Brewers Finding Success Despite Lower Payroll, Smaller Market
The Brewers had "by far the lowest opening day payroll of the teams still playing baseball in October," despite boosting their payroll "about 50%" in the offseason, according to Tom Haudricourt of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. When last year's team "fared much better than expected, falling just one game shy of the playoffs," Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio and GM David Stearns decided it was "time to spend" for the likes of CF Lorenzo Cain, RF Christian Yelich and P Jhoulys Chacín, among others. The team opened with a payroll just north of $90M, which has increased to about $110M with "late-season acquisitions, call-ups, etc." Meanwhile, the Dodgers, who play the Brewers in the NLCS this year, began the season at about $187M. The Red Sox "led all 30 teams at the start of the season with a payroll" above $233M. The Astros also are "among the top 10 spenders" with a payroll just below $173M. But the Brewers, playing in the "smallest market in the majors with the lowest television/radio revenues, operate under a budget that other teams dwarf." Attanasio: "We’ll never be at the top of the payroll lists. But it’s more about the process rather than trying to get to a certain number. We’re very pleased with how our process has worked" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/12).
SHIFTING ATTENTION: In Milwaukee, James Nelson noted secondary ticket prices for Dodgers-Brewers NLCS Game 1 on Friday at Miller Park "dipped Thursday, from a 'get-in' price of about $130 to about $115 Thursday night." That is for "standing-room admission." StubHub said on Thursday afternoon that about 3,300 tickets were available (JSONLINE.com, 10/11). In Green Bay, Richard Ryman notes ticket prices for Monday night's 49ers-Packers "remain in free fall as fans shift their attention" to the Brewers. The "MNF" matchup will go head-to-head on TV with Brewers-Dodgers Game 3 in L.A. The "lowest get-in price for Packers tickets on the secondary market Thursday was $79, $30 below face value of the least expensive Packers tickets, and $28 less than standing-room-only tickets which the Packers are making available to the general public for the first time this season" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 10/12).
ROOT, ROOT, ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM: In Milwaukee, James Nelson notes the Bucks have "saluted the Brewers on their huge digital display on the new parking structure" in downtown Milwaukee. All Brewers championship series games will be "shown on large screens inside the new beer garden that connects North Old World Third Street with the plaza outside the new Bucks arena." Bucks Senior VP/Communications Barry Baum said, "We're all in on the Brewers. The beer will be flowing." Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said, "The Bucks recognize that the Brewers are the ones capturing peoples' attention right now" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/12).