Cheapest seats $500?
Welcome to baseball
Good morning, all! It’s Friiidddaaayyyy!!!
The Boston Red Sox open their 2021 season in 13 days. For the first time in more than a year, fans will be able to attend games at Fenway Park, although capacity will be limited to 12% because of the virus. That makes an already hot ticket, even hotter. Word is the cheapest price for an after-market-ticket (that is the legal way to scalp a ticket) is $500!
You read that correctly. $500! 500 smackers to watch the Red Sox vs. Orioles at Fenway! From the bleachers!
How you ask, can someone get $500 for a ticket to a regular season baseball game? Because they can!
Go to game; place a bet
Sports betting is coming to a ballpark near you. This week Maryland joined the list of states, legalizing betting on sporting events. The state legislature also took the additional step of permitting wagering in stadiums for the Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Football Team, whose facility is located in Maryland.
Placing a bet in Maryland will be as easy as going to a smartphone app, or attending a game and visiting a sportsbook at the ballpark. Maryland joins Illinois and Washington, D.C. where betting in person at a sporting event is allowed.
Somewhere, Shoeless Joe Jackson has got to be shaking his head.
ESPN pushes streaming with NFL
ESPN is continuing to be aggressive in pushing streaming in its deal with the NFL. And I might add, podcasts. Bob Chapek, chief executive of Disney, ESPN’s parent owner, stated in an interview that ESPN must be ahead of the curve and not behind it. Translation, the younger demo is consuming content on smartphones and tablets. And I hasten to say, it is not just the younger demo absorbing content in this manner.
“We have to have the ability to do that (streaming). We want to be ahead of the consumer. We don’t want to be behind the consumer, and as a consumer makes the decision to evolve from a linear or more broadcast orientation...towards ESPN+ or direct-to-consumer platforms, we want to be able to be there for them.”
Golf scores another birdie
Another tournament, another high television rating for golf. The final round of the PGA Tour Players Championship on Sunday tallied a 2.8 rating and 4.59 million viewers on NBC. And all of this without Tiger Woods.
The viewership numbers were 10% higher than the final round of the 2019 Players. (Last year’s tournament was canceled because of the virus.). The numbers were also the highest for a non-major golf tournament since the 2018 Tour Championship, won by Tiger Woods.
Let’s face it, if Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are in a tournament, that means solid ratings. Golf, however, is developing other story lines and last week’s final round pairing of Bryson DeChambeau and Lee Westwood, a rematch from the week before, and the comeback victory by Justin Thomas, were compelling tournament angles that made for good TV.
Well that is it for the week. Thank you for your support. Enjoy March Madness and have a terrific weekend!!!