SBD/November 11, 2011/Franchises

Dodgers See Jump In Season-Ticket Sales As Prospective Owners Prepare Bids For Team

Dodgers saw steady increase in ticket sales since announcing price cuts two weeks ago
The Dodgers' season-ticket sales "are up 30% from this time last year," according to a source cited by Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. Dodgers Senior Dir of Ticket Sales Dave Siegel said that there had been "'no discernible bump' in sales in the days after last week's announcement" that Owner Frank McCourt would sell the team. Siegel added that the Dodgers "had experienced a 'steady increase' in sales since the team announced price cuts two weeks ago, with a 50% increase in revenue over the first four days of ticket sales." The Dodgers sold "about 17,000 season tickets in 2011, down from about 27,000 four years ago" (L.A. TIMES, 11/11). Meanwhile, ESPN L.A.'s Ramona Shelburne noted the prospective Dodgers ownership group led by former MLBers Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser "hasn't yet revealed details about who their financial backers are except to say that they have them." Hershiser Thursday "shot down skepticism about the seriousness and strength of their bid." Hershiser said, "I'm as serious as my heart beats. The next step in the process is to be approved by baseball to bid on the team. We think with the people we have in place and the assets we have in place, we will be a serious contender." He added that the group's financial backers "prefer to remain in the background at this point." But after reviewing details of their plan this week, Hershiser is "confident they have more than enough capital and assets to make a serious run at the team, which most analysts have estimated could sell for between $800 million to $1.2 billion" (ESPNLA.com, 11/10).

MAKING HIS BID: Former Sabres Owner Tom Golisano said that one of his reps "has been in contact with the Dodgers and with the Blackstone Group, which is handling the auction" of the team. The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Karmin & Futterman note the "biggest problem for Mr. Golisano is the growing public campaign, especially in the media, to ensure that the baseball team's new owner is an 'Angeleno.'" Although Golisano "suggested he might move to Los Angeles if he became the team's owner, he has never attended a game at Dodger Stadium and is a lifelong New York Yankees fan." His "outsider status could count against him when competing against local bidders with roots and connections in the city" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/11). ESPN L.A.'s Shelburne wrote under the header, "With New Owner, Dodgers Need A Facelift." Shelburne wrote, "To move this franchise forward, the Dodgers' next owner must be willing and eager to reinvent to the Dodger way. To take the best from the team's storied past and make it work in this new world. To update the Dodgers' culture, not simply remake it" (ESPNLA.com, 11/10).

NO STOW COMMERCIAL: The family of MLB Giants fan Bryan Stow, who was brutally beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on Opening Day, said Thursday that a statement made by their lawyer, Tom Girardi, "indicating they might be willing to do a commercial in the future -- to help reassure Dodger fans that security issues at Dodger Stadium had been adequately addressed -- was premature." Girardi last week said that he had approached MLB "about working out a 'reasonable settlement' for the case now that" McCourt has agreed to sell the Dodgers. He said, "I think the family would then even cut a commercial for them, saying 'Come back to Dodger Stadium, it's safe, they (the new owners) have cured the problem, they were fair to the family.'" But Stow's family said Thursday that Girardi's statement "was premature and has been taken out of context" (ESPNLA.com, 11/10).
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Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB

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