Dodgers trying to sell naming rights to field at Dodger Stadium

17 Comments

There aren’t many non-corporate named stadiums in Major League Baseball anymore. And some of them — Marlins Park and Nationals Park spring to mind — are only team-named because they have yet to be able to sell the rights. One suspects that Yankee Stadium will always be Yankee Stadium and that Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, though originally commercially-based appellations, will retain their traditional names.

Dodger Stadium is another one which has always been named after the team, but that will be eroded somewhat if the team gets its way. Sports Business Daily Reports:

America’s third-oldest MLB venue is looking to defy MLB’s legacy as the most traditional sport even more aggressively by selling naming rights to the field in Chavez Ravine, home to the Los Angeles Dodgers since 1962. Numerous industry sources tell us that Dodger Stadium’s field — thus, it would be X Corp. Field at Dodger Stadium — has been on the market since early spring with an asking price of $12 million per season.

The Dodgers can do that if they want, of course. But, as we discussed last week, they can’t force us to call it that. I suppose if Vin Scully were still calling their games he’d be obligated to say “welcome to Jamba Juice Field at Dodger Stadium!” but it wouldn’t make it any better.

In other news, that $12 million a season will cover 75% of Rich Hill‘s salary next year. Or Brandon McCarthy‘s entire salary with enough money leftover to re-sign Chase Utley at his current rate.

MLBPA: MLB’s ‘demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected’

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark
LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
3 Comments

On Thursday evening, the Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement regarding ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. The two sides continue to hash out details concerning a 2020 season. The owners want a shorter season, around 50 games. The union recently proposed a 114-game season that also offered the possibility of salary deferrals.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said that the union held a conference call that included the Executive Board and MLBPA player leaders. They “resoundingly rejected” the league’s “demand for additional concessions.”

The full statement:

In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, Players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love. But we cannot do this alone.

Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions. The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon.

This threat came in response to an Association proposal aimed at charting a path forward. Among other things, Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our Players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product. Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless Players agree to further salary reductions.

Earlier today we held a conference call of the Association’s Executive Board and several other MLBPA Player leaders. The overwhelming consensus of the Board is that Players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well. The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.

Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season. We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field.

As per the current agreement signed in March, if there is a 2020 season, players will be paid on a prorated basis. Thus, fewer games means the players get paid less and the owners save more. MLB has threatened to unilaterally set a 2020 season in motion if the two sides cannot come to terms. It should come as no surprise that the union has responded strongly on both fronts.

There have been varying reports in recent days over the confidence in a 2020 season happening. The MLBPA’s statement tonight doesn’t move the needle any; it simply affirms that the union remains steadfast in its goal to avoid a second significant cut in salaries.

As I see it, the ball is in the owners’ court. The owners can strongarm the players into a short season, saving money but significantly increasing the odds of a big fight in upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Or the owners can eat more of a financial loss, agreeing to a longer season than they feel is comfortable. The latter would have the double benefit of not damaging overall perception of the sport and would not disrupt labor peace going forward.

The MLBPA statement included a declaration that the players are “ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions.” If there is no 2020 season, we will have only the owners to blame, not the players.

Update: Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who has been quite vocal on social media about these negotiations, chimed in: