. Needless to say, he doesn’t shy away from the limelight, and only stands to gain a larger public profile on this, the eve of the day he acquires your favorite football team, joining a fraternity of the uber-rich that has a history of welcoming and defending admitted crooks.
Martin Shkreli is not a man who simply makes an acquisition and rests on his laurels; he’s a paradigm-shifting, industry-disrupting visionary. If there’s a market inefficiency, however puerile or cruel to exploit, Marty’s gonna be there asking his best men how easily it can be done.
Even in a world of $11 Bud Lights, Shkreli promises to find the precious few free things you desire during your game day experience and extracting every last cent he can for them. Today’s coddled consumer base needs a free-market shot in the arm, after all. Gone are the days where you could enjoy such luxuries as “going to the restroom during halftime instead of during play or a shorter break” and “escalator access” for free (introducing the ReliefPlus Pass and MobileStars Gold Club, for $7.95 and $9.95 a game, respectively).
Rumors suggest he will be bringing on some pricing strategists from Spirit Airlines in advisory roles, to guide the stadium’s procedures and regulations.
Shkreli spent seven figures on a single rap album, just so he could be the only person in the world who owns it. He’s a man who sees the value of exclusivity. This is why in 2016, a grand total of one ticket will be made available for your team’s Week 5 home matchup vs. the Cleveland Browns, for sale to whomever will pay the roughly $6-7 million that a typical team makes in ticket sales per home game, plus the amount of the foregone parking passes and concession revenue. Only this one person (let’s assume Floyd Mayweather) will be in attendance, apart from the players, officials, a full stadium staff, the broadcasting crew, and the requisite servants.
Graciously, the ReliefPlus Pass and membership to the MobileStars Gold Club will be given to the lucky buyer free of charge. Season-ticket holders will be compensated for the lost game with… nothing. Think of it as a London game, guys.
Martin has an unprecedented series of obstacles ahead of him, though, when it comes to his preexisting status as a news villain. Typically, team owners are only revealed to be evil once they are already so far entrenched in their positions that there is little for them to lose (unless they go full Sterling, and are the recipient of a nice consolation prize, in the form of the $2 BILLION Steve Ballmer paid for his former team. That’s ONE THOUSAND rap albums worth of basketball team.)
Shkreli must ingratiate himself to the rooting public, and the best way to do that is to win, obviously. This could be an interesting case study into how extensively the sports world can ignore the shenanigans of an owner, provided his team is winning. Would the people of Nashville rally behind a Super Bowl-winning Titans team if it was revealed that they were bankrolled by Kim Jong Un? Would NBC continue to air a huge number of Cowboys games if it was revealed that the owner of that club was, according to more substantive reports than those that exist, a Satanic lizard person? We’re one step closer to finding out.
Jaime Alayon is a writer and a fan of the Miami Dolphins. You should console him on Twitter.