A's need strategic investor
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Hoffman's 50% of the team needs to go to a strategic buyer with experience in media. A new stadium isn't the only way to increase revenues. Instead of a costly boondoggle of a stadium, the A's need a new media contract. The $9M year their getting is pathetic. The Twins and the Astros are thumbing their noses at FSN, and signing with other outlets. The Astros are partnering with the Rockets and starting their own network.
Can u say War/Letics sports net?
| By bubba69 on Friday, March 21, 2003 - 01:56 pm:|
BD....we need total new ownership! Nothing less will do!
| By chris_d on Friday, March 21, 2003 - 03:24 pm:|
If Atlanta and Seattle can go from being awful, low-revenue teams to being two of the top revenue teams in MLB, then certainly a team like Oakland's -- a proven winner sharing the country's 5th biggest market -- can enjoy the same success. With creative and committed ownership, that kind of success is very possible!
In '95, people were talking about moving the Mariners out of Seattle. After 2001, they were the 2nd highest grossing team in all of MLB -- second only to King George the Felon's boys in pinstripes.
From the AP wire:
New Park May Not Help Reds This Season
SARASOTA, Fla. - With its close-to-the-field seats and spacious concourses, the Cincinnati Reds' new ballpark is compact and comfortable, a major upgrade from their old hangout.
It won't be another Jacobs Field. The days are gone when a new ballpark can transform a team.
Great American Ball Park gives the Reds an emotional boost and some extra money - between $10 million and $15 million.
That's enough to move them to the middle of the payroll pack, but not nearly enough to guarantee they'll be a contender from the season's first pitch.
Chalk it up to timing.
In the past decade, the flurry of new ballpark openings, the dramatic increase in big-city broadcast revenue and the arrival of revenue sharing have softened the impact of a new park, just as the Reds prepare to move into one.
"Does it take us into the echelon with the Yankees or some of those other clubs? A new ballpark doesn't do that," Reds chief operating officer John Allen said. "But the new ballpark and the labor agreement help us dramatically.
"The new ballpark is not one thing that can get you from 'Z' to 'A' in one fell swoop. It just doesn't allow that."
At one time, it did.
The Jake was the backdrop when Cincinnati-area taxpayers approved a tax increase for their new ballpark in March 1996. After a generation of mediocrity at best, the Indians went to the World Series in 1995, their second year in a ballpark that made all the difference.
For numerous reasons, no ballpark can do that now.
The Jake was at the cutting edge of the ballpark boom. A new ballpark meant a big advantage over the competition - money from luxury boxes, club seats and ticket sales overall - at a time when payrolls were a fraction of what they are today.
In the last nine years, big-city clubs and small-market teams alike have opened ballparks, negating their advantage. Three other NL Central teams already are playing in new parks - Houston, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.
Instead of putting a team ahead, a new ballpark now allows it to catch up.
"It's a game in which if only you do it, you can get ahead of the others," said John Siegfried, an economist at Vanderbilt who studies sports. "If all of you do it, everybody is right back to where they started, but everybody has spent more on stadiums."
Not everybody has the same local broadcasting revenues, which have become the major factor in payrolls since the late 1990s. The New York Yankees got $54 million from their cable network last season, $9 million more than the Reds' payroll.
Revenue sharing also has changed baseball's landscape. The Reds received $13 million in 2001 and $10 million last year but will have to pay into the pool this year because of its increased revenues from the new ballpark.
Even with a new park, a small-market team can't keep up with the big boys. The proof is in Cleveland, where the Indians have retrenched and started rebuilding after a seven-year run.
"When you've got a good synergy going between enhanced performance by the team and a new stadium, they reinforce each other and you can get that for five, six, seven or eight years," said Andrew Zimbalist, a Smith College economist who has written about sports. "Basically, that's what happened in Baltimore and Cleveland. It won't go on indefinitely."
There's no guarantee it will go on long at all. New ballparks in Pittsburgh and Milwaukee failed to energize the Reds' division rivals. Cincinnati has a better team, but an identical challenge.
"A new stadium doesn't guarantee revenue, it only makes it possible," Zimbalist said. "You have to fill the stadium to get the potential realized. You've got to hook into the symbiosis of the stadium and team performance.
"There's a real question in my mind whether the Reds will be able to do that. Quite likely, there's going to be a big kick the first year, like the Bengals got a kick from their stadium. People want to go because of the novelty."
The Reds think their emphasis on player development and their core of young players puts them in position to make the most of the new place.
"Getting the new facility is just fabulous," Allen said. "We're lucky to be in Cincinnati."