SBD/May 31, 2013/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In Baltimore, Jeff Barker noted the Nationals this season introduced their season-ticket holders to a "personalized card that allows speedy entry into the ballpark without a traditional ticket." The Nationals expect card holders to soon be "able to use the cards to make purchases at concessions stands." The team is "looking to expand the program next season to fans with flex plans or those attending single games." Meanwhile, the Orioles said that they are "looking to tap into new technology." While the club "has no plans for a virtual ticket for season plan holders, it does offer fans the ability to enter Camden Yards by displaying a bar code on their iPhones through Apple Passbook" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 5/29).

MOTOWN MOVES: In Michigan, David Mayo noted Pistons Owner Tom Gores retained Basketball HOFer Phil Jackson in a "short-term advisory role during the current coaching search in an open-minded effort to maximize professional input." The "implication around an ego-driven league in which image is everything is that Gores doesn't completely trust" President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars. There also is an "accompanying theory that Dumars has backed" coaching candidate Nate McMillan from the start, while Jackson "may prefer" Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw. Even if Gores "wishes neither to engage nor escape the Dumars vs. Jackson debate, he at least should hope to avoid his own financial showdown" with Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov, whose "largesse could prove costly to the Pistons in one of two ways: overpaying for Shaw, or hiring a backup candidate like Maurice Cheeks if McMillan isn't still available" (MLIVE.com, 5/29).

SUBWAY SERIES STRIFE: In N.Y., King & Puma noted the Mets "hiking their ticket prices for Yankees family and friends for Monday night’s Subway Series game at Citi Field is being investigated" by the MLBPA. After charging the Braves players $80 per ticket for weekend games at Citi Field, the Mets "hung a $250 per seat charge on the Yankees." A Mets spokesperson said, "The tickets are the same as Mets family members and priced the same as Mets family pays for tickets. Because of the variable pricing, ticket prices are different. It’s the same as Opening Day. It’s not gouging" (N.Y. POST, 5/29).

BATTLE ON BEALE STREET? In N.Y., Tim Bontemps wrote, "Whatever your opinion on the analytics revolution in the NBA these days, Memphis is one of the main epicenters of it." With Grizzlies Owner Robert Pera, a "tech magnate, at the helm, the Grizzlies retooled their front office last fall," bringing in CEO & Managing Partner Jason Levien and "stats guru and former ESPN writer John Hollinger to their front office." But Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins has "been public about his disdain for the analytic side of the game that has emerged in recent years." So the team's success under Hollins has left the Grizzlies in a "difficult situation." Hollins "doesn’t seem to fit into the vision of the way the Grizzlies want to be run moving forward," and big market teams like the Nets and Clippers are "expected to come calling" (NYPOST.com, 5/29).
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