Castellini Chides Media, Claims They Negatively Affected Reds' Season-Ticket Sales
The Reds "did very little in terms of adding players before this season," but team President & CEO Bob Castellini was still "not happy with some of the coverage of the team in the offseason" regarding that topic, according to John Fay of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. Castellini: "We’re not going to blow this franchise up by overextending ourselves. It’s never going to happen." The media grades for the Reds’ offseason, "both nationally and locally, were barely passing." Castellini thinks that this "affected season-ticket sales," which "are up, but just short of the team's goal of 13,000." Castellini: "That season-ticket number is the most important number we can generate. Sponsorships are very important. Advertising is important. But the biggest thing we concentrate on is season tickets. So when you guys start writing right during the caravan about money, the fact that we didn’t add any guys ... well, we had all these guys hurt." He added, "We knew we wanted to sign [P Homer Bailey]. We knew we were going to make some other commitments. It’s not that we didn’t look. It gets written in such a way -- ‘Well, the Reds aren’t doing anything’ -- that really does affect people buying season tickets. Personally, I get a little ticked off." Ticket revenues since Castellini took over in '06 "have increased" 72% from $53.6M to $92.1M. Corporate sponsorship "increased nearly three-fold" from $9.3M to $25.9M. National broadcasting revenue "is up" 91% since '05 – from $798M to $1.52B. Those factors "have allowed the Reds to take the player payroll" from $59M in '06 to $106.8M last year. The Reds’ share of national broadcasting money "hasn’t kicked in yet," but it will "by the time the backloaded portions" of the contracts for 1B Joey Votto and Bailey come into play (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/2).