MPR News  for Headlines, Weather, and Stories Dale Connelly Reporting Home
Dale Connelly Reporting
Dale Connelly Reporting
Return to Dale Connelly Reporting show index

There's more from Dale Connelly at The Morning Show


by Brick Walters, 7/28/00

Dc: This is DCR, a news program not to be believed.
In professional baseball, market economics have determined that teams will either be "haves" or "have nots,"
Across the country, owners of long established teams are adamant that they need new stadiums to give themselves a chance to succeed financially, although in some communities the public is balking at the bill.
One expansion team, unencumbered by tradition, is demonstrating new strategies that clearly show "America's Favorite Pastime" is really a business with a definite bottom line.
Brick Walters reports.

(sfx: crack of bat, crowd roar)

Brick: A summer's day, a crowd, a ballpark, a clutch situation in the 9th inning and a winning home run for the local favorites … the Tri-State Certified Money Managers. A beautiful scene.
But team accountant Frank Fester says something is terribly wrong.

Fester: The home run went into a section of twenty one dollar seats out in left field. One fan took it home. The ball cost sixty dollars, so that's a money losing deal for this team.

Brick: Fester leads a group of investors who purchased the team and named it "the Certified Money Managers" to get across to the general public the idea that managing money, like any sport, is a skill that can be thrilling if done well.

Fester: The point is, a major league ballplayer shouldn't be hitting home runs into the cheap seats. We just signed a twenty million dollar contract with our best pitcher. We can't afford losses like this. They should aim for the more expensive seats, or keep it in the park for an extra base hit. That's more exciting anyway, with all the running and throwing and stuff they do out there.

Brick: I thought the idea was to win games.

Fester: No, the idea is to make money. Winning a bunch of games is one way to make money, but you can't always count on that. So the other, more sure route, is to tailor the professional baseball "experience" to the aspirations of our fans … and to have lots of corporate suites.

Brick: Corporate suites. The luxurious "sky boxes" that circle the perimeter of the stadium make enormous amounts of money for sports teams. Heather Buttress is the architect designing the Money Managers' new home, Trustedadvisorstockfund - dot - com Field.

(sfx: unrolling blueprint)

Buttress: We've got a ring of suites here. And some up high here. And down low at field level here.

Brick: It's almost like an office building.

Buttress: Yes, we'd love to have full time tenants make their corporate headquarters at the ball park. The purchaser of our naming rights,, is considering just that, if the IPO goes as expected.

Brick: So then it would be ALL suites.

Buttress: Oh no. Here are some seats for the general public. There's a row right there.

Brick: That says "lavatory."

Buttress: Wha? Let's see … OH. OK, but there are seats for the general public. Maybe I just didn't get them drawn in yet.

Brick: Obviously, seats for the general public are a low priority.

Buttress: No no. The public is important. 'Cause they'll generate revenue for the mall.

(sfx: shopping scene)

Brick: That's right, the mall. Any building built in America today that is not a private home, a school or a jail includes plans for an adjacent mall.
And Park is no exception.
Hester Dexter is the developer.

Dexter: The mall is vital to the overall success Foot traffic to and from and during the game will take shoppers past the storefronts and build a really healthy revenue per square foot.

Brick: This is more than the usual ballgame souvenirs and trinkets.

Dexter: Oh, yes. All your major national department store and fast food chains should be here.

Brick: Just like the airport, which is becoming a mall too!

Dexter: Right. In fact, the new ballpark does incorporate an airport.

Brick: An airport!

Dexter: Why not? The airport has gates. The stadium has gates. That way it's easy for the teams to come and go, and people can stop in and catch a few innings while waiting for their next plane.

(sfx: jet flyover)
(sfx: blueprint rustle)

Buttress: And the airport makes it convenient for the guests at the hotel.

Brick: There's a hotel in the stadium?

Fester: And a theme park.

Brick: So you work there, you shop there, you travel from there, you're entertained there … you might as well live there.

Buttress: Yes, our target audience will live in these condos here.

Fester: What a pleasure it will be for them to say they live at Field, watching the Certified Money Managers play, while they also indulge their interests in shopping, dancing, eating and travel. It's how they imagine themselves and we're trying to make it happen in an environment that's fun and functional and also nostalgic.

Buttress: See, we've put lots of brick around, to give it that neighborhood feel.

(sfx: jet flyover)

Brick: And so … if Park is any indication, the worlds of sports, travel, shopping, work and home are all collapsing in on each other, leading us in the direction of one enormous, but intimate building where you go to do everything.

(sfx: blueprint unrolling)

Buttress: Did you see the hospital, clinic and mortuary?

Brick: Where does the game happen?

Buttress: The baseball game? That would be … um …

Fester: The green area, here?

Buttress: That's the golf course.

Fester: I know I saw it. (fade) Diamond shaped, right?

Buttress: It's adjacent to the wave pool.

Brick: Out in the field, I'm Brick Walters.


Dale Connelly Reporting Home


Minnesota Public Radio Home     Search     Email  
© Copyright 2000 | Terms of Use  |  Privacy