Angels Chair Dennis Kuhl Thursday said that the team has “not held negotiations about moving to a potential new ballpark in the City of Industry,” shooting down media reports stating the team was looking to leave Anaheim, according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. Majestic Reality, the owners of the proposed site of the new ballpark, “insisted Thursday that they have not given up on the NFL.” Majestic Realty spokesperson Ben Porritt in a statement said, “Our commitment is on returning the NFL to Los Angeles and our focus is on building a football stadium.” Industry City Manager Kevin Radecki said that he was “unaware of any conversations involving the Angels coming to his town.” Radecki said that the “environmental impact report approved for the Industry site would not be viable for a ballpark” because the number of home games in a baseball season would “exceed the number of dates approved for major events at the Industry site.” Shaikin noted Porritt would not say whether Majestic Chair & CEO Ed Roski had met with Angels Owner Arte Moreno, “if only to consider future options” (LATIMES.com, 9/20). The Angels’ lease for Angel Stadium has an “opt-out clause in 2016,” but if the team does not exercise it, an extension “running through the 2029 season kicks in” (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 9/21).
The Predators have “put together a plan for their season-ticket holders in case the lockout extends into the season,” according to Josh Cooper of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. If ticket holders “leave their accounts open, they will be credited for the games canceled and not rescheduled.” They also will “receive a 10.25 percent bonus credit on an annualized basis on the canceled games.” It can be used for “food and beverage, merchandise, select Bridgestone Arena events, single-game tickets, 2013 Stanley Cup playoff tickets and 2013-14 season-ticket renewal.” Ticket holders otherwise can get refunds for canceled games, but "will be exempt from the bonus credit.” The Predators also said that they have “no plans for staff layoffs during the lockout” (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 9/21). Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Tom Gulitti reports the Devils “emailed a letter to full season-ticket holders Thursday outlining the team’s policy for refunds.” The team is “offering season-ticket holders two options for the ticket money from the canceled games.” The first is to “keep the money on account with the team and receive 2 percent interest on the total through the full season or until the season gets under way.” The second option is to “request a refund.” Season-ticket holders who have paid in full “will begin receiving their refunds Oct. 31” (Bergen RECORD, 9/21).
UNNEEDED INTERRUPTION: In Tampa, Damian Cristodero notes this lockout joins the '04-05 work stoppage as having "disrupted the Lightning's chances to make even more inroads, competitively and economically, into its nontraditional market.” The ’04-05 lockout “interrupted the Lightning's drive to defend the 2003-04 Stanley Cup title.” The ‘12-13 season was “supposed to be marketing gold, with the celebration of Tampa Bay's 20th anniversary season.” Still, Cristodero notes the team’s community outreach “is at an all-time high under” Lightning CEO & Minority Owner Tod Leiweke and Majority Owner Jeff Vinik, who “has put $47 million of his money into upgrading the Tampa Bay Times Forum and its scoreboard, and in 2011 pledged $10 million to local charities over five years” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 9/21).
The AHL Syracuse Crunch to promote its affiliation with the Lightning have a new billboard near I-690 featuring model Carol Grow "lounging atop a hockey goal wearing a clingy Syracuse Crunch T-shirt, tight boy shorts and strappy, black stilettos," according to Lindsay Kramer of the Syracuse POST-STANDARD. To the left of Grow is "a palm tree and an inscription that reads, 'From Tampa, with love.'" The marketing pitch "was the idea" of Crunch Owner Howard Dolgon. He said, "When you do billboards, you want to do things that will attract attention to your brand. This is going to get people's attention." Grow will be "featured on other upcoming team billboards, as well as on a poster giveaway during the season." Dolgon said that he has "received a lot of feedback" about the billboard since it was unveiled Monday, and "none of it complained that the campaign is too revealing." He said, "It's a classy-looking picture. It draws attention to what we're doing, and in a first-class manner." The team has previously "featured returning players in ads" (SYRACUSE.com, 9/19).
LOCKOUT A MIXED BLESSING FOR AHL: ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun noted the NHL lockout is a "mixed blessing" for the AHL, but the league is "ready to step up if called upon this fall." The league has a "chance to own the stage while the big show is in a labor impasse," which has historically been a "boost to the AHL." However, the AHL and NHL are "solid partners." Attendance rose 6.5% from '03-04 to '04-05 for the AHL; both the "average and overall attendance figures are still the highest ever." A similar pattern "can be expected if an NHL lockout drags into the fall and winter." With "social media and new media platforms, who knows how much more the AHL can gain." But AHL President & CEO David Andrews said, "While we might see a short-term gain for a month or two months or whatever the period of time is, ultimately we all get floated by the success of the National Hockey League" (ESPN.com, 9/19).
The Cubs asked the creators of NBC's new show "Revolution" to remove a World Series notation from the Wrigley Field marquee that ran in promos for the show this spring and summer. Cubs VP/Communications & Community Affairs Julian Green said the team is "happy Wrigley Field was showcased" in the show, but the club "simply did not approve the artificial addition" to the marquee (Preston Bounds, THE DAILY). In Chicago, Rob Manker noted when clips of the new show debuted online, a "scene set in Chicago depicted some of the show's characters walking past an abandoned Wrigley Field in the year 2027.” Beneath the stadium's “familiar red marquee was a sign declaring” the Cubs "2012 World Series champions." But when the show premiered Monday night, the Wrigley Field scene shown in the trailer “was different.” Manker: “Gone was the declaration of the Cubs as champs, replaced by a plain red background beneath the marquee. Everything else about the post-apocalyptic scene remained the same -- still Wrigley Field, still abandoned, still no electricity” (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 9/20).
GETTING THE UPGRADE: In Daytona Beach, Eileen Zaffiro-Kean reports the “nearly 100-year-old Jackie Robinson Ballpark will soon get $1.25 million worth of renovations,” and the Single-A Florida State League Daytona Cubs will “start a 10-year lease at the city-owned park.” Daytona Beach city commissioners this week “gave conditional approval to the new lease with the minor league baseball team's owner, saying a squabble with the county over parking around the ballpark needs to get resolved for the mayor to sign the deal.” Part of the disagreement “has to do with the Cubs' idea to charge for parking for the first time, something that probably wouldn't happen until at least 2014.” The city's “tentative thumbs-up comes in the same week the Chicago Cubs and Daytona Cubs renewed their player development contract for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.” While that commitment is for just two years, Daytona Cubs GM Brady Ballard said that the time frame is “a typical length for that type of agreement and isn't indicative of the team's desire to stay in Daytona Beach” (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 9/21).