SBD/Issue 136/Franchises

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  • MLSE Senior Exec Resigns, Five Others Fired Amid Ticket Scandal

    Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) Dir of Sales & Service Jim Edmands has resigned and five other employees "have been fired after the company learned of ticket irregularities," according to Rick Westhead of the TORONTO STAR. MLSE Exec VP & COO Tom Anselmi confirmed Edmands' resignation, "even though he did nothing wrong." Anselmi said that MLSE "discovered irregularities in its ticketing department last week." Anselmi said Edmands "stepped up and resigned. He said he couldn't continue because it happened under his watch. It's been a shock to the whole organization." Anselmi noted that Edmands worked for MLSE for "about nine years," and added that ticket sales exec John Jones and "four other employees in the department had been fired 'for conduct that wasn't in keeping with what we hold important as a company.'" MLSE has not decided "whether to forward details of the case to Toronto police" (TORONTO STAR, 4/5).

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  • Bobcats Developing Fan-Friendly, Cut-Rate Ticket Pricing

    Bobcats' Johnson Working On
    Fan-Friendly Ticket Program
    Bobcats Owner Bob Johnson is "working up a new ticket program that will guarantee fans fixed cut-rate prices until he can turn the team into a winner," according to Erik Spanberg of the CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL. The Bobcats through 37 home games this season are averaging 14,490 fans per game at the 19,026-seat Charlotte Bobcats Arena, a 7% drop from last season. Johnson hopes to have a new ticketing plan "in place in time for next season." Johnson: "I'm thinking of this notion that if I've got a team that's building, maybe I give people a building-team price. And say, 'Stay with me while I'm building; here's what I'm going to give you.'" Industry sources estimated that the Bobcats this season will lose $15M or more, and Johnson indicated that the "wobbly economy provides additional incentive to come up with creative pricing strategies." Johnson: "What is the elasticity for demand on a ticket? Is it a price based on winning, or is it a price based on knowing what kind of value I'm buying now while we're not winning?" (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/4 issue).

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  • Brewers Tighten Tailgating Policy For Fans Without Tickets

    Brewers Tighten Tailgating Policy
    For Fans Without Tickets
    The Brewers at Friday's home opener against the Giants "had police tell tailgaters that they couldn't simply party in the parking lots without actually going to the game," according to Rick Romell of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The approach "appears to be a new policy aimed at maximizing parking space for fans with tickets." Brewers VP/Communications Tyler Barnes said that "parking capacity -- or lack of it," was the problem. Barnes said that with 12,500 spaces at Miller Park, "'there simply is not enough parking' to accommodate people who come only to tailgate." Barnes: "We love tailgating; we fully embrace it. But it's the simple law of supply and demand." Romell wrote the Brewers "appear to be treading carefully," because they "don't want to anger fans who have embraced the tailgating tradition." But the team also does not "want to inconvenience fans who buy tickets and use them." On Friday, it "didn't appear that police were taking an aggressive posture," as "it looked as if perhaps as many as a couple thousand fans spent the entire game on the asphalt rather than inside the stadium." Barnes said the team this winter examined the situation after "multiple times this past season where we were not able to accommodate everyone with parking here at the ballpark." Barnes added that the club "may enforce a no tailgating-only policy at other games this season." Barnes: "We're going to reserve the right to keep the parking for those people who have the game tickets" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/5).

    RADIO DEAL: A source indicated that the Brewers new radio broadcast rights deal with WTMJ-AM, set to begin in '09, runs for four years through the 2012 season. In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley reported the Brewers TV deal with FSN Wisconsin also will end in 2012, and the two "local broadcast packages are in contractual sync" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/6).

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  • NFL Denies Rams' Throwback Uniform Request For Opener

    NFL Denies Rams' Request To Wear
    Throwback Uniform In Home Opener
    The NFL turned down the Rams' request to wear throwback uniforms from their '99 Super Bowl championship season in their '08 home opener, according to Jim Thomas of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH.  The league "requires more than a year of lead time before a team can wear throwbacks," and Rams Owner Chip Rosenbloom said that he is "not upset with the NFL." Rosenbloom: "I think that it was really asking a lot. But we have some other plans for the future." Rosenbloom wanted the Rams to wear the throwback uniforms as "part of a variety of ways planned to commemorate'' late team Owner Georgia Frontiere.  Rosenbloom said that the team is "finalizing plans to have players wear a commemorative patch on their uniform sleeves" this season to honor Frontiere (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/7).

    TITANS: In Tennessee, Jim Wyatt reported the Titans "unveiled a 10-year logo Friday that will be featured in a patch on their uniforms this fall." The logo also will appear on merchandise and in team publications and "could also appear on a flag and in other areas" at LP Field this year (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 4/5).

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  • Franchise Notes

    The Nationals beginning with today's game against the Marlins will offer parking spaces at Nationals Park to "fans who have not bought season tickets." Fans will be able to purchase spots for all remaining Nationals games on an individual game basis and it will be "first come, first served." Fans must purchase spaces in advance online, as spots "will not be sold at the ballpark" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/5).

    Red Sox Cashing In On Auction
    Of Premium Seats At Fenway Park
    MONSTER BASH: In Boston, Szaniszlo, Wedge & MacLean reported the Red Sox, who are auctioning off Green Monster tickets at Fenway Park, Friday pulled in "more than $30,000" for almost 100 tickets for Tuesday and Wednesday's games against the Tigers and this weekend's series against the Yankees. The Red Sox this season "intend to auction off 5,000 premium seats," and the team said that auctioning tickets for "extra profit actually benefits not just the team and deep-pocketed swells who can afford to bid on tickets, but also fans who can't." Red Sox VP/Ticketing Ron Bumgarner: "We feel it's our civic responsibility to keep tickets affordable for fans, and at the end of the day, this helps keep other ticket prices down" (BOSTON HERALD, 4/5).

    MAKING CONCESSIONS: MSG Chair James Dolan for the Knicks' home finale against the Celtics April 14 at MSG will offer fans free food and soft drinks. The offer is a "small thank-you to fans who were so supportive" of the Knicks this season. An NBA source: "Other teams have done free food as part of a promotion to get people to buy tickets, but never after a game is already sold out" (N.Y. POST, 4/6).

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