BOB: Rangers Sale Enters New Chapterby Brian Borawski
May 26, 2010
Texas Rangers enter bankruptcyIn order to expedite the sale of the Texas Rangers from HSG Sports Group to the group led by Chuck Greenberg, the team filed for bankruptcy earlier in the week. With the filing, the team asked for a hearing within 45 days and now the hope is to wrap up the sale sometime in the summer. MLB supported the move with Commissioner Bud Selig saying that the filing will assure an orderly process to get the sale done. In the meantime, the league will loan the Rangers money so they can continue to operate.
The big snag is that the bankruptcy filing was done without HSG Sports Group’s creditors’ consent. It looks like it’s a mixed bag on their end with one saying it could delay the sale while another said it should speed it up. One creditor even went as far as saying “This is now war.” There’s also the chance that the court could allow more bidders to enter the fray which is what caused some of the problems to begin with. The creditors contend there were better offers (money wise) on the table and that’s why things have gotten to where they are.
Miller Park falls short with the districtThe Milwaukee Brewers are 10th in attendance this year with more than 35,000 paying for a seat every game. While that’s not bad, the problem is sales-tax revenues are way down. The Miller Park stadium district received just less than $1.7 million and that’s the lowest total in almost seven years according to Don Walker. Funds from the sales-tax receipts are used to pay for the financing of the ballpark and with the recent shortfalls, it’s projected the loans will now be paid off in 2018 instead of 2016 like it was first believed.
Yankees extend PDC with Triple-A affiliateThe New York Yankees extended their player development contract with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees through 2014. Scranton has been a Yankees affiliate since the 2007 season after the Yankees' ended a long affiliation with the Columbus Clippers. In addition to the PDC extension, SWB Yankees LLC, a joint venture between the Yankees and Mandalay Baseball, will be managing the team for another four years.
Rays' stadium saga continuesThere’s a new player in the whole Tampa Bay Rays stadium discussion as last week a group call BuilditDowntownTampa is looking to buy up some land for a new ballpark. As of now, the group consists of seven investors and they’re currently looking at two locations in downtown Tampa.
That now makes four groups that have an interest in helping buy up land so the Rays can have a new stadium. Unfortunately, until financing is put in place similar to what the Florida Marlins got for their new ballpark, there’s not much reason to get too excited. As it stands, Rays’ ownership has already said they’re going to have to cut payroll in upcoming years until they get a new ballpark so the posturing has begun.
Indians trying to stay out of the redIt’s been quite some time since the Cleveland Indians home was called Jacobs Field and the team sold out game after game. Now the Indians find themselves in dead last in attendance and it doesn’t look like they’re going to break even this year. Even worse, season-ticket sales are down all the way to 9,000 from a high of 26,000 when the team was more successful in 2000. In 2009, the team lost money and it looks like that’s a forgone conclusion for 2010 as well.
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.