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Yankees to Cut Some Ticket Prices in 2010 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 00:31
Empty seats at Yankee Stadium
The cost of luxury seats, coupled with the decline
in the economy meant a sea of empty seats in the
first year at new Yankee Stadium. Next season
some of those seats will be priced less.

When ticket prices for new Yankee Stadium were released last year, to say that they were jaw-dropping in light of the chilly economy was an understatement – some over $2,500  a piece, even after a mid-season price cut (see seat counts and prices). The talking line from the Yankees was that it was well… the Yankees, fans would purchase tickets to attend games in the new $1.3 billion stadium.

As the sea of empty seats, and negative press proved, the economy was more dire than the Yankees brand draw.

With clubs beginning to get a jump on next season well before the current one ends, Darren Rovell of CNBC reports that some ticket prices will be lowered in 2010 at The House that George Built, while 80 percent will remain flat.

Some of the highest price seats will see reductions of up to 40 percent, including those in the Legends area and the Delta Sky 360 Suite. The first level of non-premium suites, which are one level up behind home plate, will be reduced from $325 to $250 or $235 per game per seat, depending on the location. To account for the challenging environment, the Yankees had already given some fans in these areas extra tickets to each game.

The report also outlines how the decreases will relate to those most expensive seats – the Legends suite seats, will be cut to $1,500 per game.

That means a person or company who agreed to buy the most expensive seats in the stadium on a 10-year contract was on the hook to pay $834,300 ($2,575 per game per seat for 81 games) for four suite tickets in 2010, but will now pay $486,000.

The main reason for the change? General partner Hal Steinbrenner reportedly “has been sensitive to the economy and to consumer response and will continue to review the prices on an ongoing basis.”


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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Looking to Increase Attendance, Padres Bump Start Times for Some Games in '10 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 03 September 2009 12:23

PadresThe San Diego Padres today announced time changes for weekday afternoon and Saturday night games during the 2010 season.

Saturday games are now slated for 5:35 p.m., creating more options for Padres fans. The earlier game time makes it easier for families to attend a Saturday night game and return for a Sunday day game while also allowing fans to enjoy the Gaslamp area following the night game.

"We are very fortunate in San Diego to have a beautiful ballpark in the middle of an exciting downtown community," said Padres President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Garfinkel. "Changing our game time gives fans the opportunity to fully enjoy our surroundings. The Padres also plan to schedule special events for next season's Saturday games that will take advantage of both the Park at the Park and Western Metal Supply Co. Building."

Weekday afternoon games, previously 12:35 p.m. starts, are now slated for 3:35 p.m. in an effort to allow fans of all ages to attend games while missing minimal time at work or school.

"It can be difficult for fans of any age to attend a weekday afternoon game without missing either work or school," said Garfinkel. "By moving the game time forward, it will be easier for people to come to a mid-week game and experience Padres baseball under the sun."

The 2010 Major League Baseball schedule is set to be released later this month.

Source: San Diego Padres


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Being Competitive in the Standings Increasing Attendance and TV Ratings for Texas Rangers PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 21 August 2009 16:04

RangersLast season was no walk in the park for the Texas Rangers. While sitting in second place in the AL West last season on Aug 21, they were above .500, with a 63-55 record, but 15 games out of first behind the red hot Angels.

This season, the Rangers are still in second place, but in a far more competitive fashion, posting a 68-52 record (.567), 5.5 games out of first in the AL West, but more importantly, in a dogfight with the Red Sox for first in the AL Wildcard race, one game out as of Friday.

The improved play has translated to fan interest on two levels: the gate and television ratings.

THE GATE: To date, the Rangers have drawn 1,792,791 fans in 64 dates at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, an increase of 190,719 over the same number of dates in 2008. Club average is 28,012 per date. Final home attendance average for 2008 was 24,323.

RATINGS RANKINGS: Rangers broadcasts on Fox Sports Southwest have seen strong ratings. The four-game series this week against the Twins produced three of the team’s Top 10 Nielsen household ratings of this season, including Wednesday night’s season best 4.8 average for Ivan Rodriguez’s return and first game back with the club. Tuesday night’s game averaged a 3.9 (sixth best of the season), Thursday night’s telecast averaged a 3.7 (tied for eighth best of the season) and Monday night averaged a 3.4. Five of the team’s Top 10 ratings of the season have occurred in the month of August, including the top two. Here’s the top 10 breakdown through Thursday’s games:

No.         Rating/Date, opponent)

1.           4.8/Aug. 19 vs. Minnesota

2.           4.3/Aug. 8 at Oakland

3.           4.2/July 1 vs. Los Angeles Angels

4 (tie).    4.0/July 22 vs. Boston

4 (tie).    4.0/July 8 at Los Angeles Angels

6.           3.9/Aug. 18 vs. Minnesota

7.           3.8/June 30 vs. Los Angeles Angels

8 (tie).    3.7/May 27 vs. New York Yankees

8 (tie)     3.7/Aug. 15 vs. Boston Red Sox

8 (tie)     3.7/Aug. 30 vs. Minnesota

The four-game Minnesota series improved the team’s season average rating to 2.8, a 61% increase over last year at this time.  It’s the second best year-to-year local ratings improvement among the 30 MLB clubs behind the Washington Nationals’ 71% increase (0.58 vs. 0.34).


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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As Playoff Chances Dwindle, Mets Cut Ticket Prices PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 13 August 2009 08:45

MetsAt the trade deadline, Mets GM Omar Minaya said that the club would not be making any moves saying that they still were in contention for the wild card. After going 3-7 over the last 10 games, and now 10 games out of the wild card, the organization seems to be raising the white flag.

According to Bloomberg News, the Mets are lowering prices – as much as 33 percent to 50 percent for 13 of their remaining 26 home games in an effort to bring fans in. Mets spokesman David Newman said prices will range from $40 to $90 on Metro Box, Field Box, Caesars Club and Baseline Box tickets.

In an odd twist, according to the report, the ticket discounts are not being sold through MLB.com or the league’s secondary ticket partner, StubHub, but rather, TheaterMania.

Over 55 games. the Mets currently rank 7th in league attendance (avg. 39,220) after moving from cavernous Shea Stadium which had a seating capacity of 57,333 to far smaller Citi Field, which has a seating capacity of 41,800. To date, Citi Field has been running at 93.4 percent of capacity, compared to 88 percent at Shea last season at this time.

Over 55 games this season the Mets are averaging 39,220 compared to an average of 50,784 over 58 games during the same period last season. Total attendance to date for the Mets is 2,157,139 compared to 2,945,499 at this point in 2008, a decline of 27 percent.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Texas Rangers Lower Some Weekday Ticket Prices Through End of Regular Season PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 04 August 2009 11:16

RangersThe Texas Rangers today announced a new ticket discount that will enable fans to save up to 75% on Monday through Thursday games in August and September.

Southwest Airlines Weekday Values will be in effect for all Monday through Thursday home games beginning with the Minnesota contest on Monday, August 17.

Fans can enter DINGER as the coupon code on texasrangers.com to purchase Upper Box, Upper Reserved, and Grandstand Reserved tickets for $5 or Lexus Club Terrace, Lower Reserved, or Bleachers seats for $10. That’s a savings of up to 75%.

Currently, the gate price for Upper Box is $20, Upper Reserved is $16 for adults ($6 for kids under 13), Grandstand Reserved is $6 ($3 for kids under 13), Lexus Club Terrace seats are $45, Lower Reserved are $25, and Bleacher seats are currently priced at the gate at $16 ($6 for kids under 13).

Southwest Airlines Weekday Values will be available for the following games:

  • Thursday, August 20 vs. Minnesota (7:05)
  • Monday, August 31 vs. Toronto (7:05)
  • Tuesday, September 1 vs. Toronto (DH, 4:05)
  • Wednesday, September 2 vs. Toronto (7:05)
  • Monday, September 14 vs. Oakland (7:05)
  • Tuesday, September 15 vs. Oakland (7:05)
  • Wednesday, September 16 vs. Oakland (7:05)

The Rangers, currently fighting for first place in the AL West, have also been involved in other promotions to lure fans to games during the recession. Last season, they offered RaceTrac gas cards as part of a promotion.

Source: Texas Rangers


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

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Inside MLB Attendance - Interleague 2009 PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 30 June 2009 15:08

Interleague 2009

UPDATE: Stats for each team (W-L, BA, HR, R, ERA) as well as stats for individual leaders in each of those categories has now been added as a PDF after the break by selecting "Read More"


With Sunday’s games in the books, Interleague Play for MLB in 2009 is nearly concluded (a June 16th rainout between the Cubs and White Sox still needs to be replayed), seeing average attendance drop from last year’s record setting pace.

The National League/American League match-ups drew an average of 33,351, down 6.66 percent from the 2008 record average of 35,573. Average attendance for the season was also down from 2007’s Interleague average attendance mark of 34,905, or down 4.66 percent. 2009 will mark the first time in three consecutive seasons that record attendance was not reached for Interleague Play.

The 2009 Interleague average is 16.1 percent higher than this season’s current intraleague average of 28,727 per game.

Since its inception in 1997, Interleague Play has drawn 12.0 percent more fans than intraleague games; Interleague Play has averaged 33,260 fans per game, compared to the intraleague average of 29,706 fans per game during the same span.

Breaking down the first series of Interleague games (May 22-24), the average attendance dropped 9.3 percent, or an average of 33,531 compared to 2008’s 36,968. The second set of attendance games – the far longer stretch that ran from June 12-28 –  saw a lower decline of 4.45 percent, or an average attendance of 33,434 compared to 34,993 for the same set of games last season.

Overall nine clubs saw average attendance for Interleague increase (Marlins, Twins, Royals, Dodgers, Braves, Brewers, Phillies, Red Sox, and Mariners), with the Marlins, Twins, Royals, and Dodgers seeing an increase in the double-digits.

The big winner this year is not the Marlins, or Royals, but rather the Dodgers who see an an average increase of over 10 percent while seeing the top six highest attended games during Interleague

Decliners out pace the increases with 21 clubs posting Interleague attendance declines with ten seeing double-digit losses (White Sox, Tigers, Yankees, Reds, Astros, Blue Jays, Indians, Mets, Padres, and Diamondbacks)

A key aspect of the overall decline this season centers around new ballparks for the Yankees and the Mets, both of which see smaller seating capacities.

The Mets, who went from cavernous Shea Stadium (seating capacity 57,333) to the more petite Citi Field (seating capacity 41,800), saw avg. attendance for Interleague decline a sharp 34.37 percent, the third highest drop in Interleague attendance for 2009. There were no sellouts, with just three of the nine games played in the new stadium seeing attendance above 41,000. The lowest attended tilt during Interleague for the Mets was 37,992 (Sat. June 20 against the Rays), and a high of 41,302 (Sat. June 27 against the Yankees).

As for the Yankees, they see a decline of 13.64 percent from an average of 54,060 in the final year of the House That Ruth Built to an average of 46,689 in new Yankee Stadium. By comparison, all Interleague games last year in Yankee Stadium saw average attendance above 52,000 while this year in the new stadium sees avg. attendance for the AL/NL games with a low of 44,873 (Tues. June 16 against the Nationals) to a high of 48,056 (Sat. June 13 against the Mets). All told the Yankees see seven of the top 20 highest attended Interleague games, but only one in the top 10 (that Sat. game against the Mets) which sits at No. 10 out of all Interleague games played this season.

While the Mets see the biggest decline in Interleague attendance compared to last season, they are not the worst. That dubious distinction belongs to the Arizona Diamondbacks who saw a decline of over 55 percent (-55.55%) from an average of 36,382 in 2008 to 23,389 in 2009. Rounding out other major declines are the Padres (down 39.03 percent from 31,919 in ’08 to 22,959 this season), the aforementioned Mets, Indians (down 28.69 percent from 32,585  in ’08 to 25,321 this season), and Blue Jays (down 27.75 percent from 29,402  in ’08 to 23,016 this season).

In terms of lowest attended, the Marlins see the four lowest ranked games (12,839, 12,822, 12,469, and 10,222). Rounding out the bottom ten worst attended games in Interleague are the Athletics (13,792, 13,586), Royals (14,129), Indians (15,269), and Blue Jays (15,409, 15,329).

The following is a ranks clubs by average attendance for Interleague in 2009 by average. Figure in parenthesis denotes number of Interleague games hosted.

  1. Dodgers (8) 50,501
  2. Yankees (9) 46,689
  3. Phillies (9) 44,675
  4. Cardinals (9) 42,929
  5. Angels (9) 42,511
  6. Brewers (8) 41,604
  7. Cubs (8) 40,770
  8. Mets (9) 39,573
  9. Red Sox (9) 37,812
  10. Braves (10) 37,327
  11. Tigers (9) 36,795
  12. Giants (9) 35,916
  13. Astros (9) 33,744
  14. Twins (10) 33,695
  15. Rockies (9) 32,364
  16. Nationals (9) 31,101
  17. Mariners (9) 30,786
  18. Rangers (8) 30,019
  19. Orioles (9) 30,017
  20. Royals (9) 29,797
  21. Reds (9) 29,588
  22. W Sox (9) 29,420
  23. Indians (9) 25,321
  24. Pirates (9) 25,235
  25. Rays (9) 24,392
  26. D-Backs (6) 23,389
  27. Blue Jays (9) 23,016
  28. Padres (6) 22,959
  29. Athletics (8) 22,927
  30. Marlins (9) 22,457

The below table shows average Interleague attendance ranked by increase from 2008 to 2009, the average Interleague attendance for this season and last, the increase or decrease between the two figures, and the highest attended game that that club hosted during Interleague for 2009 (NOTE: The White Sox at Cubs rainout game is not factored into this data. It will be updated when the game is played)

Interleague Attendance (2009) + Highest Attended
  '08 Avg '09 Avg % + or - Highest Attended
MLB Avg 35,573 33,351 -6.66% 55,301 (LAD)
Marlins 15,408 22,457 31.39% 46,427
Twins 28,372 33,695 15.80% 40,547
Royals 26,415 29,797 11.35% 38,769
Dodgers 45,786 50,501 10.30% 55,301
Braves 34,273 37,327 8.18% 36,379
Brewers 39,259 41,604 5.63% 44,100
Phillies 43,582 44,675 2.45% 45,321
Red Sox 37,548 37,812 0.70% 38,149
Mariners 30,664 30,786 0.39% 38,520
Athletics 22,958 22,927 -0.14% 35,067
* Cubs 41,094 40,770 -0.79% 41,509
Angels 42,887 42,511 -0.89% 44,222
Cardinals 44,463 42,929 -3.57% 44,213
Orioles 31,183 30,017 -3.88% 45,024
Giants 37,426 35,916 -4.20% 41,292
Pirates 26,318 25,235 -4.29% 36,032
Nationals 32,630 31,101 -4.92% 41,985
Rockies 34,466 32,364 -6.49% 44,131
Rangers 32,790 30,019 -9.23% 37,262
NY Yankees 50,843 44,323 -12.82% 48,271
Oakland 17,034 18,030 5.85% 36,067
Philadelphia 38,954 43,109 10.67% 44,532
Pittsburgh 15,712 15,668 -0.28% 38,411
Rays 26,823 24,392 -9.97% 35,790
White Sox 33,214 29,420 -12.90% 39,745
Tigers 41,599 36,795 -13.06% 42,332
Yankees 54,060 46,689 -13.64% 48,056
Reds 34,103 29,588 -15.26% 42,234
Astros 40,696 33,744 -20.60% 37,123
Blue Jays 29,402 23,016 -27.75% 36,379
Indians 32,585 25,321 -28.69% 31,754
Mets 53,176 39,573 -34.37% 41,302
Padres 31,919 22,959 -39.03% 28,074
D-Backs 36,382 23,389 -55.55% 27,742

 * Cubs data does not include make-up rainout game with the White Sox that has yet to be played

 

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100 Millionth Interleague Fan Attends Cardinals, Indians Game at Progressive Field PDF Print E-mail
Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 13 June 2009 17:06

100 millionth Interleague fanThe Cleveland Indians today hosted the 100 millionth fan ever to attend an Interleague Play game during their afternoon matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals at Progressive Field.

Upon entering the ballpark with his two grandchildren and fifteen total family members, Randy Loomis from Ashtabula , Ohio was notified that he was the lucky fan and presented a trip to the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis , which includes roundtrip airfare provided by Continental, hotel accommodations and four tickets to the 80th All-Star Game. In addition, Mr. Loomis received 100 tickets to an Indians game of his choice, a $100 team shop gift certificate and a “100 Millionth Fan” jersey.

Interleague Play is currently in its 13th season, having begun in 1997. From 1997-2008, attendance at Interleague games was 11.8 percent higher than the average attendance for intraleague games. Interleague games drew an average of 33,252 fans per game, compared to a 29,739 average for intraleague games. In the 2008 season, Interleague Play drew a record average attendance of 35,587 fans per game.

Source: Major League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Will Yankees Be Unable to Sellout Subway Series Dates? PDF Print E-mail
Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Pete Toms   
Friday, 12 June 2009 13:21

Subway SeriesA weekend match up between two of professional sports biggest rivals, both playing over .500 and easily in contention for playoff berths, being played in a brand new stadium....demand for tickets should be strong, right? Maybe yes, and maybe no according to a report today in the New York Daily News.  Mark Feinsand speculates that the Yankees may not attract sellout crowds to the new Yankees Stadium for this weekend’s latest instalment of the Subway Series.

The Subway Series has been the hottest ticket in town ever since the Yankees and Mets first crossed paths a dozen years ago. This weekend's three-game set figures to have the same electric atmosphere as always, but will Yankee Stadium be filled to capacity?

Through the first 29 games in the Bronx, the Yankees have had only one sellout in their new $1.5 billion palace, all the way back on Opening Day. Last season the Yankees sold out 58 of their 81 home games. Even that crowd was announced at 48,271, well short of the stadium's listed capacity of 52,325. The team said that the remainder of the tickets had been given out as comps, so they didn't count toward the official total.

Mr. Feinsand completes his report with this timely question, “Still, if Yankees-Mets can't bring a full house, what series can?” Attendance in the Bronx this weekend will no doubt be much scrutinized, particularly in the now infamous “Legends Seats” as the Yankees continue to fight against an NYC media and fanbase backlash over pricing at and financing for their new stadium.


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MLB Prepares for 100 Million in Interleague Attendance, First Weekend Down From '08 PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 11 June 2009 20:41

MLB AttendanceAs Interleague Play resumes on Friday, this weekend’s schedule will feature the 100 millionth fan who has ever attended an Interleague Play game. Interleague Play is currently in its 13th season, having begun in 1997. Including the first weekend of 2009 Interleague Play (May 22nd-24th), Major League Baseball has drawn 99,368,556 fans to Interleague games.

“The milestone of our 100 millionth fan demonstrates the great support that the fans of Major League Baseball have for Interleague Play,” said Commissioner Selig. “Major League Baseball has set its attendance record in four of the last five years, and Interleague Play has been a key to that success.”

From 1997-2008, attendance at Interleague games was 11.8 percent higher than the average attendance for intraleague games. Interleague games drew an average of 33,252 fans per game, compared to a 29,739 average for intraleague games. In the 2008 season, Interleague Play drew a record average attendance of 35,587 fans per game.

First Weekend of Interleague Down from '08

And while attendance has remained flat for the most part leading up to the first weekend of Interleague Play in May, the first Interleague games of the season have drawn considerably less through the gate when compared to 2008. In both the 2008 and 2009 seasons, during the first weekend of Interleague, 42 games were played. Beginning on May 16 and running through to the 18th, Interleague attendance last season saw an average of 36,968 in paid attendance. Compare that to this season when the first weekend of Interleague ran from May 22-24 and average paid attendance was 33,531, a decline of 9.3 percent from 2008.

By comparison, 10 games in 2009 saw attendance over 40,000 while the 2008 season enjoyed 15 games over the 40,000 mark. At the other end of spectrum, there were 15 games during the first weekend of Interleague play in 2009 that saw attendance below 30,000 compared to only 4 below the 30,000 mark during Interleague's first weekend play last season.

Interleague Winning Percentages 

In the first weekend of Interleague Play this season, the American League posted a 22-20 (.524) advantage. In 2008, the American League posted a 149-103 (.591) record in Interleague Play as 11 of the 14 A.L. Clubs finished over .500. The 2008 season marked the fifth straight season in which the A.L. won the season-series, extending its all-time Interleague lead to 1,536-1,420 (.520). The A.L. went 127-125 in 2004, 136-116 in 2005, 154-98 in 2006 and 137-115 in 2007 before the 149-103 mark last season.
Interleague Play will continue uninterrupted until its conclusion on Sunday, June 28th.

Source: Major League Baseball, Business of Sports Network research


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

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