Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Night Beer: Trev's A Finalist at UNO

The Omaha World-Herald reports that Trev Alberts is one of four finalists to be UNO's next athletic director. I'm going to wait to see who the other three candidates are before I make up my mind on Alberts' bid. Unlike some UNO fans, I'm not going to hold his Husker background against him.

The weather for the spring game is not looking all that hot. Rain and thunderstorms are in the forecast.

On the positive side, I do like the way they split the rosters for the spring game this year.

A couple of interesting news items on the stadium front. One, Sarpy County has eliminated seven sites, leaving them with five yet to consider. No word as to where these sites are, but you have to assume that a spot by Cabelas will be one of the finalists. When you talk to anybody about the stadium, the assumption is that the stadium is going there. Whether that's true or not remains to be seen. UNO hosted a forum with Royals general manager Martie Cordaro and "self-proclaimed baseball purist" Donald Greer. The point of the discussion was that, of course, the Sarpy County stadium is a no-brainer slam-dunk success, and the downtown stadium was a mistake. Maybe they're right, and I'm wrong. But if they are right, and it's blatantly obvious that a new stadium is going to be such a great deal for the Royals and Sarpy County, then why didn't Omaha jump on it first?

Simple. Just like in Sarpy County, there's no way to pay for a stadium. Except in Sarpy County, we're going through the charade waiting to see what Sarpy County pulls out of their hat. Meanwhile, the funding bills have been sitting in the Revenue Committee for four weeks now.

Tom Shatel shot down one of the arguments people use against the downtown stadium today. He point-blank asked Royals GM Martie Cordaro about whether the Omaha Royals could survive in a 24,000 seat ballpark. The answer?
"Yes, because we are doing it. Our revenues grew 42 percent last year. We are definitely healthy and going in the right direction."
So why not downtown? The answer is a hodge-podge of jumbled logic. "We want to have high school games of the week." Nothing stopping that downtown. "We want to bid on college baseball tournaments." Well, you could do that downtown too. "We want to use the stadium 130, 140 times a year." That would be desired downtown as well. "We want to be home during the College World Series." That might be the breaking point, but c'mon. Why would the Royals want to play in Omaha during the CWS?

It just seems bizarre to want for the Royals to want to counterprogram against the CWS. But I could suggest an alternative. With the NCAA and ESPN scheduling more and more games as single games on one day, what about scheduling an 11 am Royals game, clearing the stadium, then scheduling a 6 pm CWS game? Perhaps on that 2nd weekend? I still don't understand what the attraction of the Royals playing during the CWS; it's not like the Royals draw well once they return to town.


Anonymous said...

Amenities, offices, clubhouses, control over management, concessions and all sales; participation in Naming Rights...all about revenues and amenities. And yes, being home during the CWS would be great. Lot's of opportunities to have showcases and entertain on a corporate and family level.

And healthy is relative to where the franchise was.

Husker Mike said...

The stadium is still in the design stage, so amenities were still open for discussion. Offices? Again, the stadium isn't built yet, so there is no reason that you couldn't build office space to support both the NCAA and the Royals. Concessions and sales? MECA states that they offered the Royals all of the revenue. Participation in naming rights? Again, something to be discussed, but that's a negotiating point.

Yes, plenty of opportunities to showcase empty seats during the CWS, when everybody in town is laser-focused on THE game in town. (Hey! Come drive out to Chalco! Parking's only $5; the savings in parking fees alone will cover the extra gas you burn driving out to the boondocks!) If you think the Royals are an afterthought in Omaha now, just wait until they try playing during the CWS.

Anonymous said...

You normally are right on, but not in this case. if you think negotiations ended up like that then I don't know what to tell you. As far as design, the O-Royals had NO input unless you call building and paying for their own offices, clubhouses and groups sales areas input for a leasing tenant.

As far as attendance during the CWS...very exciting thing for the O-Royals to have that opportunity.

And no, parking will not be $5. Probably free to $2...somewhere in that range.

Husker Mike said...

All I know is what MECA claims.

$2 to park will barely pay for the overhead in charging for parking.

Anonymous said...

You are spot on...what MECA "claims" (and the O-Royals don't negotiatie in the press/public).

Also you are spot on the is not amount making $ on that revenue stream, simply about affordability.

Good blog.