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SBD/December 4, 2012/Franchises
MLB Cardinals To Raise Ticket Prices In Every Section Of Busch Stadium
Published December 4, 2012
STRIKING GOLD: In St. Louis, Derrick Goold writes a "genuine gold rush is afoot in baseball as teams, mostly from the largest markets, strike it mega-rich with rights fees that are radically changing the game’s economics and rosters." Cardinals Chair Bill DeWitt Jr. said, "A lot of big TV deals are getting done, and it shows you the value of the rights to live sports programming. We’re in new territory with some of these deals. Payrolls follow revenue." Goold notes market size will "be the driving force behind these rising fees, leaving midmarket teams like the Cardinals and clubs in smaller markets behind in the rights race, victims of geography and cable boxes." The Cardinals are "in the middle of a long-term deal with Fox Sports Midwest that is competitive for their market size." Sources said that the contract "goes through 2017 and the Cardinals have an option for 2018." Sources added that the Cardinals "currently receive a rights fee of between $25 million and $28 million." The contract "has escalators built in that will move the Cardinals toward $30 million." Both sides "declined to confirm or discuss the details of the deal citing confidentiality." DeWitt Jr. said, "For us to stay a top-tier team we need to be in line to have really strong attendance, which we have been able to do. That hasn’t changed. We’re never going to be a top TV-revenue team, that’s for sure" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/4).