SBD/October 3, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster said that he “planned to actively work with the Rays in the postseason to boost attendance, and he was unaware of any development group working on an alternative stadium site in St. Petersburg.” Foster: "My interest is representing the 250,000 people that are continuing to foot the bill on the stadium. Their interest will be represented by the city. My angst is keeping them in St. Petersburg" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 10/2).

MONEY MAKER: Manchester United Commercial Dir Richard Arnold said that the money the EPL club “can make from exploiting its fan base will ‘dwarf’ the income it has been acquiring from sponsorship deals.” The economic climate is forcing club Owner the Glazer family “to delay a planned initial public offering of about a third of the club’s equity on the Singapore stock exchange.” But when it does go to market, ManU’s commercial potential “is bound to be a key part of its sales pitch.” Meanwhile, team officials in recent weeks have “closed the latest of several deals with credit card companies that will enable United to earn income directly from their fans around the world.” Arnold said the club had not yet taken its fan base “and put that into a money-making machine” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/1).

FEELING A TREMBLE? MLS San Jose Earthquakes GM of Soccer Operations John Doyle said that the team is “prepared to spend big in the offseason to help rebound from a dismal 2011 campaign.” In San Jose, Elliott Almond noted the initiative to “improve on-field results coincides with the team's push to build a $60 million, soccer-specific stadium across from Mineta San Jose International Airport.” The “slim chance” of the club earning a playoff berth next season “has led management to ask ownership to open its pocketbooks for the first time since San Jose re-entered the league as an expansion team in 2008” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/1).
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