SBD/April 7, 2014/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Dodgers Fans Experience Long Lines, Spotty Wi-Fi In Opener

In L.A., Kevin Baxter noted there were "long lines, crowded concourses and Wi-Fi snafus" on Friday for the Dodgers' home opener against the Giants. Some in the "sellout crowd of 53,493 waited in concession lines for as long as 45 minutes." But the lines "seemed to shrink in relation to the cost of the tickets." On the lower levels, where in "some places fans don't even have to leave their seat to order food and drinks, the lines were shorter." As for the Wi-Fi, the "consensus was that the coverage was spotty at best." There also were "problems with some of the ticket-scanning devices," which initially occurred during last week's Freeway Series with the Angels (L.A. TIMES, 4/5). Meanwhile, L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said of the team's issues getting carriage for SportsNet LA, "The biggest fault here is with the Dodgers. Fans are furious with the Dodgers because they feel like they have been sucker punched” (“CBS Evening News,” CBS, 4/5).

GOING INTO HIBERNATION? In Chicago, Gordon Wittenmyer wrote there will be "another six years of growing pains" for the Cubs, as Chair Tom Ricketts "didn’t rule out the possibility that a long-promised boost to the baseball-operations budget might take that long to be fully realized." When the Cubs' TV-rights deal with CSN expires in six years, the team for the first time "can offer a single regional outlet their full schedule of TV rights." Meanwhile, the news that the Cubs "might be willing to create cash flow through minority investors might not be the baseball boon it has the potential to be." Ricketts said, "We think the renovation of the ballpark is $30- to $40 million in incremental revenue per year." Sources said that the estimated revenue "about covers the Cubs' annual debt-service cost" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/5).

PARTY LIKE IT'S 1992: In Toronto, Joe Warmington wrote the atmosphere for Friday's Yankees-Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre was "absolutely electric." There were 48,107 fans "jammed into every inch of the place like it used to be." Warmington: "The place was rocking" (TORONTO SUN, 4/5). 

BEANTOWN'S BEST: In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy wrote the city is "a Hub of institutions, and a bunch of them intersected on the great green lawn at the corner of Yawkey Way and Brookline Ave." on Friday for the Red Sox' home opener against the Brewers. Shaughnessy: "Gathered in historic, heartfelt harmony, we had the Boston Fire Department, the Boston Marathon, Boston City Hall, the Boston Pops, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Celtics, the New England Patriots, the Dropkick Murphys, Irish stepdancers, the Boston Red Sox, and Fenway Park." Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino: "It was a ceremony for the ages. It was great to have all the teams come together. It was great to honor our mayors. The whole ceremony was very touching and, I hope, very fitting" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/6).
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