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Selig is at it again

OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Selig is at it again
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jenmed on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 10:38 am:

Bud Selig attended Fox's annual baseball lunch on Treasure Island yesterday, and took the opportunity to once again spell gloom and doom for the A's if they don't get a new ballpark. An article on the issue from the Chronicle follows. When Steve Schott is the voice of reason (in this article, mind you!) , you know you're in trouble.
The Chron reporter does a pretty good job with the issue.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2003/02/07/SP240358.DTL

For the second time in three years, Commissioner Bud Selig was the keynote speaker at Fox's annual baseball luncheon on Treasure Island, and this time he wasn't asked a single question about contraction.

So he brought it up himself.

"I don't know why I bring it up willingly, but it just shows you I'm a masochist at heart," Selig said on Thursday when someone asked about the A's and their stated desire for a new ballpark.

It's not that Selig was ready to reintroduce the A's to the contraction list. In fact, talk of contracting any team, even the Expos, must be shelved for four years under the new basic agreement, and the c-word Selig is hearing most these days -- at least from agents failing to find lucrative contracts for their clients -- is collusion, not contraction.

Nevertheless, the commissioner made the reference in a bid to deliver a point -- that the A's can't survive long term without a new ballpark -- at the risk of creating uneasiness among A's officials, who happened to be sitting across the main table from Giants officials, who happened to be stacking their chips to the ceiling.

"It's a high priority," Selig said. "No matter what economic system you have, a club has to produce a significant amount of local revenue, enough to allow it to be competitive. And when other clubs in your division produce enormous revenue -- Anaheim redid its stadium, and Seattle has a new stadium --

that gives them an inherent advantage over the Oakland club.

"The issue is keeping your team competitive and playing on the same (economic) playing field as your competitors."

What would happen to the A's without extra revenue from a new ballpark?

"It's trouble under any system," Selig said. "You don't want to consign any of your teams to failure. It goes back to what I say about hope and faith. Once you take hope and faith away, you have nothing. On April 1, if you have no chance to win, you've got a problem. So the stadium debates become very crucial."

That might have been true in Montreal. And, in some years, Minnesota. But in Oakland, April 1 is usually the first day of a playoff-bound season.

So, with respect to the good commish who traveled a long way to give props to his sport only to be sidetracked by the question-and-answer session, his sermon didn't focus on two important facts.

No. 1, the A's are doing quite well without a new park.

No. 2, Oakland is broke.

Even A's owner Steve Schott knows a new campaign for a new home in today's wobbly climate would be a waste of time.

"Obviously, we need a baseball-only park in order to double our revenues," Schott said. "But at this time, with the state of the economy, the city and county facing deficits, it isn't practical to pursue a stadium. That's why we signed the five-year lease with the Coliseum. Hopefully, for everybody's sake, things will get better economically in the next couple of years."

Talk of relocating to the South Bay is equally nonexistent, and Giants owner Peter Magowan will remind you if you've forgotten. He still holds territorial rights to the area, and he's not letting go.

"It's a dead issue," Magowan said. "I'm not any more worried about that than I've been the past few years."

The only way for the A's to move south would be for Schott to convince 23 of the other 29 owners to back him, but he's not villain enough to pull an Al Davis and force the issue. So while Schott returns to the foot of Mt. Davis for another year, Magowan will enter his fourth season at Fantasy By The Bay.

There, the only issues are what it will be called next year and when it will finally host an All-Star Game.

Magowan revealed that 2003 is the swan song for Pacific Bell Park. In 2004, "It's definitely going to change," said Magowan, noting Pacific Bell is now SBC Communications Inc. "They have a right to change it to whatever they want, and it will change. We want to have some input, and they graciously said they want our input."

But the Giants can't keep the phone heads from calling it SBC Park, and what a terrible name for the site of an All-Star Game. Selig said the Giants are a "viable candidate" to host it in 2005, confirming that rotating the game from one league to the other is no longer required. The White Sox are the hosts in 2003 and the Astros in 2004.

The Giants hope they'll get it before Barry Bonds retires.

"Ideally, yes. That's why we'd want it in '05 or '06, not '07," said Magowan, knowing Bonds' contract is guaranteed through '05 with an option for '06.

Perhaps the A's will have a ballpark plan by then. Perhaps not.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oakfan on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 11:18 am:

What the hell is this bozo saying:

"It's trouble under any system," Selig said. "You don't want to consign any of your teams to failure. It goes back to what I say about hope and faith. Once you take hope and faith away, you have nothing. On April 1, if you have no chance to win, you've got a problem. So the stadium debates become very crucial."

He need only look at his own team to see that this statement is not always true.

I also saw a story that the Rockies season ticket base is shrinking quickly.

As many have said before, what a bunch of B.S. this Idea of a new ballpark quarantees to solve all a teams problems.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 11:38 am:

This bozo is as smart as a fox oakfan, and

His own team has been terrible and his attendance is not up there either, but the reports show they were the most profitable team in MLB. They have the corporate sponsors and the other goodies of the new ballparks and attendance is no longer such a factor when most of the charter seats have been sold anyway.

In his own arrogance, what he said was that, when you lose because you don't want to spend on good players, fans be damned, if/when you have a new ballpark, you make the money without winning and without the little non important fans.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 11:43 am:

check out the attendance for Miller Park

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIL/attend.shtml

They drew 2,8 the first year and then went right back to their lousy below 2 mil attendance last year...but Selig has the arrogance to say its the only way to survive. Of course, he is right...it's the best way to cheat a city and corporate money as welfare while he lines his own pockets.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By yc2578 on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 12:16 pm:

What's the over/under on Brewers attendance this year? I'd guess about 1.6 million. Let us not forget about the Pirates who drew just 1.7 million last year in just the 2nd year of their new ballpark. The Phillies have been spending like crazy this offseason because if they had just stuck with the current team they had they would have run into the same problems...one year of big crowds and then back below the magical 2 million mark the 2nd year.

A new ballpark is of course only a temporary band aid unless you actually put a winning team on the field. Even the Indians and Orioles, the two model franchises for increased revenue through a new stadium, are now seeing their attendance dwindle simply because they don't have winning teams now at the moment. Also the thing about new ballparks...hey they become old eventually all you have to look north of the border to Toronto. Remember when Skydome was THE stadium? Now its just an ugly ballpark no one cares about.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By voxhoo on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 12:25 pm:

It's all about revenue sharing. The reason MLB and Selig pushed and continue to push so hard for new parks centers around winning increased revenue sharing in the last CBA. In order to get the wealthier teams like the Yankees to go along with increased revenue sharing, MLB had to show that it could increase revenue among the bottom half teams. Any teams that can't increase their revenue immediately become candidates for relocation or contraction. Since stadium expenses are deducted before revenue sharing, it's in all of the MLB owner's interest for these new stadiums to be publicly funded. Otherwise, you get teams like the Giants. They are one of the top 4 revenue teams but because of stadium expenses are treated like a mid-tier team for revenue sharing purposes, which drains more cash from the other owners than if SF had built the stadium for the Giants.

The 29 other owners don't care if the Brewers are profitable of not, they only care about their revenue sharing. For revenue sharing purposes, the Brewers are roughly comparable to the Giants because of lower stadium expenses.

Why is MLB against the idea of the A's remaining in Oakland? Revenue sharing. The A's have below average revenue and draw money from the other teams and all of this in spite of on-field success. The A's are a drain on the other owners. If the A's were relocated to another city, the Giants would be left with sole possession of the Bay Area and would increase revenue and contribute more in revenue sharing. The other owners could benefit even if the A's move to a slightly smaller market. It's not some conspiracy by Magowan and Selig, it's business.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 12:25 pm:

yc, we're talking about profits and not attendance...which doesn't go hand in hand and Selig knows that better than anybody...

the new ballparks make a lot more money for the owners, regardless of attendance and that was what Selig was talking about.

Take a look at this article:

http://msn.espn.go.com/mlb/news/2002/0329/1360060.html

"According to the study, the Selig family's Milwaukee Brewers had an operating profit of $18.8 million after revenue sharing last season, the most in baseball."

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By yc2578 on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 12:39 pm:

There is the basic problem right there. The average fan, which I don't quite consider myself to be, doesn't care about revenue. Revenue isn't something you see in the box score the next day in the paper. Revenue isn't posted on the big screen in the 8th inning having fans guess how much their team made that day. The only thing a fan really can tell whether a team is succesful or not financially is attendance.

Also those statistics (and I've seen the article before) are based on 2001 when the Brewers drew over 2.8 million so I seriously doubt the Brewers and their new stadium were all that profitable for them last year.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 12:51 pm:

yc, the contracts with sponsors, the naming rights and charter seats, and luxury boxes are not influenced by attendance from year to year.

The profits for the Brewers posted for 2001 probably was not influenced by the people who didn't go to the ballpark during 2002 because the seats may have been empty but paid for...

They project the profits of a new ballpark for several years down the road and not on a yearly basis based on attendance for that year.

Now, I do agree that a few years down the road, the profits of a new ballpark will go down because it will be influenced by the renewal of sponsorship and of course continued support from fans and corporate community. That's when the honeymoon end and the possible troubles restart.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kbailey3131 on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 01:00 pm:

It's about the corporate money.....Selig isn't hurting because of the attendance because he's got corporate money coming in, more than he had at County Stadium. (That he also sucks money out of revenue sharing too I believe is probably just beside the point for him - so I won't even mention it - ooops! too late)

That's why he and Schott want a new building.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 01:20 pm:

kbailey,

Bingo!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By ssblip on Saturday, February 08, 2003 - 09:29 am:

I didn't see anyone mention the fact that the people in the neighboring counties in Milwaukee voted to allow a half-cent increase on sales tax to raise funds for the new stadium. (I'm assuming it was partial funds but I may be wrong.)

In the end, what they helped finance was a nice stadium with a lousy team playing in it. And, for the time being, a tidy little profit for the Seligs.


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