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Rick Horrow goes beyond the box score to talk sports business and chats with Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
I'm Rick Horrow and welcome to beyond the box score an inside look at the business of sports. Today's guest is Arizona Diamondbacks president Derrick Paul. Paul spent more than ten years in the dodgers' organization. Before joining the Diamondbacks back in 2005. I met with all the the team's brand new spring training facility. HK -- built salt river fields at talking stick. They are called thank you very much for inviting us into your house and a beautiful houses they have nearly yet that is where we're proud of it and it turned out even better than we thought it would. Let's talk to you personable. Would you done since September 6 2006 it's all right. We've been busy we've made a lot of changes in the organization -- so out of the division of ours we knew that we had to build the spring training home their opening -- -- market up here we expect. And that it would really served as a recruiting tool to replace that which is of course important. He started in the Dodgers organization. I really started twelve years there it I had -- -- Very. In many ways you know first off I think from a fan perspective I'm getting -- know your -- well it started up a minor -- there -- spring training -- -- -- -- -- my -- It with the likes and dislikes are you -- and it really -- it. People with heart to Stockton films you know little bit of everything have been coming out here we're we're really building and experience battle in the regular season but -- spring training. And had taken the concept of dodger which you know well doctor Thomas -- David yard many years ago but the concept of the of the walk as a player haven't walked with the fans. The clubhouse the field field the field that's what we want to hear what -- up close and -- We certainly did that here first but but but philosophically. We talk about -- circle of success and the mission statement -- an experience performance community culture. Fighting it's possible but more about that but we've we realize that we were really all over the place as an organization we need to focus we had a mission statement when I took over president seemed a little outdated. We wanted to be focused on the fight an area the financial efficiency you know we were an organization for the -- 357 million dollars and percentages. Reduce the fans and others -- the doors we have to turn things around we have fortunately. Community we've given over thirty million dollars back to the community. You know that starts happening and been around this Thanksgiving Yates that's very Coulter and me. If you appreciate respect reward your -- they're gonna treat your customers what you want to do that's been top priority as well. Community as attention goes with Poulter two of them together that we have an experience and experience everything from affordable to claim to -- -- We're the most affordable ticket baseball for four straight years average ticket price for a thirteen dollars before -- working out here that are stadium dollar fifty kids who died of it's important for us especially in this economy to make people. Feel very comfortable lead for the we're not count in the wallet that they want them back you went from no Major League franchises to four. And now in 25 years you know talking about second set of facilities in the whole thing. How does that impact your competition and -- compete for the for the for the sports dollar. Well I think the market is large enough -- do you support all four and the beauty is we really complement one another we have a lot of the same. Season ticket holders that are suns' season ticket holders that are that are cardinals' season ticket holders as long as their fans and sports. And for us we think you know it's really all all boats rise you know tight side so we wanna make sure we're all doing well and unfortunately the last couple years we haven't done well here. Whereas few years before that -- became -- we gotta get back to that. But that you right now pick in a step further especially baseball because this market as they fall back. Arizona state university of -- had strong baseball program for years to cactus league he needs to grow new facilities. He built. And for us we we have on the market we were down it is not very -- Everett we've come up your play and offensively we came up here that would Philadelphia now we're -- record for a. Joe Torre's quarters think this is amazing. The look a lot of architectural critics Washington's closest this -- seminal facility but even Bud Selig says every when told his remarkable team better than that. -- -- Very proud yeah you know we set out from day want him to eliminate yes we said let's build and we -- often referred to it. The Disneyland of the spring training complexes and I really feel like it is as far as the cleanliness and the beauty of interaction. Knowing that just like characters would that mean streak you can come here it. At talking stick and he could see anywhere along so over the field players sitting there sign an autograph to -- -- to the backstop because literally. Step your foot on the same -- of players are playing them back in the backfield. And then be committed this beautiful setting in the stadium that everybody quite you know I haven't heard one bad thing about it all the results -- all the all the feedback has been tremendous self. I couldn't be proud and I hope that now spills over into the regular season. Speaking of the regular season what are the biggest challenges. You face it as one of thirty parker the senate. We really do ticket revenues you know we we get hit harder this market. In any other baseball team other than say Detroit that market was hit hard by the economy -- it. But the way we played the last couple years ninety plus loss seasons back to back this terrible -- and you know we're we're fortunate this year to have the all star. Game fortunate to have this new home and were also celebrating the tenth anniversary of our world champion crippled the how hard for the for the big here we're we're all lives brought -- we need to perform well. But the key is advanced planning so let's talk but the big elephant in the room. Your third up. First NFL -- NBA so what's gonna happen as far as baseballs well -- a lot of confidence in the commissioner and I'd I'd we've got a lot of work ahead of time both players' union and I and the commissioner's office. I'm confident that we'll we'll get to a collective bargaining agreement Woody's. You know we know the importance of this one this is of course it's gonna could be the commissioners last minute ultimately that. Players association's -- director's first. And I think they both understand the importance of them together I think it will be fine this sport learned a lot of lessons of the past. Reveals realise how difficult was the back from that. I'm confident in our leadership that we didn't if you had gained one business aspect of Major League Baseball today get a magic want to cumulative preferred that what is. Well there's a lot of different aspect I think we you talked to people talk about the scheduling you know -- -- -- on balance I think realignment. Could be accomplished I think at fifteen and fifteen you know that would make sense and -- for division deeply -- -- makes a lot of sense I would also say we should we expand the playoffs. If you're gonna do so you've scored this season a little bit. Probably -- because you're gonna make up the revenue on those seasons side I think there's a lot but I I think that'll -- opportunity I still think. Designated hitter should be addressed at some point you know either either do away with it or -- -- but didn't have -- 21 lead -- one -- the other. -- also think -- we play it's been a big success but one thing that I think would be one because the novelty would wear off -- Italy play. The change the rule is if people are coming up because they wanna see the American League team for the first time if your -- -- second -- -- kind of you know expect -- that. As a National League post why would we have the designated hitter there. And then when you go up to the cities that because they wanna see something different injured you're going -- -- in let's say why not make the -- if there. The Dodgers and Mets are both facing uncertain futures because the ownership issues. If the two teams have put up for sale they could fit record prices for an MLB franchise. Let's go inside the numbers to see the five most expensive baseball team sales to date. Number five is Frank McCourt purchased at the Dodgers. McCourt bought the team for more than 370 million dollars back in 2004. If he has to sell the team is part of his ongoing divorce he could command twice as much on the open market. Next is liberty media's purchase the Atlanta Braves for 450. Million dollars. Rather than paying cash for the Braves Liberty Media -- sixty million shares of Time Warner stock for the baseball team. Ted Lerner also forked out 450 million dollars to -- the Washington Nationals. Lerner bought the team for Major League Baseball which -- owned and operated the franchise since 2002. The second most expensive sales also in 2002. When John Henry paid a cool 700 million dollars to buy the Boston Red Sox. The sales part of -- usual swapped his Major League Baseball took over operations of the Montreal Expos. Expos owner Jeff Loria then bought the Florida Marlins and Marlins owner John Henry ended up with the Red Sox. And the most expensive sale in baseball. Belongs to Tom -- Who purchased the Chicago Cubs along with Wrigley Field. And television station Comcast sports net Chicago for 845. Million dollars. -- is a lifelong Cubs fan but that's a lot of money for a franchise that hasn't won a World Series since 190. Of course the economy's always gonna have an impact on -- team's overall values. But for three other ways that affects the business of baseball it's time for bust boom and hope let's begin with boss. Spring training tennis has fallen 70%. Per game or about thirteen hundred fans. The biggest losers the Dodgers with Tennessee camelback ranch is down more than 40%. Compared to last year. This is the Dodgers sic and spring training in Arizona. Now for little. The Boston Red Sox broke ground on their new spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida which is expected to be completed by march 2012. The complex will include 111000 seat ballpark practice field at a rehabilitation center and administrative offices. And finally a -- Major League Baseball and and the mall are teaming up to give one baseball -- their ultimate dream job. The lucky winner will move to New York. Watch every game during the 2011 season. And share their experience -- social media. Video blog and we episodes. As spring training comes to a close a lot of the action moves from the field. For the courtroom. By valley toward the week is a San Diego Padres CEO PF more red. It took two years for more -- to finally unload his 8% share of the Diamondbacks are 21 million bucks. More at left Arizona in 2009. To become part owner of the San Diego pot. At least more at left of his own court. By flunk out of the week is Texas Rangers CEO chuck Greenberg. Greenberg is leaving the organization just seven months after his ownership group bought the team in bankruptcy auction. His departure is the result of an internal power struggle with Rangers president Nolan Ryan. Now for my final take the US economy was starting to turn around by the beginning of the 2010 MLB season. But that didn't stop the league wide attendance from falling more than half percent last year across baseball. Stadiums were only field to 70%. Of capacity throughout the regular season. Considering spring training attendance is down 17%. This year you can bet that Bud Selig is concerned about putting fans in seats. With so many people being priced out of stadiums a new company called score big is tried to offer baseball tickets at a sharp discount. Score big worked with sports teams and venues to sell their unsold inventory. Fans can make an offer for the tickets their interest today and and receive instant feedback. This model is good for teams because they can get rid of unsold tickets and good for fans because they can get the tickets for -- But the Bud Selig it doesn't matter how the fans get the tickets as long as they go to the games. I'm -- Karl won't you join me next week once again we go beyond the box score.