BOB:  MLB and StubHub extend relationship

MLB renews secondary ticket market deal with StubHub

Major League Baseball and StubHub extended their relationship by another five years this week. The deal means that StubHub will continue to be MLB’s official secondary ticket market with some changes to the terms. The biggest change is that there is now a $6 minimum on ticket prices, with that price including commissions and delivery fees. MLB’s concern was that there was word of tickets as cheap as 99 cents in the past, though in actuality, when the fees that StubHub tacks on were added to the price, the tickets really cost upwards of $10.

StubHub’s plan is to implement its all-in pricing model for every sport beginning in 2013. Even with the changes, three teams opted out of the deal. The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Chicago Cubs have all chosen to go in another direction. The Yankees and Angels work with Ticketmaster while the Cubs are looking at options.

MLB revenue expects to top $7.5 billion

While the final numbers aren’t in yet, MLB’s revenue is expected to top $7.5 billion. The increase is largely due to an increase in local television revenue as well as an uptick in attendance. After getting up to the $7 billion mark two years ago, revenue was basically flat last year. There’s no big increase expected in 2013 but with new television deals going into place in 2014, it’s expected that revenue will well exceed $8 billion if not $9 billion if the Los Angeles Dodgers sign a mega-deal for the team’s television rights.

Nashville nabs Winter Meetings again in 2015

When I was a kid, it seemed like every other year, the Superdome in New Orleans hosted the Super Bowl. It wasn’t quite that often, but Nashville probably feels like that for baseball executives. The city will host the Winter Meetings in 2015, the seventh time that Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center will be the site. The most recent was this year. The city also hosted the meetings in 2007, 2002, 1998, 1989 and 1983.

Next year’s Winter Meetings will be at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando. The meetings were last held there in 2010 and the city also hosted the 2006 winter meetings.

Rays stadium update

The Tampa Bay Rays may have actually moved backwards this week in their quest for a new ballpark. Darryl LeClair, who pitched a proposed stadium a couple of months ago that would be near the bridge that separates St. Petersburg and Tampa, has said he’s about ready to move on because of lack of interest in his proposal. As usual, we have the impasse between the Rays and St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster. The Rays won’t consider a stadium until they are able to look outside the St. Petersburg area while Foster continues to hold tight to the current lease terms to keep the Rays there.

Also in the news was a proposal by a local business professor who suggested the Rays give the public an equity share of the team in exchange for financing a new stadium. His logic is that the value of the team will go up by about $100 million after a new ballpark and that if the Rays give a portion of that back to the public, it’ll cut their share of the costs. Field of Schemes does a nice job of breaking down why this probably wouldn’t work; I suggest you click through and give it a read.

Cubs spring training home on track for 2014

This week, the Mesa city council approved a $60.3 million contract to build a spring training facility for the Chicago Cubs. Set to open in 2014, the complex is to cost $120 million, with public spending being capped at $84 million and the difference being made up by the Cubs. Mesa is financing its piece by selling bonds and expects to repay the note with a sale of some its farmlands in Pinal County.

Mesa is also close to locking up the Oakland Athletics starting in 2015. The Athletics plan to move their current home in Phoenix to the Cubs’ present home in Hohokam Stadium. The Athletics actually want the Hohokam site compacted because of their smaller spring training crowds. It’s expected that renovations to Hohokam will run around $8 million.

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