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Bye Bye Sidewinders?
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B. O. N. D.
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Joined: 10 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What TSWINDERS said. When I'm down in Tucson going to games, it's quicker for me to travel from E. Grant and Mountain Rd. area to TEP, than it is here for me to get from the Mission District to AT&T Park. Traffic is hell here and so is MUNI. Even when there's traffic on I-10 it's STILL better in Tucson. What a bunch of whiners. Rolling Eyes

This is seriously dampening my desire to move to Tucson though. Heck, I already get to see more games up here! Laughing
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MWS
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems to me you cant expect cities and citizens to support baseball 12 months out of the year within driving distance. Other cities have problems like this also. How absurd is it that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays were told no by the city of St Petersburg when asked if they could use Al Lang Stadium for a Gulf Coast League team ? The stadium is 9 miles from Tropicana Field and the D-Rays had to sign another 2 year deal to play all the way up in New York with the Princeton Devil Rays.
Also, Yankee fans do not support their Rookie league team which is right in their backyard. There total draw was just 115,395 fans It was so bad last year that the Yankees had to buy the team and this year it will be operated by an outside marketing team.
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MWS
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, if you ever want to use numbers to further your argument on why your team should stay:

http://sbvteam.com.ismmedia.com/ISM2//Text%20Blocks/SBV-2006Rankings.pdf
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Robert S.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know what it is exactly about driving in Tucson, but I hated to do it when I lived there - and I like driving! I drive all over the Valley to see Spring Training each year. Five miles in Tucson feels like fifty miles in Phoenix. I'd have gone to tons of Sidewinders games over the last several years if I was down there, though I'm obviously an outlier. Christ, I voluntarily spent money to attend Diamondbacks games in '04 and '05.

As already mentioned, if they couldn't get people to show up for last year's team there is no hope. Unless they just don't spend any money marketing them anymore . . . ?
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Bob A
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, although I've lived here for 40+ years, Tucson is a back-water, short-sighted town. Example One: Someone mentioned driving in Tucson: We missed the boat on putting a cross-town freeway in 30 years ago. It's too late now. There's no where to put it. The population continues to grow, more drivers on the same roads and---guess what--it takes a lot longer than it does in Phoenix (excluding rush hour) to get anywhere.

Example Two: Phoenix put America West and Bank One in the middle of downtown and revitalized the whole area. There are now restaraunts, hotels, nightclubs, etc. and the entire area is thriving. Tucson, with the benefit of studying this, decided to put TEP on the far south side of town next to just about nothing and our downtown area is still a dying pit.

Now it appears that we are losing our AAA team which has played here for 38 years. The owner tried virtually everything to bring in fans but to no avail. He could not overcome the first two examples plus he had to deal with the constant heat. Unfortunately there are few minor league venues that have a roof and air conditioning like Chase Field. Imagine how quickly any franchise would move out of Phoenix if the fans had to sit outside to watch the team play.

The final indignity was, in this morning's paper, ballpark officials are saying that losing the Sidwewinders wont necessarily be a bad thing. They can have more concerts and festivals and tractor-pulls or whatever they want and don't have to worry about the home teams schedule or maintaining the grass. GOD FORBIDE WE SHOULD HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT A BASEBALL TEAM HAVING TO PLAY IN A BASEBALL STADIUM!

I am devastated by not only losing this team but also losing our connection to the Diamondbacks. I do hope however that, in the future when, after a couple of years, we get a AA team in here we either A) build them a new downtwon stadium or B) return to Hi Corbett field and not inconvenience the good folks at TEP by trying to play baseball out there.
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TAP
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All great points Bob, and you have my heartfelt sympathy. The only point I might question is:

Bob A wrote:
Unfortunately there are few minor league venues that have a roof and air conditioning like Chase Field. Imagine how quickly any franchise would move out of Phoenix if the fans had to sit outside to watch the team play.

IIRC, the Giants' AAA franchise did okay while it was in Phoenix for more than 30 years without a roof.
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Bob A
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Point taken. Maybe Zucker should have researched them to find out how they did it.
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dirtygary
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shoewizard wrote:
Thanks, I didn't realize that.

So.....if you are the D backs, do you sink money into a team that is at the bottom of the PCL in attendance, even last year when they had one of the best PCL teams in modern history?

I mean, if Tucson folk were not into minor league baseball last year, they never will be. I certainly have doubts it's a good investment for the team. But I am not privy to the numbers, and really don't know how much money the sidewinders lose.

This was from a column in the Daily Star.
Quote:
By selling the team, he says he'll get back what he's spent and cover the losses he incurred.

He bought the team in 1999 for $8M. Selling it for $13.5M. So he's either invested or lost $5.5M since 1999. At the most, the team operates at about a $700K loss.
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shoewizard
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
At the most, the team operates at about a $700K loss
.

Shit, thats what they paid Randy Choate in 2006
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dirtygary
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it wouldn't be anything for the club to purchase the franchise if they really want that location.

Further, it looks like Casa Grande wants to get into the Spring Training game. They could build a facility and attempt to lure a AA team to compliment the team that trains there. It'd be pretty cool to have the Org's AAA and AA just down the road.
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Polar Bear Fan
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was an article that mentioned the Sidewinders had been losing around $200k per year in the early part of the Zucker era. While it's possible this number has risen, I seriously doubt that Zucker isn't making a profit off of this sale.

Also, I don't think the Texas League is a viable option right now. Most of the teams in that league are playing (or will be playing) in newer facilities, and the other two don't seem to be likely to move. San Antonio has a lease until around 2016, and Tulsa's new owner has spent nearly 30 years with the team.

The only real chance Tucson has at an affiliated team is in the California League (either Bakersfield or High Desert). Most likely, the independent Golden Baseball League or American Association will be playing in Tucson come 2009.
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tucsondbacksfan
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI- Tucson is now so big that to get from my house (NW part of town) to the southeast side is well over an hour without traffic. To TEP from here is never less than a half hour and now is more with the 1-10 freeway construction.
While AJ was staying with us for ST, he usually left here around between 5:30 and 6 am in order to avoid the morning rush. But I remember him one day saying that the drive back here had taken him 1:15.
I know distance shouldn't be an excuse, it isn't really for us. We go in spite of that, BUT the ballpark isn't situated in the most accessible part of town for many folks.
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shoewizard
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. I guess it's a lot worse than many of us "Northerners" had realized. Laughing
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TAP
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shoewizard wrote:
Thanks for the info. I guess it's a lot worse than many of us "Northerners" had realized.

Damned Yankee. Laughing
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wedge
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Joined: 23 Aug 2006
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of the problem getting to that park is that it's really REALLY hard to get into it, particularly the parking lot. Just attempting the turn off of Ajo should get you a special medal, and no real major roads lead to the ballpark without any sort of major traffic issues at all, and it isn't a pleasant drive. I live not too far from TEP, and it still is a really ass drive that takes about 2-3 times longer than it really should.

There's been rumors about developing some land around Speedway/I-10 area for a new facility, but for what good that will do, particularly at this stage in the game, I don't know.
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Espo
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No offense but everyone is defending Zucker but couldn't some of it had to do with bad business practices and a lack of understanding by himself and his GM. I don't think you can just say that the team lost money because of the city. It is the GM and owners job in minor league baseball to get people to come to the park with gimmicks and interesting promotions and those have been lacking in Tucson since Zucker has owned the team.
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wedge
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Espo wrote:
No offense but everyone is defending Zucker but couldn't some of it had to do with bad business practices and a lack of understanding by himself and his GM. I don't think you can just say that the team lost money because of the city. It is the GM and owners job in minor league baseball to get people to come to the park with gimmicks and interesting promotions and those have been lacking in Tucson since Zucker has owned the team.


They did promoting, it just wasn't overly effective. It's also not really appealing when you have interns doing most of the marketing/promotional work, anyway. They ran commercials for a bit, but they were really poorly done, and there was little mention of them outside of the media. I think if they did more promotional work, they really could've prevented losing the money they did.

Every thursday home game was effective (they'd pull close to 10k on thursdays when they did it right) because of $1 drinks, just give people more incentive like that to come out to the ballpark more regularly and that'd be that.
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dbackfanron
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They should have handed out posters of Zuckers wife at the beginning of the season. The initial poster would just be her head and an outline of her body and with each game the fans attended they would get a piece of the picture puzzle of her in a very skimpy bikini. Sorta like "Major League" in reverse.
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sb24ws2005
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of it is marketing. The Sidewinders do a terrible job of marketing their product(s). The commercials are few and far between (and they're dumb/pointless/useless. Throw on top of it the fact that Arizona people (not just Tucson) are shitty sports fans and its a recipe for disaster.
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Justin
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dbackfanron wrote:
They should have handed out posters of Zuckers wife at the beginning of the season. The initial poster would just be her head and an outline of her body and with each game the fans attended they would get a piece of the picture puzzle of her in a very skimpy bikini. Sorta like "Major League" in reverse.


Sorry to raise a dead thread...but this made me laugh. I went to high school with Jay Zuckers daughter. THe last thing I want to see is her in anything skimpy...

edit- his daughter and his wife look alike. btw his daughters name is jayme. yes thats how its spelled.
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tucsondbacksfan
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sb24ws2005 wrote:
Part of it is marketing. The Sidewinders do a terrible job of marketing their product(s). The commercials are few and far between (and they're dumb/pointless/useless. Throw on top of it the fact that Arizona people (not just Tucson) are shitty sports fans and its a recipe for disaster.


Ditto, ditto ditto. When you saw a commercial, it was the same old boring stuff. Couple that with the fact that on a good day, they might have had 4k in attendance.
I am so incredibly bummed that Sidewinders are going away after this season. I see it as the beginning of the exodus from Tucson for baseball. Too friggin' bad.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Associated Press tonight wrote:
(AP) TUCSON, Ariz. - The owners of the Arizona Diamondbacks' former Triple-A team in Tucson will pay Pima County $48,000 to close out its contract for Tucson Electric Park.

The contract between the county and SK Baseball was scheduled to end in November 2012.

SK Baseball moved the former Tucson Sidewinders minor league baseball team to Nevada, where they began Pacific Coast League play this past season as the Reno Aces.
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Justin
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crying or Very sad Mad
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TheDesertSurfer
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Polar Bear Fan wrote:
There was an article that mentioned the Sidewinders had been losing around $200k per year in the early part of the Zucker era. While it's possible this number has risen, I seriously doubt that Zucker isn't making a profit off of this sale.

Also, I don't think the Texas League is a viable option right now. Most of the teams in that league are playing (or will be playing) in newer facilities, and the other two don't seem to be likely to move. San Antonio has a lease until around 2016, and Tulsa's new owner has spent nearly 30 years with the team.

The only real chance Tucson has at an affiliated team is in the California League (either Bakersfield or High Desert). Most likely, the independent Golden Baseball League or American Association will be playing in Tucson come 2009.

There is no way the California League would ever come as far east as Tucson. The furthest east currently is Inland Empire 66ers based in San Bernardino. They might come out as far as Indio in the near future, but I doubt any further.
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TheDesertSurfer
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dirtygary wrote:
Yeah, it wouldn't be anything for the club to purchase the franchise if they really want that location.

Further, it looks like Casa Grande wants to get into the Spring Training game. They could build a facility and attempt to lure a AA team to compliment the team that trains there. It'd be pretty cool to have the Org's AAA and AA just down the road.

The only way you'll ever see AA baseball west of Midland, Texas is for an entire new AA league to be created. Not much chance of that happening.
The next association team to go into El Paso, if ever, will be a AAA team. With a league as far flung as Springfield, MO; Little Rock AR, and Springdale, AR I doubt they would go as far west as Tucson. The Texas League has opened new venues in Corpus Christi, TX and Frisco, TX in recent years as well as Springfield. Looks like that is the limit of their geographical view.
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