Growing up near Philadelphia, I had the opportunity to see many football and baseball games at the “Vet.” Veterans Stadium was named by the Philadelphia City Council as an homage to all war veterans – pretty cool. No corporate sponsorship, no big money for naming rights, just an all American thing to do.
NFL stadiums back in the day had great names that just seemed to fit the teams. Remember when the Redskins played at RFK? Or when the 49ers played at Candlestick? And it wasn’t so long ago when good old Jerry Jones’ Cowboys played in a stadium named after them? But even the All American businessman couldn’t pass up an extra $17-19 million per year just to hang a couple of circle logos on top of the retractable roof.
Today’s stadium names often have nothing to do with the team. The Superdome in Louisiana sold its name to German automaker Mercedes-Benz. Sure, Saints owner Tom Benson owns Mercedes dealerships in the New Orleans and San Antonio areas but our guess is the Benz is not exactly the automobile of choice for local pelican staters.
We started going through the list of teams and realized most were un-namable. The old Joe Robbie? Sun Life Stadium. The Coluseum in Oakland? O.co. They couldn’t even afford the “m” for the dot com! Cleveland Browns Stadium? No more as the naming rights are owned by FirstEnergy.
Some of the blame can certainly be placed on the demand for new stadiums. As fans demand greater amenities and 21st century features, teams require more revenue to support the improved structures. Levi’s Stadium, the most recent NFL stadium, came in at a cost of $1.3 billion. Well, $220+ million will be paid by Levi Strauss & CO over the next 20 years. That’s a big chuck of change!
But not every team has caved to corporate naming rights. The Bears still play at Soldier Field and the Packers continue their tradition at Lambeau. The Kansas City Chiefs have remained at Arrowhead for more than 40 years and the Atlanta Falcons still call the Georgia Dome home.
Take our QUIZ to test your NFL stadium knowledge. And let us know what you think about the state of stadium names!
Top 10 Things We’ll remember about the 2014 World Series:
#10 – Marlins Man still sitting behind home plate in fluorescent orange.
#9 – A sold-out and unbelievably active Kauffman Stadium.
#8 – The first “on the field” over-turned replay in World Series history
#7 – A classy Bruce Bochy in the post-game and an even classier Ned Yost after the game with Ken Rosenthal.
#6 – The doofus sitting in the front row behind home plate who was doing the “money” sign throughout the game
#5 – Joe Buck’s ridiculously uninformed comment in the bottom of the 9th: “[Bumgarner] is gunning for a 5-inning save.” You would think a guy who’s been doing this as long as Buck would understand the nuances of how relievers are awarded the win status.
#4 – Paul Blanco’s “Bill Buckner” play in the ninth (except nobody will remember because the Giants won).
#3 – Erin Andrews’ error in the postgame: “Joining me on stage right now is a man who has led this sport since 1992 and tonight will be passing out his 23rd commissioner’s trophy, Bud Selig.” Erin clearly forgot about the strike in 1994.
#2 – Joe Buck gets it wrong too in the wrap-up: “23rd time, here tonight, that [Selig] has handed out the Commissioner’s trophy.” Just sad.
#1 – MadBum’s superman-like performance. FYI – If Madison Bumgarner played for the Washington Nationals, they would have shut him down 3 weeks before the season ended.
The San Francisco Giants took game 1 of the World Series scoring plenty of runs in the first to put Madison Bumgarner on cruise control. “It’s over” cried the media, the Giants have a lock.
The Kansas City Royals took game 2 of the World Series with a knockout blow in the bottom of the 6th. “The ball is in the Royals’ hands, they are certain to take it all” proclaimed the media. While the style of play greatly differed for both teams in each of the first two games, the end result left the media declaring a clear winner.
MadBum is a force and was a force in game 1. James Shields, an extraordinary pitcher in his own right, simply wasn’t up to the challenge that night. Will Bumgarner guarantee a victory in game 4? Probably, but that only guarantees the Giants two wins. We still have some baseball to play.
We don’t believe any series really starts to close the door until a team has won 3 games. And even then, the door is open wide enough for teams to slip through. In 2013 and 2012, the Red Sox and Giants respectively got to “3″ first and went on to win the Series. But the 2011 Texas Rangers took a 3-2 lead over the Cardinals and ended up losing the final two games in St. Louis. You then have to go back to 2002 to see a 3-game advantage for the Giants disappear when they lost games 6 and 7 in Anaheim to the Angels.
So who has the advantage? We don’t really care! With the ability for an inning, a game or an entire series to shift on a dime, we like the prospect of some great baseball in what we hope will be a lengthy series. Advantage everyone.
CheapSeatsTickets.com prides itself on having some of the lowest prices on the internet. You won’t see flashy ads or high-cost content on our website and that’s because we choose to pass the savings on to our customers. Other sites spend a lot of money to grab your attention and they then pass those expenditures on to you. We prefer to keep things simple to ensure you get the best seats at the lowest prices to all events across the country.
And in the month of October, we are offering additional savings on every single one of our tickets. But these prices won’t last. How much are we talking about? Well, we did a price comparison to other major ticket providers on the internet and found we were anywhere from 2% to 15% cheaper! That might not seem like a lot but if you are taking the family to the World Series, it can add up to hundreds of dollars in savings.
For example, the San Francisco Giants are back in the World Series where they will face the Kansas City Royals. We randomly picked a section at AT&T park and looked for the cheapest tickets in the section. For us, it was Section 324 which is the upper level of AT&T overlooking first base. We found nice seats in the 16th row. Our final price came in at $1761 for a pair of seats.
You may have seen Google ads from VividSeats. They typically have an ad ranking high in position. How do they pay for these great ads? They pass the costs on to you. Those same seats in Section 324, row 16 cost $1958 on their site. That’s almost $200 more for the exact same seats with the exact same delivery service.
And what about StubHub? You’ve heard of their “no surprise fees” campaign advertised during NFL games, radio broadcasts and on your favorite sporting shows. No Surprise fees means they simply include the fees in the pricing but that doesn’t mean they don’t charge extra fees! In fact, if you bought those tickets on StubHub, you would pay $2070.60…a whopping $309 more for the exact same seats with the exact same delivery service.
So if you prefer paying more, go with the other guys. But if you want to save money and enjoy the exact same seats, give us a try. We’ve been selling tickets for more than 10 years and our reputation speaks for itself.
Bud Selig has served as the Commissioner of Major League Baseball since 1992 and during his 22 year reign, he has done a lot of things both good and bad. But we started to wonder whether the Commish has some kind of weather control when Game 3 of the ALCS was postponed due to rain.
It is certainly clear that MLB prefers to broadcast all of its postseason games without competition from its arch rival The National Football League. Just take a look at the upcoming World Series Schedule. It’s no coincidence that the two-game home stand in Kansas City starts on a Tuesday and ends one day before the NFLs Thursday Night game where the San Diego Chargers will face the Denver Broncos. Game 3 takes place on a Friday and Game 4 on a Saturday. The only conflict will occur on Saturday night when the Packers face the Saints.
The teams will return to Kansas City, if necessary, on Monday with the final two games slated for Tuesday and Wednesday. How convenient that baseball will not have to compete with America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, as they face Dan Snyder’s Washington Redskins in Dallas. The timing of the schedule is well calculated and will surely provide sports fans the opportunity to enjoy their weekly dose of football without compromising their world series interest.
With this precise planning, it made us wonder if Bud Selig had the ability to conjure rain during the one series conflict. With the prospect of rain heading into Kansas City on a, of all things, Monday night, baseball made a swift decision to cancel the game so as not to provide fans with an unpleasant post-season experience.
Selig has been instrumental in making significant changes to the game. He implemented a “home-field advantage” in the World Series to the All-Star Game league winner. He also recently added the one game playoff for the Wild Card spot (which we like very much). Is it possible he also made sure it would rain on a Monday night? Either way, TBS was a very happy recipient of the delay with better ratings on a Tuesday night.
Cheapseatstickets.com still has amazing seats for all World Series games. Save even more on purchases over $1k with our exclusive World Series Tickets code “COMMISH.” And remember, if they don’t play, you don’t pay. So you can rest assured that you will pay for games 5, 6 and 7 only if those games are played.
The stage is set for the 2014 Division Series: The Kansas City Royals will face the Baltimore Orioles in the American League and the San Francisco Giants will take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League. Of the four contenders, only the SF Giants have a top 10 payroll.* Ten teams made the playoffs and half of them did not have top 10 payrolls (the other four in the top 10 were the Dodgers, Detroit Tigers, Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Angels). Based on the numbers, the top paying Los Angeles Dodgers should have faced the New York Yankees in the World Series. Instead, the $241 million Dodger payroll was ousted in the NL Division Series and the $203 million Yankee payroll failed to make the postseason.
The 2014 season is not an anomaly by any stretch. In the past 14 seasons, the World Series winner had a top 10 payroll 8 times and the #1 payroll won the whole thing twice (New York Yankees in 2000 and 2009). So paying the top salaries in the big leagues nets a championship around 13% of the time. So what explains victories by low paying teams with fractional salaries of major market teams? How do the 2003 Florida Marlins (now Miami Marlins) with a $40 million payroll beat a New York Yankee squad with a $140 million payroll? How does a 2010 Texas Ranger squad with a $55 million payroll advance past the Yankee $206 million payroll?
The answer seems to fall in the hands of youth. The 2003 Marlins found talent in a young pitcher named Josh Beckett who found his groove on the biggest stage. The future Cy Young winer made $1.7 million that year – he would go on to make as much as $17 million. CJ Wilson powered the Texas Rangers in 2010 and made $3.1 million. He would go on to make $16 million with the 2014 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim where he would fail to make it out of the first inning of the ALDS game 3.
Youth and talent seem to emerge when the spotlight is shining brightest. Take the Nationals Bryce Harper. His post-season batting average increased by 20 points and his home-run production exploded from one every 7+ games to more than one per game! He makes $900,000. On the other side of the coin, you have a guy like Clayton Kershaw who will make $30 million per year and was probably the best pitcher during the regular season. He hasn’t won a postseason game in his career.
Money, although not dispositive, seems to have an impact on the ability of talent. And the pressure that comes with money can potentially tip the wrong way. As pitcher Barry Zito had an ERA of 2.75 coupled with 23 wins and just 5 losses in 2002, the year he made $295,000. HE would go on to make as much as $20 million and would never see an ERA under 4.00 ever again.
Baseball is probably the most individual of all the team sports. And while a batter stands on his own at the plate, the team chemistry seems to have an ever lasting presence throughout the game. Easy going teams that lack drama seem to persevere. The 2004 Red Sox had the #2 salary in MLB. But they were the self proclaimed “idiots” and somehow found a way to relieve the pressure of the moment when they were down 3-0 to the Yanks. Despite big salaries, the team seemed to lack big heads. They were a team when it counted and proved it as they would go on to win four in a row against the Yanks and another 4 to sweep the Cardinals.
So how will the 2014 season end? The statistics point to the San Francisco Giants. But we like the Orioles – because like us, they offer the best bang for the buck! Looking forward to another extraordinary post season.
* Source: USA Today at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/mlb/salaries/2014/team/all/
The only thing the 2014 wild-card games shared were a winner moving on and a loser staying home. The Royals victory over the As in extra innings was the script for an instant classic while the pitching domination of Madison Bumgarner left him in the company of Verlander and Koufax. But despite their differences, we loved both games and think the one and done format is here to stay.
Twenty years ago, a team had to beat out six other divisional rivals to make the postseason. The 1993 San Francisco Giants won 103 games and failed to make the playoffs. League growth made it increasingly more difficult to make the playoffs. But the leagues finally moved to three divisions within each league in 1994 and had to add a fourth spot, the wild-card winner.
The problem was the wild-card team was equally positioned in the playoffs as the third place division winner. Over the 17 year format, the wild card winner moved on to the Championship Series more than half the time and won the World Series 5 times! It seemed obvious that the playoff team with the worst regular season record should not have any advantage in the postseason.
The new wild-card system cures that defect and we saw it in action this past week. The San Francisco Giants secured their wild-card birth with enough time to save ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner for the wild-card game. The Pirates, who were closely contending for the NL Central title, chose to expend their rotation in an attempt to overtake the St. Louis Cardinals and ended up using their third rotation pitcher. Now the Giants will face the Nationals and will likely only use Bumgarner for one of the 5 games.
The Royals face the same dilemma on the American League side as they used the services of James Shields in the wild-card game. They also expended their bullpen which they hope will recover in time to face the Angels in Anaheim.
SF Gate writer Scott Ostler things the wild card round is a joke (see http://www.sfgate.com/sports/ostler/article/Despite-Giants-win-wild-card-round-is-a-joke-5795503.php ) suggesting the wild-card robs baseball of its marathon nature. But it’s all perspective. We prefer to think the wild card game is simply an extension of the 162-game regular season marathon. When the Rays and Rangers tied for the wild-card slot in 2013, they played a one-game tie-breaker. Like the wild-card game, either team could have avoided the tie-breaker by simply winning one more regular season game. Their failure to do so created a game-7 atmostphere…not once, but twice as the Rays beat the Rangers and then lost in the ALDS.
Bud, we like the format! And we look forward to more one-game post-season excitement in the years to come!!!
The American Football Conference is pretty predictbble when it comes to the strong teams. The New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos own the top slots in their respective divisions with the Ravens and the Colts not too far behind.
But the 2014 season is shaping up a little bit differently than years past. Although tied for first in the AFC East, Tom Brady and the Pats just don’t look like the teams we remember in the mid to late 2000s. Following a devastating loss to the Chiefs in Kansas City, coach Belichick dodged questions about the low-octane offense and said they were focusing on the 3-0 Bengals. But the East is wide open and we expect the Patriots to make a run.
Peyton Manning had a banner year in 2013 leading the league with 55 touchdown passes. But it’s not such a hot start in 2014 following the devastating Super Bowl loss to Seattle. The Broncos had an early week 4 bye and look to set things straight in Arizona as they take on the 3-0 Cardinals.
We like the Texans to stay competitive in the South and really need to concern themselves with the Colts. We think 11 wins will be plenty in the South to win the division. The Colts will keep things interesting and will end up with Wild Card birth.
Teams hit the 100 game mark of the season this week and with just 62 games left, the race for the playoffs is heading into the home stretch. Three teams from the American League and three from the National league are guaranteed a slot in the Best-of-five division series with another 2 teams from each league a one-game wild card playoff. Despite one wild-card world series winner in the past four years (St. Louis Cardinals in 2011), we aren’t putting much stock in the wild-card winners this year. Here’s who we like:
#5: Washington Nationals – The Nationals have it all. They have pitching, they can hit, run and score. Stephen Strasburg is ready to unleash his true potential in the off-season and sitting him in 2012 might finally pay dividends. Bryce Harper continues to improve as Nationals bats start to heat up in August. The Atlanta Braves will continue to put pressure on the Nats in the NL East but we see the team from the Nation’s Capital coming out on top.
#4: Baltimore Orioles – The O’s biggest hurdle is coming out of the AL East. But with fading hopes from the Red Sox and Yankees, the Orioles will put pressure on the Toronto Blue Jays. The Os picked up Andrew Miller from the Red Sox before the trade deadline and that addition should give some strength to the talented Baltimore pitching. The bats of Manny Machado, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones could be the punch they need to get them to the final round.
#3: Detroit Tigers – The Tigers look to return to the promised land in 2014. Their pitching gained post-season experience in Max Scherzer and Jason Verlander. And with the recent addition of David Price, look for an impressive rotation heading into the playoffs. They are sure to come out of the AL Central as a powerhouse. The only concern is their first round matchup, which could be against the As.
#2: Los Angeles Dodgers – The perennial favorite to win it all, the Dodgers are going to run away with the National League West. Stacked bats and terrific pitching behind Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers could certainly make it difficult for any team in the NL. But their youthful mistakes could ultimately cost them in the Series and that’s why we like them as the runner up.
#1: Oakland As – The Oakland As continue to do things the Billy Bean way with a microscopic payroll. The money flexibility allowed the organization to scoop up lefthander Jon Lester, who brings a deadly 2.57 ERA and plenty of World Series experience to the As. The best offiense in the game took a hit watching Yoenis Cespedes traded to Boston. And while Jonny Gomes doesn’t bring the talent back to the As, he brings World Series experience and we think that’s going to be enough. CheapSeatsTickets is also based out of CA so we’re a little biased!
We love the holiday season here at Cheapseatstickets and what says Christmas more than the Rockettes spectacular at Radio City Music Hall?! It’s one of the most popular winter events and we want to make sure you have all the information to get the best seats at the best prices.
The holiday spectacular staring the Rockettes starts November 7 with multiple shows seven days a week running through December 31. Despite a huge advertising presence on the secondary market, the only place to get tickets direct from Radio City is at their website www.radiocity.com or through Ticketmaster. And here are some important tips you should remember when purchasing seats either direct from the venue or on the secondary market:
1) SECTIONS – The center section at Radio City Music Hall is #4. IF you want to be right in the center, pick Orchestra 4 or any of the Mezzanine “4” sections. #1 and #7 are closest to the walls.
2) ROWS – The first Orchestra row at Radio City Music Hall is “AA” with double letters running through “ZZ.” The 27th row of the Orchestra is “A” and runs through row “W.” So make sure you know that Row W is in the back of the house (49 rows off the stage) while row WW is row 23.
3) BALCONY – 1st Mezzanine is the lowest balcony and 3rd Mezzanine is the highest. The first mezzanine has 12 rows starting with A. The second mezzanine has 11 rows and the third mezzanine has 8 rows.
4) DATES – If you are buying direct from Ticketmaster, generally tickets for weekday shows are cheaper than the weekends and prices go up as you get closer to December 25. First row, dead center in the 1st Mezzanine will cost you about $120 for a November matinee on Tuesday but the same seat will run you $185 on Saturday, December 27!
5) SOLD OUT – These shows definitely sell out but there are tons of seating options in July and August. So plan ahead because those $120 seats will cost a whole lot more if you wait until the last minute.
We helped more than three hundred families and friends attend the Christmas Spectacular in 2013. We hope to help more both in their preparation and with tickets this holiday season. Good luck and if you have any questions, you know how to reach us.