Monday, March 10, 2014

The Dodgers, Demographics and Democracy

Thanks to Steve "P. Diddy" Dittmore for the link to "Ticket Masters," a thoughtful piece on the Dodgers and democracy by Eric Nusbaum of Pitchers & Poets. A sample:
I am a Dodgers fan, and therefore I am guilty of emotional blindness. When the Dodgers were sold for $2.1 billion to a group of very rich men in 2012, I did not consider the consequences. Instead, I rejoiced over the departure of Frank McCourt. Finally, after Fox and McCourt, the Dodgers would be a professionally run, stable franchise. The first thing the new ownership did was to slash parking prices at Dodger Stadium from $15 to $10 per car. These guys know their audience, I thought. They know L.A.

So far everything has gone to plan. The new ownership has demonstrated a willingness to invest not just lavishly, but intelligently. In addition to accumulating a player payroll that will fall somewhere north of $250 million for the 2014 season, the ownership has spent more than $100 on stadium upgrades over the last two offseasons. The team is fun to watch. The farm is improving. The stadium is pulsing with an energy that had disappeared in the last years of the McCourt era. This playoffs feel inevitable. But this is a business, and these things come at a cost. The new-money Dodgers are at risk of abandoning their core constituency: the working class Angelenos who have filled the Reserve Level and the outfield pavilions in Chavez Ravine for decades.

Read the whole thing here!


Fred's Brim said...

good stuff, Orel!

Scott said...

I had it out with a known Dodger Twitter person about this same issue. Oh, I was in the wrong I was told...

But facts don't lie. A business savvy group saw an opportunity at a old weak baseball franchise in a huge market place. An old run down legacy of days past struggling to stay afloat. Money bought the Dodgers and the franchise was bought to make more money, period! We as fan will make irrational decisions in over spending money towards the support of the Dodgers and the owners will walk to the bank with a big smile.



berkowit28 said...

In cricket, the captain is totally in charge on the field, like a player-manager. That would be what they're inquiring about in their question to AJ. I rather hope they get to see the two managers come out and start arguing with the refs, and maybe get ejected, so they can see the hidden so-called "brains" of the team in one of baseball's uncouth ways. It just ain't cricket!

rbnlaw said...

The only point I take exception to is regarding the "class system" of the stadium levels. At The Big Phone is the municipality by a body of water, one can stroll the concourse with a ticket (club level remains restricted). On my last visit to watch the Dodgers, I witnessed several fights, and drunken Gnats fans roaming the stadium looking for more fights.

Frankly, I was a bit concerned for my well being.

Dodger Stadium doesn't allow roaming for just this reason; fans should come and watch the game, not wander. As for every other salient point, I mostly agree. As DB, Stubbs, and even Sax can tell you, supporters of Premier League football clubs have watched as big money owners (most of them American) have come in, spent mounds of cash, and made going to matches a near impossibility, raising ticket prices and catering to the most wealthy and corporate supporters.

It's a shame, but the NFL and NBA have been heading this direction for the last 20 years. Enjoy your Blue up close while you can, because enjoying from a distance will be your only option in less than 5 years.

Still, we'll have it better than fans of the Lost Angels of Midway City.