halifax credit card balance transfer promo code credit card fraud alert 2012 halifax credit card ppi claim success best credit card cashback singapore top 100 credit card processors payday lenders direct lenders td cash back visa card bad credit auto loan reviews consumer finance college students and credit cards abn amro netherlands credit card online how to make a balance transfer credit card natwest free visa gift cards what;s the best usaa credit card statute of limitations for disputing credit card charges virtual credit cards to verify paypal report credit card fraud online payday loans no credit check instant approval pay my toys r us credit card online how often can i apply for citi credit cards nz balance transfer credit card deals credit card debt calculator template list of credit card companies for bad credit delta skymiles credit card offers what is the best cashback credit card with no annual fee santander 123 credit card cash back list mastercard gold credit card travel insurance online application for credit card citibank natwest black credit card terms and conditions major bank secured credit cards secured credit card bad credit canada free visa card generator highest credit card limit possible american express gold card money saving expert natwest black card login want to apply for hdfc credit card online what;s the best cashback credit card where can i use my horizon credit card capital one applying for credit card easy to get credit cards with poor credit canada alaska airline credit card deals applying for a business credit card with bad credit department store credit cards canada paypal credit card fees canada get a credit card instantly hdfc indigo offer credit card what is the best credit card for me does discover have a secured credit card current lowes credit card promotions instant payday loans vanquis credit card reviews online loan companies canada canada credit card debt ways to prevent credit card fraud online student credit cards visa mastercard metal business card chase /credit card holder discovery platinum credit card benefits hsbc 0 credit card offers low interest credit card offers australia rate of interest on cash withdrawal from credit card hdfc compare sbi and hdfc credit card best student credit card scotiabank scene visa online payday loans direct lender instant approval halifax clarity credit card cash back how to choose a credit card singapore sbi credit card statement can you get cashback on credit card purchases chase credit card with miles rewards mbna 0 balance transfer credit cards chase credit cards login best buy credit card payment on phone icici international credit card charges united mileage plus credit card phone number canadian prepaid reloadable credit cards applying for credit cards hurt credit score travel credit cards review visa credit cards with low interest capital one ventureone sm rewards credit card reviews australian no credit check credit cards bank of america credit card machine customer service hdfc bank diners club international credit card free credit card numbers that work with security code and expiration date 2013 how to get a 5 000 loan with bad credit getting a secured credit card bank of america capital one credit card insurance cover what bank will give me a credit card with bad credit in australia rebuild credit cards secured most secure credit card reader how do i pay my firestone credit card online 10 000 credit card debt relief canada zero interest credit card offers for 12 months what is a secured credit card mean sample visa credit card number aqua credit card mobile app chase visa credit card benefits types of credit card fraud can you pay sears credit card with a gift card apply for american express corporate credit card fake visa card security code go mastercard australia payday loan companies online no credit check best rate credit cards uk do they sell prepaid credit cards walgreens how to pay off my credit card debt fast sears credit card customer service hsbc how to redeem hdfc world credit card reward points company credit card anz low rate credit card cash advance credit cards 0 interest on balance transfers payday cash advance loans rewards credit card reviews 2012 intuit credit card processing credit cards for fair credit discover best 0 percent interest credit cards pay national city credit card apply for goodyear credit card hsbc credit card application retrieval air canada credit card charges american first cash advance visa debit cards online shopping best unsecured credit card with bad credit blank credit card authorization form template best no annual fee credit cards australia can i use bestbuy gift cards to pay off credit card compare hdfc gold and titanium credit cards accept credit card payments on iphone uk can get walmart credit card bad credit santander credit card 0 13 months no fee free secured credit cards for bad credit bad credit loans online no brokers western union gold card uk cibc credit cards aeroplan sears credit card application reference number walmart store card credit score best credit card offers for students 2012 free ipad credit card reader uk what;s the best small business credit card best credit card for students barclay credit card app status hudson bay company lost credit card low interest transfer balance credit cards shell gas credit card canada credit card limit calculator online foursquare credit card processing app best cashback credit cards uae chase credit card rewards login best cashback credit card in india 2011 best canadian credit card to use in usa visa card issue number location interest free credit card uk visa cards start with what digits international credit card icici bank tesco bank 0 credit card cnn best credit cards bad credit apply for visa student credit card capital one credit card limit increase standard chartered new credit card apply barclays credit card eligibility checker tata sbi credit card apply online how to pay barclays credit card payment newest payday lenders uk cash payday loans no credit check complaints about first premier credit cards city bank credit card customer care phone number delhi american express delta skymiles credit card login credit rebuilding credit cards canada best credit card for travel to south america best credit card to have 2013 capital one credit card for students with no credit free credit card with bad credit history uk credit card debt 2012 can you use prepaid credit cards in usa need a credit card fast with bad credit in south africa us bank credit card payment options unfair credit card fees uk barclays visa black card free credit card scanner for android fast cash loans with bad credit online hsbc platinum credit card travel insurance uk the best islamic credit card in malaysia best credit cards for bad credit canada ge money bank credit card services pay advance loans raleigh nc walmart discover credit card cash advance walmart credit card canada phone number mastercard debit card anz where can i use my bp gas credit card mastercard cash plus reviews credit cards for very bad credit with no deposit how to get a nandos black card ebay sbi credit card helpline number wells fargo credit card rewards mortgage credit card interest rates malaysia business credit card comparison 2012 ge capital lowes credit card phone number pc credit card processing major credit card companies wiki gnc gold card renewal i have no credit what credit card should i get ikea credit card apply malaysia hbc credit card contact number best travel credit cards in india credit card scanner for computer payday cash advances no faxing same day payday loans direct lenders barclays credit card login uae how to redeem citibank indian oil credit card reward points prepaid mastercard uk free virtual paypal credit card credit card number visa or mastercard free master credit card numbers usa credit card numbers is it easy to get a walmart credit card canadian visa credit card application apply for credit union credit cards discuss the cost of accepting credit cards sbi credit card customer care number in noida credit cards for recently discharged bankruptcy top credit cards in india 2013 guaranteed unsecured credit cards bodog credit card verification agreement wells fargo credit card transfer fee best credit cards for balance transfers no fee platinum credit card bank of ireland credit card instant approval no annual fee how to use black cardamom cash back offer credit cards india bank of america corporate credit card programs capital one credit card uk cash advance loans direct lenders only marriott rewards chase credit card online hdfc credit card customer care phone number bangalore balance transfer offers for bad credit zero percent balance transfer credit card offers credit card 0 apr starwood hotel credit card review small business credit card offers for poor credit cheap interest payday loans online device for iphone credit card payment can i get a credit card with bad credit history best secured credit card bad credit opt out of credit card offers website nationwide visa credit card protection how to get student credit cards with no credit how to get a car loan with bad credit and no cosigner generate valid credit card number verifone wireless credit card machines american express types of credit cards verifone credit card machine zero interest balance transfer credit cards canada get credit card with bad credit australia online credit card apr calculator 12 month loan bad credit no guarantor prepaid credit card paypal uk daily credit card interest calculator gold card national rail discount paypal sandbox sample credit card number capital one platinum card credit limit pay old navy credit card visa best credit cards for no credit 2013 easy approval credit cards virtual credit card paypal free credit card reward comparison calculator best credit cards uk rewards target red card visa application how do you calculate interest payments on a credit card store credit cards with no credit check major credit card company list add money to paypal prepaid credit card household bank credit card sign in how to get free credit card numbers 2012 how does chase apply credit card payments rci bank of america credit card login how online credit card payment system works 12 month cash loans today td visa cardholder agreement barclaycard cashback credit card terms and conditions money saving expert credit card charges refund chase southwest rapid rewards credit card review get credit card numbers and cvv capital one secured visa credit cards sbi credit card customer care number mumbai low interest credit cards nz how to get a business loan with bad credit and no collateral can i apply for a walmart credit card and use it the same day credit cards with free travel insurance singapore bad credit auto loan calculator best credit cards 2013 for bad credit rebuild how does a credit card work online free credit card details 2013 that work bad credit visa card canada can i get a chase credit card in canada generate us credit card number sample credit card billing authorization form best credit card rewards 2012 us best money back credit cards 2013 free fake visa credit card number citibank credit card insurance travel capital one first credit card virgin 0 balance transfer credit card free prepaid credit card worldwide mastercard prepaid credit cards uk vip cash payday loans typical credit card limits uk what are good credit cards for college students walmart credit card report lost applying for a credit card with a bad credit rating best pay day loans direct lenders corporate credit card programs best practices tesco clubcard credit card for balance transfers guaranteed approval unsecured visa credit card kisan credit card interest rate punjab national bank chase student credit card karma points online cash advance lenders in georgia sbi credit card billdesk malaysia credit card comparison no fee credit cards canada virtual credit card paypal canada credit card fees nab credit card insurance contact credit card name verification service hdfc credit card charges for lic premium payment credit card poor credit rating uk chase visa credit card my account visa platinum credit card offers india sears canada online credit card application best online credit card merchant account hdfc credit card helpline indore is a secured credit card a good idea credit card protection against faulty goods federal bank credit cards india secure credit card canada credit card interest charges explained usaa lost credit card phone number hdfc credit card interest free emi how to get credit card details off itunes amazon credit card bonus offer gold credit card travel insurance commonwealth can you get cashback on a credit card transaction free visa credit card number with csc hdfc credit card a chase credit card login help magnum cash advance payday loan best travel credit card for thailand unsecured visa credit card bad credit can i pay for a money order with a credit card at the post office reward credit cards comparison prepaid credit cards compare uk google wallet credit card security santander 123 cashback credit card annual fee travel no fee credit card capital one aspire travel platinum mastercard credit card fraudsters arrested credit card application online canada sign up for a credit card with no credit anz credit card balance transfer 0 ways to reduce credit card debt faster southwest credit card car rental deals visa credit card for businesses instant approval credit cards hsbc platinum credit card points redemption hsbc best buy credit card reviews low apr credit cards for poor credit virgin credit card ppi reclaim capital one online credit card management need a personal loan with bad credit fast what is a credit card machine used for credit card score canada credit cards for business with fair credit at what age can i apply for a credit card bad credit rebuilding credit cards best credit card deal canada ge credit card login australia hdfc credit card customer care number kerala report lost visa card canada easy money online cash advance what is the easiest store credit card to get approved for fidelity credit cards 2 cash back credit card application rejected india pay jcpenney credit card wells fargo no foreign transaction fee credit card cash back credit cards with no annual fee square iphone credit card app best visa card for international travel help with credit card debt ireland does capital one have a prepaid credit card axis bank credit cards details pay sears credit cards online should i use my tesco credit card abroad shopping rewards cards app chase visa credit card logon hsbc credit card online payment billdesk bank of ireland credit card security services how to get a credit card lloyds low limit credit cards for bad credit neiman marcus credit card services zurich credit card insurance travel idbi bank credit card apply online apply for credit card hsbc bank best credit card debt consolidation services payday loans with guaranteed approval for bad credit chase marriott rewards credit card benefits instant decision business credit cards payday advance uk reviews spg amex credit card offer how do credit cards charge interest on cash advances citi corporate credit card login 4 major credit cards companies barclays credit card lost and stolen pre approved credit cards capital one best travel credit cards 2013 chase freedom credit card payment address royalty free credit card icons westpac altitude credit card travel insurance discover credit cards payment address mastercard prepaid account balance online payday loans instant approval direct lenders no credit check payday online loans no credit check best credit union secured credit cards small business credit cards no credit check hsbc credit card apply now disney credit card reviews 2012 how do i take a cash advance on my capital one credit card hdfc credit cards helpline 0 credit cards with no transfer fee how to get a visa black card multiple credit card payoff calculator best travel credit cards 2012 virgin credit card 0 apr secured business credit card wells fargo compare credit cards for bad credit what is the best credit card to have with no credit unlimited cash back credit card malaysia cibc credit card health insurance pay hdfc credit card online payment blacklisted online payday loans south africa unsecured gas credit cards for bad credit cash advance loans online home how to get a bad credit loan in ireland best credit cards to apply for with low credit total merchant services credit card processing reviews credit card holder ebay india chase visa rewards cards quick bad credit payday loans lord and taylor credit card stolen valid credit card numbers with cvv 2013 citibank credit card information stolen visa credit card number with cvv credit cards with cashback for gas purchases reward credit cards uk 100 day pay loans wells fargo jewelry advantage credit card login prepaid credit card paypal reload how do i apply for a visa credit card online visa credit card no foreign transaction fee credit card companies reporting to irs compare visa and mastercard credit cards online loan lenders uk american express black card travel insurance best credit card app for ipad 2 post office travel credit card what is the best credit card for someone who has bad credit free credit card details with cvv 2013 ann taylor loft credit card customer service free visa card numbers 2013 canada lloyds tsb airmiles credit card contact balance transfer from icici credit card to hdfc icici bank credit card settlement letter citibank gold credit card online apply travel credit cards comparison real valid visa credit card number hdfc bank credit cards eligibility online tracking of credit card application of hdfc bank online loans instant payout barclays visa debit card online banking maxing out credit cards before bankruptcy canada student credit card credit union best buy credit card application employee direct payday loans citibank student credit card australia halifax credit card online application payday loan lenders online credit card limit increase letter easy store credit card for bad credit net pay advance credit card apply online hdfc bank best credit card rates for good credit same day cash loans no bank account where to buy prepaid credit cards in toronto android credit card reader free prepaid credit card generator credit card interest calculator tesco credit card protection plan how do you get a starbucks gold card bank of america visa rewards card balance hdfc credit card payment online from axis bank icici international credit card offers united credit card bonuses say no to 0870 natwest credit card hsbc credit card abroad pre approved credit card canada canada credit card balance transfer
Home Pete Toms LWIB: Cubs Ask for Public Money For Wrigley Field, Astros New RSN, White Sox Woes, Tidbits

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 1103 guests online

Atom RSS

LWIB: Cubs Ask for Public Money For Wrigley Field, Astros New RSN, White Sox Woes, Tidbits PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 7
PoorBest 
Pete Toms Article Archive
Written by Pete Toms   
Monday, 15 November 2010 15:17

Last Week in Bizball by Pete Toms

This week in “Last Week in BizBall”, Cubs request public dollars to finance Wrigley Field renovations, details emerging on Astros new RSN, three former White Sox employees indicted on federal charges, plus tidbits.

CUBS ASK THE PUBLIC TO FINANCE WRIGLEY FIELD RENOVATIONS

LWIB the Chicago Cubs made public their plans to finance a $200 million plus renovation of Wrigley Field via future amusement tax revenues generated at the ballpark. According to Chicago news reports, the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority would issue up to $300 million in tax-exempt bonds to finance the renovations, which would be repaid over 35 years from the growth in amusement tax revenues generated at Wrigley from annual increases in ticket and concession prices. The ISFA has previously issued bonds to finance construction/renovations at US Cellular Field and Soldier Field. Cubs ownership would like to see the renovations commence after the 11 season and be completed over 3-5 years. The Cubs would continue to play at Wrigley during that timeframe. The culmination of the renovations would reportedly include Wrigley hosting the 16 ASG. The Cubs “2014 plan”, which was to see a newly renovated Wrigley Field host the ASG that same year to coincide with the franchise’s 100th anniversary, is evidently no longer viable.

The plan will require the approval of the Illinois General Assembly. Senate President John Cullerton has agreed to sponsor the bill which is to be presented during the veto session which begins next week. Both Mr. Cullerton and Cubs owner Thomas Ricketts are framing the issue as being about ensuring that the franchise remains viable at Wrigley Field. In other words, the Cubs won’t leave Chicago. Fran Spielman quoted Mr. Ricketts in her report:

"It's not about adding seats. It's about saving the stadium and making the fan experience better. Other ballparks have player amenities that we don't. We need to catch up to them," Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said Thursday.

"I don't see any circumstances under which we would leave Wrigley Field in the short-run. But, we also know it's a 100-year-old ballpark, and we're gonna have to address the issues of playing there someday. We'd rather do it now than waiting around."

Senator Cullerton was quoted in the same report, "The state is not affected by this at all — other than to ensure that the Cubs stay at Wrigley Field for decades to come," Both Governor Pat Quinn and ISFA Chairman (and former Governor) Jim Thompson were non-committal in their public comments regarding the proposal.

News reports also included claims from Mr. Ricketts that the Cubs and Wrigley Field contribute more than $600 million annually to the local economy. The same reports also included statements that approval of the plan would allow the Cubs owners to invest $200 million of private money in developing the long discussed “Triangle Building” adjacent to Wrigley, thus creating jobs and generating future additional tax revenues. Mr. Ricketts (see the above quote) also emphasized in reports that the renovations would NOT result in increased seating capacity (ie. no additional revenues for the Cubs)

Not surprisingly, it isn’t difficult to find those questioning the fairness of the proposed plan. (typically presented with a sub-text contrasting huge government budget shortfalls against public assistance to billionaire sports owners) Neil deMause’s headline was, Cubs owner demands $200m in tax kickbacks for Wrigley reno. And in her aforementioned report, Fran Spielman wrote of the plan to finance the publicly issued bonds via future tax revenues:

That would require the city and county to forfeit tax growth they desperately need at a time when both are facing massive budget deficits. And if amusement tax growth falls short of the amount needed to make debt payments, the city and county would be deprived of the tax growth for even longer than 35 years.

This isn’t the first attempt by a Cubs owner to have the ISFA finance renovations to Wrigley Field. In 07, previous Cubs owner Sam Zell and the ISFA engaged in negotiations over a plan which would have resulted in the stadium authority buying Wrigley and then financing renovations via the sale of “equity seat licenses”. As recently as six months ago, Mr. Ricketts publicly raised the possibility of selling personal seat licenses (which are different from equity seat licenses) to finance Wrigley Field renovations.

That Wrigley Field is in need of extensive repairs is widely agreed upon. At a minimum, aging steel, concrete and electrical infrastructure needs replacing. Beyond that, the debate becomes more divisive. Are further renovations such as bigger concourses and more premium seating about ensuring the Cubs remain at Wrigley or are they about the Cubs’ bottom line? Can you separate the two? As discussed previously here, more aesthetic changes to Wrigley such as additional signage and the installation of a video/jumbotron-type screen are complicated by both the ballpark’s landmark status and the need to maintain it’s unique character. The Ricketts’ challenge in completing renovations might also be complicated by persistent speculation that their approximately $850 million purchase of the franchise, ballpark and minority stake in CSN Chicago maxed out their credit. (see this LWIB from February) Finding somebody else to finance the renovations is also tricky. I suspect that selling PSLs or equity seat licenses is a last resort for Mr. Ricketts. In February when he raised the subject it was as part of his campaign to build support for political approval of installation of an advertising billboard in the left field bleachers. (If I can’t install advertising I’ll be forced to sell PSLs) And in the post Lehmann Brothers world, there is less popular and political support for public investment in professional sports (it still happens, less so ) What is certain is that the Chicago Cubs will never leave Wrigley Field. The Cubs brand, amongst the most valuable in all of professional sports, is inextricably linked to “the friendly confines”. Separating the two makes no sense and Tom Ricketts knows that better than any of us. Wrigley Field will be renovated. How long that takes and who pays for it, I don’t know. But as fans of the Marlins and Twins know all too well, it can be a long, long road.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE NEWS ON THE ASTROS AND CSN HOUSTON, FORMER WHITE SOX EMPLOYEES INDICTED, PLUS THIS WEEK'S TIDBITS

THE ASTROS AND CSN HOUSTON

One of the most interesting baseball biz storylines this year is the windfall of cash clubs are seeing from local TV deals. If you are a regular reader you are well versed. If you aren’t a regular reader, see here and here. As noted here a few weeks ago, the Houston Astros are the most recent franchise to own some - or all - of a Regional Sports Network (RSN). The Astros, Rockets and Comcast have partnered in the channel CSN Houston, set to launch in 12. David Barron (HT Fang’s Bites) reported on what, according to his sources, are the details of the deal. The Astros and Rockies own 77.5% of the channel, Comcast owns 22.5%. According to an official with knowledge of the talks, the teams value the new channel at $1 billion. The Astros and Rockets will be severing ties with current rights holder Fox Sports Houston. As an example of how vigorous the competition is for local TV rights, consider what Fox reportedly offered to maintain their partnership with the Houston teams:

A person with knowledge of the negotiations said Fox offered more than a billion dollars, with a $200 million signing bonus, over a period of more than 10 years to keep the Astros and Rockets on Fox Sports Houston. The teams receive about $45 million to $50 million per year.

"The only thing that wasn't offered was ownership (in the network)," the person said.

With Astros owner Drayton McLane reportedly motivated to sell the franchise it will interesting to see what the Astros’ stake in CSN Houston does for the value of ballclub.

FORMER WHITE SOX EMPLOYEES INDICTED FOR ALLEGED BONUS SKIMMING

Another baseball biz storyline I’ve been tracking the past few years is MLB’s efforts to reform player recruitment in Latin America, particularly the Dominican Republic. As both more players are recruited from Latin America, and the signing bonuses awarded the most sought after of those players have skyrocketed, MLB has chosen to take an active role in limiting the rampant misrepresentation of players ages and identities. This year has seen both the MLB Department of Investigations and Scouting Bureau very active in the Dominican Republic, working with clubs to evaluate talent and ensure the accurate age and identity of that talent. It is also widely anticipated that the next CBA will allow for an expansion of the Rule 4 draft (aka amateur draft) to Latin America. The past few years have revealed that the unscrupulous behaviour associated with developing players in Latin America (particularly the DR) has not been limited to the local “buscones” who serve as both trainers and agents to the young players. Bonus skimming and kickback scandals involving MLB employees active in recruiting Latin players have been connected to a number of clubs. LWIB, three former White Sox employees, including former director of player personnel David Wilder, were indicted on federal charges of skimming approximately $400,000 in signing bonuses from international signings. The indictment alleges that the bonus skimming took place over the period December 04 - February 08. According to the reports, the FBI began investigating in 08 with the cooperation of MLB. That same year Mr. Wilder was reportedly caught at an airport in the DR, attempting to leave with $30,000 - $40,000 in cash. The White Sox dismissed Mr. Wilder in 08. Ben Badler reported for Baseball America:

“The defendants were supposed to recruit players by paying amounts of money that matched their skills and were no greater than the amount needed to sign the players," said Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. attorney for the northern district of Illinois. "Instead, the indictment alleges that the defendants secretly inflated those signing amounts to fund kickbacks for themselves."

AND

For bonuses of less than $100,000, Wilder was able to authorize those signings himself. Wilder needed the approval of general manager Ken Williams to authorize signings of $100,000 or more and, according to the indictment, allegedly misled Williams intentionally about the fraud to conceal the kickbacks that he and his scouts were receiving.

According to this report, “The FBI has been investigating a number of major league clubs, including the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox and the Washington Nationals in addition to the White Sox.”

TIDBITS

  • I’ve been bringing attention to ongoing speculation that the independent Northern League might fold. Four of the eight teams from last season have moved to the American Association. According to this (HT IndependentBaseball.net) report, the remaining four have applied to join Frontier League. The Northern League isn’t the only independent league in danger of folding. J.J. Cooper reported for Baseball America that the Victoria Seals franchise of the Golden League has shut down. He adds, The Seals become the fifth Golden League team to either shut down, fold or announce plans to not play in 2011, shrinking what had been a 10-team league to a fraction of its former self. Four days later, Ballpark Digest reported that the beleaguered Golden, Northern and United League(s) may merge into one for the 11 season. The plan, we're told, is for each league to play an abbreviated schedule (76 games in the case of the Northern League teams), with 24 or so games against the other two leagues. The whole thing will be played under the Golden Baseball League banner, with four divisions: Canada, West Coast, Midwest and Texas.
  • Last year I brought attention (scroll way down) to the Australian Baseball Federation’s announcement that they were launching a new baseball league. According to the ABF, MLB was investing in the league. LWIB, Darren Heitner of the Sports Agent Blog brought to my attention that the Australian Baseball League has officially began play.


Pete Toms is senior writer for the Business of Sports Network, most notably, The Biz of Baseball. He looks forward to your comments and can be contacted through The Biz of Baseball.

Follow The Biz of Baseball on Twitter Twitter

FacebookFollow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook

 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?