SBD/March 29, 2013/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Mets' Opening Day Sellout Streak In Jeopardy

Mets officials said that the team currently is a few thousand tickets shy of a sellout
On Long Island, Jim Baumbach reports the Mets' streak of 14 straight Opening Day sellouts is "in jeopardy of ending" on Monday against the Padres. The Mets said that they are "only a few thousand tickets shy of a sellout and remain optimistic they will pack the house." However, the club's official website on Thursday showed tickets were "available throughout most of Citi Field." Still, the Mets said that they are "closer to a sellout this year than at the same time last year." Mets Senior VP/Marketing & Communications David Newman said that they "reached a 42,080-ticket sellout last season in part because they benefited from 'a tremendous walk-up'" (NEWSDAY, 3/29).

OFF-LIMITS
: In Ft. Worth, Gordon Dickson notes when the Rangers open their home schedule April 5 against the Angels, "only vehicles carrying passengers with tickets will be allowed access to the parking lots." Team officials "don't want a repeat of Opening Day last year, when many Rangers ticket holders arrived with no place to park -- and ended up walking a half-mile or more from remote lots west of Cowboys Stadium." Rangers Exec VP/Ballpark Operations Rob Matwick said that the new parking rule, announced Thursday along with some other tailgating restrictions, "would be in effect throughout the season." But he "stressed that the rule would probably only be enforced on Opening Day, or during postseason play if the Rangers make the playoffs" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/29).

THE RAYS' WAYS: In Tampa, Curtis Kruerger in a front-page piece reports the Rays have made a "minor adjustment to ticket prices, but one effect is that the cost of some tickets could go up during the year." The team has stopped using pricing labels for games such as "diamond" and "platinum." It now can "change prices during the season based on team popularity or a special event at the stadium." Rays VP/Communications Rick Vaughn said, "It's really very similar to the system before. We just added some flexibility, and we're moving away from using those names" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 3/29).

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT
: CSNNE.com blogger Mike from Attleboro wrote Red Sox ownership is "still so obsessed with the bottom line, they don’t see a real solution right in front of them." Instead of focusing on $5 "beer and two-for-one hot dogs," rookie CF Jackie Bradley Jr. is "just the kind of 'attraction' that would draw Sox fans back" to Fenway Park. Bradley may start the season in Triple-A due to "contractual reasons," but with the "way this kid is playing ... how can he not start on the roster?" If Bradley "starts the season in Pawtucket, ownership gains an additional year of control with Bradley," and "unfortunately it could cost them more than just a couple of games." It might once again "lose the team currently in the clubhouse" (CSNNE.com, 3/28).

TROUBLING SIGN: CNBC’s Brian Shactman noted the Astros will have a payroll around $25M to start the season and said, “I don’t know how competitive you can be, but you can still be profitable. You can basically start and park in baseball and make a profit, and that’s kind of the problem.” Shactman said it is "scary” a team can have a payroll like the Astros and “still make money." Shactman: "How offensive is that to your fans?” (“Street Signs,” CNBC, 3/28).
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