BOB: Tiger Stadium News and Sports Networks Collideby Brian Borawski
July 25, 2007
City council to determine Tiger Stadium's fate by Friday
The Detroit city council should determine by Friday whether mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s plan to tear down Tiger Stadium will be approved. The plan, which calls for the demolition of the old ballpark and a subsequent mixed use commercial/residential development to built in its place, was at least temporarily derailed last week when the city council asked for the details on any other plans that were presented as a potential use for the stadium
If the plan is approved, the seats and other memorabilia attached to the stadium will be auctioned off with the stadium being torn down most likely by year end. If the plan is not approved, it’s unclear what will happen. The city is paying $25,000 a month to maintain the stadium and it looks like they’re unwilling to continue, although organizations have volunteered in the past to take care of the ballpark for free.
In other Tigers news, the team announced last week that the team has sold enough tickets that the team’s previous attendance record, set back in 1984, will be broken. When the press release came out, the Tigers had sold 2,712,393, compared to 2,704,794 in their last championship year.
Regional sports network versus the cable giant
The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), which broadcasts Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles games, was created mostly as a money-making machine and partly to appease Orioles owner Peter Angelos after the Montreal Expos were relocated to Washington, D.C. In an interesting article by Washington Times columnist Tim Lemke, the ongoing battle between MASN and the other sports network in the area, Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic, is laid out and described. MASN is the new network in town but they already reach more subscribers than Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. That Comcast lost the rights to broadcast Orioles games as a result of fighting the network probably didn't help.
Dodgers open transportation center
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced the opening of a transportation center that will provide parking and traffic information for fans. Located in the stadium, the hope is for the center, in the words of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, “to connect and coordinate multiple transportation authorities and partners and provide a safer and more efficient parking system for all Dodgers fans.”
While I haven’t visited Dodger Stadium, from what I hear, getting in and out can be a problem, although I thought the Dodgers did some things to fix this. I’d be interested to hear from Dodgers fans whether traffic and parking is still a problem or whether things have gotten better the past couple of seasons.
Reporter’s card taken away for asking Roger Clemens for an autograph
A reporter did the unthinkable last week and asked Roger Clemens for an autograph. I’m being a little facetious here because the reporter was punished by the sports writing fraternity by having his Baseball Writers Association of America membership revoked. The reason why this punishment may have been a bit extreme was because the reporter was from Japan, and the customs overseas can be quite a bit different from ours.
In the interesting Associated Press story, the incident was described, along with some interesting mentions of the differences between sports reporting customs in difference countries. As an example, the reporters in Japan aren’t allowed inside the locker room but the sports writers usually have a friendlier relationship than is the norm in the U.S. (just ask Barry Bonds).
Minor league coach passes after getting hit by line drive
In what’s a definite tragedy, Mike Coolbaugh, the first base coach for the Tulsa Drillers died after getting hit by a line drive in a game on Sunday. With his passing, a push is developing to come up with ways to offer more protection to those on the field. I think back and remember John Olerud, who used to wear his batting helmet while running the bases to protect him after a brain aneurysm he had suffered. Now you wonder whether more and more players and coaches will don helmets, or at least some kind of padding in the cap, to protect themselves.
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.