News for 12/14/11

A boatload of news has been piling up.

  • Matier and Ross “reveal” that the real party behind the Stand for San Jose lawsuit is, in fact, the San Francisco Giants. Glad to know that Larry Baer and company are so concerned with traffic in downtown San Jose. (SFGate)
  • The San Jose Earthquakes have gotten their development permit, so they are one step closer to breaking ground. (SBNation/Quake, Rattle and Roll)
  • VTA approved $772 million for the BART-to-Silicon Valley project. This funding is contingent on federal matching funds, for which a decision is due in February. Incentives in the bidding could allow the first phase, which ends at the Berryessa/Flea Market site in North San Jose, to be opened as much as 18 months ahead of schedule in 2016. Berryessa is three miles from Diridon and there is no light rail transfer from there, so unless there is a special bus or existing routes are realigned, the best bet may be to transfer to light rail at the Great Mall. A post dedicated to this subject is due in the future. (Gary Richards, Merc)
  • Santa Clara’s City Council approved $850 million in loans for its Stadium Authority to take out for the 49ers stadium. The money won’t actually be raised unless the NFL chips in with its $150 million share.
  • The Merc’s Tim Kawakami tweets that the 49ers “might land a naming-rights deal with a green technology company…” Okay.
  • Now that Tesla is gearing up for production at the old NUMMI plant and Union Pacific decided not to use land there for a big train/intermodal yard, Fremont is looking deep into ways to redevelop the land, the same way Oakland is looking at the Coliseum area. The 850 acres in question could be developed in a mixed use manner with up to 3,000 homes. Unlike Oakland, Fremont’s tendency to think small may keep things rather humble in nature, though that could change if some sort of anchor element were part of the planning. Like, oh, a stadium. (Matt Artz, Argus. Note: Good luck to Matt on his switch to the never boring Oakland city beat.)
  • MLB may be getting ready to seize control of the Mets because the team is losing money like crazy. Let’s see, maybe a little after the Dodgers are sold in April/May? (John Harper, NY Daily News)
  • Ever wonder where money from concerts and non-game events goes? This article tries to figure it out. (Tom Lyden, FOX 9 Twin Cities)
  • Marlins ballpark news: There may be a scandal about shotty welds and falsified inspections on the retractable roof (Andres Viglucci, Miami Herald); See pictures inside and outside the stadium (Joe Capozzi, Palm Beach Post; Juan Gonzalez, Stadium Page); the Marlins are getting rid of their sideshow dance troupes of skinny girls and fat guys (Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel)
  • Robert Bobb is back in DC after two years as the Detroit Public Schools financial czar. What’s he doing? Consulting, of course.
  • Qualcomm is changing the name of Qualcomm Stadium to “Snapdragon Stadium” for 11 days to give a marketing boost for its mobile chipset. (Terry Lefton, Sports Business Journal)
  • The NFL announced extensions of its TV deals through 2022. Changes include an expanded Thursday night package on NFL Network and NBC getting rights to the Thanksgiving night game. Combined value of all TV deals is $4.3 billion a year, enough to take care of every team’s annual payroll without ever selling a ticket. (NFL Communications, Variety)

That’s it for now.

News for 10/30/11

A few newsbytes as the week begins:

  • Matier and Ross report that the 49ers are gunning for a 2014 opening of the Santa Clara stadium, even though the finances – especially the stadium builder licenses – aren’t ironed out yet.
  • One of the reasons the CEQA/EIR process exists in California is that municipalities and citizens can identify issues that need to be addressed and take care of them early. In Miami, the Marlins ballpark is being built with no significant new transit infrastructure in an area that desperately needs it. The Orange Bowl/Little Havana neighborhood is at least 2,000 spaces short of what should be supplied for a full house, and on-site parking totals well less than 5,000 spaces. The nearest Metrorail station is almost a mile away, and shuttles to take fans from that station and other parts of Miami are currently unfunded.
  • Speaking of transit, the California High Speed Rail project will face renewed scrutiny with the release of an updated (and final) business plan on Tuesday. The Merc’s Mike Rosenberg paints a pessimistic view, as federal funding has dried up and has made continuation of the project an extremely difficult decision. So far, $650 million has been spent on planning and engineering studies.
  • Side note: If HSR goes down in flames, the combined cost of that project and the shuttered Solyndra plant in Fremont would be $1.1 Billion. That would pay for the 49ers stadium and change, or an A’s ballpark in Oakland/San Jose and a Sacramento Kings arena. Before you scoff, know that the total annual revenue for just the NFL and MLB combined ($16 Billion) surpasses that of the movie industry – box office and DVD sales – on an annual basis ($15 Billion).
  • Not only are the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees forced to spend the year barnstorming while their ballpark is renovated, they won’t be able to keep the Yankees team name in the future. The Yankees brand is to be exclusive to the club in the Bronx. The same will go for all of the other Yankees minor league affiliates. Way to keep it in the family, Steinbrenners.
  • Commissioner Bud Selig may have to determine the proper compensation for the Red Sox allowing Theo Epstein to escape to the Cubs, since the two teams can’t come up with mutually agreeable terms on their own.
  • Wondering if Selig will actually retire after his contract ends in 2012? The establishment of an office at his old alma mater in Madison might be the ticket. Selig apparently wants to write his memoirs and participate in the history department at Wisconsin, including the hiring of a professor to teach the history of sports.
  • In addition to Selig’s endowed chair, three members of The Lodge (baseball team owners) also set up a scholarship in the names of Selig and his wife, Suzanne, as part of the university’s Great People Scholarship program. The owners? Three who are incredibly indebted and linked to Selig: fraternity brother Lew Wolff, current Brewers owner Mark Attanasio (who bought the team from a trust headed by Selig’s daughter), and Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner (who was a major beneficiary of the three way Boston-Florida-Montreal ownership swap deal). What do you get for a man who has everything? A scholarship in his name, of course! Now that’s a going away present.
  • One thing to keep in mind regarding Occupy Oakland: the horrific injury suffered by Iraq War veteran and Wisconsin native Scott Olsen will almost assuredly result in a lawsuit against Oakland/OPD, one which is not likely to come out well for the City. Whenever that judgement is rendered, it’ll be more money that Oakland simply doesn’t have for projects such as an Oakland ballpark.
  • On the bright side, the Oakland Tribune and other local papers will keep their names after all.
  • Tony LaRussa goes out on top.

Good stuff to come later in the week.

News for 8/20/11

Though this August may be unseasonably cool, there’s no doubt that it’s the dog days – for a team mired in third place and those of us looking for ballpark news. Nevertheless, there is plenty to discuss that happened this week.

First up is a very good assessment of where various football stadium efforts stand, courtesy of the Merc and Trib (BANG). Naturally, Santa Clara has emerged in the race due to its diligence in getting a deal done, despite the highly questionable finances of the plan. Oakland lags well behind, and potential funding sources has been identified in the process: $105 million in county transit funding, a Chinese investment group. Transit funding for the Raiders? Yikes.

You may have noticed some upheaval around Hegenberger Road this week when going to/from an A’s game. That’s because the infamous Oakland Airport Connector project started construction this week! The $484 million people mover will shuttle riders between the Coliseum/Airport BART station and Oakland International Airport, all for a more-than-reasonable $6 each way. That’s more expensive than it costs to ride from Coliseum/Airport to Millbrae. (To be fair, the enormous cost of the SFO BART extension has caused Millbrae-to-SFO to cost $4 each way thanks to a surcharge.) And it appears that the only reasons the project kept going all this time are that $95 million has already been spent and up to $250 million has already been committed, making it nearly as much of a boondoggle even if it were cancelled. Initially, the only two stations on the OAC will be the terminals at the airport and BART station. A third station could be built at Doolittle and Hegenberger if the funding surfaces. Double yikes.

Former Rangers owner Tom Hicks is being sued over allegations that he took tens of millions from the team to acquire parking lots around Rangers Ballpark. The lawsuit foreshadows future legal wrangling between MLB and Frank McCourt, who reorganized the Dodgers into so many holding companies and dummy corporations that it’s impossible to say how Dodger Stadium and its land could be extricated from McCourt at this point.

A preliminary report on Kings arena funding indicates that much of the burden will be addressed by user fees on everything from tickets to hot dogs. These fees could generate anywhere from $5 million to $20 million per year. While not fan-friendly, it is more general taxpayer-friendly than sales or parcel taxes. A more fleshed out proposal is due September 8.

Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the Sharks, announced 19 layoffs from the business side of the company. Included in the layoffs was longtime director of communications Ken Arnold. Executive VP of business ops Malcolm Bordelon characterized this as “pruning for future growth”. He can’t just be talking about the parking garage the team will construct north of the arena as growth. There’s something else to this. That something may be related to former CEO Greg Jamison, who left a year ago and was never formally replaced, perhaps going after the Phoenix Coyotes as early as next week. Should Jamison pursue the Coyotes, he will have to sell his share of the Sharks. It’s not difficult to see Jamison bringing with him trusted lieutenants such as Arnold and sales/marketing head Kent Russell. It would also provide an opening for the A’s, if they were to be extended the opportunity. Lew Wolff (or a surrogate) could potentially get a stake in SVSE and reciprocate by providing a stake in the A’s/Quakes, making the two ownership groups virtually joined at the hip – and more importantly, fully aligned. That would be important in planning for the next 20-30 years around Diridon, as the two parties would be expected to have a major influence on how the area is planned and developed even if those plans are well down the road.

In tangentially related news, HP announced on Thursday that it will cease development of webOS devices such as the recently launched TouchPad tablet line and Pre smartphones. It may also spin off its Personal Systems Group, which includes webOS (Palm) and its industry market share leading computers operation. Should HP spin off PSG or divest it, there would be an interesting sports-related ripple effect down the line: what would happen to HP Pavilion at San Jose? The naming rights deal at the former San Jose Arena expires in 2016, and not coincidentally, the name reflects a line of personal computers HP makes. In between those two names, the name for a year or so was Compaq Center at San Jose. That deal was done by the final Compaq CEO, Michael Capellas, prior to the HP-Compaq merger (done by Carly Fiorina). It’s possible that HP will keep the name, given that enterprise competitor Oracle has the name on Oakland Arena. Then again, Oracle has a similar choice to make that same year because its naming rights deal ran only a decade. Chances are that both companies will drop the naming rights deals for different reasons: HP because it will no longer have the consumer focus to justify the deal, and Oracle because Larry Ellison lost out on owning the Warriors. Often naming rights deals are reflections of companies’ CEOs, and this is no different.

Capping off corporate talk is billionaire Carl Icahn threatening to perform a coup at Clorox (again). Icahn, who is worth $12.5 billion and has his tentacles seemingly everywhere, is the largest shareholder of CLX stock with a 9.4% stake in the company. Earlier in the summer, Icahn attempted a $10.2 billion buyout of Clorox, all in the name of achieving greater shareholder value (his M.O. for everything). Rebuffed in that attempt, Icahn is now trying to replace the company’s entire board of directors with himself and 11 of his own hand-picked people. Something on this front may happen in November, when the annual shareholders meeting will be held. Icahn doesn’t always win, but it is thought in some corners that his power influenced the sale of Motorola to Google for $12.5 billion (coincidence), which was reported on Monday. Why is this important? If Icahn gets his way, it’s likely that Clorox will eventually be sold to the highest bidder, perhaps one of its competitors such as Proctor and Gamble. P&G would be interesting in that they were forced to divest Clorox due to antitrust concerns around the time the A’s moved to Oakland. And if Clorox is bought and/or sold, CEO Donald Knauss, the former Coca-Cola exec who has shown interest in East Bay/Oakland sports to the extent that there are rumors of a possible naming rights deal, is also not long for Clorox either. If Knauss goes, so does that deal. Naming rights deals often reflect companies’ CEOs, remember?

Bay Bridge Doubleheader By The Numbers

If you didn’t get a chance to take in today’s Bay Bridge Doubleheader (Mariners @ Athletics in the afternoon, Padres @ Giants at night), fear not! You’ll have one more shot on Labor Day weekend, Saturday, September 3 to be precise. On that day, the schedule will kickoff again with the Mariners visiting the A’s, this time a 1:05 PM game. The nightcap will be the D-backs invading the Giants, hopefully with both teams in the full throes of a pennant race. It’s also possible that the following day, the Giants game will be moved from a 1:05 start to 5:05 to accommodate ESPN’s Sunday Night telecast. Note: I was thinking that the NFL’s labor situation may have an impact, but that weekend is scheduled to be the final exhibition weekend and customarily no games are played on that Sunday. However, a compressed schedule may require games on that Sunday. Back to the original topic.

Today’s double dip was truly unforgettable, and unbeknownst to me 14 hours ago, truly epic. Here’s a breakdown of what I experienced/endured today:

  • Combined time of both games – 6:04 (A’s – 2:12, Giants – 3:52)
  • Total attendance – 61,407 (A’s – 19,491, Giants – 41,916)
  • Innings – 23
  • Pitches thrown – 612
  • Home runs – 3 (bookends – Scott Sizemore to start scoring and win the game for the A’s in 1st, Nate Schierholtz to win the game for the Giants in 14th, also Schierholtz also in 4th with two on)
  • Total cost of tickets – $28 (A’s – $12 value deck, Giants – $16 SRO)
  • Total cost of public transit – $12.15 on BART
  • Total cost of parking – $0 at Hayward station
  • Total cost of gas – Approximately $10
  • Miles driven – 68.4
  • Food/beverage cost – $18.14 (A’s $3.60 out of pocket plus $6 value in ticket for popcorn chicken and soda, Giants – $0, Red’s Java House – $12.25 for Double Cheeseburger + Fries + Anchor Steam, Bayside Market – $2.29 for 1L bottle of Diet Pepsi)
  • Time I left home – 11:00 AM
  • Time I arrived home – 12:35 AM
  • Time my phone ran out of juice – 9:30 PM

Speaking of bookends, the games were the last ones I’ll have attended until the big doubleheader on the 16th. Should we do a meetup? Tailgate? Anyone perhaps interested in the 9/3 Bay Bridge doubleheader? Despite the long day, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

P.S. – While I was walking around I noticed a number of newly painted lines on some parts of the arcade and behind the bleachers at AT&T Park. It turns out that there are now designated areas for standing and circulation. This was mandated by the fire marshal after an inspection brought up uneasiness about the large, difficult to disperse crowds on the arcade. In retrospect, you have to wonder why it took over a decade for that action to take place. I spoke with an usher about it and he said that the number of standing room tickets had to be reduced due to the lower amount of space available for SRO.

Update 11:52 AM – I emailed A’s Stadium Ops czar David Rinetti to inquire about any special fan rules for the doubleheader. Here is his response:

We are conducting our double-header like every other game, with the following exceptions:

  • fans will be able to enter the stadium from 11:05am until around the 7th inning of the 2nd game
  • the second game will start 35 minutes after the conclusion of the first game
  • alcohol sales will continue all the way through the 5th inning of the 2nd game

Like all regular games, there will not be in and out privileges.


Bay Bridge Doubleheader

Earlier today I posted on Twitter that I was going to take in the Bay Bridge doubleheader by attending both A’s and Giants home games during the same day. The A’s-M’s game, which was not televised, was a tidy affair punctuated by quick innings by both Joey Devine and Andrew Bailey to complete a combined shutout started by Guillermo Moscoso. Now I’m in SF, having bought a SRO admission for tonight’s Giants-Padres tilt. I’ll probably grab something to eat nearby before the game starts. It’s my first time being able to do this, so I can knock it off my bucket list.

News for 5/21/11 (Rapture Day)

KNBR update man Dan Dibley announced Friday that he was leaving the station for 95.7 Sports Radio, where it appears he will have similar (perhaps expanded) duties. He’s a quality guy who’s from the Bay Area and knows the local sports scene (including the Quakes), which for KBWF is half the battle.

Speaking of 95.7, does anyone know where Chris Townsend is? His Twitter feed has been silent for 24 hours. Maybe he’s just getting a day or weekend off. He has worked pretty much every day without a break since the station switched formats on Opening Day, so he deserves a rest. I hope everything’s alright otherwise.

Marcos Breton and Ann Killion both have profiles of the A’s as the team labors in in relative anonymity across the Bay from the World Champs. Such is life.

San Jose’s redevelopment king, Harry Mavrogenes, announced that he’s stepping down in a month. SJRA has been cutting staff and running on fumes for a year now, making Mavrogenes’ departure more symbolic than anything. The agency has been dying for a while, and for better or worse, will never be the same. With land acquisition and development powers transferred to the San Jose Diridon Development Authority (of which Mavrogenes was a signatory), his capacity as SJRA head was no longer needed to finish the ballpark work.

Did you know that the headquarters of Family Radio (whose leader Harold Camping is predicting The Rapture on Saturday) is on Hegenberger, just across the Nimitz from the Coliseum? There is a tangential relation to the A’s besides proximity. Family Radio bought KFRC-610 from CBS in 2005, creating a very uncomfortable combination of God talk and A’s talk/games during the 2005 season.

SFGate/Chronicle blogger Peter Hartlaub has a couple of great posts showing what BART could’ve been like if vision didn’t give way to politics and construction photos including the Transbay Tube.

Jamie McCourt wants an immediate sale of the Dodgers so that she can cash out while she can. Which would be awesome for Dodgers fans who want to turn the page, A’s fans who want the team taken off the backburner, and pretty much everyone else except for Angels and Giants fans who are experiencing some deep schadenfreude.

The athletic facilities at Stanford are going to turn into one gigantic WiFi hotspot, thanks to AT&T. You know, it’d be nice if Verizon did the same for the Coliseum, seeing as they’re the telecom sponsor there.

Added 5/21 9:30 AM- John Fisher has to be taking it in the shorts this weekend as the GAP dove 17% in trading yesterday after it reset annual earnings expectations down 22%.

News for 4/28/11

It would appear that new Coliseum naming rights holder is the snake to current signage/broadcast sponsor and hedge fund Kingsford Capital’s mongoose. Or vice-versa. Weird.

The 49ers made two big announcements yesterday. They brought in mega-agency CAA to handle its naming rights search. That comes after Santa Clara authorized the team to start selling said naming rights. The 49ers also hired former Facebook and YouTube CFO Gideon Yu to become its Chief Strategy Officer. Yu may have been bored working at venture capital firm Khosla Ventures. You know how in the past I wrote wondering how the 49ers were going to finance the Santa Clara stadium? Well, this hiring proves that there’s some truth to it, and Tim Kawakami agrees. The Yorks are having to search far and wide, looking into perhaps novel or unexplored revenue streams to pay for the stadium. For Santa Clara taxpayers’ sakes, I hope they hit a vein of gold (preferably not on their uniforms).

It’s a bad time for online security. Sony’s PlayStation Network was severely breached last week and is still down for rebuilding. Now according to Deadspin, the New York Yankees accidentally leaked a file containing the names of 20,000 season ticket and plan holders. No credit card info was in the file, but plenty of personal information was. It didn’t get everyone, though. The suiteholders and high rollers in the really expensive (and often empty) club seats were not affected. It’s good to be the king. Also, the number of tickets sold (2.1 million) and revenue pulled in just for the non-premium sections ($131 million) are absolutely staggering.

Speaking of staggering, Frank McCourt visited New York to lobby Bud Selig to approve his own personal TARP bailout by Fox. The plan, which would have included $300 million upfront that would have gone straight into team equity, was not approved by the commissioner. That prompted McCourt to hold a 30-minute press conference in which he railed on Selig, calling his actions “un-American.” Listen to the audio. There are some serious theatre of the absurd elements. I thought it was all quite entertaining until I realized that the slow legal process that will tie up MLB and the Dodgers for the next two years will cause Selig to extend his term yet again, probably through 2013-14. I was instantly depressed.

Escondido’s AAA ballpark plan for the Padres may turn into a tech business park if Mayor Sam Abed has his way. Now that was quick.

Doctors are trying to reduce medication to Bryan Stow so that he can emerge out of his coma. #rootingforhim

Two different visions for old deflated domes:

  • The H.H.H. Metrodome is quickly getting its roof repaired. The new roof by Birdair won’t end Zygi Wilf’s quest for a new Vikings Stadium. It will be there in time for the Vikings’ 2011 season, assuming that the league starts on time. The replacement is being paid for by the stadium’s insurance, so there’s no new public cost.
  • B.C. Place in Vancouver is getting a unique cable-supported retractable roof built on top of the existing stadium, replacing the original roof. Construction of the roof and related improvements started shortly after last year’s Winter Olympics, with the price tag rising from $350 million to $458 million and now $563 million. The remodeled, reroofed venue will be home to both the B.C. Lions CFL team and the Vancouver Whitecaps MLS team.

Google Earth rendering of the new B.C. Place. Next to it is Rogers Arena.

More news today as it gets reported.

Added 11:40 AM – BART is workshopping different types of seats for its trains. The agency was prompted in response to rising cleaning costs for the fabric covers on the existing seats. They’re also playing around with narrower seats with less legroom, which I’m sure is a crowd pleaser. This change follows a switch from carpeted floors to rubberized floors, which is ongoing. Personally, I think wide and tall vinyl seats, such as those used on Caltrain’s Baby Bullet cars, would work well.

Traffic nightmare? Wrong last time…

The Merc’s authority on all things local transportation, Gary “Mr. Roadshow” Richards, fielded a question about redoing streets in the Diridon area and a ballpark’s effect on traffic.

Q Maybe it’s a little early to ask this, but how does San Jose figure on making up for the loss of Montgomery Street if an A’s ballpark is built next to the Diridon train station? A two-way Autumn Street? Reversible lanes? Seems that when events let out at HP Pavilion, it would be a nightmare to get to Interstate 280.
Craig Tomasello
San Jose

A The plan is to close Montgomery and convert Autumn Street from a three-lane, one-way road to a two-way street with two lanes in each direction. This would be a key connection to and from HP Pavilion to I-280. Traffic signals on Autumn would be managed to accommodate traffic exiting HP Pavilion. I would not worry too much about this. When the Sharks began playing downtown, naysayers said traffic would be a mess. It hasn’t been as the city has proved it can move people in and out efficiently. Baseball games would attract larger crowds, but light rail, BART, Caltrain and Amtrak would all be within an easy walk of home plate.

We may run into scale involving capacity at Diridon. The are plenty of intersections that don’t rate well. Still, traffic going through the area isn’t anywhere near the catastrophic gridlock predicted before the arena was built (hint: Julian Street is almost always clear). With vigorous enforcement of a revised TPMP, a ballpark and arena combo shouldn’t be gridlock either. A little worse, yes, but not gridlock.

Caltrain declares fiscal state of emergency, cuts service

It’s official. Caltrain is drastically cutting service starting on July 1st because of its $30 million budget deficit. Twitter user DCdoozy has been keeping a running log on today’s hearing.

Up to seven stations will have service suspended for the upcoming fiscal year. To add insult to injury, a 25-cent fare increase will be instituted. The service will essentially be a commuter train only based on the hours, with virtually no leisure service possible. VTA offered a $7.1 million payment it already owes Caltrain, as well as an offer to buy Diridon Station from Caltrain (that would’ve been interesting). VTA’s proposals went nowhere.

An example of leisure service is the Wet Your Whistles pubcrawl, which occurred during Beer Week. It was the third annual crawl and was held on a weekend. That kind of scheduling is no longer possible. I’ve been trying to get my friends who run the site and the crawl to do it once a quarter. Now it’s going to be difficult to do it just once a year.

We’ve had a lot of talk among local business interests, from the Giants to SVLG members, about saving Caltrain. Very little action emanated from those town halls. Come July we’ll see how this affects the Giants, as the service drop will occur right before a homestand.

News for 2/15/11

Marc Morris of Better Sense San Jose argues against using scarce San Jose redevelopment funds for a ballpark. He makes very good points about cuts to neighborhood business districts and other smaller projects. At the same time, the claim that stadiums don’t provide much economic benefit is a stroke too broad, considering that locally we have two examples that have provided such benefits: AT&T Park and HP Pavilion. Morris was against the arena 20 years ago, and I sense that he’s tilting at windmills as an encore.

The Federal Transit Administration approved full funding of the first part of the BART-to-Silicon Valley extension. This approval is only for the initial phase, which would terminate three miles northeast of Diridon at Berryessa. The second phase is the Downtown San Jose tunnel and further route up to Santa Clara/SJC. Next, the funding must be approved as part of the next federal budget.

There’s a ton of coverage of the Wilpon-Madoff situation, which seems fluid and with a higher price tag for Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz, and in the end, the Mets. ESPN’s Outside the Lines has a thumbnail sketch.

The Los Angeles Lakers are partnering with Time Warner Cable to have all local game broadcasts on a pair of new regional sports networks: one in English and one in Spanish. Unlike most sports networks which utilize SAP for Spanish audio while using the same video feed, the twin Spanish network will have its own audio/video and production. Update 9:43 AM – Multiple sources have the new deal pegged at 20 years, $3 Billion. Even if two-thirds of that were given over to network operations and revenue sharing, that would leave $50 million per year for the team – nearly enough to take care of team payroll by itself for the next 2-3 CBAs. Also, the deal may have an effect on the Dodgers in that Frank McCourt has been talking about starting up a similar twin-language RSN. He may choose to jump to the Lakers-TWC network if the price is right, or use that as leverage to get a better deal from Fox. Fox recently gave McCourt an additional $111 million over the next three years to cover expenses associated with running the ballclub, so there’s a question as to who really has the leverage here.

A pair of articles by Neil deMause (for Baseball Prospectus) and Pete Toms (for The Biz of Baseball) on the upcoming MLB CBA negotiations should give you an idea of where the two sides stand at this point. One word missing from either article: contraction.

Deadspin has a tale of two guys who had the run of Camden Yards after an Orioles game was postponed. Is it true? Does it matter?

CBS College Sports Network will be renamed CBS Sports Network. Hmmm…