Business of Baseball Report

Florida Congress Looks To Swap Slot Machines For Baseball Stadium

Once again, things are going down to the wire with the Florida legislature recessing on Friday. And so far, it looks like they’ll go home without passing a stadium bill for the Florida Marlins, causing the stadium supporters to scramble. The latest idea is for the Florida House to push through a bill that would allow slot machines at 10 racetracks and jai-alai frontons; four of those proposed locations are in Miami-Dade County. According to The Miami Herald, the Florida state representatives have resisted passing anything related to gambling, but they support the Marlins’ $60 million sales tax subsidy. The state senators aren’t as keen on the stadium bill, but they want the gambling revenue. And while everyone is saying that there’s no link between the two bills, it’s hard to deny that there’s not at least some connection.

This will most likely go down to the final hour, and we won’t know whether the Marlins finally get their subsidy until Saturday morning (or really late Friday night). My opinion is that it doesn’t get done this year, but we’ll see this weekend.

Cablevision Sells Stakes In Two RSNs To Comcast

Cablevision has agreed to sell its stake in two regional sports networks to cable giant Comcast for $570 million in cash. Comcast will get a 60% interest in Fox Sports Net Bay Area and a 50% stake in Fox Sports Net New England. The purchase now gives Comcast full ownership in FSN New England. Once the sale is completed, Cablevision will not have an ownership stake in anything outside of the New York designated market area.

Steroid Talk Heats Up….Again

I don’t want to make light of what some think is a serious subject, but it seems like every time there’s a break of some sort in the whole performance-enhancing drug investigation, we rarely, if ever get anything out of it. It hits the news and we’re told that this is a big deal, then nothing happens until the next big break a couple of months later.

This time, it’s a former Mets clubhouse employee who supposedly sold performance-enhancing drugs to players, and he’s been questioned by the grand jury that’s been investigating whether Barry Bonds perjured himself. From the way this story makes it sounds, this guy basically took things over once BALCO was shut down.

Mets, Yankees Stadium Construction Progresses

In an excellent column in The New York Times, Richard Sandomir discusses how the construction of the new ballparks for the New York Yankees and New York Mets is progressing. Both stadiums are set to open on opening day 2009. New Yankee Stadium is going to look like a retro version of Yankee Stadium before a lot of renovations were made in the 1970s. Citi Field, the future home of the New York Mets, is supposed to mimic old Ebbets Field, the former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Week Off

I’m taking the week off next week, and the following week I’m hoping to finish up an interview with author Tom Stanton about his upcoming book, Ty and the Babe, so the BOB report will be on a two-week sabbatical. Hopefully, I’ll have a super-sized (has some fast food company trademarked that phrase?) column for you in three weeks.

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