BOB: Rays’ Stadium Update and Pricey All Star Game Ticketsby Brian Borawski
April 21, 2010
Has it been this long?I took my little tax season sabbatical and now it’s back to work. Five years ago this week, the Business of Baseball report was born. I had done a few special item pieces prior to that but it wasn’t until after tax season in 2005 that I kicked off the (mostly) weekly series. If you want to check out what the issues were five years ago, be sure to check out that first piece. The New York Yankees had just started their push for a new stadium, MLB was considering a third party to look into performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) and the Washington Nationals were in the middle of being sold and they made their debut at RFK. It’s a fun little blast from the past.
Vin Scully hits milestoneMuch more important than my five-year anniversary, Vin Scully celebrated his 60th on Sunday. He’s been calling Los Angeles/Brooklyn Dodgers games for 60 years now with his first game being April 18, 1950. Man, that’s a long time. The Dodgers were still in Brooklyn (as were the Giants) and the list of players he’s called has grown and grown. It’s still a pleasure listening to him and you can’t get the kind of stories you get anywhere else since Ernie Harwell retired (in my opinion).
Rays' stadium still in funding roadblockIt’s been a couple of years now since the Tampa Bay Rays unveiled their plans for a waterfront stadium. They came and went and eventually died as the economic crisis hit in full force. Now with the Florida Marlins a couple of years away from opening their new ballpark, there’s some growing noise behind a new stadium for the Rays. Of course there are two big questions. One is where to put it, and while there’s a couple of choices, some are more viable then others. The second, and probably more important question, is how to pay for the stadium?
Michael Sasso at the Tampa Tribune tackles this question and he comes up with a few different directions that the team could push for. These range from a hotel tax to an area specific sales tax to an increase in property taxes.
Angels' All-Star ticket gougeThe Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are hosting this year’s All Star Game and those who want to attend the event are probably headed for some sticker shock. Single-game tickets for the main event range from $185 to $365 and while if that isn’t enough, season-ticket holders only get first crack if they buy an entire package of tickets that could run up to just under $1,000.
The package includes a ticket to the home run derby, the Futures Game and then two tickets to the fan festival. If you’re in the cheap seats, the package is a more affordable $467. One reason for the steep price is that in years past, you could sell your ticket to home run derby, and cover the entire cost of the package. Now, MLB wants to make sure they get their piece of the pie.
Athletics extend PDB with PortsThe Oakland Athletics extended their player development agreement with the Stockton Ports last week and they’ll be an A’s affiliate through 2014. The Ports have been the A’s California League affiliate since 2005. The Ports have had some success since being an Athletics affiliate, and in the five seasons they’ve been in the fold, they’ve won one California League championship with two other postseason appearances. They’ve also set attendance records in three of their first five seasons since becoming an A’s affiliate, which also coincided with the opening of Banner Island Ballpark in 2005.
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.