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FALLOUT TO THE END OF THE SEASON: BITS AND PIECES
Published September 16, 1994
SUN-BELT SQUIRMING: In Tampa, Chris Marti reports that if spring training is cancelled it could cost the state of FL more than $300M in lost revenue and make it more difficult for host cities to pay the mortgage on their stadiums (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/16). In Chicago, Toni Ginnetti notes the impact on AZ. Maricopa County Stadium District head Roger Brendecke: "The total economic expenditure in our county (during spring training) is $235 million. ... Spring is our biggest tourist time of the year and baseball is an important factor" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 9/15). RIPPLE EFFECT: BRANDWEEK reports that with no playoffs, General Motors is likely "scrap plans" for a $40-50M corporate image campaign that was to break during baseball's post-season (BRANDWEEK, 9/12 issue). BIRDS WATCHING: Orioles VP Joe Foss said he believed owner Peter Angelos' resistance to signing the owners' resolution might help ticket sales during this uncertain off-season (Mark Masek, WASHINGTON POST, 9/16). MD Comptroller Louis Goldstein said that the MD Stadium Authority has a substantial "cash cushion" to meet the $14M required annual payment on the $150M bond issue that finances Camden Yards (WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/16). AD CAMPAIGNS: Reebok said it still plans to launch a new campaign featuring Frank Thomas next spring. Nintendo spokesperson on their Ken Griffey Jr. game that is a top-five seller: "We are losing something by not having a nightly feature on Griffey and his run for the record" (Jesus Sanchez, L.A. TIMES, 9/16). TSN BEEFING UP SPORTS MENU: In Toronto, Ken McKee notes that Canada's TSN is trying to fill in its schedule from the lack of baseball games. "Face it, there isn't much available." ESPN is running a boxing card from Biloxi, MS and ESPN2 is adding more CFL games. TSN is blocked from adding CFL games on days the CBC has a game. TSN programming VP Rick Brace said he expects to add a few more Maple Leaf pre-season games (TORONTO STAR, 9/16). FOX LURKING OUTSIDE TBN'S HENHOUSE? One rival network exec, on Fox after signing on with the NHL for $155M: "They're just crazy." But should The Baseball Network not survive the shutdown, MLB could stage a "TV auction" and find out if Fox is really "just crazy" (Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE, 9/16). Fox TV Chair/CEO Chase Carey: "The Baseball Network's arrangement was a very good deal from the networks' perspective because they have very little invested. I'm not sure it is such a good bargain for baseball." To which media writer Barry Horn responds, "Sounds like a man who has spotted a bargain he can't wait to make his network's own" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/14). COMISKEY'S RENT: Curious IL taxpayers "wondered whether the cancellation means they will have to subsidize the Sox for their rent payments in new Comiskey Park." State officials said last month the owners of the Sox will pay only half as much rent on Comiskey Park as the $3M they paid in '93 (Paul Sullivan, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/16). TRACKING THE TRIB: Speculation differs on the role of the Tribune Co., owner of the Cubs, in the negotiations. Tribune Co. not only owns WGN, the superstation that broadcasts Cubs and White Sox games, but also stations with the broadcasting rights of five other clubs. Still, agent Randy Hendricks admits surprise that the Tribune Co.'s was quiet during the recent talks: "The silence of the Tribune Co. has been almost deafening in this dispute." Cubs Chair Stanton Cook insists the Tribune's broadcasting revenues are a "side issue" (Steve Marantz, SPORTING NEWS, 9/19).