SBD/Issue 162/Franchises

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  • Peter Magowan May Be Looking To Leave MLB Giants

    Magowan Contemplating Ending Tenure
    As Giants Managing General Partner
    The MLB Giants confirmed rumors that Managing General Partner Peter Magowan “may be looking to end his tenure,” according to Ray Ratto of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Giants VP/Communications Staci Slaughter said of Magowan: “He’s 66, and has thought about it from time to time, but no decision has been made at all. At this point, he has no decision on that.” Ratto: “In other words, an era in Giants baseball may be coming to an end. We think.” Sue Burns, the widow of Harmon Burns, who owned the largest single share of the team, “could take control simply by virtue of holding the most stock.” But a new investor or investors also “could surface.” A new managing general partner “could be named regardless of the size of that partnership.” A single “big-money operator could try to buy controlling interest.” Giants GM Brian Sabean could "take on more responsibility in a new regime.” Magowan also “simply could step down and hold his shares” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/11).

    BAY AREA DECLINE: The EAST BAY BUSINESS TIMES’ Eric Young writes the Giants and A’s are “both on pace for attendance declines of more than 10[%] this season -- the sharpest drop-off in recent history.” Both teams “jettisoned popular players during the off-season,” and the Giants raised ticket prices an average of 2%, while the A’s raised some of the “best-selling seats” as much as 9%. However, the Giants said that they are “having success with two new luxury suites” at AT&T Park. The Giants this year spent a reported $3.5M to build a suite inside the right field wall near the foul pole and another along the Club Level overlooking left field. Meanwhile, the A’s have added an all-you-can-eat section in the third deck at McAfee Coliseum (EAST BAY BUSINESS TIMES, 5/9 issue).

    A’S: USA TODAY’s Jorge Ortiz wrote despite leading the AL West, the A’s average attendance of 19,955 through 21 home games is 2,903 lower than at the same time last year and ranks the team 12th in the AL. The figure is “deceptive because it includes two ‘home’ games totaling 89,363” from the A’s-Red Sox series at the Tokyo Dome. In their 19 games at McAfee Coliseum, the A’s are averaging 17,352. A’s Owner Lew Wolff: “I’m very, very depressed over the attendance, because we have an exciting product. And the excuse we traded away our best players -- what really should count is performance.” More Wolff: “We’re a better team than the Giants this year and in all the years since I’ve owned the team and we just don’t seem to draw like they do” (USA TODAY, 5/12).

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  • Hornets' Playoff Run Brings Team Close To Breaking Even

    Hornets Could Come Close To Breaking
    Even With Extended Playoff Run
    The Hornets' playoff run will help the organization "come close to breaking even this season, an almost unimaginable prospect six months ago, when the team was struggling to sell tickets and generate fan support," according to Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. Hornets Dir of Communications Harold Kaufman said that the team "likely will fall just short of reaching the black because [Hornets Owner George] Shinn has continued to invest in players and marketing during the postseason." Kaufman added that game-night sales of Hornets merchandise during the playoffs have increased 64% compared to the regular season. Hornets President Hugh Weber: "More casual fans are drawn to the game during the playoffs. It really becomes a hot ticket, and they want to come and experience it." But Hornets officials said that the "playoff payoff isn't the financial windfall some might think." The NBA takes a 45% share of postseason ticket revenue, up from 6% during the regular season, and the Hornets "must give about a third of what's left of their playoff ticket revenue to the state as part of their" amended lease agreement. Weber said of playoff success, "There's almost a direct correlation between the farther you go in the playoffs the better you do in future sales." Kaufman said that the team has sold "more than 2,600 new season tickets" for the '08-09 season, and also has "enjoyed a renewal rate of 90[%] from their base of 6,500 season-ticket holders this season." Of New Orleans Arena's approximate 7,850 lower-bowl seats, only 1,600 remain unsold for next season." Duncan notes the financial boost of the playoffs "also will benefit the state, which could realize as much as $1[M] in savings on its annual inducement payment to the club" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 5/13).

    BAYOU BOOM: In New Orleans, Jaquetta White writes anything with the Hornets' logo or their players' names "has become increasingly popular." The "most popular seller has been anything with [G] Chris Paul's name and number on it." Because Paul's jerseys have been "hard to come by lately, jersey T-shirts are now hot sellers." NBA figures indicate that the Hornets are the "third top-selling team for merchandise" during the playoffs, as opposed to the regular season when the team was not in the top 10. Also, Paul's No. 3 jersey is the "third most popular" at NBAStore.com and the NBA Store in N.Y., up from 15th during the regular season. Facility Merchandising Inc. GM Wally Cox, whose company operates the team's store in New Orleans Arena, said that division championship merchandise is the biggest seller at the shop (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 5/13).



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  • Wild Raise Season-Ticket Prices For Upper, Lower Levels

    Wild Raising Season-Ticket Prices For
    Upper, Lower Levels Next Season
    The Wild have "raised season-ticket prices for all seats on the upper and lower levels of Xcel Energy Center" for the '08-09 season, according to the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. On the lower level, side tickets are up $4 to $86, corner tickets are up $4 to $75 and end tickets are up $5 to $65. In the upper level, side tickets are up $3 to $38 and end tickets are up  $2 to $16. Club-level seats will remain $85 for side tickets and $75 for end tickets. Wild VP/Customer Sales & Service Jamie Spencer said in an e-mail, "We believe the modest increase is necessary to help meet the rising costs of our business" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 5/10).

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