It has been widely reported that the Jays’ home series from June 25-27th vs. the Phillies has been moved to Philadelphia because of concerns surrounding the G20 summit taking place in Toronto at the same time.
This is an unacceptable solution. First of all, if I am a contending team in the NL, I am losing my mind that the Phillies get 84 home games (despite playing as visitors in the Jays series) while I only get 81.
As far as gate receipts/this being a cash grab is concerned, I am not going to pass judgement because the specifics have not be released and we are not privvy to what the negotiation discussions were like. To do so would be ridiculous.
Update: The revenue will be shared
The Jays will lose game revenue from three games, a sum that will be made up in an agreement to share game revenues with the Phillies when the series is played at Citizens Park.
“We have a great relationship with the Phillies over the years (opponents in the 1993 World Series; then Philly manager Jim Fregosi also managed in Toronto; ex-Jays GM Pat Gillick also held that post in Philly),” Beeston said.
“That’s why we are able to do this (revenue sharing agreement), but it’s a big expense for them to put the games on. At the end of the day, if we are revenue neutral (break even), we’ll be happy.
It just so happens a 3.5hr drive down highway 401 will land you in the middle of one of the finest baseball stadiums in all of MLB, Comerica Park. And it just so happens to be vacant during the dates in question.
Moving the game to Detroit allows the game to be played in a neutral site while giving those Toronto fans who have been pining all year to see Halladay play Toronto a better chance to do so. To appease season-ticket holder anxiety, the Jays could show some class and arrange for a shuttle service to and from Detroit for the games.
Detroit would surely be amenable to hosting their formal rivals as they need all of the tourist dollars they can get.
If that doesn’t work, fans wouldn’t need a passport to go to Montreal….Crescent Street sure beats burned-out buildings in Detroit for post-game shenanigans.
Addendum: Beeston held a press conference at 3pm today and said Detroit and Cleveland were both considered and ruled out because they didn’t want both teams to be visitors. Weak excuse.
Doubleheaders were discussed but ruled out because the details of the G20 conference were not yet finalized.