SBD/Issue 87/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Texans Increasing Ticket Prices By
Average Of 6.67% For Next Season
In Houston, John McClain reports the Texans are "increasing ticket prices by an average" of 6.67% for next season. The average ticket next season "will cost $71.86 compared to $67.37 last season." The Texans "didn't change the price for 20[%] of the tickets at Reliant Stadium," and they "lowered ticket prices for more than 550 seats in the Gridiron section" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/19).

FREEZING, LOWERING PRICES: In St. Petersburg, Rick Stroud reports the Buccaneers "won't be raising ticket prices for the second straight year." It also will be "significantly less expensive to watch the Bucs in 2010 in certain upper sections of Raymond James Stadium." The team "will introduce a $35 general ticket price, which is $7 less than the most inexpensive seat over the past two seasons." An upper corner season ticket "that sold for $65 is now $49." The "biggest reduction came in the upper side of the end zone, going from $65 to $35." The Tampa Sports Authority noted that the Buccaneers' home attendance "fell 10.1[%] last season." They averaged 49,621 in attendance, "below the capacity of 65,821" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/19).

BEHIND THE STEEL CURTAIN: In Pittsburgh, John Harris writes, "Who has the juice, the real power, on the Steelers? If you thought it was coach Mike Tomlin, think again." Steelers President Art Rooney II has "all but ordered Tomlin to change his offensive philosophy and get back to the ground game next season." Harris: "Is a public reprimand any way to treat the coach who won the franchise's sixth Super Bowl? It is as if Rooney II believes Tomlin's coaching performance was as ineffective in 2009 as it was outstanding in 2008" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 1/19).

PARTY TIME: CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS' Ed Sherman noted Blackhawks President John McDonough "hosted a special party Saturday for Blackhawks season ticket holders at the United Center." The team "essentially held an open house, inviting fans to lockerroom tours and have their pictures taken on board a Zamboni." The "highlight was a chance to skate" on the ice. During the event, the video board "showed the live broadcast of the Hawks' game in Columbus." Approximately 8,000 fans "took advantage of the opportunity" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 1/18).

MONEY MATTERS: In N.Y., Jeane MacIntosh reported tax records indicate that charities tied to Mets Chair & CEO Fred Wilpon and team President Saul Katz "got hosed" for $8M in the Bernie Madoff scandal. The Mets Charity Foundation -- which counts Wilpon, Katz and Mets COO Jeff Wilpon as trustees -- "took the biggest hit, losing $3.8[M] in the investment scheme." The records indicate that the loss left the $4.8M foundation with "'an inadequate amount of financial resources on hand' to 'immediately satisfy' $752,000 in payouts to some of its causes, including $80,000 earmarked for Dominican Republic hurricane relief and $6,900 for the James Plummer scholarship" (N.Y. POST, 1/18).

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