SBD/February 29, 2012/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In DC, Adam Kilgore noted the Nationals have "limited group sales for the May 4-6 series at Nationals Park against the Phillies, an extension of their Take Back the Park campaign" that allows only people with DC, Maryland or Virginia addresses to buy single-game tickets "until a yet-to-be-specified date." Nationals COO Andrew Feffer said, "If we lock a few Phillies fans out, so be it. They can be angry all they want." The lack of group sales has "upset some Phillies fans, particularly tour operators who generated income by packaging bus trips with tickets to Nationals games." Feffer said that those operators "can buy as many tickets as they want -- at a non-discount rate -- once single-game tickets go on sale at the conclusion of the Take Back the Park promotion." Feffer: "We’re going to make it a little more difficult for the Phillies fans. I want to be consistent with that" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 2/28).

HEY NINETEEN
: In Pittsburgh, Bob Smizik writes the Pirates' 19 consecutive losing seasons have "left many fans bitter." The Pirates, while a "private business, are a long-standing and once often successful Pittsburgh institution and, at times, a civic treasure." Fans see their team, the one they "rooted for most of their lives, taken from them and they are angry." That is "all quite understandable." Pirates President Frank Coonelly and GM Neal Huntington "have been with the team" since '07, and they are "not responsible for all 19 years of losing." They inherited "a terrible situation," but they have "not made it much better, which is why they are open for criticism" (POST-GAZETTE.com, 2/29).

ALL AROUND THE WORLD: In Jacksonville, David Bauerlein wrote business leaders “are keen" on using Jaguars Owner Shahid Kahn’s global connections "to gain more attention and jobs from international firms.” Khan’s ideas include “flying a Northeast Florida delegation to London if the Jaguars can play a game in England.” He plans to “host international executives in Jacksonville for football games so they can see the city firsthand.” JAXUSA Partnership President Jerry Mallot, whose agency is the regional economic development division of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, said that city officials “are on board with Khan’s goals.” Mallot: “That is a great help because we constantly fight the battle of where is Jacksonville or who is Jacksonville when we’re in other countries, whether it’s Europe or Asia" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 2/26).

BLITZ PACKAGE: In Charlotte, Erik Spanberg reported the NFL Panthers have “launched a sales blitz offering 48 months of no-interest payments on seat licenses ranging from $2,000 to $7,500 each.” The one-time fee is “required before fans can buy season tickets.” About 2,100 PSLs are available (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/24 issue).
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