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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Sunday MLB on TBS: Comments from A's/Yankees Game PDF Print E-mail
Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 21 July 2008 03:43

TBSThe following is commentary and interviews from yesterday's (7/20) Sunday MLB on TBS broadcast between the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees with announcers Chip Caray and Ron Darling, and interviews with Bob Geren of the A's and Joe Girardi of the Yankees.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

Oakland A’s @ New York Yankees

Game announcers: Chip Caray and Ron Darling

Darling on the frequent adjustments of the Yankees' line-up due to injuries: “Joe Girardi was saying he’s had the opening day line-up only four or five times, but there won’t be a lot of teams weeping for the Yankees’ injury problems.”

Darling on whether the Yankees can make a run to get into the MLB Posteason: “(The Yankees) have everything right in front of them. Can they make a run? Of course they can, they’ve done it in the past.  More importantly, they’ve got to get good starting pitching every single day, they’ve got it from (Mike) Mussina, they’ve got it from (Andy) Pettitte… Joba (Chamberlain), of course everyone knows about him out there.  Most importantly, they’ve got to get a good start every fifth day; if they can do that than once their offense starts clicking they can win 10 or 11 straight, that’s how good they can be.”

TBS’ Chip Caray and Ron Darling spoke to Oakland A’s manager Bob Geren during the game. 

Geren on the solid pitching of A’s pitcher Justin Duchscherer: “You have a guy that goes out there and leads the league in ERA, every time (Justin Duchscherer) goes on the mound you feel like you have a real good chance to win.  He does a great job of giving our bullpen a break and pitching deep in the game and just feel like we don’t need to get too many runs when he’s out there.”

TBS’ Chip Caray and Ron Darling spoke to New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi during the game.  

Girardi on the offense of Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano: “(Robinson Cano) has been outstanding hitting .340 the last month.  He’s been really hot since the break and had four hits yesterday (Saturday), he’s really hitting the ball hard.  Even his outs are line-drive outs so we’re excited about the way he’s swinging the bat.”

Darling on the complexity of managing a baseball team today: “The coaches and managers today show up at the ballpark at 11 or 12 in the morning for a night game, they are on those computers looking at data to see how they can catch an edge. It’s a much different job than when I played 25 years ago.  You have to really have big shoulders and thick skin and be able to get very insular, just be with your ball club and block out all that outside stuff that happens in this town.”

Darling on Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte tagging A’s center fielder Carlos Gonzalez when he slid head first into first base: “That is an ill-advised play, you should never slide head first into first base.  Luckily Andy (Pettitte) didn’t step on his finger, but nice job by the veteran left hander to get over there and get to Speedy Gonzalez.”

Darling on Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte throwing to both sides of the plate: “A lot of you youngsters in the summertime go to a lot of clinics to learn how to play this game.  Well, this man (Andy Pettitte) right here is putting on a clinic if you want to learn how to pitch to both sides of the plate.  The thing about Andy that you like is he has such command of the outside corner, he’s thrown more change-ups than I’ve seen him throw in a long time.  On the left handed hitters he’s really been going with fastballs and sliders away and occasionally that standard beautiful cutter that he throws down and in to the right handed hitter that is just impossible for them to lay off.”

Darling on Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek being up for a new contract: “Jason Varitek adds a lot to that Boston mystique.  He’s been their biggest team leader, he’s their captain. But if you start thinking as a general manager that ‘I should give contracts based on past service’ than you’re in harm’s way.  You should give it based on what Jason can bring to your team and if that means that the captain that’s hitting .214 deserves a two-year contract with options that kick in if he plays a certain amount of games, than I think that’s a good thing.”

Darling on comments made by Red Sox reliever Jonathan Papelbon that he wanted to close the MLB All-Star Game: “I think that (Jonathan) Papelbon got ‘New Yorked’ because some of the comments that he made.  I think that he was saying as an athlete he (would have been) proud to close the All-Star Game, but of course it belonged to Mariano Rivera who pitched excellently in that All-Star Game.  Rivera, what do you say about him, just the greatest postseason closer, greatest reliever of all time.”

Source:TBS

 
DC and Virginia Lotteries Team with Nationals For Scratch-It PDF Print E-mail
Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 27 June 2008 12:27

NationalsThe Washington Nationals have teamed with the D.C. and Virginia Lotteries to promote the D.C. Lottery's $2 Washington Nationals D.C. Scratcher. The lotteries worked with licensing partner MDI, as well as Major League Baseball on the scratch-it ticket offering.

The product has been part of an ad campaign at the Navy Yard Metro Station and includes the fictional baseball team, "The D.C. Scratchers."

The Scratchers ad campaign in the Navy Yard Metro Station will only be posted through June 30, but the Washington Nationals Scratcher ticket will be available until quantities are sold out.

The D.C. Lottery states that "more than $10,000 in unclaimed prizes remains available, including a $5,000 top prize. The D.C. Lottery will hold a second chance drawing on August 6, 2008 where eligible nonwinning ticket holders could claim Washington Nationals home game tickets, team merchandise and choice seating at Nationals Park."

The scrtach-it continues a trend with MLB (and all American major leagues) of adopting lottery systems for additional revenues.

Source: D.C. Lottery


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.

 
Dodgers Surpass 3 Million Tickets Sold for 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 23:03

Los Angeles DodgersThe Los Angeles Dodgers announced Wednesday that they have surpassed the three-million mark in ticket sales for the 2008 season, marking the 13th consecutive season in which they have reached that total and a Major League record 23rd time overall.

During the 2007 season, the Dodgers attracted a record 3,857,036 fans, the highest total in the National League and the second-best mark in the Major Leagues. The attendance total was the fifth-highest in National League history behind only the Colorado Rockies (1993, 1996, and 1997) and the Atlanta Braves (1993).

In 37 home dates thus far in 2008, the Dodgers have drawn 1,667,629 fans, an average 45,071 fans per game. Not included in this total is the team’s exhibition contest against the Red Sox on March 29 which drew a Guinness World Record 115,300 fans to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in a game that benefited ThinkCure, the team’s official charity. Guinness has also certified the Dodgers as having the “Highest Cumulative Attendance for a Baseball Franchise.” According to the Dodgers, "Since 1901, when Major League Baseball began tracking official attendance, the Dodgers have played before more fans than any other franchise in the sport’s history with a cumulative attendance in excess of 177 million."

The Dodgers are in the midst of renovations to Dodger Stadium, which first opened in 1962.  The organization states that the improvements are designed to protect Dodger Stadium’s place as the home of Los Angeles baseball for the next 50 years.

Source: Los Angeles Dodgers press release 

 
Economy Causes MLB to Push "Affordable Tickets" PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 12 June 2008 09:53

MLBWith the price of gas, food, and the overall economy taking a downturn, Major League Baseball is attempting to reach out to fans by touting that "clubs are responding to the challenging economic times by providing cost-effective, affordable ticket opportunities this season."

MLB is offering different pricing options, including value-added tickets and ballpark promotions, and as they claim, "the 30 Clubs have created numerous reasonably priced, family-friendly ticket options. Among the unique promotions that Clubs currently offer include: $1 tickets, 2-for-1 ticket days, free postgame concerts, baseball clinics, autograph opportunities and play areas; kids days, student nights, fireworks nights, running the bases days, and e-savers."

Some clubs, such as the Twins, also provide gas cards or discounts based on the average price of gas across the nation.

"Going to a Major League Baseball game remains a great entertainment experience that is affordable for families," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "The Clubs have created numerous reasonably priced ticket options so that fans who are on a budget can spend a day at the ballpark. As families consider their weekend and summer activities, there are countless affordable options to enjoy continue enjoying visits to any of the 30 Major League ballparks."

While Major League Baseball has established attendance records in each of the past four seasons, culminating in an all-time high of 79,503,175 fans in the 2007 regular season, entering this week, Major League Baseball was slightly ahead of last year's record-setting pace.

This year has seen some clubs setting some seats prices at all-time highs, including $100 increases for box seats at Yankee Stadium from $150 to $250 and premium seating at Nationals Park running as high as $325 per game. 

As MLB reaches out, they have set up a webpage where fans can go online to MLB.com or any of the team websites and click on the "Best Values in Baseball" links. View a team-by-team listing of what MLB lists as "affordable ticket promotions" here.

Source: MLB Press Release, Business of Sports Network research 

 
MLB Predicts Attendance Increase. To Date, Remains Flat PDF Print E-mail
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Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 21 May 2008 03:54

MLBCommissioner Selig and MLB continue to predict that the league will see another record year of attendance and revenues, even as there are possible signs early in the season that reaching those projections may be in peril. Some clubs are posting attendance decreases from the year prior. While early in the season, and therefore weather is always a factor, some clubs are seeing attendance drops in the double-digits. Due to the drop, MLB may be hard pressed to reach their 81 million in attendance projection as to-date, numbers are at where they were last year at this time. As reported by the Sports Business Journal:

The league’s overall average of 30,230 fans per game as of last week is flat from last year, with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig largely blaming what he called “horrendous weather,” particularly in the Midwest.

More glaring, though, is that eight teams are behind their respective 2007 attendance paces by double-digit percentages. That compares with the marks at season’s end last year, when no team dropped by more than 9 percent at the gate compared with the prior year. Only seven teams overall had any sort of decline last year, compared with 16 thus far in 2008.

The eight teams with double-digit declines so far this season are Florida, Houston, Oakland, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, Texas and the Chicago White Sox.

On the declines, the Mariners have been a disappointment, and the Giants no longer have Barry Bonds and sit 11 games out of first place.

Declines for the Athletics and White Sox are harder to define. The A’s have been at the top of the standings (currently in 2nd, 3 games behind the Angels) and ditto for the White Sox who sit in first, 1.5 games up on the Twins.

Back to the Athletics, their average through May 21 of 19,191 (ranked 26th out of 30 clubs) is misleading due to the large turnouts for the games with the Red Sox in Japan.

“The turnout certainly has been disappointing,” [managing partner Lewis] Wolff said, “and on some levels, you could say the economy has finally become something of a factor.”

Read The Biz of Baseball interview with Lewis Wolff

 
Sticker Shock: NY All-Star Gm Tix to run $150-$725 PDF Print E-mail
Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 30 April 2008 10:00

ASGBe prepared to shell out extra money if you want to see this year’s All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. With tickets going on sale yesterday, and this being the final year in the House That Ruth Built, prices for the best seats in the house will be running at 154 percent more than the best seats at last year’s ASG that was held in San Francisco. As reported by the NY Post:

The hot topic is tickets for the All-Star game, the workout and Home Run Derby and the Futures game. Baseball's chief operating officer, Bob DuPuy, said 70 percent of tickets will be made available to either Yankees season ticket holders or the general public (through a lottery), with the rest reserved for MLB.

On-line registration for the ticket lottery began yesterday at MLB.com. The lottery will occur on June 16 that determines which registrants will have an opportunity to purchase two tickets, subject to availability, for either of the two events.

Tickets will be priced at $150-$725, up from $75-$285 for last year's game at San Francisco and $10-15 for box and reserved seats the last time the All-Stars were at Yankee Stadium, in 1977.

Tickets for the Home Run Derby and workout day on July 14 are $100-$650 and tickets for the Futures game on July 13 are $50-225.

Yes, if you want the “cheap seats” you will be spending 100 percent more than last year. Such is cashing in on nostalgia.


OTHER NEWS ACROSS THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

 
Attendance Record for Spring Training Smashed PDF Print E-mail
Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 31 March 2008 11:23

Spring Training 2008Major League Baseball drew a record total of 3,692,125 fans to Spring Training games in 2008, breaking last year’s high of 3,421,055, it was announced today. This marks the third time in the last four years that MLB’s record for overall Spring Training attendance has been set. Prior to 2005, the record for Spring Training attendance was 3,330,200 fans in 1994.

The average Spring Training attendance in 2008 was 8,026 per game, surpassing the previous mark for highest average attendance, set in 1994 (7,709 per game).

“Baseball continues to be more popular today than at any time in its history," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, “and record Spring Training attendance attests to that. We have set regular season attendance records for four straight years and I believe we will draw more than 80 million fans in 2008 and set yet another record.”

Source: MLB Press Release

Did you take in any Spring Training games? Post a comment and let us know how the crowds were

 


OTHER NEWS ACROSS THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK 


Maury Brown

Maury 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.

 
Stub Snub: The Red Sox vs. MLBAM? PDF Print E-mail
Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Pete Toms   
Sunday, 30 March 2008 23:00

The Biz of BaseballAre the Red Sox unhappy with the role of MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM)? Have they come to regard BAM as a competitor and not a partner? Recent actions and words indicate that the two have fundamental disagreements on the matters of secondary ticketing and media rights. Are these differences about who is best positioned to maximize on these revenues or how these revenues should be divided?

Earlier this month the Red Sox announced that Boston-based Ace Ticket is their “authorized hub for fans to resell tickets.” The Red Sox will be the sole MLB club not partnering with BAM on secondary ticketing. Will the Ace / Red Sox partnership have a negative impact on the the secondary ticketing agreement that BAM reached with StubHub (eBay) last August? (StubHub will continue to resell plenty of Red Sox tickets.) Certainly when StubHub agreed to be the official online reseller of tickets for all 30 MLB franchises the anticipated relationship with the Red Sox would have been an important component. Ian Donnis quoted StubHub spokesman Sean Pate.

We’re disappointed the Red Sox have elected not to participate in the StubHub/MLB ticketing partnership. The team will always have the option to integrate our two systems. Regardless of any official designation, Red Sox fans will continue to see the best selection of seats and prices on StubHub, as they have for many seasons. Ticket prices at StubHub are driven by hundreds of different sellers competing with one another, where conversely, at brokerages like Ace only one party dictates the pricing.

In a separate piece Mr. Donnis reports that the Red Sox are not ruling out “sanctioning” those who resell their tickets at StubHub. “...when asked whether the Sox might sanction those who sell their tickets on StubHub, Goodenow (Sox spokeswoman Susan Goodenow) would only repeat that the team is “exploring all options.”

In a glaring example of the unresolved struggle between clubs and leagues (all leagues) for control of digital rights, BAM might still place a StubHub banner ad on the official Boston Red Sox website. From Jenn Ableson at Boston.com.

Red Sox' snub of StubHub means that season ticket holders no longer have an "official" way to resell tickets online. MLB Advanced Media, which oversees the league's interactive enterprise, will decide within 30 days whether to place StubHub banner ads on the Red Sox' website, according to spokesman Matthew Gould. MLB runs all the team websites through a centralized operation

The Red Sox have explained that their decision to opt for Ace Ticket over BAM / Stub Hub is a result of their commitment to provide a safe forum for their fan base to sell and buy Red Sox tickets. According to Sam Kennedy, the Sox’ senior VP for sales/marketing, “Our biggest concern, frankly, is fraud,” and the potential distribution of counterfeit tickets through Internet sales. “We felt it was incumbent on us to direct people to an offline location endorsed by the team,” Ace operates seven Boston area locations. (Read Maury Brown's interview with Sam Kennedy )

Select Read More to see more details on the Red Sox Ace Ticket deal, and how it conflicts with MLBAM. Add your comments, as well.

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What Recession? Over 19 million Tickets Sold on MLB.com PDF Print E-mail
Ticket & Attendance Watch
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 28 March 2008 07:03

MLB.comAs we covered prior, MLB at this point in time, is nearly recession proof.

MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) announced today that it has sold more than 19 million tickets on behalf of the League's 30 clubs at MLB.com. During 2007, MLB.com sold more than 27 million tickets online -- a new record for online sales. MLBAM had sold 14.7 million tickets on this date and did not reach the 19 million tickets sold mark until May 31.

Source: MLB Advanced Media 


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Maury Brown

Maury 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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