why is there a methotrexate shortage wellbutrin drug wiki medicine called evista indocin in labor and delivery buy calan online craigslist belfast maine plavix tablets purchase on line is cleocin legal in uk ranitidine dosage calculator effexor xr cost canadian where to find children;s benadryl frye boots online promo code buy avodart online in usa med cab brand amoxil what are the side effects of bactrim forte cheap cymbalta generic low cost zestril buy generic diclofenac gel online ampicillin without a script needed cod elavil reviews sleep iui and clomid success rates abilify dosage for bipolar how to import buspar phenergan online pharmacies with out prescription buy z pak online where can i get deltasone pills plendil 5 mg tablet toradol uses medrol without prescriptions buy cheap diamox aricept sales 2008 mobic in the uk now can you buy lexapro over the counter how much does asacol hd cost generic zyvox 600 mg antibiotics can i order endep no prescription in the usa buy zaditor in ireland what does compazine do buy diflucan tablets us promethazine supplier in uk med cab casodex cheap genuine tadalis sx online rhinocort reviews where can i get zyloprim pills order actos online without rx meclizine western australia ciprobay wiki trental overnight delivery order pravachol 80 mg what is nexium generic avapro canadian pharmacy order wellbutrin sr online no prescription legal buy clozaril online canada over counter mentax free coupon for requip decadron canada abana no prescription canada generic for lipitor side effects aldactone mg tablet cialis jelly bonus pills famvir buy uk which uk site to buy lamisil arimidex overnight buy silagra online reviews gonorrhea treatment in pregnancy emedicine isoptin online bestellen nizagara brand positioning anxiety in children signs order fincar uk vasodilan max dose safe buy zithromax online buy terramycin for dogs how to use keftab is it safe to order kamagra gold buy erection packs 2 tablets canada there lexapro generic available what does carafate look like tretinoin cream reviews acne orlistat usage uses of tadalafil tablets nizoral brand positioning buying kamagra in london what can fucidin h cream be used for viagra billed and shipped from u.s. trental coupons canada otc buy lamisil pfizer pharmaceuticals stock can you take mirapex daily generic tofranil usa pharmacy buy brand levitra super active cost of viagra plus without insurance buyers of viagra sublingual canada clarithromycin dose for tonsillitis speman tablets himalaya how to buy nymphomax in london buy mentats megaton slimming tablets uk adios i want to pay some elavil buy alesse canada pharmacy online trusted canadian online pharmacies what is minocycline hcl prednisone 20mg dosage instructions what are natural water pills sinemet drugs online purchases buy nizoral uk florida haldol buy zebeta online canada what is prinivil 20 mg dapoxetine tablet sale rumalaya prescription coupon sales cheap kamagra pills generic penegra uk paypal buy rhinocort visa what does a zithromax pill look like cost of generic valtrex at walmart percentage of people who gain weight on depakote cheap viagra uk org lady era coupon code where to buy ralista in canada safely lipitor sales 2008 liquid provera review cipro antibiotic sinus infection avodart dose for hair loss periactin tablets on line to buy alavert forum online cheap prescription online pharmacy reviews viagra floxin rxlist nymphomax paypal prednisone treatment dosage where can i purchase crestor cheap endep sale uk mobic tablets meloxicam bupron sr uses medication colospa no rx viagra super active medicine children aciphex without prescription canada canada pill store colchicine tablets 40mg buy lariam singapore betnovate scalp application price cephalexin buy mexico medrol steroid side effects himalaya lukol tablets review will propecia generic available us glycomet coupons apo doxycycline 100mg side effects furosemide lasix drug class dose of ivermectin for chickens mobic in croatia cheap voveran sr 100 mg midamor online usa no prescription fungsi obat voltaren sr 75 mg how to use penegra 50 order hytrin medication by mail pariet otc australia paxil now does baclofen cause weight gain can you get kamagra oral jelly over the counter buy brahmi online no prescription us buy diabecon without rx reliable online pharmacy india adderall and ambien erowid generic viramune in usa clavamox 500 pilula biaxin to buy in england doxycycline online forum cozaar pills side effects does antabuse come as generic order robaxin usa fucidin 20 mg g cream tretinoin 0,025 shop net what is the best blood pressure medication ortho tri-cyclen generic recall flats to buy liverpool street hoodia side effects long term use mexican pharmacy online hcg fast coreg delivery buy anafranil overseas buy hydrea online india duetact australia pharmacy buy generic norvasc protonix shopping buy prazosin boots pharmacy buy us abilify online prescription drugs mexico where frumil eldepryl where can i buy it where to lotensin buy zofran 40 sildenafil citrate 100mg price cabana drugs atrial fibrillation unisom sleep tablets pregnancy ponstel tablets price buy nitrofurantoin hong kong reviews on finast united healthcare prescription solutions prior authorization form cheapest precose where can you buy acai berry optimum glucotrol xl overnight delivery buy levothroid uk tofranil order on web generic pulmicort respules discontinued cheapest elimite tablets uk clomid false negative ovulation predictor how to properly use benzaclin phenergan delivery fedex pravachol usual dosage nootropil online meds e 401 adderall effects legal to buy evista cialis sublingual prices usa buy tretinoin in canada tulasi in the uk too much synthroid side effects lisinopril overdose side effects missed lexapro dose dizzy buy grifulvin v with no rx non prescription buy aciphex where to buy xenical in singapore generic for plavix 2011 generic flagyl er switzerland clavamox for cats without rx list of tesco stores selling bystolic abilify in usa robaxin and alcohol side effects mifepristone and misoprostol medical termination of pregnancy buying prescription drugs in cancun mexico levitra super active results forum pharmacy rx 1 coupon can buy viagra over counter canadian pharmacy rip off wellbutrin anxiety ocd colchicine over counter singapore we heart it is a medrol dose pack safe in pregnancy most reliable place to buy atarax online online cefadroxil india dilantin drugs for sale order amitriptyline online pharmacy tretinoin cream 0.05 buy online lipothin without prescription miami colchicine discount coupon arthritis where to buy cozaar with amex zyban drug oversea buy generic abana drugs what are the side effects of methotrexate non generic buy atorlip online listaflex carisoprodol 350 mg para que sirve buy brand lotrisone metformin best place to buy strattera in india actoplus met online without prescription order actos 1 diabetes pharmacy buy actos online usa propecia satan eczaneler testosterone replacement therapy for men uk generic cialis soft uk paypal cheap inderal india haldol decanoate package insert buy antivert lowest price como comprar female viagra monthly cost of propecia buy hong kong benadryl allergy what is finast drugs where to buy penicillin g benzathine low price diltiazem uk pyridium online australia lisinopril overnight shipping cheap discount code for omnicef what is albuterol sulfate used for in children daruharidra online pharmacy viagra uk prescription diarex drugstore himalaya rx betnovate free shipping what is tetracycline drugs the chepest arimidex tadacip buy australia alli slimming pills reviews buy viagra same day delivery discount canadian pharmacy cytoxan best generic zyban review companies that sell viagra without a prescription amitriptyline 100 mg for dogs celexa and alcohol best over the counter anxiety medication uk caverta online cheap online pharmacy india phentermine best drugstore liquid makeup for oily skin order trazodone from uk without prescription bystolic without prescription canada propranolol hcl manufacturer india average pharmacy salary ireland free vigraga samples from canadian phramcy canada pharmacies online that sell finpecia buy carafate discount generic lasix pill inderal la 120 mg side effects non generic pyridium lisinopril dose for renal protection how long does it take for doxycycline to kill chlamydia zoloft uk online buy cefadroxil us how to taper prednisone in asthma get zyban las vegas buying acai in bulk cheap no rx diflucan online is evista a prescription drug furosemide online canada where to buy levothyroxine discount best way to get high on pain pills helena indian alliance montana generic form of tamoxifen buy ciprofloxacin hydrochloride online legitimate online pharmacies in india what is ibuprofen 400 mg used for provera 10mg side effects how to take medrol mg methotrexate injection discontinued clomid from canada pharmacy buy aldactone perth australia buy female cialis online with no prescription diclofenac gel drugs for sale ordering professional sildenafil viagra soft propranolol prices cvs dosis aciclovir para varicela reminyl prix en pharmacie en france snovitra super power new zealand ciprobay 500 tablete common side effects of hytrin can you order deltasone my canadian drug store zestoretic woldwide shipping what is imuran for rumalaya price india how to buy malegra dxt buy cheap vpxl buy levothroid 20 owerseas viraga sustiva next day research grade prandin nolvadex pills no prescription diflucan online from usa buying albendazole from canada no prescription canada prescriptions cheap how long does it take for revia to work acheter colchicine maximum daily dose of luvox methotrexate tablets usp non prescription viagra women bystolic 5 mg weight gain 12v lithium ion car battery for sale torsemide australia pharmacy non persciption colchicine buy tricor from canada eurax online cheap benfotiamine medicine online kamagra gold 100mg dosage can youtube buy cialis jelly in ireland online pill store nizoral ships from india rogaine 5 italiano valtrex dosage herpes zoster ks pharmacy online thailand where can i buy keppra in canada best price kamagra uk feldene discount no prescription vytorin sales 2012 malegra dxt pas cher buy online bentyl generic dutas discount medications xenical availability uk list of tesco stores selling colchicine should i buy viagra over the counter canada mps viagra lawsuit buy malegra fxt pills over the counter flagyl tablets atorlip-20 canadian pharmacy where can i buy non drowsy benadryl alesse prix en pharmacie en france cheap alli weight loss uk can you buy acivir pills pharmacy plendil 10 mg cost side effects of drinking alcohol while on flagyl kamagra gold medicine online glucotrol xl in the uk insulin resistance diet plan ampicillin side effects alcohol order generic calan pilex for sale australia sominex over counter adalat generic for antabuse maxaman in croatia omnicef pharmacy coupons xeloda doctors online legal buy toprol xl online canada retin-a cream boots januvia tablets diabetes comprar mevacor en argentina cialis online pricing in canada how to buy diakof order cheapest viagra full form rx doctor;s prescription imuran over counter torsemide tablets 10 mg non prescription rumalaya gel pharmacy is there a generic for bactroban ointment does finpecia really work doxycycline hyclate- antibiotic side effects baclofen online overnight recommended dosage of doxycycline for urinary tract infection abilify overnight buy keflex 50 levlen mist canada where do i buy erythromycin canadian chinese alliance churches association ccaca acronym advair copd coupon protonix medication on line where purchase sominex side effects of fincar 5mg buy xenical 120mg hard capsules buy amitriptyline in the uk zofran price without insurance what are ranitidine pills for can you only get danazol on prescription where to buy aldactone online mexico differin 40mg nitroglycerin explosive video buy snovitra super power mg online buy generic accutane with bonus side effects of taking aygestin can you buy l-tryptophan over the counter prednisone moderate alcohol consumption grifulvin v roche precio argentina how much will cafergot cost flagyl medication uses is viagra over the counter in uk boots robaxin over counter canada what is nexium tablets for buying metformin from canada no prescription buy orlistat hong kong cozaar generic name losartan cytoxan medication where to buy can you buy norvasc over the counter in germany valacyclovir hcl 500 mg tabran zenegra italiano lisinopril side effects forum omnicef canada overnight delivery buy clonidine online paroxetine and alcohol consumption order proventil hfa staxyn how long to take effect how long do i have to take keppra order adalat 3 pharmacy can you buy nizoral at cvs allopurinol and warfarin online pharmacy uk tretinoin 0,05 methotrexate medicine definition many pharmacies japan antidepressant drugs fluoxetine my meclizine coupons buycialisonlinecheap can you buy isoniazid where purchase minomycin cheapest online purchase prevacid best metoclopramide prices albendazole compare prices buying doxycycline in bangkok buy lexapro online viagra online paypal drugs z pack antibiotics warnings buy aleve without a script get estrace toronto overnight pharmacy lasix cheap rosuvastatin cost comparison diabecon shelf life comprar malegra fxt original en madrid viagra canada shop reviews buy lozol pills online buy jelly cheapest kamagra premarin from europe side effects of cytotec comprar bentyl original how to take zovirax un rey en la habana online free prescriptions by mail costco femcare prices usa buyers of pariet canada xenical canadian source fda canada canadian generic pharmaceuticals association order viagra professional online canada trazodone tablets they buy terramycin australia purchase nizoral in us bula prednisona 5 mg best price levitra online singulair cost comparison toradol drugstore.com discount code for liverpool shop health canada retino-a cream 0,025 dulcolax online kaufen xenical results orlistat how much does antabuse cost non persciption proventil chloromycetin italiano dapoxetine 60 mg tablet health canada viagra sublingual best online pharmacy generic avandamet micardis shelf life diclofenac gel pas cher italie buy styplon new zealand online what does trazodone hydrochloride look like glucophage tablets on line to buy aciclovir prices usa billig azulfidine online kaufen overactive thyroid medication and weight gain mexican pharmacy no prescription maxalt delivery online generic aceon tinidazole tablets loose motion lady era generico italiano buy generic viagra plus online no prescription free or low cost lanoxin zetia medicinenet will propecia go over counter ginseng prices in kentucky 2012 side effects of glucophage metformin what is the recommended dose for cymbalta can you buy ciplox 500 in south africa use cialis sublingual coupon online use differin gel 0.1 tadalafil online reviews online abilify purchase neurotin sold in canada purchase accutane 5mg free viagrafix office 2000 tutorials can you buy venlor online is escitalopram better than fluoxetine where to buy allopurinol tablets overnight delivery no prescription ortho tri cyclen pill rx health order lotrisone products buy actos tablets canada comprar naprosyn online cheap exelon 3 mg anafranil 10 mg prospect buy shatavari with paypal
Home Pete Toms LWIB: Renovating Wrigley Field, Playing the Slots in MLB, Attendance at the Break, ASG HR Derby, BofA and MLB

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 1080 guests online

Atom RSS

LWIB: Renovating Wrigley Field, Playing the Slots in MLB, Attendance at the Break, ASG HR Derby, BofA and MLB PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 5
PoorBest 
Pete Toms Article Archive
Written by Pete Toms   
Monday, 13 July 2009 00:00

Last Week in Baseball by Pete Toms

This week in LWIB, Wrigley Field renovations, amateur draft slot recommendations, mid season MLB attendance, the All-Star Game Home Run Derby and Bank of America’s relationship with MLB.

WRIGLEY FIELD RENOVATIONS

LWIB saw much conjecture concerning the finalizing of an agreement transferring ownership of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and a minority stake in Comcast Sportsnet Chicago from Tribune Co. to a group headed by Thomas Ricketts.  Reports of a nearly completed sale led to renewed speculation concerning the future of Wrigley Field.  It is expected that increasing revenues at Wrigley Field will be a necessity for new owners in light of the demands of a reported near $900 million purchase price for all the assets.  LWIB Fran Spielman reported for the Chicago Sun-Times (HT Shysterball);

On the table is a $250 million makeover timed to celebrate the ballpark's 100th anniversary and update the shrine of Major League Baseball to last for another century -- and possibly host the 2014 All-Star Game.

Known as Wrigley 2014, the plan calls for new concourses, washrooms, concessions, skyboxes and a club seating lounge.

Adjacent to the ballpark, the team would finally develop the so-called triangle building and turn the street in between into a Fenway Park-style pedestrian promenade bustling with shops and restaurants.

The five-story triangle building promised to Wrigleyville residents in exchange for a bleacher expansion was supposed to house a 400-space garage, upscale restaurants, retail stores and rooftop garden and below-ground batting cages, pitching mounds and player workout facilities.

The $100 million building has since been redesigned to include more retail and office space at the expense of parking, with a stadium club replacing the rooftop garden. A smaller garage could be built on less valuable land away from Wrigley.

Sources said Tom Ricketts, the family's point man on the Cubs sale, has seen all of the renderings, but has not yet signed off on a specific renovation plan.

How the Wrigley Field renovations and development surrounding the ballpark will be financed remains  unknown.  Ms. Spielman points out in her report, But after paying nearly $900 million for the Cubs and struggling to secure debt in a worldwide credit crunch, how extensive of a renovation would the Ricketts family be able to afford or be willing to bankroll? Reacting to reports that the sale of the Cubs had been finalized, Bruce Levine reported for ESPN Chicago, “New revenue sources, including personal seat licensing (PSLs) will be a part of the aggressive way the new owners will look for more cash”.

Last year, Tribune Co. and the State of Illinois discussed a proposal that would see the State purchase Wrigley Field and then sell tax-exempt bonds to finance renovations to the ballpark.  According to Ms. Spielman, Ricketts family spokesman Dennis Culloton, “...reiterated that the family has no interest in reviving an ill-fated plan to have the state buy and renovate Wrigley.” Neil deMause, at his Field of Schemes blog, is not convinced that the Cubs new owners will not seek government cooperation in financing a Wrigley Field renovation.  Mr. deMause notes that should Cubs ownership resume negotiations with the State over purchasing and renovating Wrigley, a key deadline looms as the ability to access financing via PILOTS (payments-in-lieu-of-taxes ) expires at the end of the 2009 calendar year.  (The Yankees obtained a favourable ruling from the IRS which allowed them to finance most of the construction costs for the new Yankee Stadium via tax exempt – i.e. cheaper - municipal bond financing.  The Yankees repay the borrowing costs via PILOTS)

Maury Brown at The Biz of Baseball detailed how the purchase of the Cubs and any subsequent renovations to Wrigley Field could be impacted by MLB’s rules governing debt at the individual club level.  Mr. Brown quotes from the current CBA.

No Club may maintain more Total Club Debt than can reasonably be supported by its EBITDA. A Club’s Total Club Debt cannot reasonably be supported by its EBITDA if Total Club Debt exceeds the product of the average of that Club’s EBITDA over the most recent two years multiplied by the Cash Flow Multiplier applicable to that Club

The CBA then continues to explain the Cash Flow Multiplier

Cash Flow Multiplier. “Cash Flow Multiplier” means the number to be multiplied by the average of a Club’s EBITDA over the most recent two years … in order to determine the maximum Total Club Debt that reasonably can be supported by that Club’s EBITDA. The Cash Flow Multiplier shall be ten (10), except that any Club which incurs (or has incurred within the last ten years) stadium-related debt to finance construction of a new ballpark or the major renovation of its existing ballpark may use a Cash Flow Multiplier of fifteen (15) for the first ten (10) fiscal years after that ballpark’s opening or re-opening

Select Read more to see the lastest on amatuer draft slot recommendations, attendance at the Major and Minor League levels at the All-Star Break, the All-Star Homerun Derby, and the latest on Bank of America and MLB

AMATEUR DRAFT SLOT RECOMMENDATIONS

Commissioner Selig has renewed his efforts to control the escalating dollars being awarded to amateur players selected in the Rule 4 amateur draft via his office’s “slot recommendations”.  The “slotting program” has been a divisive and controversial issue within ownership (and obviously with the PA) since it was introduced in 2002.  Many clubs have opted to ignore the “slots” in previous years.  Subsequent to the most recent “June draft”, Liz Mullen reported in The SportsBusiness Journal.

Major League Baseball is recommending to clubs a 10 percent reduction in the signing bonuses paid to players who were selected in the first four rounds of this month’s amateur draft and even steeper reductions for players selected in the fifth round or later, multiple sources said.

One source said MLB’s recommendation for the slots for the upper rounds represents a decrease of more than 15 percent over last year’s slot numbers.

AND

Agents said clubs were citing the downturn in the economy as the reason for the decrease in the slot recommendations.

“For the first round, they are saying the slot is 10 percent down, and that is consistent with the offers I have received,” said one prominent agent. “The teams definitely use the commissioner’s office as an excuse. They say, ‘We love the player. We love the slot, but the commissioner’s office won’t let us [sign above slot].’”

AND

MLB for years has made recommendations about how much drafted players should be paid and maintained that the league is not prohibited from reducing the amount of the recommendation. MLB reduced the recommendation in 2007 by about 10 percent but increased it last year by about 10 percent.

While it remains early in the signing season (the signing deadline is August 17), the deals agreed to so far indicate that clubs are largely adhering to the commissioner’s “slots”.  (Whether this is a result of concerns about the economy and diminished attendance in MLB this season or the influence of Commissioner Selig is not known to LWIB.)  LWIB, Jim Callis at Baseball America assembled some facts on the state of the market for this year’s amateur draftees.

Commissioner Bud Selig's decision to slash bonus recommendations by 10 percent this year hasn't significantly delayed the signing of first-round picks. In the first four weeks after the draft, 11 first-rounders had signed pro contracts.

At the same point, 12 first-rounders had agreed to terms in 2008 and 13 had signed in 2007.

AND

The 11 first-rounders who have signed averaged $1.449 million in bonuses, compared to $1.509 million in MLB recommendations for their slot and $2.065 million in bonuses for those picks in 2008.

None of the four players signed in the first 20 picks.....received a full-slot bonus.

AND

Expect a lull until a week or so before the Aug. 17 deadline. The last time MLB arbitrarily cut slots 10 percent, in 2007, several first-rounders held out for the previous year's numbers and received them at the deadline.

There also are many players....seeking more than twice MLB's guidelines for their slots. While all of them are expected to sign, MLB won't approve significantly above-slot deals until shortly before the deadline.

In a separate piece, Mr. Callis reported that MLB has “set a $150,000 ceiling” for all picks subsequent to the fifth round.

MID-SEASON ATTENDANCE

LWIB Brian Borawski of The Hardball Times examined MLB’s mid season attendance numbers.

Coming in at number one are the New York Yankees. While that’s not a big surprise, the fact that they’re below 90 percent of their capacity is. They’re drawing almost 8,000 fewer fans per game then they did in their record breaking season last year. Coming in at number two are the Philadelphia Phillies, who are cashing in on their World Series win last year. They’re looking to dethrone the perennial National League leader, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who despite sporting the best record in baseball, sit at number three as they’ve drawn almost 3,000 fewer fans per game.

Another big disappointment are the New York Mets. After drawing over 51,000 fans per game last year, they’re bringing in just over 39,000 fans this year. Granted their stadium is smaller, but they’re still operating at 93 percent of capacity.

Coming in at the bottom are the Florida Marlins, who are getting a new stadium in a couple of years. The Oakland Athletics are just a notch above them and rounding out the teams with an average of fewer than 20,000 are the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Chicago Cubs are the best draw on the road, although it’s close between them and the New York Yankees. The Boston Red Sox, who have had the best road record the past two seasons, sit in third place.

If you total up all of the games to date, overall attendance sits at 36.6 million. While it’s not exact, that would put overall attendance in the 73 million range if that trend holds. This is well below last year’s mark of 78.6 million and it’s quite a bit lower then the 75 million I predicted in the THT Annual. There’s some reason to be encouraged though. There are several tight division races (see the NL Central) and the warmer weather should bring out more fans to the more northern cities. Still, it’s safe to say that attendance is going to be at a multi-year low for the season.

Is the decline in attendance associated with fan dissatisfaction over ticket prices?  LWIB saw the release of a poll commissioned by the AP which interviewed “655 adults interested or very interested in MLB.”  The interviews happened between June 26 and July 5.  (See a PDF of the poll results hereMaury Brown reported on the findings of the poll;

Of the four questions asked, a staggering 63 percent of those polled said the cost of attending games represents the biggest problem with Major League Baseball, up from 45 percent just before the season started when the same poll questions were asked. That compared with just 18 percent saying players made too much money (down from 29 percent at beginning of the season), 14 percent saying player use of PEDs (down from 19 percent at beginning of the season), and 4 percent saying games take too long (down from 6 percent at the beginning of the season).

Mr. Brown also reports that according to Team Marketing Report the league-average ticket price has increased 5.4% in 2009.  But when the Mets and Yankees are subtracted from the equation “the average ticket for the other 28 teams ($23.07) would be up just .09 percent.”

Due to the recession, MLB clubs anticipated declining attendance this season and responded with a large amount of ticket-discounting.  The decline in attendance, combined with ticket-discounting, is having a very significant impact on MLB’s largest single source of revenue.  Eric Fisher reported in The Sports Business Journal in May;

A heavy wave of team-level ticket discounts and promotions has helped lessen, but not eliminate, the declining attendance numbers. That same discounting, however, has contributed to MLB’s aggregate ticket revenue being down an even greater percentage than the attendance decline, perhaps something closer to 6 percent to 7 percent, industry sources said.

Declining attendance could be impacting player personnel decisions.  LWIB saw both White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams and Rays owner Stuart Sternberg making comments to the press linking disappointing fan support at the gate this season with the inability to acquire players near-term (Williams) and retain players in future seasons (Sternberg).

ALL-STAR GAME HOME RUN DERBY

Has MLB’s All-Star Game Home Run Derby become more popular than the game itself?  Probably not, but the exhibition has evolved into a fan favourite both at the gate and on TV.

LWIB the St. Louis Business Journal reported (HT Shysterball);

The average ticket price to the Major League Baseball All-Star game in St. Louis is down more than 50 percent from last year, while the ticket price to the Home Run Derby is up more than 9 percent.

The average ticket to the All-Star game July 14 is $679, down from $1,460 last year when the game was played in New York, according to RazorGator.com, a ticket market site.

The average ticket price to the July 13 derby, where the league’s top hitters square off to determine who can hit the most home runs, is $491 this year, up from $449 last year.

LWIB Michael Hiestand reported in USA Today that the Home Run Derby is, “often cable TV's highest-rated summer event”. Mr. Hiestand also reports that ESPN will use the Home Run Derby to showcase its new “Ball Track” technology.  Glen Dickson reported on “Ball Track” in Broadcasting & Cable:

The network will introduce a new graphic, "Ball Track", which uses Doppler radar to track the flight of a baseball off the bat. The Ball Track graphic will indicate the real-time distance the ball is traveling, from the point of impact to the final resting point; display the arc of the ball as it travels through the air; and, by using the mid-flight path of the ball, project whether the hit will be a home run or fall short.

The Ball Track data will both be presented as an on-screen graphic and stored for reference throughout the telecast. ESPN has displayed home-run distances in the past, but Ball Track will mark the first time that information is presented in real time.

ESPN will use 20 cameras in total to cover the Derby action, including "Ultra Mo," an ultra-high-frame rate camera that captures images at 1,000 frames per second to generate slow-motion replays with fine detail.

BANK OF AMERICA AND MLB

The February collapse of Bank of America’s deal with the New York Yankees for “in-stadium”naming rights of the new Yankee Stadium was one of the most high profile examples of the popular and political backlash against the financial services sector’s sponsorship of professional sports.  The value of the sponsorship deal was widely reported to be approximately $20 million annually.  Government (TARP) bailouts of lending institutions turned sports sponsorships in to public relations disasters for the financial services sector.  (I.E. CitiField)  Ben Casselman reported in the WSJ on BofA’s decision to walk away from the premier sponsorship opportunity available at the new Yankee Stadium, “Bank of America spokesman Joe Goode said the decision to walk away from the negotiations was due in part to the economic environment and "the mood of the country."

Nonetheless BofA remains very active in MLB.  LWIB Tom Van Riper reported in Forbes that “Bank Of America Is Bullish On Baseball”.

Despite engendering acres of bad press for spending on sports while collecting $45 million in taxpayer TARP funds, Bank of America ( BAC - news - people ) maintains sponsorship deals with 10 MLB teams, including the high profile Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox. It also officially sponsors 23 minor league teams, not to mention Little League.

AND

Bank of America claims every dollar it spends on sports yields $10 in revenue and $3 in net income. More than 10% of BofA's checking accounts in the U.S. are sports branded through teams and leagues. The bank has raised $18 billion in debt and private equity for stadium construction and renovation since 2002. Despite the tough times for financials, banks and financial services companies still represent the broadest presence in MLB with 13 firms spending on 22 official sponsorships. No other industry has more than six.

AND

With the notable exception of passing on a chance to up its deal with the Yankees to sponsor a big part of the team's new stadium, the bank is forging ahead with the most baseball sponsorship deals in the financial industry while holding its overall sports spending steady from last year. The "official bank of Major League Baseball" will be active at the July 14 All-Star Game in St. Louis, Mo., running promotions around former Cardinal greats like Ozzie Smith and Lou Brock, and passing out free tickets to the local Fan Fest party to those opening accounts.


Pete Toms is an author for The Biz of Baseball and a staff member of the Business of Sports Network. He can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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.

Follow the Business of Sports Network on Twitter Twitter

Subscribe

 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?