FALLOUT TO THE END OF THE SEASON: BITS AND PIECES
SUN-BELT SQUIRMING: In Tampa, Chris Marti reports that if
spring training is cancelled it could cost the state of FL more
than $300M in lost revenue and make it more difficult for host
cities to pay the mortgage on their stadiums (TAMPA TRIBUNE,
9/16). In Chicago, Toni Ginnetti notes the impact on AZ.
Maricopa County Stadium District head Roger Brendecke: "The total
economic expenditure in our county (during spring training) is
$235 million. ... Spring is our biggest tourist time of the year
and baseball is an important factor" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 9/15).
RIPPLE EFFECT: BRANDWEEK reports that with no playoffs,
General Motors is likely "scrap plans" for a $40-50M corporate
image campaign that was to break during baseball's post-season
(BRANDWEEK, 9/12 issue).
BIRDS WATCHING: Orioles VP Joe Foss said he believed owner
Peter Angelos' resistance to signing the owners' resolution might
help ticket sales during this uncertain off-season (Mark Masek,
WASHINGTON POST, 9/16). MD Comptroller Louis Goldstein said that
the MD Stadium Authority has a substantial "cash cushion" to meet
the $14M required annual payment on the $150M bond issue that
finances Camden Yards (WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/16).
AD CAMPAIGNS: Reebok said it still plans to launch a new
campaign featuring Frank Thomas next spring. Nintendo
spokesperson on their Ken Griffey Jr. game that is a top-five
seller: "We are losing something by not having a nightly feature
on Griffey and his run for the record" (Jesus Sanchez, L.A.
TSN BEEFING UP SPORTS MENU: In Toronto, Ken McKee notes
that Canada's TSN is trying to fill in its schedule from the lack
of baseball games. "Face it, there isn't much available." ESPN
is running a boxing card from Biloxi, MS and ESPN2 is adding more
CFL games. TSN is blocked from adding CFL games on days the CBC
has a game. TSN programming VP Rick Brace said he expects to add
a few more Maple Leaf pre-season games (TORONTO STAR, 9/16).
FOX LURKING OUTSIDE TBN'S HENHOUSE? One rival network exec,
on Fox after signing on with the NHL for $155M: "They're just
crazy." But should The Baseball Network not survive the
shutdown, MLB could stage a "TV auction" and find out if Fox is
really "just crazy" (Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE, 9/16). Fox TV
Chair/CEO Chase Carey: "The Baseball Network's arrangement was a
very good deal from the networks' perspective because they have
very little invested. I'm not sure it is such a good bargain for
baseball." To which media writer Barry Horn responds, "Sounds
like a man who has spotted a bargain he can't wait to make his
network's own" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/14).
COMISKEY'S RENT: Curious IL taxpayers "wondered whether the
cancellation means they will have to subsidize the Sox for their
rent payments in new Comiskey Park." State officials said last
month the owners of the Sox will pay only half as much rent on
Comiskey Park as the $3M they paid in '93 (Paul Sullivan, CHICAGO
TRACKING THE TRIB: Speculation differs on the role of the
Tribune Co., owner of the Cubs, in the negotiations. Tribune Co.
not only owns WGN, the superstation that broadcasts Cubs and
White Sox games, but also stations with the broadcasting rights
of five other clubs. Still, agent Randy Hendricks admits
surprise that the Tribune Co.'s was quiet during the recent
talks: "The silence of the Tribune Co. has been almost deafening
in this dispute." Cubs Chair Stanton Cook insists the Tribune's
broadcasting revenues are a "side issue" (Steve Marantz, SPORTING