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View Full Version : 2003 Comiskey renovations nixed?


cheeses_h_rice
03-31-2002, 01:53 PM
http://boards.go.com/cgi/espn/request.dll?MESSAGE&room=mlb_chw&id=120185

Rdivaldi isn't a troll, so I'm assuming the Channel 2 report is true.

Bad news. Can anyone confirm/deny this?

FarWestChicago
03-31-2002, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice
Rdivaldi isn't a trollYes, but he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express Troll Board last night. :smile:

Jerry_Manuel
03-31-2002, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice
http://boards.go.com/cgi/espn/request.dll?MESSAGE&room=mlb_chw&id=120185

Rdivaldi isn't a troll, so I'm assuming the Channel 2 report is true.

Bad news. Can anyone confirm/deny this?

Nothing about it on the CBS 2 Chicago website or the Suntimes website. Nothing in the South Town about it either. Perhaps Daver knows something.

duke of dorwood
03-31-2002, 02:19 PM
Well, on talking baseball 2 weeks ago, reinsy was talking about having no $ to do the 2003 work. He said it, but, they took it as more of the moaning about attendance (so did I).

DrCrawdad
03-31-2002, 03:34 PM
This is the entire story from Crain's web page. I'd post the link alone, but you have to sign up to read it.

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/mag/article.pl?article_id=18055

Sox park renovation game suspended
Naming-rights whiff sidelines upper-deck redo

April 01, 2002
By Brian McCormick

The Chicago White Sox have shelved a $50-million makeover of Comiskey Park after failing to find a corporate sponsor to help underwrite the project by purchasing stadium naming rights.
Team officials had hoped that the renovation, aimed mainly at easing the grade of the stadium's steep upper deck, would lure more fans to the park. Boosting subpar attendance is essential to stemming the flow of red ink at 35th and Shields.
The team wanted to finish the project in time for next year's All-Star Game at Comiskey. But the lack of financing has dashed that hope and jeopardized the team's larger goals.
The White Sox insist that $22 million in refurbishments to be unveiled at next week's home opener mostly cosmetic improvements to give the sterile, concrete "ball mall" more of the retro look found in other new stadiums make Comiskey more fan-friendly. But sports marketing and stadium design experts say they won't generate the attendance boost that can only come with substantial renovations.
Those will happen when, and if, a corporate sponsor can be found to put its name on the ballpark. White Sox officials have long said they intend to use any revenues from a naming-rights sale which sources estimate could bring $60 million to $100 million over 20 years for improvements to the park.
But a depressed market for naming rights at sports stadiums across the country and some recent whiffs by the White Sox with potential sponsors have sidelined efforts to get a corporate logo on the stadium.
"Since Sept. 11, interest in teams with naming rights to sell has ground to a halt," says Rob Gallas, White Sox senior vice-president for marketing and broadcasting. "As a result, we are in a holding pattern, because there just isn't a market for this right now."
This year's renovations were paid for by a one-time windfall: a $22-million allocation from the bond issue that is financing the Soldier Field overhaul. But Mr. Gallas says he sees no potential revenue sources, other than a naming-rights sale, that could be used to fund the larger reconstruction project.
Team officials would not discuss previous efforts to land a naming-rights sponsor, but reports have indicated that talks with Schaumburg-based Motorola Inc. fell through in 2000 and that negotiations last year with Prospect Heights-based Household International Inc. also ended without a deal.
Shrinking pool
Marc Ganis, president of Chicago-based stadium design and sports marketing firm SportsCorp Ltd., says the bleak general advertising market and the exodus of major corporate headquarters from the city make naming rights a tough sell.
"The number of candidates that are available at the level of commitment we are talking about has shrunk dramatically in the past two years," he says.
Meanwhile, the team needs to put more fans in the stands. Last year, the White Sox drew 1,766,172 fans, fifth-lowest in the major leagues and far off the average of 2,346,071. Across town at cozy Wrigley Field, the equally hapless Chicago Cubs drew 2,780,465.
White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and other team officials don't like to discuss the club's financial performance. But Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, as part of his "contraction" campaign to cut two teams from the majors, late last year released statistics showing the White Sox's $7.6-million net operating loss in 2001 made it one of 25 teams that lost money on operations.
Even winning's not enough
The White Sox already have the most aggressive marketing program in the league, with about 40 special promotions, ranging from Willy Wonka's Kids Day to Seniors Run the Bases Day.
"They target just about every demographic group with one promotion or another," says Dan Migala, an editor at Chicago-based trade publisher Team Marketing Reports.
But promotions and heavy discounting haven't translated into stronger overall attendance.
Even winning ball games doesn't seem to be enough. While a 2000 division championship spiked attendance that year to 1.9 million, up from 1.3 million in 1999, and boosted 2001 season-ticket levels above 10,500 by opening day, that was still well below major league averages. The team's abysmal start last year quickly sapped any momentum, and season-ticket levels this year are down 7%.
The White Sox are the consensus pick to win a very weak American League Central Division this year, but a dreadful exhibition season as of late last week, the team was 8-and-21 in spring training casts doubt on those predictions.
Mr. Gallas points to some positive indicators for the team's financial prospects, such as a record 60,000 individual tickets sold in the first three days they were available last month and a 5% increase in revenue from sponsorships.
He insists that a strong start in the regular season, aggressive promotions and the refurbishments already completed can boost attendance to at least 2.2 million this year.
"You always want more," says Mr. Gallas, "but with this team and this park, I'm happy to work with what we've got."
2002 by Crain Communications Inc.

cheeses_h_rice
03-31-2002, 03:45 PM
Good work, Crawdad.

Well, that's certainly a depressing development. Now we can look forward to another decade of White Sox ownership blaming the existing Sox fanbase for not supporting the team enough to give them what they need to bring more fans in. It's a true Catch-22 situation.

This sucks, because I was really looking forward to them altering the park in the manner suggested by the architectural drawings we had seen posted here.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-31-2002, 04:05 PM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice
Well, that's certainly a depressing development. Now we can look forward to another decade of White Sox ownership blaming the existing Sox fanbase for not supporting the team enough to give them what they need to bring more fans in. It's a true Catch-22 situation.

Yep. Everybody here is wearing goat horns. WE are the problem.

The next great idea the Sox invent to attract fans will be the first. And before anyone cites the example of discounted tickets, let me clarify by stating I wouldn't count that as a great idea. That's a sign of marketing WEAKNESS, not strength.

Foulke You
04-01-2002, 01:40 PM
I heard some discouraging news on ESPN 1000 sportscenter update this morning. Apparently plans to work on the upper deck at Comiskey have been put on hold due to the team's inability to sell the naming rights to a corporation. How sad is that? You mean to tell me that out of all the big companies in Chicago like Boeing, McDonald's, Motorola, Sears, ComEd, etc. that they can't sell the friggin' naming rights? White Sox marketing couldn't sell a glass of water to someone dying of thirst in the desert.

Besides, GOD FORBID that Jerry opens his OWN wallet and renovates the park that WE ALL PAID FOR and the park that he jammed through the state legislature while holding the city of Chicago and Sox fan's hostage while he threatened to move the team! No, no, no, he can't possibly spend a dime of his own money. Ebeneezer Reinsdorf! Ok...Ok...deep breath...I'm calm...I'm in my happy place...

Dadawg_77
04-01-2002, 01:43 PM
The market for naming rights has pretty much dried up currently. They maybe able to find a taker in 2003 or 2004, but probally not right now, money is to tight with profit margins falling.

Soxheads
04-01-2002, 02:01 PM
Well, crap.

PaleHoseGeorge
04-01-2002, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
The market for naming rights has pretty much dried up currently. They maybe able to find a taker in 2003 or 2004, but probally not right now, money is to tight with profit margins falling.

I understand Enron recently became available.

:gulp:

duke of dorwood
04-01-2002, 02:49 PM
:reinsy

What's a profit margin? Hehehe

Procol Harum
04-01-2002, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge

I understand Enron recently became available.
:gulp:

My son was down in Houston last week and got pictures of them taking the lettering off of the former Enron Field ... maybe JR got a great deal and those selfsame letters are on their way north up the Interstate. Y'know $100 could probably take care of our rosin bag needs (or kneads) for the entire season... :gulp:

bjmarte
04-01-2002, 02:56 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


I understand Enron recently became available.

:gulp:

I think JM is looking for a company that has more of a positive public perception. I think he is courting several tobacco companies and a few animal testing laboratories.

Soxheads
04-01-2002, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


I understand Enron recently became available.

:gulp:

What? Does no one want to see Soxheads Park?

:reinsy
"We will start a new marketing campaign-anyone one who wants to give me, uhh, the Chicago White Sox $100 can have Comiskey named after them for a day!"