The Amarillo Pioneer plans to begin bringing our readers profiles on the people responsible for the MPEV deal in downtown in Amarillo. Today, we begin with David Elmore and Alex Fairly.
David G. Elmore
David Elmore, founder of Elmore Sports Group, is a partner is Panhandle Baseball Club, Inc., the company that will be the owner of the Amarillo baseball team. Elmore has been in the sports promotion industry since 1969 and has been the promoter of both hockey and baseball events, alike.
In 1999, the Washington Post wrote a story on Elmore, in which he was described as the "Gatekeeper to the Games." Elmore held an exclusive contract for United States olympic tickets through his company, Cartan Tours. According to the Washington Post, any person wishing to purchase tickets to the Olympic Games had to do business with Elmore's company. Elmore's company sold tickets to the Olympic Games and tour packages for the games to customers residing in the United States.
Beginning 1977, Elmore assembled a group of companies that promoted sports and worked with the United States Olympic Committee. Elmore, from the 1980's through the early 2000's, held the exclusive deal for Olympic tickets in the United States.
In 1992, Elmore's company that handled Olympic business, Olson/Travelworld, folded from about $2 million in debts. According to the Washington Post, an insurance fund held by the U.S. Tour Operators Association made good on about $7 million worth of debts owed to Elmore's agencies.
For the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, the Olympic Committee agreed to pay $7 million to use a taxpayer-financed arena in Salt Lake City. Elmore's company, Centennial Management, was the manager of the arena and Elmore's hockey team, the Utah Grizzlies, played in the arena.
In 2015, Elmore was brought back into the news when the New York Times reported that Concacaf, a regional confederation managing soccer events, alleged in the United States District Court that Jeffrey Webb and Enrique Sanz, two former Concacaf officials, steered at least $40 million in contracts to Elmore's Cartan Tours in exchange for kickbacks.
According to a 2014 report, Elmore owned, at the time, several different minor league baseball teams. In 2016, Minor League Baseball named Elmore the "King of Baseball."
Elmore's son, Jake, is a member of the Miami Marlins organization and made his Major League Baseball debut in 2012, playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Alex Fairly is the president of the Fairly Group, a local company that deals with sports insurance and promotion. Fairly was reportedly brought into the MPEV negotiations in 2016 and was instrumental in assisting the City of Amarillo in acquiring a letter of intent from Elmore Sports Group.
Fairly became president of the Fairly Group, in 2016, when Willis Group became the Fairly Group. The company dates back to 1916, when it was originally founded as Ordway-Saunders.
Fairly was brought in to the talks for a team's letter of intent in 2016 by those who were close to the negotiation. Since being brought in to the negotiation, Fairly has been present for most major announcements involving the MPEV.
In 2017, Alex Fairly was reported to have committed a donation of $25,000 to Amarillo Matters, a political action committee that supported Mayor Ginger Nelson and the four recent members of the City Council. It was later rumored that Fairly asked for his donation to be struck from the Texas Ethics Commission reports, but Amarillo Matters never corrected reports to show that Fairly did not donate $25,000.
In the summer of 2017, Fairly's company was the recipient of a $1.8 million economic incentive package from the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement, the Fairly Group must create 100 new jobs in Amarillo.
AEDC president Barry Albrecht has denied the Fairly's involvement in the MPEV deal had any weight in the awarding of the economic incentive package.
Fairly has several children that grew up in Amarillo. Fairly's son, Caleb, is a retired professional bicyclist who lives in Spain.