MLB TEAM NEWS & NOTES: BREWERS REACH SEASON-TICKET RECORD
The Brewers have set a "franchise record" by securing
9,062 season-ticket packages as of Sunday, according to Tom
Haudricourt of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The team has
sold 1.25 million tickets so far this season, about 250,000
more than at this point last year. Through 20 home dates,
the team has drawn 335,890, compared with 247,619 in '97
(Tom Haudricourt, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 5/10).
A'S: In San Jose, Howard Bryant reported that
attendance at the Oakland Coliseum is "consistently under
10,000 so far," and there are large, "macro issues that poor
attendance continues to push to the forefront -- negotiating
with the Oakland Coliseum Authority on a new lease, the
possibility of selling the team, moving to a new location
within the Bay Area or out of the region." Bryant reports
that various groups in the South Bay "are interested in
attracting baseball" to Silicon Valley, and "[p]rivately,
the A's believe a new start ... would allow them to be
competitive with the bigger spenders" in the AL (SAN JOSE
MERCURY NEWS, 5/10). In Oakland, the TRIBUNE examined the
sparse attendance, as the A's are on pace to draw fewer than
one million for the first time since '80: "Is it the
attitude of the current owners? ... Is it the coolness and
distance of [co-Owners Steve] Schott and [Ken] Hofmann? ...
Is it ownership's failure to express unconditional
commitment to the area?" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 5/10).
MARLINS: Marlins President Don Smiley, on his plan to
reduce payroll to $12-16M in '99: "This is restructuring.
There is no doubt about it. It's just like any other
company restructuring that's in trouble. You must make
difficult decisions and you must accept the rough water that
goes along with it" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/10). ESPN's Peter
Gammons, on the team's payroll reductions: "What's so stupid
to me is that, you know, you never get that attendance bump
the year that you're going for it for the first time ... you
get it the year after. ... I don't see that they've done
anything for that franchise" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 5/10).
OTHER MLB NOTES: In N.Y., Murray Chass, on New York
City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's calls for increased attendance at
Yankees Stadium: "Does he know the Mets exist? He has been
so busy tub-thumping for the Yankees that maybe he has
forgotten that they do" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/11)....The Devil Rays
drew 42,486 Saturday versus the Orioles, their second
biggest crowd of the season (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/10).
....The Phillies announced during yesterday's game versus
the D'Backs, which was played during inclement weather, that
all used or unused tickets for the game could be exchanged
for a future game (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 5/11)....The
Pirates held their second "meet and greet the fan night"
Friday, but it didn't go "quite as well" as last year's
event, when the team was "mobbed by enthusiastic fans and
the idea gained national media attention." Paid attendance
Friday was 13,848 (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 5/9).