First, a quick reminder: don’t forget to vote in yesterday’s poll about a potential McCovey Chronicles community meetup date at AT&T Park this season. If you’re interested in getting out from behind the computer to see live baseball along with fellow McCoven, here’s your chance!
Second, let’s examine the argument that the Giants are not installing a brand new, high definition, $10 million, 10,700 square foot scoreboard just to distract from the product on the field. Henry Schulman’s Twitter tirade last night accused Online Fans of being ingrates and straight up mad (as in psychotic).
Or, they have a 20-year-old stadium that requires upkeep and modernization and are actually spending money to do it rather than let the place become run down and dated. A $10 million gimmick. https://t.co/DPffRZOHPh— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) January 4, 2019
If the #sfgiants had the #marlins payroll and spent $10m on a scoreboard, pitchforks might be warranted. Giants spent $196.99999999 million in 2018 on a team that happened to be bad again. Thus the to those who somehow think one is related to the other,— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) January 4, 2019
Fans have a right to voice their displeasure when a team is headed in the wrong direction and doesn’t seem willing to fix it. Don’t go. Don’t watch. Scream on Twitter. To me, tho, it takes a special kind of spoiled to rip a team that built its own park, won 3 titles and ..... https://t.co/S3AoYf02XU— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) January 4, 2019
I appreciate how Schulman often provides good material for these BPs. In this particular case, his argument is that it takes years to plan and execute an expensive capital improvement project (this $10 million represents the largest such improvement since AT&T Park opened), hence, there’s no chance it’s related to the Giants being one of the losingest franchises in baseball since the second half of 2016.
His argument — his protestations — are betrayed by his very own article on the project.
Giving fans one more reason to go to the ballpark is the prime motivator for teams in this arms race for the best visual experience.
“It’s about getting them to come back,” said Jay Parker, a vice president of Daktronics Inc., a company based in South Dakota that constructed the video systems at 23 current big-league parks. Daktronics had hoped to build the new AT&T Park board but lost out to Mitsubishi.
“You can’t always predict how a team is going to do on the field, but you can certainly predict how to entertain them on a high level,” Parker said. “If your team is not performing the way you want to, you want to give them an entertainment value that has them wanting to come back.”
That doesn’t mean the team thought, “Hmm, we’re pretty bad and we’re going to be pretty bad for a while, so let’s just put a giant TV in the stadium to pacify the fans”, but it does mean that they took competitiveness into consideration when planning and approving the project. For-profit enterprises only spend money to make money.
In the face of all the money the team will lose over the next two seasons due to falling attendance — it dipped 2% from 2016-2017 and 4.5% from 2017-2018 — something had to be done. The scoreboard isn’t a direct response, but it’s part of a planned series of responses. The Giants are a responsible business entity for its shareholders.