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SBD/October 27, 2010/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Published October 27, 2010
In Boston, Nick Cafardo writes talk about adding teams to the MLB playoffs and lengthening the League Division Series to seven games "will gain steam, mostly because negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement are expected to get underway this winter, and there’s no better time to bring up the issue." It likely will be "discussed by the owners in detail at their meeting in November." One baseball exec said, "The only way it could be done from the owners’ point of view is if it doesn’t hurt their bottom line. That means there’s no way anyone is going to call for the reduction of games in the regular season." Cafardo notes adding playoff teams would "make the trade deadline more compelling as well" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/27).
MEET THE PRESS: MLB yesterday repeated its more formal player availability structure for Media Day, setting up the booth structure long used at All-Star Games instead of more informal media gatherings in team clubhouses. The plan, first introduced for the World Series last year and long used at the Super Bowl, involved players sitting for 45 minutes in front of tables with placards bearing their names, with the players assembled in AT&T Park's Triples Alley behind the right field wall. The more structured format again was well received by both players and media (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). CSNBayArea.com's Ray Ratto said of MLB's Media Day compared to the NFL's for the Super Bowl, "It's much more sedated. It's easier to get to players. It's less 'showbizzy'" ("Chronicle Live," Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 10/26).
TAKING IT UP A NOTCH: REUTERS' Ben Klayman noted NHL teams are "taking a shot at raising ticket prices this year, joining other sports leagues that have increased the costs of seeing games as the recession recedes." The average NHL ticket price of $54.25 this season is up 4.4% from '09-10. While 11 of the 30 teams "cut or kept their average prices unchanged, the league average included increases" of 24.2% by the Capitals and 18.4% by the Blackhawks. The NHL's average Fan Cost Index -- the cost for a family of four to attend a game -- also rose 4.4% this season, to $313.68 (REUTERS, 10/26).
LEGENDS OF THE FALL: YAHOO SPORTS' Shane Bacon wrote the PGA Tour Fall Series, "for all it brings to the game of golf, is better" than the FedExCup. Unlike the FedExCup, the Fall Series "is actual drama." It is the "difference in having a job the next year that will surely make your life a ton better, or driving from town to town hoping to find a good guy on the Nationwide Tour to bunk up with." While the Fall Series "doesn't give us the likes of Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson," it does "give us names that must play well for something bigger than another zero on their year-end finances" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/26).