famvir 1000 mg preis fu"r cialis 20 mg tetracycline tablets for acne side effects tulasi daily use reviews buy micronase usa vegetal viagra suppliers is there a generic for cymbalta in canada renagel for sale philippines lidocaine hydrocortisone acetate buy altace inhaler canada neurontin side effects swelling feet lisinopril no prescription needed fluoxetine fast canada efectos al dejar de tomar sertralina atrovent hfa cost endep 10 mg Purchase adalat 20 mg will order viagra online canada serophene generic equivalent olanzapine prix en pharmacie en france what does bupropion hydrochloride do hong kong buy dilantin mgs4 online buy reglan online no prescription united states buy synthroid cheap can men take metronidazole 500mg tablets roxithromycin tablets ip 300 mg can you get lisinopril over the counter norco bikes wiki danazol uk next day delivery motilium prices usa flagyl and pregnancy category where can i buy nolvadex comprar clonidine portugal acyclovir generic for zovirax where maxalt quickest seroquel zoloft insomnia el viagra se vende con receta yahoo tegretol xr rxlist viagra define generic rx for plavix the chepest erythromycin where can i buy lynoral accutane mild acne pictures what does allegra hives fexofenadine generic allopurinol usa pharmacy cheap retino a cream 0 025 retin-a ge order canada is atarax available over the counter claritin where to buy prometh with codeine cough syrup can get metformin over counter generic lexapro for sale on line order aciphex morning after pill uk where to get it from erythromycin cream for acne reviews online hydrochlorothiazide overnight delivery orlistat 120 mg versus 60mg can you get accutane over the counter how to gain weight without any medicine buy robaxin fast shipping amitriptyline shortage of best foundation for dry sensitive skin 2013 buy lamictal 5mg moduretic discounted what does deltasone doo disgrasil 120 mg drugstore band london norvasc sale drugs side effects of taking levothroid arimidex 1 mg buy fast hydrea deleviery best price nexium chlamydia zithromax alcohol advair steroid inhaler order tricor generic generic adalat 30 30mg mail order prograf big blue round pill 44 532 zoloft pill canadian cystone in the uk generic cheapest colchicine prices buy plendil discount valtrex generic canada generic roxithromycin ta 150 mg ordering low dose omnicef lamisil ordering online pharmacy is it safe to buy tadalafil online cloridrato de ciprofloxacina bula can order himplasia online cut metformin 500mg er in half buy rumalaya liniment online buy arjuna online from usa dutas 20 mg dapoxetine suppositories buy tadacip 20 use purchase synthroid 200 tablets elimite from usa pharmacy clarithromycin side effects how long cytotec abortion failure side effects using asthma inhalers mexican viagra funny low cost living house benicar with american express glyset for sale decadron im pediatric dose danazol on the internet buy strattera online usa i pill floxin website betnovate cream lloyds pharmacy keflex tablets 40mg diakof online legally children;s motrin shortage how to get buspar drug betnovate-n cream wikipedia wellbutrin generic online canadian pharmacy cheap cialis online methotrexate purchase buy baclofen singapore generic kamagra chewable usa pharmacy finast shelf life bactrim with paypal payment buy differin 0.3 gel midamor overnight is there a generic drug for premarin high blood pressure medication lotensin diovan online pay paypal mircette treat hair loss quiero comprar blopress diabecon no prescription compare prices get omnicef toronto buy cheap finpecia using pay pal doxycycline no rx methotrexate canada overnight delivery low price sarafem uk order arjuna pills nitrofurantoin macro 100mg capsules side effects generic trimox safe ceftin side effects long term use ventolin hfa inhaler recall buy antivert pills fml forte tablets side effects como comprar viagra generico west indies vs new zealand live streaming free generic zebeta for sale on line what is the difference between flagyl and metronidazole cam you order atarax canadian antiboitics for chlamydia online do you need rx proventil augmentin fast uk maxaman generic 2013 drugs what does cardizem treat generic for levaquin medicine metformin canadian pharmac no perscription how to buy aceon quinine sulphate novartis diovan patent expiration purchase benfotiamine bentyl from canadian pharmacy order cialis super active from mexico without prescription can you order haldol delmar;s pharmacy technician certification exam review online safe buy micronase online bula do reme'dio cloridrato de sertralina zebeta pharmacy coupons cabgolin sublingual dosage buy tamoxifen uk pharmacy valtrex 1000 mg a day antibiotics side effects ceftin tablets uses ordering risperdal here in canada cheap viagra jellyfish buy purim cheap buy vasodilan online from usa cost of accutane with aetna insurance voltaren 50mg tab prednisone mexico generic seroquel uk paypal orlistat sale en el antidoping cipro prescriptions buy paxil visa india pharmacies online that sell tetracycline purchase generic cephalexin cytotec online uk acquistare prednisolone in italia accutane without a prescription from uk how to use benzac cream buy procardia from india bactroban costco online pharmacy no prescription needed prilosec toprol xl online usa no prescription order alesse online without where can i get brand levitra pills is omeprazole better than ranitidine cipro hc otic generic cost buy asthma inhalers fast delivery generic carbozyne in usa norvasc sales 200 ceftin lowest price himalaya confido price how to use chloroquine alphagan for sale philippines korean red ginseng dose valtrex with american express what date is lexapro going generic nymphomax pills drugstore augmentin mexico no prescription flonase purchase elimite drugs james prescription canadian pharmacy paypal kwikmed me uk generic depakote er side effects cheap accutane 10mg order cialis uk american femcare acai berry and green tea capsules side effects caverta lawsuit canada celebrex cheap us pharmacy buy viagra cialis online canada allegra medicine india uk version of noroxin how long does it take to get off depakote generic viagras england chloroquine 10 mg cost tulasi from usa pharmacy do i need a prescription for prevacid finasterine 1mg sinequan for sale usa generic plavix for sale on line wellbutrin 100mg side effects promethazine codeine syrup price street fast noroxin delivery alesse pills acne best canadian online viagra german remedies pharma mumbai alesse overnight pharmacy prescription azulfidine en-tabs prescribing information mentat ds syrup without insurance generic tretinoin 0,025 switzerland prevacid medication generic brand for imitrex inderal generic drug generic micardis 80 mg does aleve have a shelf life lexapro dosages for anxiety top over the counter anxiety pills naproxen side effects nhs buspar maximum dosage isoptin canada head office ordering penicillin online fastest dutas uk delivery order diclofenac canadian erythromycin generic and trade name where to buy hyaluronic acid capsules best place buy doxazosin where to acticin what percentage of drugs in the us come from mexico isoniazid australia pharmacy clomid 150 mg buy buy hydrochlorothiazide line online college of medicine ambrose alli university ekpoma buy cabergoline (dostinex) lanoxin lawsuit where to get capoten cialis for women treatment minocycline low cost what drug category is innopran xl abilify generic cost where to buy cipro drugs online exelon medicine side effects top 10 online advair diskus sites clomiphene 50mg reviews can amoxil be used for uti prednisone for dogs to treat cancer glucophage dose time buy lanoxin paypal brand viagra for men alli pills free trial nizoral canada shoppers drug mart anacin pharmacy prices list cheap protonix pills drug prescription suhagra uk next day delivery is tegretol xr generic available propecia roche precio argentina mail order stromectol online bactroban australia topamax withdrawal effects list of states with low cost of living viagra professional store prescription sale estrace best drugstore lengthening mascara 2013 aleve film tablet 220 mg 20 tb side effects of ranitidine 150 mg tablet what is ceftin cialis super active shop net to buy cleocin get moduretic las vegas cheap viramune sale uk order lisinopril 40 mg can you buy hyaluronic acid in ireland can viagra help maintain an erection pill rx health order prograf products augmentin online next day delivery uk eurax hc discontinued cabergoline men clozaril buy online canada low cost prometrium buy advair diskus no prescription fast delivery ventolin dosage for kids buy ceftin online pharmacy buy female viagra online pharmacy where can i get propecia in ireland metoclopramide annual sales generic kamagra safe buy suprax tablets usa cozaar 50mg tablets side effects liquid beconase aq review levitra professional drugstore stieva a cream price prescription cost 20mg buy nexium evista lawsuit is atarax over the counter antihistamines buy cardura with no rx buy alesse 21 online ethinyl estradiol can you buy voltaren online buy clomiphene citrate uk where to buy retin-a ge drugs online does alcohol reduce effectiveness of flagyl zestoretic how to buy canadian unisom cost of lisinopril 5 mg what is spemann;s organizer tegaserod canada citalopram comprar cheap generic ephedraxin can you buy acai berries stores cheapest place to buy imitrex buy nimotop uk drugs strategy 2011 buy ditropan from canada buy menosan in india online tadalafil 20mg preis accutane dosage information cost generic methotrexate buy cheap trazodone online what is zoloft 50 mg used for zyvox online store aleve without a prescription albenza dose children over counter myambutol viagra without prescriptions cheapest how to order valtrex online what does arjuna mean can you buy revatio online sildenafil boots pharmacy cardiff queen st viagra price comparison uk alli weight loss pills success stories buy adderall uk forum is there a drug comparative to methotrexate best generic pariet review is it safe to order cefixime abilify 100mg buy buy nizoral 2 shampoo veterinary pharmacies america houston roxithromycin 150mg arrow aleve over the counter dose what is medrol dose pack used for what is the correct dosage of tadalis sx viagra birth control online us buy z pack no prescription celebrex overnight delivery olmesartan medoxomil generic name order ginseng tablets silagra tablets price cheap brand advair diskus amoxicillin side effects rxlist levitra plus online price retin-a 0,05 over counter generic cialis super active uk legal buy zyloprim online canada suppliers of buspar in us buy diflucan fluconazole capsule buy retin a 0,025 visa buy topamax from india januvia italiano lamisil cream shelf life glucophage australia pharmacy diflucan 150 mg tablet prednisolone woldwide shipping ebay cialis pills paxil cr maximum dosage predica del padre chelo voveran sr by mail order what types of aciclovir are there viagra professional fda approved to buy without prescription valacyclovir user reviews online no prescription uk for cephalexin buy robaxin online no prescription canada glimepiride 4 mg tab where to buy dutasteride online cheapest abana atacand migrene dosering torsemide with paypal payment avapro dosage levels comprar remedio crestor treatment of asymptomatic rectal chlamydia trachomatis is single-dose azithromycin effective 1 man 1jar decadron medication where to buy arimidex tamoxifen steroids triamterene pharmacy prices list buy strattera online from australia best fosamax prices nexium cost of aspirin at walmart voltaren shipping overseas cheap aciphex no prescription pharmacy clomid cycle day 3 or 5 generic imitrex from india coreg cr pills luvox for anxiety and depression buy periactin with e check reviews on singulair 10mg allegra pills picture is sinemet available over the counter etodolac pain medicine buy clomid next day delivery order rythmol online no prescription with a echeck purchase voltaren in australia micronase delivery uk chi ha usato atarax side effects of coumadin long term ordering micronase here in canada viagra egypt medrol free shipping minocin on line no script where to buy alligator skin propecia half dose side effects elimite with paypal payment buy ginseng online pharmacy cheap kamagra uk reviews cialis canada buy arimidex without prescription where can i buy cheap nexium acquisto levitra super active sicuro online astelin reviews for men cheap maxalt no prescription is there a generic for advair diskus coupon india drugs without prescription lotensin mail order india remeron australia price where can i buy viagra in birmingham uk what does cytotec mean coumadin pharmacies pharmacy buy tetracycline drugs online buy nootropil online reviews Purchase evista 60mg buy ralista inhaler canada viagra super active medication overnight delivery betapace mail order india precio levothroid 100 buy vasotec 40 how much is generic atorvastatin side effects of promethazine with codeine promethazine tablets proscar how long to take effect cialis super active plus what is the generic name for zestril isoniazid drug classification india lithium price buy ginseng no prescription where can i get lincocin buy keflex in uk buy zofran boots danazol usa all types liposafe pills gyne-lotrimin online order cleocin gel side effects long term use aricept sale purchase nolvadex in us arjuna prices 24 7 media group best site to buy mestinon buy diazepam 10mg no prescription uk is lasix sold over the counter depakote side effects in teenagers flomax for sale bactroban medicine online allegra d canadian pharmacy low price pravachol uk citalopram and cold medicine buy hydrea next day nizoral pills online in the canada normal ventolin dose for children stopping blood pressure medication symptoms lamisil online what is indocin i want to pay some sarafem buy clomid fast delivery plavix online generic generic hyaluronic acid buy canada long term side effects of erexor generic name of ciplox zovirax ointment cold sores side effects use robaxin coupon online atarax overnight pharmacy lasix pas cher italie lady era without prescription canada levaquin alcohol use blue inhaler asthma ventolin safest online pharmacies to buy viagra side effects of inderal tablets lamisil cream new zealand arjuna pills buy protonix and plavix drug interaction side effects of decadron in children india generic viagra reviews evista without prescription the chepest aldactone fincar what types of sinemet are there tadapox shop net cytotec 200mg misoprostol lozol mg no prescription inderal tabletas 10 mg culturismo italiano blog lopressor prescription coupon atorvastatin calcium patent expiry order dog medication online comprar etodolac original en madrid viagra plus generic levitra pill shop natural pain meds for arthritis mexican pharmacy no prescription levitra super active paxil 10 mg premature ejaculation calan india can order styplon canada flovent visa when will generic actos be available in the us buy omnicef australia diltiazem online in us vermox 100 mg tabletta adagola'sa bupron sr over the counter cozaar tablets from buy advair diskus medication order buy celadrin usa non prescription dipyridamole pharmacy mail order prescriptions anthem blue cross fluoxetine online uk; dose of bactrim for uti side effects of sildenafil in children buy over the counter brand viagra online safe femara no precription can you buy adalat canadian cheap erectile dysfunction age statistics half price diarex cymbalta withdrawal remedies buy generic diakof online donde puedo comprar minocycline buy retin-a online trazodone medication used for com atarax tablets dogs buy revatio inhaler canada side effects of long term use of zocor free coupon for sinemet types of antibiotics for uti what is albuterol sulfate inhaler used for order furosemide online no prescription with a amex purchase alligator leather buy ceftin pills sinequan generic wikipedia drugs no rx cozaar online non prescription pletal pharmacy generic levlen buy seroflo online bestellen pharmacy has best price topamax how to get biaxin drug ranitidine 150 mg price to buy diakof 100mg zoloft while pregnant hydrochlorothiazide drugs comprar ayurslim portugal buy aldara imiquimod cream 5 nizoral australia buy viagra bestellen paypal bezahlen to buy diflucan online buy zyrtec online canada buy arimidex in uk canadian alliance of student associations copyright where to buy colchicine for gout side effects of wellbutrin while pregnant what to tell your dentist to get pain pills abilify drugstore com discount forzest from usa acai for sale philippines losec tablets australia robaxin dose to get high buy robaxin online australia no prescription what is voltaren 75 mg used for costco pharmacy finpecia price valtrex us companies only premarin tablets 0.3mg is antivert available in canada buy genuine yasmin uk cafergot usa cvs prices fluoxetine 50mg tablets side effects of duloxetine hcl clonidine suppression test cpt code hytrin italiano meri adalat 1984 watch online is generic bupron sr available in usa the canadian alliance of physiotherapy regulators trained what is dipyridamole mg used to treat purchase progaine 5 cheap oz metformin overnight pharmacy levitra 20mg tablets best place to order serophene in us where to purchase eulexin lov cost skelaxin tetracycline mechanism of action video comprar proscar colombia buy elocon online india pharmacy mexico venlor ultra low dose lozol mestinon medication side effects where to buy accutane no prescription needed viagra zovirax by mail vardenafil 20 mg dostinex medication used side effects of estrace during ivf healthy weight management plan what does coumadin mean effetti collaterali del sotalex the fertility drug clomiphene works by stimulating the release of can you buy zebeta over the counter in germany reviews on venlor cheap uroxatral no prescription buy effexor online no prescription canada atarax on line diclofenac sodium new zealand tricor mg tablet cheap voltaren no prescription what is the medication protonix for american rogaine 5 is allegra better than claritin zyrtec pills look like can you buy mentax online arimidex online from usa adalat through compromise settlement tamoxifen and sleeping pills artane online overnight shipping viagra discount voucher parlodel rx order vasodilan without prescription buy retino-a cream 0,025 no prescription can a 20 year old get cialis como tomar omifin y progeffik danazol from india to buy benicar std antibiotics online which uk site to buy cytoxan the new order alliance drugs glucophage pills used buy abilify 20 pharmacy cheapest places to live in america buy elavil online from india fml forte mg tablet evecare phone orders aleve cause weight gain where do i neurontin in australia buy imuran online usa revia where to purchase pharmacies buy acivir pills naprosyn lowest price buy luvox uk actonel 75 mg price generic from suprax pastillas cytotec precio venezuela the prescription drug mobic how to use toprol xl premarin cream canada apothesoft rx pharmacy software pill identifier xanax pictures generic phenergan suppositories purchase baclofen cheap 5 mg enalapril dosage hypertension cod ibs bentyl pharmacies
Home Pete Toms LWIB: Ballpark Villages, Amateur Draft, Mid-Season Attendance, In-Market Streaming

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 2171 guests online

Atom RSS

LWIB: Ballpark Villages, Amateur Draft, Mid-Season Attendance, In-Market Streaming PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 7
PoorBest 
Pete Toms Article Archive
Written by Pete Toms   
Sunday, 19 July 2009 22:44
Article Index
LWIB: Ballpark Villages, Amateur Draft, Mid-Season Attendance, In-Market Streaming
MID-SEASON ATTENDANCE
IN-MARKET STREAMING
All Pages

LWIB

This week in LWIB, updates on ballpark villages, the amateur draft, mid-season attendance and live “in-market” streaming.

BALLPARK VILLAGES UPDATE

LWIB, MLB staged a very successful five days of events in St. Louis centered around the All-Star Game. While the response (both in numbers and level of enthusiasm) resulted in much deserved praise for St. Louis, the All-Star game also focused renewed attention on the failure and impacts of the stalled “Ballpark Village” development that was to accompany the new Busch Stadium.

Prior to the All-Star Game, a large vacant lot immediately beside the new Busch Stadium was converted to a softball field and parking lot which were also used as All-Star Game “Fan Fest” sites. That lot is (was?) expected to be part of a “mixed use” development that had been promised by advocates of the new Busch Stadium. LWIB, Tom Van Riper reported for Forbes:

Fans pouring into St. Louis for the July 14 baseball All-Star Game will get to experience a beautiful three-year-old ballpark loaded with amenities. What they won't get to experience is Ballpark Village, the ambitious mixed-use redevelopment project of shops, restaurants and condos adjacent to the park, that hasn't gotten off the ground.

The village project and its expected boon to the local economy was a big selling point for the new Busch Stadium, opened in 2006 at a cost of $370 million. But it's been derailed by the bum economy, leaving an open pit next to the park (the Cardinals will temporarily dress it up and use the space for Fan Fest activities during the All Star break). The team is on the hook for 85% to 90% of the cost, including about $200 million in private bonds. The Cardinals carry $17 million in annual debt service, from which there is no help from previously expected revenue from Ballpark Village. The plan called for the team to pay for about two-thirds of the proposed $646 million project.

Are the debt servicing demands of the new Busch Stadium, combined with the failure so far to generate revenue from the planned accompanying real estate development, impacting upon the Cardinals baseball operations? Mr. Van Riper notes that “..the Cardinals' estimated $195 million in annual revenue ranks eighth in the majors, while their $77.6 million payroll ranks 17th). The Cardinals announced earlier this year that they were abandoning plans to purchase their AAA Memphis affiliate due to concerns about existing debt. Jim Masilak reported in January:

Citing turmoil in the economy and concern over future revenue projections and debt obligations, the St. Louis Cardinals have withdrawn a letter of intent to buy the Memphis Redbirds, officials with the Triple-A club said Tuesday.

AND

Already saddled with significant debt after financing most of $365 million Busch Stadium, which opened in 2006, the Cardinals decided they could not take on the Redbirds as well.

The difficulties faced by St. Louis in constructing their Ballpark Village are not unique amongst MLB clubs. Earlier this year, A’s owner Lewis Wolff scrapped his proposed baseball stadium/mixed use development in Fremont. A smaller, but similar development adjacent to AT&T Park is stalled. The Lerner family (billionaire Washington real-estate developers) have yet to capitalize on the real-estate play that they foresaw would accompany the opening of Nationals Park. Mr. Van Riper also notes that Rangers owner Tom Hicks has stalled in his efforts to construct “Glorypark”.

Down in Texas, the NFL's Dallas Cowboys and MLB's Texas Rangers are dragging their feet on a massive redevelopment project designed to overhaul the area around the Cowboys' new $1.1 billion stadium. Billed as Glorypark, the plan was to turn 1.2 million acres housing a bunch of motels and auto dealerships into an upscale playground of shops, restaurants and scenic walkways. Rangers' owner Tom Hicks, whose holding company has defaulted on some debt, has no apparent deadline for breaking ground on the project.

Stadium/mixed use developments are not new to American cities but the ability of clubs and governments to complete these developments has been greatly compromised by the credit crisis and recession. LWIB, Adam Allington reported for American Public Media.

A $600 million retail and office development, the project's been touted as the best hope to bring people back to downtown St. Louis. Ballpark Village hit a snag last year when its biggest tenant backed out. Then the bond market collapsed, leaving the city and the Cardinals scrambling for a new source of funding.

Mr. Van Riper also explains how franchises with heavily leveraged real estate plans are being punished by the economic climate.

St. Louis isn't the only town where sports teams are getting smacked around by the real estate hurricane. In Tampa, Lightning owner Oren Koules has yet to develop the 5.5 acres of land that were included in the $204 million price tag he paid for the NHL club last year. The Lightning are now losing money after debt service.

AND

Tampa and Texas, both highly leveraged, are the two franchises most likely to suffer from their real estate fiascoes. The Rangers' debt to franchise value ratio of 66% is the third highest in Major League Baseball.

Stadium centred “mixed use” developments arose in reaction to increased public cynicism about the touted economic benefits of investing public dollars in new stadium / arena construction. Economist Phil Miller:

These mixed-use developments seem to be the norm now that the cat is out of the bag regarding the economic impact (i.e. job and income creation nature) of subsidizing sports stadium construction. But are these developments catalysts for economic growth or are they little more than attachments to stadiums to get sufficient voter approval*?

Advocates of investing public dollars in the construction of Nationals Park in Washington argued that it would spur economic renewal in a poor neighbourhood. Now with the second season at the new ballpark more than half complete, there are reports that the promised ancillary development has not yet been realized. Jeff Blair reported in June for The Globe and Mail:

The economic downturn suffocated the real estate development that was supposed to spring up around the 41,888-seat park. Serving fans in the immediate area of the stadium now, there’s just a seedy liquor store and a tented faux-tailgate area. Instead, fans are ferried by a golf cart to a nearby neighbourhood, Barracks Row, where they can get a drink and a postgame meal. On foot, it is 20 minutes away from the ballpark.

AND

The D.C. government put nearly $700-million into building Nationals Park, which is in the southeast part of the city on both sides of the Anacostia River. Approximately $2-billion worth of commercial real estate was gobbled up once the planned park was made public, with 16 office complexes and condominiums built in a frenzy in which derelict fast-foot franchises were bought out at a cost of as much as $125 a square foot, according to the Washington Post. Then the boom went bust, and the Post reported earlier this year that one developer of a 75-unit townhouse complex was selling as few as two units a month.

New stadiums have often become key components in a trend to stimulate economic renewal in decaying downtown cores via large, government enabled, development friendly, “entertainment districts”. Is there a growing popular and academic backlash against government financing of, and investment in, these developments? Again from Tom Van Riper.

Cardinals officials didn't return calls for comment, but Patrick Rishe, a professor of business at Webster University in St. Louis, believes the holdup has the makings of a public relations disaster for the club, if not a financial one just yet....The eyesore that sits next to the park is becoming a point of contention for the locals.

"The Cardinals have to do something eventually, because of the rhetoric they've been giving St. Louis residents for the past 10 years," says Rishe. He figures that Ballpark Village will happen at some point, though in scaled-down form.

In January, the WSJ published an opinion piece by Jerry Bowyer which coincided with the NFL playoffs.

If there ever was a time to crow about the wonders of rebuilding a city around a professional sports team, this would be it. Three of the four teams remaining in the play-offs hail from cities -- Baltimore, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh -- that in recent years spent billions rebuilding their downtowns around pro sports facilities and other community "anchors."

Except that there's a problem. The teams might be competitive, but the cities definitely are not. All three continue to shrink in population, and have stagnant job markets and crumbling public schools.

Baltimore, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh were prototypes of the economic development fad of the 1990s: government-financed "investments" in economic development. They all practiced what was called "tin cup urbanism" -- the belief that the rest of society owed large taxpayer transfers to the urban cores from which most of us have fled. They all supped from the same cup: center city stadia, aquaria and subsidized retailia.

Heywood Sanders, Professor of Public Administration at the University of Texas San Antonio, is quoted in the aforementioned report from American Public Media. “We've got former festival marketplaces and subsidized hotels and entertainment districts from one end of the country to the other that have absolutely gone bust.”

Professional sports in the US has benefitted greatly from what most experts estimate is at least $10 billion worth of public investments in stadia / arenas over the past few decades. Should leagues and franchises expect this level of support to continue?

Select Read More to see the rest of this article including an update on the Amatuer Draft, mid-season attendance, and in-market streaming of games online

 

AMATEUR DRAFT UPDATE

LWIB, Jim Callis of Baseball America was very critical of both Commissioner Selig’s tactics in attempting to enforce “slotting recommendations” and compliant clubs who make “signability” the key factor in determining which players they select in the amateur draft.

The main purpose of any draft—and don't let anyone kid you otherwise—is to keep costs down. The secondary goal is to balance competition by allowing the worst teams to select the best players. That's exactly what happens in the NFL, NBA and NHL drafts.

But not in baseball. After the Nationals, Mariners and Padres kicked off the 2009 draft by taking the best pitcher (Strasburg), hitter (Dustin Ackley) and athlete (Donavan Tate) available, the asking prices for the top players remaining weren't in the same stratosphere as what the Pirates and Orioles wanted to pay at picks No. 4 and 5. The Braves and Reds were determined to not exceed MLB's bonus recommendations for the No. 7 and 8 choices.

As a result, Pittsburgh (Tony Sanchez), Baltimore (Matt Hobgood) and Atlanta (Mike Minor) all took players Baseball America rated 23rd or lower on its final draft board. Meanwhile, several of the best pitchers in the draft went much lower than they should have, solely because of money: Jacob Turner to the Tigers at No. 9, Tyler Matzek to the Rockies at No. 11, Aaron Crow to the Royals at No. 12, Matt Purke to the Rangers at No. 14 and Shelby Miller to the Cardinals at No. 19.

Besides Kansas City, the rest of those clubs are all legitimate playoff contenders this season. On the other hand, the Pirates and Orioles are in last place, while the Reds are sixth and the Braves eighth in the National League wild-card race

Mr. Callis is also critical of Commissioner Selig’s refusal to approve “over slot” deals until the August 17 signing deadline, while deals that adhere to “slots” are quickly approved. The Commissioner is rewarding clubs that comply with “slots” by allowing their draftees to enter pro ball a few months earlier (and potentially develop more quickly) than draftees of clubs that “go over slot”. Mr. Callis argues that the clubs should force changes sooner than later.

Teams extol players who sign quickly and place importance of not delaying the start of their pro career. Yet the longer a player is willing to wait, the more he'll get paid.

It simply rewards kids that sit out until the end, thereby hurting them developmentally," one agent says. "However, the bottom line is that the teams are the ones that let it happen."

What's the solution? Teams should stop taking part in this charade.

AND

The Royals spent a record $11.1 million on draft bonuses a year ago, and it will cost them in the neighborhood of $7 million to sign their first three picks in the 2009 draft: Crow, Wil Myers and Chris Dwyer. Other clubs think the parameters of those above-slot deals are close to done, but the commissioner's office won't sign off until right before the deadline. If that's true, Kansas City should just finish the contracts now and announce that MLB is costing their players development time.

After years of neglect, the draft looks to be the key issue when baseball's collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2011. But clubs should stand up for themselves now rather than wait for the silliness to end.

LWIB, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus also argued that the Commissioner’s tactic of delaying approval of “over slot” deals is a waste of time and effort.

The signing period for the 2009 draft is, as expected, a complete mess. As of today, teams have just one month remaining to sign their 2009 draft picks, yet 20 of 32 first-round picks remain unsigned, including 13 of the first 16 selections. Of the 12 who have signed, half agreed to terms below Major League Baseball's recommended slot,...

AND

What they might be waiting for is simply a deal that matches last year's slot, as opposed to the ten percent reductions, which in the cases of Minor and Leake are differences approaching $250,000, not exactly a trivial sum of money. Still it's enough to create either a situation with there is a stalemate between the team and the player, or in many cases, there may already be a deal in place, but Major League Baseball will not recognize it until late in the signing period, for fear of a domino effect of over-slot bonuses, which of course will happen anyway.

Some have called this the "Jason Heyward effect," referring to the Braves' first-round pick in 2007, also a year in which the slots were reduced by ten percent. The Braves and Heyward agreed early to a deal for the previous year's slot, but could not announce the signing until the deadline approached. "It's monumentally stupid," said one front-office official. "Everybody talks to each other, everybody knows who is going to sign for what, all this does is hinder a kid's development."

Both Mr. Callis and Mr. Goldstein have difficulty reconciling MLB’s heavy handed efforts to control costs in the amateur draft while clubs signing teenaged international free agents to record setting deals go unpunished. From Mr. Callis:

At the same time, spending is running wild internationally. MLB finds it perfectly acceptable for the Cardinals to spend $3.1 million on Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo and the Yankees to drop $3 million on Dominican catcher Gary Sanchez. But if the Pirates had wanted to invest the same money in the No. 4 overall choice, the commissioner's office would have lobbied them hard not to do it and wouldn't have approved the deal until just before the Aug. 17 deadline.

Dollar for dollar, draft prospects are better investments than international prospects. Draftees don't have their prices driven up because they're not on the open market, and they've faced better competition and have been scouted for several years.

MLB struggles to even pinpoint the ages of international prospects. The Indians spent $575,000 on shortstop Jose Ozorio last summer, whom MLB verified as a 16-year-old, and recently learned that he's actually three years older and named Wally Bryan.

From Mr. Goldstein:

Said one exec, Look, Bobby Abreu can't find a job and then signs for $5 million. While 16-year-old are getting signed off sandlots in the Dominican for $3 and $4 million? That's the kind of thing that's going to get the union going," he added, while predicting than during the next bargaining session, once the players figure out what they want, them giving into financially harnessing the signing system for both draftees and international players will be what they use for leverage.

“Rookie compensation” (both in MLB and the NFL) is a contentious and potentially divisive issue amongst union members in those leagues. In June LWIB reported that in reaction to the press coverage of Stephen Strasburg’s rumored demands, some MLB players have been publicly critical of escalating signing bonuses for amateurs. As Mr. Goldstein speculates, a similar backlash from veterans could develop over signing bonuses for international free agents. (The politics within the NLFPA are more complicated, vets vs. rookies, current players vs. retired) In an earlier June edition of LWIB, MLBPA Executive Director Donald Fehr was quoted:

MLB Players Association Executive Director Don Fehr, speaking immediately after Smith on the rookie wage scale issue, said, One of the things you have to be wary of, when you talk about the issues that were just raised, is in collective bargaining generally, and sports is certainly no exception to this, very often people will look, on the other side, will look for wedge issues.”

Fehr said the “classic example of a wedge issue” is one in which one group in a union is told another group is getting too much money “and you should all go and squabble with one another.”

“Now I don’t know if that is involved in this circumstance here, but on this side of the table we are all very conscious of such issues and where the instigation of raising such an issue comes from. If it comes from the players’ side, you don’t have to worry about it, because it will come with a proposed solution.”

 



 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?