BOB: MLB locks up more television dealsby Brian Borawski
September 26, 2012
MLB to finalize television contracts with Fox and Turner SportsA few weeks ago, MLB agreed to a groundbreaking television deal with ESPN and with that deal done, has now come to an agreement with its other television affiliates, Fox and Turner Sports. Financial terms weren't available but both deals would run through 2021, which is when the ESPN deal expires. The rumor is that the dollar figure is about double what the previous agreement was.
Not a lot will change. Fox will keep the World Series and one of the League Championship series, while Turner will get the other League Championship series. TBS will keep its Sunday afternoon game and Fox will keep its Saturday afternoon game. One twist is that Turner will no longer have a monopoly on both first-round series and apparently Fox will get one of the series on its Speed channel (which looks like it's going to be rebranded into a general sports channel).
Angels stadium rumors aboundRumors leaked out late last week that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were talking to Industry, Calif., about a new stadium and the team's move to the Los Angeles suburb. Industry is closer to Los Angeles than Anaheim and that's been the centerpiece behind the team's branding since the name change happened. As of now, everyone including the team and the city of Industry are dancing around the subject but this comes on the heels of Angels' owner Arte Moreno's looking at a stadium in Los Angeles back in April.
According to Field of Schemes, they'll need a new environmental impact statement and it also looks like the Angels would have to put up at least some of the money to get the new stadium built. Of course this could all just be posturing as the Angels get closer to having to renegotiate their stadium lease with the city of Anaheim.
Rays stadium updateThe Rays continued their hunt for a new ballpark as they get ready for a pitch by a local developer looking at a ballpark just south of the Howard Frankland Bridge. Real estate developer Darryl LeClair owns 12 acres of land there and he has a plan that would use existing parking. Meanwhile, Rays senior vice president Michael Kalt has been meeting with Pinellas County commissioners, but the talks have been characterized as chit chats.
Of course until they start talking money, it's going to be hard to tell what's a good plan and what isn't. It also has to get past St. Petersburg, since the Rays are locked in at Tropicana Field until 2027. Having a stadium near St. Petersburg and not in Tampa might be more palatable, though, so we'll see if this gets some legs.
Athletics stadium retrospectiveIt's funny how even when there's no news on the Athletics stadium decision, it doesn't stop people from writing about it. In an interesting introspective in The New York Times, Tyler Kipner talks about Lew Wolff and the Athletics stadium situation over the past few years. It seems everyone is getting sentimental because it looks like the Athletics are going to make the playoffs and their attendance is still poor.
He then gets into how the Athletics have a future stadium waiting for them in San Jose, yet MLB hasn't been able to get all the pieces in place to appease the San Francisco Giants. There was even a discussion that if the Athletics knew about their destination, they could double their payroll but the uncertainty has them handcuffed. There's no big revelation in the article, but it's worth the read if you want to get up to speed.
Hillsboro stadium has groundbreakingBaseball is coming back to the Portland area soon. The ground breaking at a Hillsboro, Ore.,stadium took place last week. The Northwest League's Yakima Bears are going to move to the new ballpark starting next year. The new ballpark doesn't have a name yet and ironically, the team doesn't have a name either. The stadium will hold 4,500 people and the estimated cost is $15.2 million.
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.