|Many were surprised when Jeter announced his retirement via Facebook
Yankees SS Derek Jeter yesterday "announced his retirement via a Facebook post in a move that even caught Yankee brass by surprise," according to Mark Feinsand of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Jeter phoned Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner yesterday morning but asked him "not to tell anyone about his plans." Jeter had "kept the news to a tight circle including his parents and a couple of friends." Yankees President Randy Levine said of Jeter's announcement, "We found out about it the same way you did" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/13
). In N.Y., Bill Madden writes the only surprising thing about Jeter's announcement is that he chose "to go public right before spring training." One Yankee exec said, "We were caught off guard with his announcement if only because Derek hates the adulation and now that it’s out there this is his last year, he’s going to get nothing but adulation for the next six months" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/13
HOT TICKET: The N.Y. DAILY NEWS reports tickets for the Yankees’ final home game of the '14 season "were going for over $11,000 on the secondary market" after Jeter made his announcement. Opening Day tickets "were also being listed at over $11,000." The cheapest ticket available on StubHub last night was $285.50 for a "Possible Obstructed View" seat in the bleachers. Tickets for the Yankees' final game of the season at Fenway Park start at $173, with "the highest priced seat also going for $11,000" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/13). TiqIQ data showed that the average ticket price for Jeter's final home game increased 358% yesterday from 2:00pm ET, when Jeter made his announcement, to 6:00pm (BALTIMORESUN.com, 2/12). TiqIQ VP/Data & Communications Chris Matcovich said that the market "was even more bullish than when Mariano Rivera announced his retirement on March 9 last year" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/13). Boston-based Ace Tickets President & CEO Jim Holzman said of the Yankees' season finale at Fenway, "This last Jeter game is now a tougher ticket than the Opening Day ring ceremony. Now that's a story" (ESPN.com, 2/12).
BIG BUSINESS: In Newark, Dave D'Alessandro writes the announcement "came as a surprise to those who occupy upper echelons, and that in itself makes you wonder whether the people who run the Yankees have any money left over to buy a clue." Everyone else "saw this coming down Broadway." D'Alessandro: "In plain terms: Jeter must be offered a role in the organization that allows him to shape the next generation." It is not "some meritorious-service honorarium," but rather it is "just good business for a franchise that considers itself better than all the rest" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/13). In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes the coming of Japanese P Masahiro Tanaka had "already inspired visions of increased ticket sales and TV ratings," and the "going of Jeter took the business of Yankees baseball in 2014 over the rainbow." Raissman: "Let the pinstriped bean counters celebrate" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/13).
A few ideas for names "have surfaced" for David Beckham's Miami-based MLS expansion club, including the Vice, the Current and an "undisclosed name tied to a corporate sponsor," according to sources cited by Matt Porter of the PALM BEACH POST. Those are "not necessarily the only names the Beckham group is considering," but those three names were "used by the group in its recent presentations to the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County and potential investors." Images also were "part of those pitches, including a mock-up of a potential logo and a potential uniform" for the club. The logo for a team called "Miami Vice" includes "dark gray and aqua colors, with soft pink accents." The letters ‘M’ and ‘V’ "form a badge, with an upward-struck soccer ball in the foreground." The kit "features an aqua shirt and dark gray shorts with soft pink stripes." The logo and uniforms "were designed for the presentation only and are not likely the final version," but the colors "are expected to be the same." A marketing slogan for the presentation was "Welcome Home Soccer" (PALM BEACH POST, 2/13).
CHARMING OR CHEESY? In L.A., Chuck Schilken writes although Beckham "knows what he's doing," he should not trust his instinct "if his gut is telling him to name and fashion the team after a cheesy cop show from nearly three decades ago." Schilken writes of the three proposed names, "Great, options, huh? At least Miami Sound Machine appears to have not made the short list" (LATIMES.com, 2/12).
The MLS Impact have "already matched season ticket sales from a year ago and hope to reach at least 9,000" before their home opener on March 22, according to the CP. The Impact yesterday said that it has "sold 8,300 season tickets," with an 81% renewal rate from last season. Season-ticket prices range from C$339 to C$1,230. Impact Exec VP Richard Legendre in a statement said, "We are confident that we will be able to reach a new plateau of 9,000 season tickets for 2014, but we still have the 10,000 number in sight." The club is putting "a marketing focus on the first three home games," which will be played at Olympic Stadium before they move outdoors to Saputo Stadium on April 26. The Impact also plans "an extensive advertising and marketing campaign, and to increase public appearances" of players (CP, 2/12).
Portland's AFL team is "trying to connect with fans, but apparently not listening to them that closely," according to John Canzano of the Portland OREGONIAN. After a "five-week 'Name the Team' contest concluded in November," team Owner Terry Emmert announced he had "selected 'Thunder' as the team name." A team source yesterday confirmed that the "suggestion 'Thunder' finished well off the pace in fan voting, but was selected anyway by Emmert, who liked the name himself." The nicknames "Growlers" and "Sasquatch" came in "first and second." Canzano: "I suppose Emmert has every right to name his team what he wants. But why feign a public contest that pretends to ask for input if you like your own suggestion best of all?" (OREGONLIVE.com, 2/12).