From Rick Reilly at ESPN.com:
Here's a scoop for you. The Diamondbacks are flagrantly violating MLB rules. They're a pro team, and yet they're giving out full-ride scholarships. Been doing it for two years now!
Not to their players. To their fans.
It's an idea D-backs CEO Derrick Hall came up with at one game when a season-ticket holder who'd lost everything, even her car, introduced herself. She told him a fan in her section had bought her two season tickets for the rest of the year, even picked her up every game and took her home. And Hall thought, "Why don't we do this for our fans?" So he asked fans to send in applications for scholarships. Soon, his e-mail in-box was swamped.
Reilly goes on to describe how Hall, formerly Senior Vice President of Communications for the Dodgers, is giving season tickets to deserving Diamondbacks fans. And when Rick Reilly decides to write a column about you, it's PR gold. Not that there isn't heartwarming stuff in there—Reilly has made a career of heartwarming—but can you imagine Frank McCourt after reading the article? "We force our players to donate millions to our very own charity and we get scooped by the Snakes? What does a team owner have to do to get some positive press around here?"
And right on cue, we get this press release from the Dodgers:
With a focus on families, the Dodgers today announced new initiatives for the 2009 season that include lower-priced options at concession stands and a price freeze on parking, tickets and Dodger Dogs. [...]
Among the new options available at concession stands are lower-priced options for Coca-Cola soft drinks and water, as well as beer for adults. Soft drinks will start at $3.75, down from $5; bottled water will start at $3.75, down from $5.75; and beer will start at $6, down from $8. In addition, there will be no increase in the price of the popular Dodger Dogs or any other food items from concession stands or vendors.
New in 2009 are "Dodgers All-Inclusives," packages providing everything from tickets to T-shirts and peanuts to parking. Packages providing value, savings and cost certainty start at $99 for a family of three.
In addition, the club is lowering the price of the popular All-You-Can-Eat Pavilion, presented by AM/PM, which gives families cost certainty for hot dogs, nachos and soda. The price will drop, from $35 per game to $25 per game, for 70 of the 81 home games.
FINALLY cheaper beer at Dodger Stadium! Although it's taken McCourt five years to get what Arte Moreno has always known, better late than never. Now how about bringing down that $15 parking fee by a little?