BOB: Nationals Park and Turmoil at the Hall of Fameby Brian Borawski
March 29, 2008
Nationals Parks All Set For Weekend Opening
It’s been a couple of years, but another new ballpark is ready. Nationals Park will host its first regular season game Sunday night and while the construction crews met their 22 month deadline, it’s unclear whether the surrounding neighborhood is as ready for baseball at the site. The new Metro station that should be used to transport fans to the site is still incomplete and most of the surrounding developments are in various stages of completion.
The good news for the area is, there is a lot of development. $6.1 billion of construction is currently underway and that includes everything from commercial space to hotels and entertainment.
Dale Petroskey Resigns From Hall of Fame Post
President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Dale Petroskey, resigned on Tuesday and it's effective immediately. The official reason given was that Petroskey failed to exercise proper fiduciary responsibility as well as other judgments that weren’t in line with the museum. For now, the Hall’s executive committee is staying mum and vice president Jeff Idelson takes over in Petroskey’s place.
Smoking Ban = More Smoking at Stadiums In KC
This is one only a politician could dream up. In a couple of weeks, Kansas City voters will decide whether they want to institute stricter smoking measures in bars and restaurants. A side effect of this would be that stricter smoking rules for stadiums that would have gone into effect would be overturned by the new measure because it doesn’t include stadium smoking issues.
In the meantime, civil groups on both sides have thrown in their opinions while the politicians are stuck in the middle. They originally passed the tougher stadium measures but they’d have to go up against the general public if the voters eventually approve the measure.
Minor League Teams Purchases Radio Station
The Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League recently purchased a local radio station with some financing help from the Michigan Baseball Foundation. The radio station will now become an all-sports network that will broadcast mostly syndicated programming from ESPN radio but the radio station will also continue to carry every single Loons game as well as the Midwest League All Star Game in 2008.
Yankees Selling Tickets at Record Pace
No team has had more seasons with over 4 million fans in attendance then the New York Yankees but it looks like once again, the Yankees will set another attendance record in what’s going to be the final season at Yankee Stadium. The team has already sold 3.8 million tickets as of earlier this week and that’s almost 400 thousand more then at this time last year. If the Yankees can break their attendance record in 2008, it’ll be the eighth consecutive season where they’ve had an increase in attendance.
International League Milestone
The International League is celebrating its 125th year of existence this year and it looks like business has never been better. The team that was formerly in Ottawa has moved to Allentown while Columbus, Ohio is getting a new ballpark next year. League president Randy Mobley expects the league to set attendance records in each of the next three years and that’s after a record 6.7 million fans came out for games last year.
To commemorate the anniversary, each of the league’s ballparks will revisit special moments during the league’s history. This will include a look at the league’s Hall of Fame and there will also be a game played in Cooperstown, NY between the Syracuse and Rochester.
Working at the Ballpark
Author Tom Jones has recently released a book called Working at the Ballpark. It should be of interest to those who keep up with the business of baseball and it includes stories and interviews on fifty people who literally work at the ballpark. This includes players, front office personnel and even food vendors. I haven’t finished it yet, but what I’ve read has been very interesting. You can get more information on Tom Jones and his book at his website.
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.