Biz Notes: Winter Classic, sponsorships, schedule changes


As Tom Kaminski in Chopper 880 continues to chart the demolition of Yankee Stadium, we have some business stories to tackle concerning the Yanks and their new home.

Will the Yankee Bowl interfere with a Winter Classic?

On New Years Day in Boston, the NHL will host its second annual Winter Classic. The Bruins and the Flyers will face off on a hockey rink in Fenway Park, and it will be very, very cold. Still, the event has been a boon for the beleaguered NHL, and the league would love to host a marquee event on the grandest stage in baseball. To that end, Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy explores just how soon it will be until Yankee Stadium could host the Winter Classic. The answer, unfortunately, is not too soon.

Leahy’s piece delves in depth into the inter-sport problems. Because the NHL requires a seven-day build time to prep the outdoor venue for a hockey game and because the Yanks have committed to hosting a bowl game and perhaps another college football game at Yankee Stadium over the next few winters, the schedules simply do not work out. Leahy notes, though, that hockey could either host a New York Winter Classic at CitiField or the new football stadium in New Jersey. Otherwise, the league could build up the event in smaller markets and make a New York debut on New Years Day in 2014.

I’m not a huge hockey fan, but it would be great to see the Winter Classic come to New York and Yankee Stadium. Bringing the NHL’s top regular season event to baseball’s center stage would truly be special.

Yomiuri Shimbun out but 2010 sponsorships top 2009 figures

On Friday, Sports Business Journal had an update on the state of the Yanks’ sponsorships. After winning the World Series, the Yanks have seen their sponsorship rates for 2010 already surpass the 2009 figured. Team officials declined to name a price or the number of new sponsors, but Yankees COO Lonn Trost was pleased with the current pace of activity. “We have already exceeded last year’s sponsorship revenue and continue to track very well on that,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, SBJ notes that the Yomiuri Shimbun, the Japanese newspaper who had been advertising in the outfield since 2002, neglected to re-up their deal with the Yanks. While many are inclined to blame the departure of Hideki Matsui for the end of this deal, Trost told SBJ that Yomiuri had already declined to renew, citing a distressed global newspaper industry.

SBJ also notes that the Yanks are “performing several facility tweaks” to the new stadium but adds that the “second-year punch list is relatively small compared to those for other recently opened ballparks.” The trade notes that the grandstand will now include “party deck” but declined to reveal more. We’ll have more about that once we uncover the details.

Yankees, Sox adjust opening week schedule

Finally, we end with some news on the first week of the season. The Yankees and Red Sox have officially closed their two-day gap at the beginning of the year. Opening Day will still be on a Sunday night in early April in Boston, but game two of the season will now be on Tuesday, April 6. Game three will be Wednesday, April 7, and both teams will be off on Monday and Thursday. All three games that week will be at night, and temperatures are expected to be in the low 40s come first pitch. Starting the season in Boston at night strikes me as foolish, but that’s the way it goes.

Categories : News


  1. Drew says:

    The good thing about April Boston night baseball is Robbie gets to dress up like a ninja.

  2. JobaJr says:

    Go Bruins!!! Winter Classic is gonna be crazy!

  3. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    Ben, do you have any idea how many teams have guaranteed home scheduling dates? Like the Red Sox are always home for Patriots Day, and Cincinnati is always home for the opener, but are there a lot of other locked-in days? It’s just ridiculous to think that the Red Sox have to open at home. That statement has nothing to do with the Sox, per se, it’s just a matter of opening at a cold weather site at 8:00 pm.

    • No idea. That’s a good question though. I’d have to take a look through the past few seasons. I think the Cubs maybe too?

      • Whitey14 says:

        I think Boston should be gauranteed a road opener, not just for their benefit, but for the benefit of their opponents as well. Growing up in Maine, where it’s even colder, playing baseball in April was horrific. All Northeast teams should open with 9-12 game road trip. (as long as it’s not in Japan ;-)

        • Christos says:

          I went to Maine for two weeks over the summer. Acadia National Park has some of the most beautiful sites on earth.

          • Steve H says:

            Beautiful sights=John Lackey’s wife?

          • Whitey14 says:

            Acadia is one of my favorite places in the world. I went to college just an hour and half downeast of Bar Harbor and was very pleased when I met my wife and she, too, was a fan of Acadia. We go for a Vacation every summer and I agree, some of the most beautiful sites on earth are right there.

  4. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    The trade notes that the grandstand will now include “party deck” but declined to reveal more.

    Maybe the Yankees will build a ship like they have for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and everytime the team scores a run they fire the cannons?

    FYI, The cannons have been very silent this year. Malcolm Glazer is saving a lot of money on cannon fodder. He can use that cash to pay off some debt that he has on Manchester United.

  5. Dan says:

    devils should play at giant stadium
    islanders at citi
    rangers at yankees stadium

    should be interesting

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

      Rangers should play at Old Yankee Stadium. ZZZINNNGGG!!!

      (I live in Florida, I barely no what hockey is. Are the Rangers good?)

      • X says:

        rangers should play at central park. no their pretty bad right now.

      • Tom Zig says:

        What happens in Florida when it snows? Is it like the apocalypse?

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

          Well. I’ve seen snow twice since I lived here. One time was a few years ago, and it was only flurries at night. The other time I was in 2nd grade and it coated the entire ground, but it all melted by 10am.
          BTW, Christmas Day is supposed to be 75 and sunny.

  6. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:


  7. So I guess Matsui wasn’t really worth all that much to the Yankees in revenue from Japan? Or are there other revenue streams that aren’t included in what Trost was talking about?

    • Accent Shallow says:

      I’m assuming the main off-field value of Matsui to the Yankees wasn’t Japanese advertising revenue, but Japanese consumer interest in the Yankee brand.

      • X says:

        i thought this way too, but im sure winning the WS is what brings in the most revenue and consumer interest so if the yankees felt their best option was without Matsui this year, then they don’t really care all that much..

    • Ed says:

      Sell a sign in the stadium for $1m/year to a Japanese company because Matsui’s here. He leaves, you sell it to the American company that had the next highest bid, and you get $0.9m instead.

      Depending on what you want the numbers to say, you can claim Matsui lead to $1m in income or to $100k.

      I’m guessing the $15m figure we heard a few weeks ago was more like the $1m number in my example than the $100.

  8. YankeeJosh says:

    “All three games that week will be at night, and temperatures are expected to be in the low 40s come first pitch. Starting the season in Boston at night strikes me as foolish, but that’s the way it goes.”

    Gotta love the River Avenue Blues Three and a Half month super-Dopler 2800 radar for giving that weather report!

  9. dch says:

    Shouldn’t the team that wins the World Series get the honor of starting the first game of the season at their home park? I mean isn’t that a no brainer?

    • larryf says:

      no big deal. It’s been shown that we can spot the Sox the first 8 games and still destroy them by the end of the year!

  10. ADam says:

    I’m so happy I don’t have to look at horrendous Japanese Ad in the OF anymore…

    Some sad pics of the OYS….

  11. Chris says:

    If the NHL had any balls, they’d schedule a Panther/Lightning Winter Classic at the new Marlins ballpark in 3 years. The mere possibility of players skating through water should attract sufficient viewers.

  12. THE KID says:

    I got an old newspaper article around here somewhere, but didn’t the Yankees win the World Series last year?

    Why the hell are we opening on the road and even more so, on the road in Boston?


  13. JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

    I thought this was the thread where people write “Hah, hockey? Is that the sport Eskimos in Canada play?!” and then the hockey fans get all mad and stuff?

  14. Amol says:

    I’d just like to point out that the Winter Classic has already been to New York, as the first one was held in Buffalo. I realize you were talking about New York City, but I felt someone needed to represent for upstate.

  15. [...] a decline in revenues with Matsui on the Angels? Yesterday, we learned that the Shimbun would not have renewed their sponsorship in 2010 regardless of Hideki’s team. But the Yanks have already sold the empty billboard [...]

  16. [...] Yankees tried to bring the NHL’s annual Winter Classic to the Bronx three years ago, but conflicts with other events at the Stadium prevented it from happening. The Rangers are playing in this year’s outdoor [...]

  17. [...] to bring the NHL’s Winter Classic to the Bronx since their new stadium opened in 2009, but scheduling conflicts with the Pinstripe Bowl have prevented that from happening. Despite the team’s continued [...]

  18. [...] trying to bring the NHL’s Winter Classic to the Bronx since their new stadium opened in 2009, but scheduling conflicts with the Pinstripe Bowl have prevented that from happening. Despite the team’s continued efforts, [...]

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