In Baltimore, Kevin Cowherd writes from a “PR standpoint, the Orioles are blowing it big-time with their fans.” If the Orioles “basically sit on their hands” while other teams in their division “make themselves better, well, what kind of message does that send to the fans?” Cowherd: “Where are the significant upgrades to make this team even better in 2013? … What are they doing with all that MASN money?” If the Orioles “stand pat, they're only fooling themselves” (Baltimore SUN, 1/10).
RISING PHOENIX: BLOOMBERG NEWS’ Scott Soshnick reported the Suns “received 365 refund demands, about 2 percent” of the attendance in the team’s Dec. 6 game against the Mavericks. Suns PR Manager Casey Taggatz said the number is “well below” what management had built in as an estimate. Taggatz said, “As a whole, the results have been overwhelmingly successful.” The Suns drew 17,517 fans to the game and Taggatz said that concession revenue that night was “up 21 percent over the average of previous games” (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/7).
CARING FOR A ROSE: In Portland, Jason Quick noted the Trail Blazers’ sellout streak “ended at 195 this season, but that hasn’t stopped the Rose Garden from maintaining its homecourt advantage.” The team has “sold out nine of their 16 home games" and average attendance of 19,759 ranks fourth in the NBA behind the Bulls, Mavericks and Heat. Attendance has been “encouraging considering what appeared to be a downward trend early in the season.” The end to the streak was also the “start of the Blazers’ eight-game winning streak.” Since then, they have “sold out three games, and had 19,000-plus in all but one game” (OREGONLIVE.com, 1/8).
MAKING THE GRADE: In Miami, Greg Cote conducted a poll to grade South Florida’s sports ownership and found the Heat’s Micky Arison received an “A” from 90% of the voters, with Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria receiving an “F” from 84% and Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross receiving an “C” from 43% of the voters (MIAMIHERALD.com, 1/9).