SBD/February 28, 2012/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: D'Backs Have Sold Around 1,300 New Season-Ticket Packages

Hall said D'Backs' affordability has always played key role in attracting fans
D'Backs President & CEO Derrick Hall said yesterday that the team has "sold around 1,300 new season-ticket packages and the renewal rate from last year was near 90 percent." Single-game tickets "went on sale" yesterday. Hall said, "There's definitely been some momentum. Very favorable, especially in this economy." He added, "Our affordability has always played a key role in being an attractive entertainment option for our fans. When they're looking for an affordable option of entertainment with an air-conditioned environment, it's often Chase Field" (MLB.com, 2/27). Meanwhile, in Phoenix, Bob McManaman notes D'Backs ownership "agreed to stretch the overall payroll this year to nearly $80 million, which is about a $15 million jump" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/28). 

ADDRESSING THE MAN
: In L.A., Mike DiGiovanna notes the Angels "appear to have addressed any concerns new slugger Albert Pujols had over the team's use of the term 'El Hombre,' the Man, in a two-month billboard campaign leading up to the season." The nickname is appearing on 20 of 70 billboards the Angels have leased through late March, but the term "is not expected to be used in any further marketing or advertising campaigns or merchandise." When asked if the misunderstanding caused the Angels any embarrassment, Angels President John Carpino said, "I don't believe so. If it caused any embarrassment for Albert out of respect for Stan Musial, that's the only concern of ours" (L.A. TIMES, 2/28).

NEW SHOW IN TOWN: USA TODAY's Paul White in a sports section cover story notes the Marlins "want their retractable-roof stadium to become the next destination" in a town where Heat games "have become the place to be seen." The Marlins are the subject of Showtime's "The Franchise," a "free-wheeling, unfiltered season-long look at whether this is going to work." New manager Ozzie Guillen "figures to be the show's centerpiece." Marlins President David Samson said that he "jumped at the TV opportunity as ardently as the Marlins went after" SS Jose Reyes and other newcomers (USA TODAY, 2/28).

DRINK RESPONSIBLY
: With the Red Sox banning beer from their clubhouse this year, ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said the move “may be a smart” move, but it is “about PR” (“PTI,” ESPN, 2/27). SB Nation's Bomani Jones said, “It absolutely has to do with public relations because of how things looked last year, but let’s be honest. What’s so crazy about your employer saying you’ve got to buy your own brew?” ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan said it is a “PR move, but it’s one that had to be made because there still is a hangover from the whole chicken and beer thing that’s been dragging this team through the mud the whole off-season” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 2/27). Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of the Red Sox' ban, "It makes sense to me. You have to be careful in this day and age. You don't want people drinking and driving. It's not that you mind a guy having a beer, but when you're at home they're going to get in a car and drive home most likely. I think it's a pretty good policy" (NEWSDAY.com, 2/27).
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