So, at last night's state of the FrenchFries event for season ticket holders, Shi Davidi reported that Paul Beeston is boasting that the Blue Jays can potentially support a future payroll of $150 Million!
This is one of my primary arguments as a blogger. I consider it my best argument to date, For reference:
-Starting here (Part 1) I looked at how the big spenders generate money for payroll.
-I followed up with some Forbes data here (part 2) but this was the most underwhelming post in the series.
-I concluded here (Part 3) with a deeply in depth look at where the Blue Jays can, and do, generate revenue. I had compared it to some of the other big spending clubs (most notably the Yankees and Red Sox) and concluded that the team could easily afford to spend $150-$160 Million in payroll, and still be a profitable contributor to the Rogers Media Empire.
The other thing that I've noticed is the ever-increasing attention that the Rogers Media division is paying to the Baseball Club. Rogers Sportsnet hired Buck Martinez to do weekday play-by-play. He has been excellent. Buck brings a dramatically increased level of credibility to the Jays broadcasts. Hopefully, in time, this will draw more local fans.
Something else has happened on a local level. (Sportsnet Radio) The Fan 590 have hired Jeff Blair to handle the Mid-Morning airwaves. He continuously brings on high-quality baseball guests (Alex Anthopoulos, John Farrell, Paul Beeston in the last week. Jon-Paul Morosi and Jonah Keri and Jon Rauch the week prior) This continues to increase the level of sophistication of the average Toronto baseball fan, and again, adds credibility to the Franchise.
When people talk about the buzz that this team has been generating, I think that little moves like those get far too overlooked. Considering that it is the same company that owns all three entities (The Team, The TV Network and the Radio Station) it's nice to see that they are maximizing their (probably) most profitable asset. By building the brand in this manner, the Jays will continue to see ratings growth on TV and Radio. Ratings growth translates directly to better advertising revenue. More revenue can be used to fund bigger payroll. All of this has a further spill off, increased live attendance.
Make no mistake. This is a team that is on the rise, and is about to become a dominant player in the Toronto Sports scene. The state of the franchise is: Excellent and getting better.