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August 24, 2004

Premium Article Whither Youppi?: The Expo-tortion Racket Is More Difficult Than It Looks

by Neil deMause

Neil DeMause checks in with the latest on the Expos saga. More extortion = more delays. And yes, this is not a reprint of old content.

August 1, 2004

The Evil Empire Strikes Back: Steinbrenner's Plan to Have Other Teams Buy Him a Stadium

by Neil deMause

If there's one thing George Steinbrenner has always been good at, it's hiding his money. Whether it's starting his own cable network to keep his broadcast revenue out of the reach of his fellow owners, as he did in 2002, or paying himself a "consulting fee" to negotiate his own cable contract, as he did in the 1980s, The Boss has always been at the cutting edge of creative accounting, helping him evade attempts by fellow owners to force him to share the bounty that comes from operating the most lucrative franchise in baseball. With his recently revealed plan to build a new $750 million stadium in the Bronx, though, Steinbrenner may have hit upon the biggest scam of his life.

May 5, 2004

Premium Article The Return of Swamp Thing: Could Bringing a Team to New Jersey Work for MLB?

by Neil deMause

Leaving aside whether anyone should take seriously statements made by the guy who said he was moving the White Sox to Tampa, on the face of it the idea is a no-brainer. In terms of market size, the New York metro area is mind-bogglingly huge, dwarfing every other market in American baseball. Even splitting the market in half (OK, more like 65/35) the Yankees and Mets each have enough TV-rights firepower to blow away the rest of the league at free-agent time. You could put a team in Jersey and three more in Brooklyn, and each of the six area franchises would still have a larger populace to draw on than the likes of Milwaukee or Cincinnati.

April 20, 2004

Premium Article If It's Tuesday...: ...It Must Be Philadelphia

by Neil deMause

Having just returned from my first game at Citizens Bank Park, a perfectly entertaining contest peppered with five home runs (including two by Placido Polanco plus a Pat Burrell shot that rattled the left-field foul pole) and ending in a 6-3 win for the minions of Bowa, I can say without hesitation that the one most memorable thing about the Phillies' new $458 million stadium is... ...hang on, give me a minute. I'll come up with something.

November 17, 2003

The Stadium Game: Is This the End of the Building Boom?

by Neil deMause

Next spring, the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies will take up residence in new stadiums, Petco Park and Citizens Bank Park respectively. It promises to be a momentous occasion, not just for Phils and Pads fans who'll be inaugurated into the era of club seats and cupholders, but for baseball itself. Because it's looking likely that once the Dog Bowl and the Big ATM Machine That's Not The Vet throw open their doors, it will mark the first time since ground was broken for Toronto's SkyDome in October 1985 that not a single new big-league ballpark will be under construction on planet Earth. It's been quite an 18-year run: 19 new stadiums, 18 new corporate monikers (including such double-dippers as Enron Field/Minute Maid Park and Pac Bell/SBC Park) and around $5 billion in taxpayer money sunk into the cause. But is this the end of the new-stadium era, one we'll one day look back on like the 1910-1915 era that produced the first wave of steel ballparks (if perhaps not as fondly)? Or is it just a statistical blip, a pause in the action before the next round of construction?

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