Monday, December 20, 2004

Actual on-field news

There's a misguided editorial in the Post claiming that parking meters alone can't come up with $100M in revenue. At his numbers, the parking people will make $16.2M a year from games. If the rights extend for 20 or 30 years, the money will absolutely be made back, and the return will look pretty good to the investors. It's no short-term investment, though.

The Post also did a poll that proves, IMHO, that District residents aren't too informed about what's really happening here. People really do believe that, if a stadium doesn't get built, there would be money to go to schools, and such.

Did I say something about on-field news? Yup. Today is the day that Bowden needs to decide whether or not to offer arbitration to those players who are under team control, or non-tender them. According to the Post, Bowden came to terms with one of the arbitration-eligible players, Joey Eischen, a left handed reliever who spent most of the season out with elbow injuries. Eischen agreed to $1.04M for the year, non-guaranteed. I assume that the amount he gets paid is related to the amount of time he spends on the 25-man roster in 2005, but it isn't specific. He's had a lot of problems with injuries over the past few years, but when he's healthy, he's supposedly a great lefty out of the bullpen.

Brad Wilkerson and Brian Schneider will definitely be offered arbitration. There was a rumor going around that Nick Johnson would be non-tendered, but that would be so daft that I can't even imagine Bowden doing it. T.J. Tucker might be a candidate. While he was arguably our best person out of the bullpen last year behind Cordero and Ayala, he might get more in arbitration than he's worth.

The other two who I think are at risk are Tomo Ohka and Tony Armas, Jr., both of whom I would be disappointed to lose, particularly since it sounds like both will have no problem being ready for opening day. I think Armas is more likely than Ohka to be non-tendered, and hopefully that will only happen if Bowden has good reason to believe that the guy really won't play much next year.

The good news from the Post article is the implication that Bowden won't non-tender more than one player, if any. If anyone goes, my money is on Armas, but we'll know for sure by the end of the day.


At 4:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see, $16.2 million a year times 20 years is ... $324 million. Wow. Why not just pay for the whole darn stadium with the parking money instead of selling the $324 million goose for $100 million today?

Oh, right. Because Linda Cropp is involved. Being a former DC schoolteacher, she's all, like, smart and stuff.

On the Post, today's stories infuriatingly talk as if the 50 percent "private financing" is the problem. No, actually, MLB has said it doesn't care how the city comes up with the money. MLB's only problem is Cropp's sunset provision. The funding authority expires in June 2005 if the Council hasn't certified $142 million in private funding plans, and baseball doesn't want to be in the position of playing in RFK only to find out in June that DC won't build the stadium at all. But the Post continues to contribute to public ignorance (and, by factually misinforming its readers, render them "mentally dumber," in the immortal words of Doug Mientkiewicz) by writing that the "private financing" is the problem. Bad Post! Bad Post! Go to your kennel!

At 9:20 AM, Blogger ExpatriatedNEGuy said...

Regarding Ohka...I haven't figured him out since his days in the Red Sox system. He appears to be one of those guys that was great at AAA and can't make the jump.

Maybe he'll have a breakout season when the franchise settles down.

At 12:45 PM, Blogger SuperNoVa said...

Actually, John, the $16.2 million a year is based on 10,000 cars at $20 per car, if I get your math right ($200,000 K per game x 81 games = $16.2 million)

I doubt that you'd be getting $20 per car on parking meters...not enough quarters for that.

The sheer number of parking meters you are talking about is staggering, as well. On a typical DC block (e.g., E street between 5th and 6th), you can park between 10-20 cars on each side, meaning 20-40 per street is the total. 10,000 cars requires at minimum 250 blocks - roughly a 10 block (1 mile) by 25 block (2.5 miles) area ... and that's if you can hit the 40 maximum.

I think a more realistic assessment would be something like 20 per block over a 100 block area (i.e., furthest away is a 5 block walk) - 2,000 cars per day. Then assume you can get $4 from the meters per game (will you charge for the meters otherwise on non-game periods?), and you get $8,000 per game, $640,000 per year. At BEST, a 5% discount rate gets you a total of maybe $12.8 million in financing for those spots.

Any thought that a parking meter scheme would generate $100 million in revenues is just pie-in-the-sky optimism.

Now, if you were talking about having the city retain the parking rights at the games, I think a 10,000 car, $15 per spot estimate is OK ($20 per game sounds really high). That would get you about $12 million per year, which would easily support a financing of $140 million.

The problem is, I think the parking revenues from the stadium were already promised to the Nats...but you'd have to check the Baseball Agreement for that.

This does not, of course, account for the acquisition costs of the land or the costs of building parking structurs.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger John said...

It's been a while since I've seen the details, but they're going to have a parking garage that can handle most of those 10,000 cars, and the deal will definitely include that.

For street parking, they're going to use the new-style "meters", where each block has a thing you can stick a credit card in, then you get a ticket to stick on your dash. You can absolutely bet that game-time parking even for street spots will be up above $10 per car per game.

At 2:15 PM, Blogger SuperNoVa said...

Parking revenues are included in the Baseball Stadium Agreement, and therefore "private financing" created by the sale of those rights would thus breach the agreement:

"Stadium Revenues" means all revenues generated from or by reason of Baseball Events or other uses of the Leased Property permitted under Section 6.03, including without limitation with respect to Baseball Events and other uses permitted under Section 6.03, the proceeds from the sale of tickets or other rights to admission; proceeds from the sale of seat licenses or other rights to purchase tickets or admission; all revenues derived from the sale of rights of any sort to televise, broadcast, transmit, record, advertise or promote in any manner the events or promotions at the Leased Property or any description or account of the events or promotions at the Leased Property, all proceeds from the sale at or from the Leased Property of concessions, memorabilia, souvenirs, or other products and services; all marketing, advertising, promotional and naming revenues derived from or arising out of the Leased Property or the events or promotions held there or products, services, information or media content sold from there; all proceeds from assignments, subleases or licenses of Leased Property; and all revenues from the sale of parking or rights to parking at the Leased Property.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger John said...

That'd put a dent in the revenue for sure. But if they end up only building a 4,000 car garage on the leased land, they could build a bigger garage nearby for others to manage.

If the capacity goes down, they just string out the amount of time where the company has rights to the revenues from those facilities.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger tmk67 said...

The Eischen contract is 20% lower than he made last year, which, under the CBA, is the largest salary cut the Nats could sign him for. Eischen was hurt for much of last year, but he is left-handed and had a wonderful year in 2002 and a good one in 2003. Had he been non-tendered, some team would have picked him up. It is worth taking a chance on his recovery, and if he is healthy, he could even generate some trade value for the Nats this season to a contenting team looking for a lefty reliever down the stretch.

At 4:15 PM, Blogger John said...

Oh, I like the Eischen contract. I am all for resigning each of the arbitration eligible guys under team control!


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