Thursday, February 24, 2005

USA Today: City of Angels....and Dodgers

The USA Today Sports section featured article today attempts to cover the battle for "the hearts -- and wallets -- of baseball's second-biggest market". The USA today does their perfunctory job of glossing over the controversial Angels name change and comparing the teams in their own superficial way:

Tale of the tape: Dodgers vs. Angels

Dodgers

Category

Angels

1890, in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Born

1961, in Los Angeles

1958, to Los Angeles

Moved

1966, to Anaheim

6 — 1955, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, 1988

World Series titles

1 — 2002

16, including five in a row from 1992-96

Rookies of the year

1 — Tim Salmon (1993)

12

MVPs

2

Jake Daubert (1913),
Dazzy Vance (1924),
Dolph Camilli (1941),
Jackie Robinson (1949),
Roy Campanella (1951, '53, '55),
Don Newcombe (1956),
Maury Wills (1962),
Sandy Koufax (1963),
Steve Garvey (1974),
Kirk Gibson (1988)

Don Baylor (1979),
Vladimir Guerrero (2004)

18

Years of 3 million-plus attendance

2

$430 million, in 2004

Most recent sale price

$183 million, in 2003

Fernandomania, 1981

Phenomena

Rally monkeys and Thunder Stix, 2002

Broadcaster Vin Scully

Beloved figure

Late owner Gene Autry

Fox

Unbeloved former ownership

Disney

The "Nation's Newspaper", as usual, presents a shallow case-study that does not answer the question of why there is suddenly a "battle" and exactly what is at stake for each team.

The Dodgers and Angels will not be able to draw much more than the 3 to 3.5 million fans that poured into their respective stadiums last season. The Angels have shown why they are in this fight, to get more broadcast money. But the Dodgers reasons are still somewhat of a mystery.

I would hazard to guess that Frank McCourt has taken this “Los Angeles Angels” thing personally. That has led to what Moreno calls “a nice market rivalry”. But as the Dodgers make improvements to their stadium McCourt was quoted in the USA Today article as saying “I’d rather spend my money on improving the ballpark than on lawyers or public relations campaigns”. Easy to say when you paid $247 million more for your club with the built-in PR. Moreno has to create his from scratch. Actually, it’s worse than from-scratch since the negative image was already there.

My hope is that southern California baseball will remain healthy and better thanks to two owners who probably don’t like each other too much battling it out. But from a business perspective the upside for the Angels is far greater than it is for the Dodgers.

1 Comments:

Anonymous George said...

It's important to note that the selling price of the Dodgers included the Vero Beach facilities and Dodger Stadium. The sale of the Angels was just that, the sale of the Angels. The Angels have a lease for their stadium and spring training facilities.

Keep up the good blogging.

4:51 PM  

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