SBD/Issue 138/MLB Season Preview

Blue Jays Could Face Challenging Season Drawing Fan Attention

Paul Beeston Says Team's '09 Season-Ticket
Sales Marginally Lower Than '08
Tonight's Tigers-Blue Jays game likely will be the "biggest draw of the season" for the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, but while the "sun may shine on the season opener, there are clouds threatening to rain out the rest of the year," according to Steve Ladurantaye of the GLOBE & MAIL. Couple a "deepening recession with a team that isn't expected to win all that many games ... and the team may be lucky to hit last year's attendance-per-game average" of about 29,627 at the 50,516-seat ballpark. While the Blue Jays did not disclose season-ticket sales, interim CEO Paul Beeston said they are "marginally" lower than in '08. Beeston added, "I won't say we will crank the marketing up, but we won't cut it down either. We have to think every day about every dollar we spend" (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/4). The GLOBE & MAIL's Stephen Brunt writes it looks like Blue Jays Owner Rogers Communications is "opting to cut its losses and take its chances, paring the baseball part of the Rogers business down to its essence" (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/6).

YOU BOOZE, YOU LOSE? Rogers Centre officials Friday said that Ontario's Alcohol & Gaming Commission has suspended Rogers Centre's liquor license for tomorrow's game against the Tigers and the April 21 game against the Rangers because of "drinking 'infractions' at several unnamed past events." As a result, Rogers Centre "invited fans to exchange tickets for the two no-booze Jays game days at the Blue Jays box office" (TORONTOSUN.com, 4/4).

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