Sunday, February 22, 2009
Wed at LAA
Richard, Marquez, Thornton, Williams, Russell, Link, Harrell, Salmon, Wassermann
Thu at Colo
Floyd, Carrasco, Egbert, Broadway, Nunez, German
Fri at Ari
Danks, Salmon, Russell, MacDougal, Van Ben, Santeliz
Fri vs. LAD (SS)
Poreda, Linebrink, Jenks, Link, Harrell, Wassermann
Camelback Ranch Facility
Today’s Sun-Times included a great story by Dave Hoekstra on our new facility. Click here to read it.
A couple of days ago, a poster asked a few questions — with an edge, at least in the way I read them — about the complex. Let me try to offer answers to the abridged questions.
Q: Ticket sales are slow
A: In our case, I’m not sure compared to what. I am told that our sales are competitively near the top of Cactus League sales. Given the economy and its impact on vacation-like travel, I am anticipating that every spring training site will feel/see an impact this spring in lower attendance. We certainly have battled the clock in that we only confirmed last November that we could make it here this spring. I have run into a lot of people in Glendale/Phoenix who are surprised we are here. We are fighting that perception but it will take time. I think we all feel that, in the end, our attendance numbers in Glendale this spring will surpass what we saw in Tucson.
Q: Prices are high
A: We made a determination to price our tickets on a consistent basis with the Dodgers. Imagine the confusion if we played the Dodgers one day as the home team and the next as the visitors with different pricing. Our approach to spring training pricing is no different than at USCF. We try to offer price points at a range of options for fans, allowing for a family of four that wants to come and sit on the grass to get in for as little as $8 each, while someone at the other end of the spectrum can spend more for the best seats. We also offer a series of package discounts, a Family 4 Pack (4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 drinks) and a “Guy Pack” on certain dates. I suggest you go to camelbackranchbaseball.com or call 480-784-4444 for details and specific pricing.
Q: Corporate sponsorship sales are slow
A: I don’t know specific numbers for Camelback Ranch yet, but with CP sales at all major league ballparks, yet alone all sports events, down, I am sure this new enterprise is feeling the tough economy as well. Not sure there is any news there.
Q: Fan friendliness
A: Compared to our Tucson complex, fans will have a great deal more access to players, at least in my opinion (and early experience). Today, I saw Alexei and Carlos signing autographs for fans. Unlike Tucson, fans here can watch B games on our replica field and can stand on a pathway/bridge over our complex as players and staff pass under. Today, I saw players stopping and signing on their way into the clubhouse. In the ballpark, our players will access the field and dugout by walking all the way in the right field line along the stands. This is much more access to players than fans had in the past. I can’t speak to the Dodgers since I have not been over to their practice fields.
Q: No businesses near the ballpark …
A: I guess that depends on how you define “near.” The ballpark — as with most new facilities — has been built on a open plot of land just east of a small airport. Housing developments are located due east and south of us (north, I think, too, but I haven’t gotten there yet). Within blocks are Subway, Wendy’s, Starbucks, Home Depot, etc. Within a couple of miles is more food and shopping than you can ever imagine … Westgate, Bell Road, etc. You’ll fine more than your fair share of restaurants, bars and hotels. Ultimately, the city of Glendale plans to create a development, hotels, golf course, etc. right near the facility. We likely will see this develop more in coming years. Critics will always find something to harp on, but you can’t say there isn’t stuff to do in the area. (And there are several golf courses withing miles of the field, not that I can say that from personal experience).
Our advertising agency, BBDO Chicago, has been in town the last two days shooting television advertising spots for this summer. Among the stars: Q, AJ, Roger with appearances by a number of White Sox (rumor also has popular Herm Schneider making a cameo).