SBD/Issue 162/Franchises

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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