SBD/Issue 88/Franchises

Current Red Sox Brass Implement 12-15% Ticket Price Increase

Red Sox execs "factored in a potential 12-15[%] ticket price increase" into the '02 season budget before making the $700M deal to sell the team to Marlins Owner John Henry, which "could catapult the average Fenway ticket price past the $40 mark," according to sources of Scott Van Voorhis of the BOSTON HERALD, who notes the Red Sox "already charge the highest ticket prices" in MLB, averaging just over $36. Sources said that current Red Sox execs are expected to announce a decision on ticket prices in the next few weeks "in what could be one of their last major moves before selling the team" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/23). Meanwhile, in Boston, Jeff Horrigan cites four MLB sources as saying that Henry and partners Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino "are prepared to bring at least a dozen employees from their former clubs," the Marlins and Padres. Horrigan writes, "It appears that several key players on the business side of the Padres will be offered the opportunity to move east, while some of the Marlins' baseball operations people could be heading north." New Red Sox President & CEO Lucchino, who ran the Padres, "will almost certainly hire Dr. Charles Steinberg as his top assistant." Steinberg was the Padres' Exec VP/Public Affairs and "oversaw a successful campaign to win over a skeptical Southern California fan base, as well as earn public and political support" for the construction of a downtown ballpark. In addition, Padres Dir of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and Marlins Assistant GM Al Avila "are expected to join the Sox in some capacity but are unlikely to replace" Red Sox GM Dan Duquette (BOSTON HERALD, 1/23). However, in Pittsburgh, Joe Rutter reports Pirates GM Dave Littlefield "is believed to be on the verge of hiring" Avila, as an announcement is expected to be made this week (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 1/23).

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