BOB: MLB defends anti-trust exemption with anti-trust exemptionby Brian Borawski
August 14, 2013
MLB answers San Jose’s antitrust exemption lawsuitIn June, the city of San Jose filed a lawsuit against MLB challenging the league’s antitrust exemption. Last week, MLB answered by trying to get the lawsuit thrown out. What’s interesting is, they argue that the very thing San Jose is going up against, the anti-trust exemption, is what protects the league. MLB also says that San Jose hasn’t been injured by the league’s indecision on whether the Oakland Athletics can move to San Jose, and that also should make the lawsuit invalid.
The district judge will hear the issue in October, and in the meantime, life will go on for everyone. San Jose will wait, the Athletics will wait to hear what’s happening and find out hopefully during a playoff run, and then the city of Oakland will continue to try to keep the team in Oakland.
Taxpayers to pay for Cincinnati’s 2015 All-Star GameHamilton County, in anticipation of the Cincinnati Red’s hosting the 2015 All-Star Game at the Great American Ballpark, is looking for $5 million for stadium renovations. While a vote hasn’t happened yet, it looks like they’re going to try to get the county taxpayers to foot the bill.
The renovations planned include exterior and interior improvements. On the outside, the plan is to have some concrete repair, painting and waterproofing. On the inside, they want some rust removal and re-coating of the metal decks as well as some improvements to the clubhouse and press boxes.
Cubs get property tax break on stadium renovationsThe Chicago Cubs got approval by the Chicago Landmarks Commission for upwards of $8.1 million in property tax breaks. They’ll still be paying more in property taxes with the increase in the stadium's value, but it will be lower than normal with the break that’s available to owners who rehabilitate historic structures.
The tax break is available if an owner spends at least half of the current value of the property to rehabilitate it. The county has assessed the property at $19.2 million (which sounds really low) and out of the money that the Cubs plan on spending the rehab the stadium, $211 million qualifies for the tax break.
Red Sox owner’s purchase could create conflictBoston Red Sox owner John Henry bought the Boston Globe last week for $70 million. The New York Times put the paper up for sale earlier in the year after owning the paper for around 20 years. They bought the paper way back then for $1.1 billion in a stock transaction. The purchase includes the Globe’s web site, the Boston.com web site and the direct-mail marketing company, GlobeDirect, as well as a couple of other assets.
This has created an interesting dilemma for Globe reporters; What happens if they’re critical of the Boston Red Sox? This New York Times article specifically mentions Dan Shaughnessy, who has been critical about Henry in the past. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out as the newspaper changes hand.
St. Petersburg mayor caves on Rays stadiumIt took a while, but St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster finally has said the city will give the Tampa Bay Rays permission to look at stadiums outside of St. Petersburg. After holding on fast to the terms of the current lease and stopping the Rays from exploring other stadium options, Foster cites poor attendance as the primary reason for changing his mind. He went as far as saying he’s not sure if the Tampa/St. Petersburg area is a major league region.
Not long after the announcement, Hillsborough County moved to create a task force to get the team to move into Tampa proper. They need to wait for the St. Petersburg city council to vote on allowing the team to look around, but one Hillsborough county commissioner already has put forth an idea of using a Community Redevelopment Area to get the team $100 million over a 30-year period to help with a new stadium.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.