BOB: World Series ratingsby Brian Borawski
October 31, 2012
2012 World Series sets record low ratingWhile the San Francisco Giants sweep over the Detroit Tigers had its share of drama, fewer people tuned in than for any other World Series. The four games averaged a 7.6 rating and a 12 share. The previous rating low of 8.4 was in 2008 and then tied in 2010. The best draw was Game Four, which had an 8.9/14.
With the exception of last year's seven-game nail biter, World Series ratings have been on the decline. I remember the last time the Tigers were in the World Series, in 2006, the series set a record low and things have gone further downhill since. Of course people are checking into the games in different ways. With games on Friday and Saturday, I'm sure a lot of people saw the game but didn't watch it from home. The game wasn't on MLB.TV, but you could always virtually watch the game via Gamecenter on your phone. It'll be interesting to see how MLB Advanced Media can track this kind of activity in the future.
St. Petersburg formalizes opposition to Rays stadium searchA letter indicates that things just got serious. St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster, in a letter to Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, rejected the team's request to talk to Hillsborough County in its pursuit of a new ballpark. Foster said that if the Rays want a new ballpark, it's going to be in either St. Petersburg or the Pinellas Gateway area.
Sternberg asked for permission to talk to Hillsborough County last month after a local developer unveiled a plan for a stadium in the Carillon Business Park. Sternberg said the only way he would consider a new ballpark in the area would be if he's allowed to look outside of St. Petersburg. Hence the stand off.
Selig noncommittal on Athletics relocationWhile it wasn't quite on par with “I can neither confirm nor deny,” when Los Angeles Times reporter Bill Shaikin asked MLB commissioner Bud Selig about the Athletics stadium situation, Selig said he'd like to move faster but he won't because everyone has to be satisfied with the result. Of course, this is why we're in a standoff. As noted at Field of Schemes, this can't happen. There's going to be some sort of loser whether it be the Giants in their regional rights or the Athletics in their pursuit of a new ballpark.
The Athletics are looking to extend their lease with the Oakland Coliseum for another five years. While this isn't a resolution, it looks like it means all of the parties involved will have some extra time to get this done.
Spring training roundupNow that the season is over, we have spring training to look forward to and there is some news on that front. The Minnesota Twins are getting closer to a facelift for their spring training home in Fort Myers, Fla.. A proposal presented last week to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners calls for a $45.5 million deal to renovate Hammond Stadium and enhance the surrounding facility. The stadium would get about 1,300 more seats and there would be wider concourses, renovated concessions and rest rooms, and more shaded area.
The commissioners' vote is supposed to be next week and, according to the local paper, the measure is expected to pass. The Twins are going to pay $13.8 million, partly by an increase in rent. The county and the state of Florida would pitch in for the rest. The hope is to have the renovations done by 2015 when the Twins' lease ends. As a condition of the renovations, the Twins would sign a new 30-year lease.
Also in Florida, the Houston Astros' lease with the Osceola County Stadium ends in 2015 and Kissimmee officials are looking at building a two-sport complex and trying to draw the Washington Nationals to the area. The Nationals are also talking to Lee County about moving to Palm Springs, the former spring training home of the Boston Red Sox. The Astros and Nationals have explored a potential joint training complex in the Orlando area, so I'd expect some more chatter on that front in the next few months.
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.