Thursday, May 22, 2008
Over at Surviving Grady, Red, Denton and commentors are having a debate about the future of Fenway Park. Here is my reply to Red…
From a speculative financial perspective, after the various Fenway construction projects and asset acquisitions, a new park is not in the cards anytime soon. First, the Sox would not realize a positive ROI on the renovations to Fenway. Unless the new park would be publicly financed or out in the ‘burbs – both not likely – it is going to cost at least a billion dollars. After purchasing the Sox and half of Rousch racing, Henry/Werner has to some debt on the books, and in this credit market, they might not be able to secure the financing. Bringing in a new partner (a cable/media company makes some sense – see below) could raise enough capital to make a deal feasible over the next decade, but that type of move is also unlikely for a number of reasons.
As far as money to lure talent away from NY, the Sox should be fine. NESN is the cash cow - not Fenway. More wins equal more eyeballs and higher ad rates. All of the non-Sox game related programming has a ton of room to grow. Plus, I believe that NESN is due to renegotiate monthly subscriber fees with cable/satellite companies. This could be a significant payday. But the most important factor in competing with NY for talent is minor league development. If the system continues to churn out prospects, specifically pitchers, the Sox can compete with NY for the best talent. They will have prospects to either trade or play, which the later frees up cash to attract FA talent. Other than pitchers, one of the NY teams will probably not be competing with the Sox for top position player FAs in the same offseason. Hence, the Sox should almost always be able to offer an everyday player the most money ,as they stand to gain the most financially.
Red, don’t worry about the Sox not being able to buy another Manny or trade for a Beckett. Worry about droppin’ a few pounds;) It’s better for the ticker. I say it because I care, man.