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SBD/February 8, 2011/Franchises
MLB Franchise Notes: Jeff Moorad Near Deal To Sell D'Backs Stake
Published February 8, 2011
GOING ALL IN: White Sox Chair Jerry Reinsdorf Saturday on ESPN Radio 1000 Chicago said that with a "heavy increase in payroll the team is banking on a heavy increase in attendance at US Cellular Field." The White Sox' payroll this season is expected to be around $130M, which "will be the highest in franchise history." Reinsdorf: "We've really taken a chance. The term all-in I think really makes some sense here. If we draw what we drew last year, we will lose a lot of money. ... Fortunately over the years we've made a little here, we've made a little there and we can cover it if we lose. We won't be able to lose money two years in a row" (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 2/5).
FAMILIAR BREW: In Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt reported it "appears the Brewers again are headed for a payroll" of around $85M. The team budgets an additional $5M "for contract incentives and call-ups from the minors, so club officials see it" as a $90M payroll. Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio indicated that they "finished in the red in 2010 after drawing more than 2.7 million" fans. Attanasio: "Once again, I've managed to put ourselves in a position where we could lose money this year even with 3 million fans, which we project coming out." Haudricourt noted Attanasio "decided last fall to take a somewhat unique approach to his team's player payroll" for this season. Attanasio noted the team did not set a specific number, but said, "I wasn't this year going to spend money for the sake of spending money. ... I think we've done that a little bit the last couple of years, and it didn't really work" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 2/6).
SETTING SAIL TOWARD HIGHER PRICES: In Pittsburgh, Rob Biertempfel noted a "day-of-game pricing plan -- calling for walk-up tickets to cost $2 to $5 more apiece than tickets bought in advance -- that the Pirates will implement this season is the first step toward increasing all ticket prices." Pirates President Frank Coonelly: "We need to have a competitively priced product. We've gotten far behind. We need to have a sustainable, competitive team on the field. So we really need to move (ticket prices) in that (upward) direction. When? As soon as we possibly can." The day-of-game pricing increase "does not apply to group or season-ticket sales" and will "affect about 10 percent of their overall ticket sales." The Pirates "do not expect much backlash from the pricing plan." Pirates Exec VP & CMO Lou DePaoli: "We've had day-of-game pricing for four years on our all-you-can-eat seats, and we've never had one complaint. It's an easier way for us to get that price moving upward" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 2/6).