Red Sox fans offered insight to why attendance at Fenway Park is continuing to lag despite the team being in first place in the AL East, and the majority of responders "felt the cost of tickets and the overall experience are the biggest reasons Fenway attendance is down just under 3,000 fans per game this year," according to Nick Cafardo of the BOSTON GLOBE. But Cafardo writes, "Here's the reason I don't fully buy that -- the Red Sox have always had the highest or among the highest ticket prices in baseball." Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy said that they "have not increased ticket prices for two seasons and haven't increased them in three of the last five seasons." He said, "The seats that aren't selling are the lower-priced seats -- bleachers, grandstand, standing room." Cafardo writes it appears the "big tickets are going fine, but the 'cheap' seats aren't." It was "surprising how many feedback comments Thursday mentioned the ballpark being a problem." It seems the "afterglow" from the $300M in improvements "doesn't cut it anymore." In addition, "old complaints have resurfaced, such as the tight fit of the seats for people larger than 6 feet tall." But Cafardo again asks, "Why hasn't this very good, exciting team been enough to recapture those 3,000 fans per game that represent the decrease in attendance?" Fenway Park ushers are "amazed at the number of people who leave in the seventh inning, regardless of whether the team is ahead or behind." Sox fans are "still mad about Terry Francona being let go," or mad that Bobby Valentine "was ever hired." On Thursday night, the right-field boxes and grandstand "were relatively barren" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/30).
U.S. Dept. of Labor officials on Thursday said that the MLB Giants have "paid nearly $545,000 in back wages and damages to 74 clubhouse and administrative employees for violations of minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping laws." The DOL said that investigators "found clubhouse employees were working more hours than were recorded, but receiving only a flat pay rate that amounted to less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour." The AP notes the Giants "were also accused of not paying employees overtime," and the alleged violations "occurred over a three-year period." Giants Senior VP/Communications Staci Slaughter said that the team "changed its clubhouse compensation system before the Labor Department's inquiry" (AP, 8/30).
"X" MARKS THE SPOT: ESPN.com's Michael DiRocco reported the NFL "has agreed to change the official abbreviation for the Jaguars from JAC to JAX." The change occurred "thanks to a social media campaign, plus some behind-the-scenes work" from Jaguars Digital Media Manager Chris Burdett. A vocal group of Jags fans "have been fighting the JAC vs. JAX battle with the NFL office for several years." The "unofficial abbreviation of the city is JAX and it drove some fans nuts that the league was using JAC." Burdett had "been trying to get that changed since the end of last season, without much success" (ESPN.com, 8/29).
CUBAN'S HANDS ON APPROACH: In Dallas, Candace Carlisle noted Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban "recently unveiled his team's new website design, saying he hopes the move will drive more ticket and merchandise sales." Cuban said that while the site is finished, the project "will continue to evolve to optimize sales." He said, "I defined the look I wanted and how I wanted it to operate." Carlisle wrote the site, designed and developed by Pixel Jar and Nien Studios, is "much cleaner and user-friendly" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 8/29).