Thoughts and pictures of my local minor league baseball team the New York Penn League Connecticut Tigers; a Detriot farm team. We'll still be looking at former Navigators/Defenders players along the way....

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

As reported in today's New London Day....

Norwich — The Connecticut Defenders will hold off on a decision regarding a proposed parking fee at the Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium until mid-February, after the annual Fan Fest.

Team officials have been considering introducing a $2 per vehicle parking fee as a way of raising revenue without raising ticket prices or concession prices. Team owner Lou DiBella said Monday team officials would re-evaluate the proposed fee after looking at ticket sales and advertising dollars projected for the coming season.

Thus far, however, DiBella said advertising revenue appears flat with the slowing economy. The team last year lowered food prices in the concession stands, and DiBella has not raised ticket prices since he purchased the team two years ago.

“I'm not looking to charge for parking,” DiBella said. “I don't want to charge for parking. I'd rather not charge for parking. But the reality is we haven't raised prices since we got here and we've lowered the food prices. ... Ideally I'd like to be the cheapest entertainment choice we can be and still end up in the black.”

The proposed parking fee raised objections in comments posted on the Day's Web site Saturday, as several people feared the charge would hurt attendance or cause traffic backups in the stadium parking lot.

DiBella repeated a call for community support for the Defenders, the AA minor league baseball affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, to show the region can support professional baseball.

The Defenders' lease with the city of Norwich runs through 2012, but the team has an option for an early buy-out after the 2009 season based on attendance and profitability.

“We'll hold off (on the parking charge decision) and see where we stand with advertising and tickets sold,” DiBella said. “We'll see where we stand economically.”


Blogger greg8370 said...

I kinda wish traffic jams were an issue.

12:18 PM

Blogger thehondohurricane said...

OK, I'm going to raise this issue again. Why is the parking discussion being reported solely by the Day? What's going on at the Bulletin? How does the Day find out these tidbits and not the Bulletin?

I still believe that the movers and shakers in Norwich, including the Bulletin, want to see the team go and they are winning the battle. No one seems to be willing to sit down and discuss the problem(s), whatever they may be and find a resolution. The fence issue is an example of the city spitting in the teams face.

I don't care if they charge for parking or not. It's a business decision and Lou has the right to implement it. He's smart enough to recognize the risks associated with the added cost.

I've reached the point where I can't see this team here beyond it's opt out date. The people of Norwich, for whatever reason, have not supported this franchise. And I don't buy the "no Giant following" theory either, because whenever Portland, Bingo, or Trenton have come in the attendance hasn't risen dramatically, if at all.

4:14 PM

Blogger LC said...

Two bucks is fair and I welcome it , but the real issue is ticket sales......

The marketing strategy needs to be examined. Sure attendance went up this past year, but I know many more tickets could be sold. The Cutters fans should be offered an incentive to come aboard, I'm hoping someone swiped the season ticket holders list.

4:53 PM

Blogger greg8370 said...

I don't know about you folks but ever since they "re-designed" the Bulletin web site I have a hard time finding stuff. I looked hard and can't seem to find anything on the site.
Another thing is I'm surprised about was that neither paper tracked down the new Defs manager for a phone interview.
Yeah--it's history after 2009.

Good point LC about the Cutters fan base.

10:30 PM

Blogger thehondohurricane said...

To be honest, I never found the Day article either. But East Hampton may get a different edition?

Good point about no one interviewing Bien. More fodder for the apathy surrounding this team. Hell, I never even saw a Giant announcement on their Web or in the daily transactions listings in the Courant, but maybe it was and I missed it,

Anyone besides me starting to feel like the Maytag repairman?

8:02 AM

Blogger thehondohurricane said...

Just logged onto the Giant web site and checked minor affiliates staffing. S-K, SJ, and Fresno all list the new mgrs. for the Def's, mgr is listed as Dave Machemer!

Does anyone care about this franchise?

8:11 AM

Blogger greg8370 said...

Hondo--I never saw Bien hiring in the transactions in the Courant or Day. And the same goes for the list of nonroster players going to Giants camp.

MayTag repairman, a preference,--Jesse White or Gordon Jump?

SF Giants web site--unless

10:09 AM

Blogger Joe said...

5:12 PM


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