SBD/January 10, 2012/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Twins Widening Demand-Based Pricing Structure

In Minneapolis, Paul Walsh notes pricing for single-game tickets to Twins games is "undergoing a significant evolution this coming season, with stadium-wide expansion of a concept that allows the price to fluctuate based on customer demand." The team yesterday "announced the widening of its 'demand-based' pricing structure." The Twins "used the demand-based price strategy last year in two price categories (Home Plate Box and Home Plate View)." For the first two weeks of single-game ticket sales, "prices will be fixed." Demand-based pricing will "kick in March 8 and does not apply to season-ticket purchases" (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 1/10).

BIG-MARKET FRUGALITY?
In Boston, Nick Cafardo asked, "Are the Red Sox and Yankees looking alike to you?" Cafardo wrote, "Not a lot of spending going on. Both are trying to reset their luxury tax rates for 2013 or 2014, so they are being more frugal." The "superpowers aren’t buying into Scott Boras’s notion that the luxury tax is a success tax, that teams paying it are making $300 million or more above expenses." Cafardo: "Strange to think that the Marlins and Nationals have become the spendthrifts and the Sox and Yankees are being frugal. Looks like the luxury tax may soon be dead, because everyone is trying to avoid it, including two teams that never had a problem paying it" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/8). Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy said of the Red Sox, "I can’t stand reading these stories that they’re cheapening out on players now after what they did last winter. Not the time to pull back.” Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan asked, “Do we go so far to say they’re acting as if they’re a small-market team?” Shaughnessy said the ownership group should not be "complaining about luxury tax dollars at this junction.” But Ryan said the luxury tax is “onerous and I can understand what they’re doing." Ryan: "I’ll give them a pass this year” (BOSTONGLOBE.com, 1/6).

STILL NOT SELLING: In N.Y., Andy Martino noted the Mets have "retained CRG Partners," but sources "maintain that the Mets owners are steadfast as ever in their belief that current financial difficulties will not force them to sell the team." The Mets expect to close "some sales of minority shares this month, although league officials familiar with the sales say that none has been completed." Sources "describe the process of selling shares for approximately $20 million apiece as 'rolling,' meaning that the team has not yet determined when it will end sales" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/7).
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