The Omaha Royals, apparantly not happy with a half million dollar subsidy from the City of Omaha, are turning up the heat in their quest for a new ballpark. About the only thing they get right is that the Royals have no need for the seats that have been added to Rosenblatt Stadium over the past 10 years.
However, before they blame the ballpark for their attendance woes, they need to look in the mirror first at their own marketing ineptitude. The ballpark has been growing since the late 80's, and attendance actually increased during before the Minker's took over, though they blame "ticket giveaways" for much of the attendance during those years. For some reason, UNO Hockey decided to enlist the "expertise" of the Minkers in marketing Mav hockey as it moved to the Qwest Center, and got basically the same results. Attendance dropped like a rock.
Also not helping is the woeful performance of the parent Kansas City Royals over the past decade and a half.
But the Minkers appear to have teamed up with Branch Rickey of the Pacific Coast League in a "good cop/bad cop" scheme to try and extort a new stadium out of the city of Omaha. However, new stadiums have been shown to only have a minimal effect on attendance; it's like crack cocaine - a quick boost that soon goes away and leaves you wanting more. And I'm not sure how a downtown stadium will help the Royals. Rosenblatt has great access from the Interstate and plenty of FREE parking. If people have a hard time justifying a $6 ticket to a Royals game today, imagine that $6 ticket paired with $6 to park if they move to a brand-new downtown ballpark.
Now, if the Royals and Creighton can team up and put together a plan to share a new stadium downtown, that's a great idea. The city of Omaha can assist, much like they'll work with anybody else trying to do redevelopment. But expecting the city to pay for most of a new ballpark is just corporate greed.
If they Minker's can't manage the Omaha Royals, then rather than demand perks to stay, they should just sell the team. Many years ago, it was proposed to sell stock in the Royals to make the team community owned, much like the Green Bay Packers. In light of how well the Minker's have done running the team, perhaps it's time to revisit this idea.