In light of being in the thick of League Championship Series play, and since my Cubs are unfortunately not amongst the teams playing, here is some insight into some of the business behind the game of baseball.
The ownership of the Tampa Bay Rays is floating a proposal to change the definition of what is means to play a ‘home’ game. What does this mean?
A little context before getting into the details… The Rays have built a franchise that from top-to-bottom is one of the winningest in the league. After becoming World Series champs last year, the Rays compiled the best American League regular season record, before losing in the playoffs. Each Ray farm team also won their respective championship, except their Double-A team, which lost in the championship game by one run. This success is achieved with one of the lowest payrolls in the game.
The problem is attendance has been declining for years and averages only about 15,000 fans per game. Capacity at Tropicana Field, their home field, is over 40,000.
The solution… ownership is floating a ‘Sister City’ plan. Instead of building a massive, new retractable roof stadium in Tampa, the idea is to save money and build two, relatively smaller, open-air stadiums, one in Tampa (or St. Petersburg, the city where Tropicana Field is located) and the other in Montreal. The Rays would then play their early and late season games in Tampa and play their summer games in Montreal. Both cities would serve as the home city.
That’s right- the ownership of the Rays is looking to redefine the definition of a ‘home’ game by becoming one baseball team with two ‘home’ cities. Will this idea gain any traction or otherwise have a chance at working? Something to ponder as league play works towards the World Series. Enjoy the read and Play Ball!
~ Brian Kasal- The Leadership Matrix
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