In St. Louis, Rick Hummel reports the MLB Cardinals have the "fourth highest attendance decline in the major leagues at nearly 171,000, or 2,843" per game going into last night's game against the Dodgers. With four weekend series remaining on the schedule, Cardinals VP/Ticket Sales Joe Strohm said that the team "still will exceed three million fans for the eighth year in a row and 15th year overall." He indicated that the club would "exceed three million on Friday, Sept. 23 against the Cubs." Hummel notes that number "still will be down from the 3.3 million attracted last year, but the decline per game by the end of the season should be more like 2,500 a game than the current figure." Strohm said that the Cardinals, who play in the 24th-largest market in MLB, will "finish sixth in attendance" for '11 (STLTODAY.com, 8/24).
HOMETOWN DISCOUNT: Angels P Jered Weaver admitted that he "had to go against the advice of agent Scott Boras before agreeing to" terms yesterday with his team on a five-year, $85M contract extension. ESPN L.A.'s Mark Saxon noted Weaver "may have left tens of millions on the table by signing 15 months before he reached free agency." Weaver said, "If $85 (million) is not enough to take care of my family and other generations of families then I'm pretty stupid, but how much money do you really need in life? I've never played this game for the money." Weaver added Boras "would have liked to have seen me gone [to free agency], but I told him I wanted to get something done and he was more than willing to work with me about it that way" (ESPNLA.com, 8/23).
ARMY STRONG: The MLS Timbers announced they are "adding seats for two home games that will raise the capacity at Jeld-Wen Field to more than 20,000." In Portland, Geoffry Arnold noted the extra seats are scheduled to be in place for the team's home games against the Revolution on Sept. 16 and the Dynamo on Oct. 14. The club will "open up reserved sections in 209-211 and approximately 1,200 seats in the Timbers Army, consisting of sections 201-208." The additional seats will "raise the stadium's capacity from the current 18,627 to 20,323" (OREGONLIVE.com, 8/23).
HEATING UP: In Buffalo, Bucky Gleason wrote the Sabres are "inching, if not leaping, toward becoming one of the top teams in the league." Owner Terry Pegula is the "gift that keeps on giving," and Gleason noted he has "spent some $8 million on the dressing room alone, [and] another $5 million or so buying the [AHL] Rochester Americans." In addition, the team is "adding scouts and tweaking operations." The Sabres are "evolving into a great story, and outsiders are paying attention" (BUFFALO NEWS, 8/21).