SBD/Issue 111/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Angels See Slight Dip In Payroll This Season

Angels' Opening Day Payroll Dips Slightly To
$117M, Still Among Six Highest In Baseball
In L.A., Mike DiGiovanna notes the Angels' Opening Day payroll will be a "robust $117[M]," down slightly from the $125M the team closed '08 with but "still among the six highest in the game." Angels Owner Arte Moreno said that season-ticket renewals for '09 were "'trending at about 90%' and that he expected sales to reach about 27,000 -- down from the 30,000 season tickets the team has sold in recent seasons but not a precipitous drop." Meanwhile, Angels President Dennis Kuhl said that the team's sponsorship renewals "were on track to equal or exceed 2008 levels." The team also has "leased 72 of 76 luxury suites in Angel Stadium," while season-ticket renewals for "premium seats, in the lower bowl between the dugouts, are running at about 95%" (L.A. TIMES, 2/26).

KNEE-JERK REACTION: In Boston, Eric Wilbur writes, "The Red Sox want a salary cap? How convenient. It seems like only a half-decade ago that [Red Sox Owner John] Henry was shoveling the same line after losing out on Alex Rodriguez, a knee-jerk call to control the liberal spending ways of Boston's rival to the south." And five years later with the Yankees "coming off the biggest free-agent spending frenzy in baseball history," the Red Sox "respond with another disingenuous call to implement some sort of salary structure." Wilbur writes if Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira had accepted the Red Sox' offer of $170M, Red Sox officials "would have never broached the topic" (BOSTON.com, 2/26).

HOME ON THE RANGE: Rangers Owner Tom Hicks said the team is "probably in the middle of the pack" in ticket sales among MLB teams. Hicks: "We're going to be off, but a lot of people are going to be off. We hope we get off to a great start and have our walk-up recover some of that. Family entertainment is still family entertainment." Hicks added he "absolutely" thinks attendance will rise if the Rangers start to win. Hicks: "Just look at Dallas-Fort Worth. Look at the Mavericks. They were playing before half-empty crowds. When the organization starts winning, our fans are great. They come back. We've got to do our part first" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 2/26).

CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION: In Seattle, Danny O'Neil notes an upcoming Mariners ad featuring former DH Edgar Martinez and RF Jay Buhner that will air in late March will be the "100th installment in a series that began" in '94. The ad series, created by the team's longtime ad agency Copacino + Fujikado, Seattle, has featured Mariners LF Ken Griffey Jr., former Mariners manager Lou Piniella and former C Dan Wilson. Copacino + Fujikado Creative Dir Jim Copacino: "We were so fortunate for so many years to have stars. Big personalities who were with the team for a long period of time, each of whom almost had their own brand, their own style" (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/26).

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