April 23, 2014

What Should Magic and Stan Do in First Move as Owners of the Dodgers?

As hard as it is to believe, this is the last weekend of baseball at Chavez Ravine in the Frank McCourt era.  Just drink that in for a moment. Ahhh.  It feels good, doesn’t it?

Bill Shaikin at the LA Times reports that the sale is set to close on schedule this Monday, meaning the Dodgers should take the field on Monday night under the ownership of the guys from Guggenheim Baseball: Stan Kasten, Magic Johnson and Mark Walter.  What that means is that on Friday no one objected to the sale of the club in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for $2.15 billion.  Now it’s up to the lawyers to get the paperwork in order and make sure the Ts are crossed and the Is are dotted by the Monday deadline.

Now on to more important matters: What should Magic and the Guggenheim guys do in their first move as owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers?  Remember, this is largely a ceremonial move for the fans…something to show that they are one of us and that we’re going to have a first class fan experience at Dodger Stadium and bring a championship to LA.  It’s easy to talk the talk, but immediate actions speak volumes, and the Dodgers need to do something to show that Chavez Ravine is a great place for families to spend their time and money.  According to SB Nation, attendance at MLB games is up 4.1% (or an average of 1,161 people per game), yet according to Baseball Reference, attendance is down at Dodger Stadium by an average of 1,994 fans per game (through April 27).  And that’s just ticket sales - it doesn’t take into account fans that don’t show up, which has a cascading negative effect on stadium revenue when you take into account less parking and sales of concessions, merchandise, etc.

Across town, Arte Moreno’s status as a living legend was established when he lowered the price on beer in Anaheim.  I’m sure Joe Jareck, Amy Summers and the Dodgers PR department are all over this, but in the meantime, here are a few ideas from me to get families back to Chavez Ravine, given the unusual in-season sale of the club.  also, whatever the Dodgers do, they should implement it immediately and announce it at a press conference on Monday.  It’s time to jump start Chavez Ravine, and here’s how to do it:

1.) Lower the price to park at Dodger Stadium – Given the outgoing owner, lowering parking prices significantly for the first season seems like a no-brainer as it’s a subtle jab at Frank McCourt and also addresses one of the primary pain points of the fans.  Heck, the new owners could even add free parking during the first homestand to pack the place during the celebration.  If I’m a family considering whether or not to go to Dodger Stadium for a game, this could be exactly what I need.

2.) Discounted Dodger Dogs - Nothing kicks off a party like free Dodger Dogs, right?  I’d even consider dropping the price to 99 cents per dog for the rest of the season.  Plus it’s a less expensive option than parking.

3.) Lowering Ticket Prices – The Dodgers are off to a great start, but the fans haven’t truly come back.  Lowering ticket prices to some degree (maybe when buying tickets of four or more you get a certain percentage discount), you give another incentive to families and groups of friends to come back, while reminding them of the good times at Chavez Ravine.

Those are just a few ideas from me…what would you like to see the new owners do for the fans?  Let’s hear some good ideas!