Posted in Canada, Guest Blogger, Sports, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Are we witnessing the end of America’s Past time?


Even though Major League Baseball (MLB) and it’s players were quite far apart on a deal needed to play a season this year, baseball will be played in 2020 and I don’t know why. Between issues with COVID-19, the locations chosen to play the games in, racism, homophobia, and the underlying issues related to owners refusal to budge on monetary issues and players a demanding full pay while playing less than half a season – the game is broken… Very broken.

Regardless of what is actually happening, this very public bickering could be the beginning of the end for America’s past time.

Take a look at the staggering figures below to get an idea what it must be like for owners of team’s must be facing when they look at paying players ever increasing salaries. Taking into consideration the very slight increase in attendance over the past 40-years (the league added more teams during this period), the total league payroll has gone from a quarter billion dollars to 4 billion dollars a year.

With less people attending games, the teams need to make up the revenue somewhere, right? You can only increase ticket prices so much, plus fans in cities with non-competitive teams historically draw fewer fans than cities with competitive teams. But it theoretically takes revenue to build a team, does it not? If fans stop showing up, then teams don’t have the revenue to field better teams. We’ve all been told that, at one point in time.

That might have been true, back in the day, but in present days, teams – even non-competitive teams – turn profits because of their TV deals.

TV deals range from a low of $20 million dollars to the Miami Marlins to $289 million dollars being paid to the LA Dodgers. The average seems to lie around $45 million dollars. With average payrolls of $133 million, and taking out the TV revenue, it still makes for a huge loss for the owners.

But the players want to get paid, and they want a piece of everything the owners make. When you consider the average of 10K fans per game in Miami, $15K in Tampa Bay, and $16K in Baltimore, you have to think how much longer this can go on.

Looking at Miami, for example, with $20 million dollars a year in TV revenue, and total team payroll of $75 million, the team begins the season down $55 million dollars. At 10K fans per game and an average ticket price of $22/game, the Marlins earn $220,000 per game, or $17,820,000 over 81 home games (around $18 million).

This does not include any additional revenues from parking, concessions or products sold, nor does it account for salaries of employees, advertising, rent, property taxes, concessions to be sold, or other costs like taxation.

What makes matters a bit more obscure is that teams drawing below a certain threshold are provided support from other teams, such as the Yankees who exceeded payroll ceiling by $52 million dollars in 2019 and had to pay a luxury tax of $26 million dollars – or 1/3rd of Miami’s payroll.

Throwing all of these numbers together, and staying in the space of averages and previous year’s reported figures, the Miami Marlins made around $250 million in revenue.

How?

See how the players become skeptical of the owners figures?

Without fans, and that gate revenue, a considerable portion of the revenue disappears.

Attendance is dropping. Speculation is that it’s a result of outdated stadiums or a bad product on the field, but truth be told, it’s likely the $10 hot dog, $20 beer and $30 to park a car that has been driving fans away.

Attendance Avg Game Attendance League Payroll Avg Team Payroll
2019 68,494,752 28,198 $3,999,827,072 $133,327,569
2018 69,671,272 28,659 $3,964,096,903 $132,136,563
2017 72,678,797 29,908 $3,983,892,634 $132,796,421
2016 73,159,044 30,131 $3,761,011,880 $125,367,062
2015 73,719,340 30,349 $3,680,887,206 $122,696,240
2014 73,739,622 30,345 $3,398,869,156 $113,295,638
2013 74,027,037 30,451 $3,150,727,861 $105,024,262
2012 74,859,268 30,806 $2,950,092,506 $98,336,416
2011 73,425,667 30,228 $2,872,256,542 $95,741,884
2010 73,061,763 30,066 $2,757,480,197 $91,916,006
2009 73,430,580 30,218 $2,791,645,244 $93,054,841
2008 78,624,315 32,382 $2,694,090,063 $89,803,002
2007 79,484,718 32,696 $2,499,198,987 $83,306,632
2006 76,043,902 31,306 $2,337,874,617 $77,929,153
2005 74,915,268 30,816 $2,189,013,398 $72,967,113
2004 73,022,972 30,075 $2,078,657,943 $69,288,598
2003 67,630,052 27,831 $2,128,862,128 $70,962,070
2002 67,944,389 28,006 $2,028,877,522 $67,629,250
2001 72,581,101 29,881 $1,969,086,313 $65,636,210
2000 71,358,907 29,377 $1,685,767,602 $56,192,253
1999 70,139,380 28,887 $1,503,589,250 $50,119,641
1998 70,601,147 29,030 $1,285,345,371 $42,844,845
1997 63,168,689 27,876 $1,127,440,885 $40,265,745
1996 60,097,381 26,509 $958,715,050 $34,239,823
1995 50,469,236 25,021 $951,698,367 $33,989,227
1994 50,010,016 31,256 $928,257,287 $33,152,045
1993 70,257,938 30,964 $903,115,234 $32,254,115
1992 55,870,466 26,529 $803,497,323 $30,903,743
1991 56,813,760 27,002 $613,253,418 $23,586,669
1990 54,823,768 26,044 $460,267,193 $17,702,584
1989 55,173,096 26,198 $375,490,540 $14,441,943
1988 52,998,904 25,237 $319,514,557 $12,289,021
1987 52,011,506 24,708 $304,799,122 $11,723,043
1986 47,506,203 22,589 $309,189,518 $11,891,904
1985 46,824,379 22,265 $264,965,530 $10,190,981

 

With players now opting out of the 2020 season and citing issues related to negotiations, racism, sexism, cheating (yes you, Astros and likely Red Sox), it’s not putting the sport of baseball in such a good light. Certainly these cannot result in increased attendance, unless significant changes are made. MLB could lead the way and lure fans back to the stadiums in drove, if they took a back to basics approach, lowered ticket prices, and concession prices, kept people safe and put a diverse product on the field.

Or, they could fight over millions and billions of dollars while North Americans struggle with earning income, racism, sexism, and intolerance, and a general lack of respect for each others lives.

The ball is in your field, MLB… Batter Up!

Posted in Canada, Community, disaster, family, Life, news, Parenting, Toronto

I am sick!


I am sick.

I just heard about the horrific events that occurred in New Zealand, and it makes me so incredibly sad.

I heard an interview this morning with a gentleman who went to pray at a mosque in downtown Toronto and what he said sums it up.

I’m paraphrasing here, but he essentially said that it could be a mosque, church, synagogue, or any other place of worship, but the fact that a “human” would take weapons and video the absolute massacre of defenseless people praying is not only racism, but it’s also murder, and it’s a clear sign of mental illness.

He’s 100% right.

It has happened in churches.

It has happened in synagogues and temples as recently as a couple of months ago.

It has happened in mosques.

 

It has to stop.  NOW.

 

I think the solution is obvious.  People who talk about, praise, and promote violence towards others as a result of their ethnicity or religion should be forced to undergo mental health testing.

While we’re on this topic, I think the same stands for people who willingly enter into gangs for the purpose of theft, violence, and criminal activity.  It has been widely communicated that people who intentionally set out on a life of crime cannot be thinking clearly, it is possible that there is a mental health issue there, and it should be looked it.

But going back to this horrific event, it’s time for the people of the world to finally unite and get rid of this hatred – all hatred – based on religion and ethnicity.

There are a lot of families like you and I whose lives changed forever today, and I guarantee you that they will not stop going to pray, and they will not stop being proud of who they are, and they will not stop contributing to their community and the economy of their country.  What they will do, however, is find ways to eradicate hatred and violence and if we unite to help, we can put a stop to this forever.

That’s not going to bring the families back, but hopefully it will shed some light on the evil intentions of all people who want to do harm to others.

My sincerest condolences go out to the families of those impacted by this tragedy and by all such senseless acts of terror.

 

Posted in Community, family, government, Life, Parenting, politics, urbandaddyblog

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Things We Should Not Lose Sight Of


I have a lot of stuff running through my mind and when I go to write them down so I do not forget, I forget them.  So I’m going to try to empty those items in a Thursday 13 post, whereby I list 13 items on a topic, and the topic this week is 13 Things Happening Around Us We Cannot Lose Sight Of.

13.  Uruguay has a player named Luis Suarez who is a pretty damn incredible soccer player.  He beat England pretty much by himself which must have sucked since he plays in the English Premier League.  Suarez, however, likes to bite his opponents.  He has done this a couple of times before and was most recently suspended 10 games for it.  He clearly has not learned, however, as he bit a player in Uruguay’s FIFA World Cup game.

Now what are they going to do with him?

Should he not have learned by now?

If FIFA were his parents, would biting him back be justified to teach him a lesson?  How about making him write an apology, or punishing him for the lie he told when he denied that it happened.

12.  Russia appears to be trying to re-assemble the USSR which is disturbing, but even more upsetting is the amount of anti-Semitism and gay-bashing going around.  This country clearly wants to remain a super-power by controlling its citizens, however the trampling of basic human rights places them back in the 1960’s and that much be stopped.  Shooting down planes is also not cool at all.

11.  Toronto Mayor Rob Ford return to work on June 30th after 2 months in rehab.  He immediately jumps to the top of the polls for re-election and I don’t know why.  Granted, John Tory has 61% of the popular support, but it appears that Torontonians are poised to make another huge mistake.

10.  In my day job, as a tax collections consultant, I have found the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is taking forever to process simple requests and have been quick to assess but slow to follow-up.  Where is the accountability? #inTAXicating

9.   Miami Heat star LeBron James has opted out of his contract either to become a free agent and join another team, or because he realized he cannot do everything and that Chris Bosh is pretty fragile and useless, like he was in Toronto.  So with a new contract at a cheaper price, the Heat can buy more / better players.  But with LBJ on his way back to Cleveland, and talks of Bosh wanting to go to front-runner and defending champion Houston Rockets, does it make the Bosh-o-saur seem like less of a player, who wants to go where he can get a free ride, not bang in the paint and play safely?

8.   Toronto sports teams suck, and sports fans here are perplexed.  The Raptors and Blue Jays were supposed to suck and be last place in their respective divisions this season, but the Raptors won their division and the Jays are just out of first place in the AL East with pretty terrible starting pitching.  The Maple Leafs, on the other hand, and the Toronto FC, made changes and were expected to at the very least, make the playoffs but both bombed.

7.   Starbucks Brezza coffee is fantastic!

6.   I feel bad for business owners who do not do their homework… In my neighbourhood, for example, a new restaurant just opened selling food which I’m pretty sure no one will eat.  Worse, it opened across from a religious centre where very few would have / have ever tried that food.  (Shaking Head)

5.   Did they find that missing plane yet?  Sad.

4.   5-years yesterday since Michael Jackson died.  I seem to hear more and more of him on the radio each and every day.

3.   Girls and Woman in countries all over the world are being kidnapped and tortured for no reason whatsoever.  This needs to be stopped, like yesterday.  Until each and every person in the world, man, woman and trans-gendered are allowed to live free and safe from persecution, we have a long way to go.

2.   Hate is taught.  For a child to grow up in a free and democratic country and think it is okay to vandalize something with hate messages which probably would have gotten him jailed, tortured or killed in his country, means his parents and community are breeding hate and that cannot and should not ever be tolerated.  Shame.

1.   Education is the key, my friends, to pretty much everything.  Education, exercise, never trying drugs, and using common sense will lead to a better human race and should be the corner-stone for a new way to bring up our children and judge others.

 

#DontBeALemon

#BeARoseBud