SBD/September 26, 2011/Franchises

AL Franchise Notes: Rangers Break Season Attendance Record At Rangers Ballpark

In Dallas, Jeff Mosier reports the Rangers yesterday drew a crowd of 43,508 to their game against the Mariners, bringing attendance “to 2,946,949 for the year, just past the old annual attendance mark of 2,945,244” set in ’97. Team President & CEO Nolan Ryan said that “in just three years, annual attendance at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington has increased by 1 million fans.” Ryan: “It’s pretty amazing when you consider the record heat that we had here.” Mosier notes the “increase of 441,778 over the 2010 total was the biggest single-season jump at the ballpark” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/26). The team “endured a record 27 games when the temperature at first pitch was at 100 degrees or more” (ESPN.com, 9/25).

KEY PLAYER: In Chicago, Ed Sherman notes White Sox CMO & Senior VP/Sales & Marketing Brooks Boyer “will be a key player in determining the team's direction for 2012.” Boyer is “the point man in formulating budget proposals to hand to Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.” Boyer said, "Our attendance isn't what we anticipated when we budgeted for this year.” He admitted that the team “will be in the red this year, although he wouldn't get into exact figures.” Sherman writes his “best guess is the Sox will plan for a payroll at” $105-110M. Boyer said fans likely will "see more dynamic ticket pricing from us." Boyer: "It'll be like how the airlines price their tickets. The earlier you buy, the better deal you get” (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 9/26).
 
ON HOLD: In S.F., Susan Slusser noted A’s GM Billy Beane reportedly told LF Josh Willingham’s agent Matt Sosnick that “spending decisions are on hold until a decision comes down about the A’s stadium situation.” Sosnick: “We gave the A's an idea of where we were, and we were told they have interest in bringing Josh back, but before they did anything, they want to see what happens with the stadium. Josh and I both made it clear he'd like to stay, but at this point, I'm pretty sure he'll test the free-agent market.” The A's “have been waiting for a stadium decision more than 2 1/2 years, and this is the first time that club officials have expressed a belief that the process will be resolved shortly” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/25).

RED SOX TO GO INT'L?
Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino recently said the organization would “love to see” the team play an exhibition game in England or EPL club Liverpool play a game at Fenway Park. Lucchino added, “Preliminary discussions are going on. I’d love to see it sooner than later.” When asked if the Red Sox will “admit when” their sellout streak of 700 games ends, Lucchino said, “You bet. We’ve been threatened a couple of times this year. But for the most part, the sellout streak has been self-perpetuating and requires little focus on our part.” As to whether he would consider succeeding Bud Selig as the next MLB Commissioner, Lucchino said, “I have no illusions about that. I don’t know what the future holds. I’m loving Boston, Fenway, New England, the Red Sox” (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/25).

NINTH TIME A CHARM: ESPN L.A.’s Mark Saxon reported the Angels have drawn more than 3 million fans “for the ninth straight season.” This is the “first year the Angels have outdrawn” the Dodgers, who completed their home schedule Thursday night “with a total of 2,935,139” (ESPNLA.com, 9/25).
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