November 22, 2010 [LINK / comment]

Ballpark news roundup

Mike Zurawski is busy as always keeping up with stadium-related news. The Houston Astros are for sale, but as says, the announcement today by Astros owner Drayton McLane should be no surprise. He has been trying to sell the team for the past three years. "The sale price is expected to be between $700 and $800 million." Meanwhile, McLane announced the first major renovation of Enron Field Minute Maid Park since it opened in 2000. The Astros will spend $12 million to install the second largest HD video board in the majors, 54 by 124 feet. (Kansas City has the biggest.) The Astros will also move the press box up one level to make room for more luxury suites, and will extend the video ribbon. See

San Francisco Giants president Larry Baer was recently interviewed by CNBC, and talked about how many seats a baseball stadium should have. Simple answer: not much more than 40,000. Well, I think we already knew that, but we should give credit to the Giants organization for being ahead of the curve as far as seating capacity. "AT&T Park holds 41,915 people. It also uses dynamic pricing -- which alters the cost of seats based on demand -- to facilitate sales." See Perhaps there is a connection between the optimum size of AT&T Park and the fact that it was privately financed, and therefore more in tune with market realities.

In Chicago, the principal owner of the Cubs, Tom Ricketts, has submitted plans for the renovation of Wrigley Field.The Cubs want to develop the triangular plot of land on the west side of the stadium, with parking, eateries, etc. Plus, much of the stadium structure itself is in need of refurbishment. See There is a list of specific modifications at It all depends on securing loan guarantees from the city, however. Ricketts says he has no "Plan B" if he doesn't get help in financing. See And speaking of Wrigley, the Tribune also has a gallery of photos from Saturday's football game.

And on the subject of football, finally, Mike recommends a video report on the process of getting a new NFL stadium built in Los Angeles; see ESPN. The problem is that two prospective ownership groups have totally different visions; one wants a downtown stadium, and the other wants a stadium in the City of Industry, a far-off suburb. Plus, California and its major cities are in awful financial shape, and the looming NFL labor dispute casts further doubt on any quick action.

Thanks as always to Mike for the latest news.