SBD/Issue 19/Franchises

Franchise Notes

The Yankees last night set a new attendance record for the new Yankee Stadium, drawing 49,464 for its ALDS Game 1 win over the Twins. The total beat an August 6 game against the Red Sox that drew 49,005 and is in part the result of the club adding café and standing room seats for the playoffs. The Yankees only minimally experimented with standing room tickets during the regular season, resulting in crowds below the stadium’s listed capacity of 52,325 (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). WFAN-AM’s Mike Francesa: “This is what we’ve been waiting for -- a Yankee game in October in the new ballpark” (“Mike Francesa,” YES Network, 10/7).

PICKING UP THE PACE: Pacers Sports & Entertainment COO Rick Fuson yesterday said he is "very confident" about the WNBA Fever's future in Indianapolis. The team tomorrow will face off against the Phoenix Mercury in a decisive Game 5 for the WNBA Championship, and Fuson said, "Right now, we just want to make sure these ladies have everything they need today to win the championship." The Fever have "never been profitable" in their 10 seasons, but if "ticket and merchandising sales are any indication, a recent surge in fan support may be enough to indeed secure the team's future" (Scott Olson, IBJ.com, 10/7). The team drew a sell-out crowd of 18,165 to last night's WNBA Finals Game Four, and ESPN's Pam Ward said, "Talk about Fever fever, people have it in Indianapolis" ("WNBA Shootaround," ESPN2, 10/7).

NOT JUMPING IN HEAD FIRST: Chicago Tribune reporter Fred Mitchell said he would be surprised if new Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts “made what we would consider major moves” during the next 60 days. Mitchell: “I would suspect that he would be in the observation mode. He’s probably got some things at the top of his priority list to keep a closer eye on than others. But I think he’s going to transition a little bit into the whole system and observe and make changes as necessary” (“Chicago Tribune Live,” CSN Chicago, 10/7).

SAME OLD STORY: In Buffalo, Donn Esmonde wrote the Bills' "chronic mediocrity is compelling evidence that the Buffalo team’s core problem is its ownership and management," which "consistently misjudges talent, fails to spend wisely on personnel and does not hire capable coaches." Esmonde: "Welcome to the Bills, the General Motors of the NFL. With no government bailout in sight" (BUFFALO NEWS, 10/7).

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