BOB: Athletics stadium news and Taco Bell cashes inby Brian Borawski
October 31, 2007
Athletics out of Oakland, no matter what
Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff recently announced that the Athletics would be leaving Oakland regardless of whether or not the city of Fremont approves their plans for a new stadium. He said the A’s can’t succeed as long as they are sharing a stadium with a football team and that other spots in Oakland outside of their current home have not come to fruition.
The Athletics still want to build a stadium in Fremont, which would include a $1.8 billion baseball village, but to date, the team hasn’t submitted a formal development application with the city. There have been some grumbles about the location of the prospective ballpark, but it looks like the A’s are still hopeful they’ll have something in place so the new stadium can open in 2012.
For an interesting opposing viewpoint on the Athletics' announcement that they’ll be leaving Oakland regardless of what happens going forward, be sure to check out this editorial by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Ray Ratto. He thinks Wolff is blowing his share of smoke and that the announcement was just part of a public relations campaign.
MLB could issue retroactive suspensions
With the World Series finished, there are quite a few people waiting to see the list of players who used performance-enhancing drugs; it's rumored that the list will be revealed when the Mitchell Investigation issues its final report. Also of interest was that commissioner Bud Selig announced that he may not rule out retroactive suspensions, even if the offender didn’t break what was league policy at the time.
Several players have been linked to HGH recently; those names are at the forefront of the matter, because while HGH wasn’t banned by the league until 2005, steroids and HGH are illegal if you don’t have a prescription. As is always the case, we’ll have to wait and see what happens once the final report is issued.
Orioles cash in on move to FM
Several teams have either added an FM station to their radio telecast or switched over to FM entirely. The Orioles began broadcasting their games on FM in 2007, and the results were impressive. The Orioles more than doubled their share of younger male listeners, with their share going from 3.6 in 2006 all the way up to 7.7 in 2007.
Dodgers look to play one game at L.A. Coliseum next year
As part of their celebration for the 50th anniversary of the first season the Los Angeles Dodgers began play in L.A., the team is looking into whether they can play one of their home games at the L.A. Coliseum. The stadium was the home of the Dodgers for their first four seasons in Los Angeles until the team moved to the current home, Dodger Stadium.
For now, things are in the preliminary stage, but the general manager of the Coliseum, Pat Lynch, recently said that he would accommodate the Dodgers as long as they’re able to play football on the field in the fall. The speculation is that with the unusual dimensions of the stadium (as far as baseball goes), it’ll be more likely that an exhibition game will be played there as opposed to a regular season game.
Taco Bell promotion viewed as steal for company
Taco Bell took center stage at this year’s World Series with their promotion to give away a free taco if someone stole a base during what turned out to be a four-game sweep by the Boston Red Sox. Jacoby Ellsbury completed the deal by stealing a base in Game 2 and for what Advertising Age thinks was a bargain-basement price, the fast food chain gained a ton of exposure.
Estimates put the advertising purchase at $5.6 million, and it’s estimated that the cost of the tacos given away will be less than $1 million. So for the cool price of less than $7 million, Taco Bell not only is getting people into their stores, but they also got a ton of face time and exposure for their efforts.
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.
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