One MLB team is actually lowering ticket prices

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One MLB team is actually lowering ticket prices

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Mets are cutting some ticket prices for the third straight year at Citi Field after another losing season. The team said Tuesday it will introduce what is known as "dynamic" pricing for individual tickets -- meaning the cost of seats may fluctuate based on demand. The Mets, beset by financial and attendance problems, said Tuesday they are cutting the cost of season tickets by up to 39 percent. Prices were lowered by 10-20 percent after Citi Field's first season, then by an average of 14 percent following 2010. New York drew 2.35 million in its third season at Citi Field, down from 2.57 million last year and 3.15 million in 2009. It was the Mets' lowest total since 2004, when they played at Shea Stadium. For much of this year, tickets at Citi Field often sold below list price on StubHub.com. The Mets said the "dynamic" price in areas where season tickets are sold will not be allowed to drop below the discounted price offered for season tickets at any point in the season. The dynamic pricing system is programmed by Qcue Inc., which the Mets said already manages dynamic pricing for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. The Mets said the price of 80 percent of seats in season plans will be cut by at least 5 percent, including 57 percent that will be reduced by at least 10 percent. Thirty-five percent of seats will be lowered by at least 20 percent, including 18 percent that will drop by at least 30 percent. The biggest cuts are in the Ceasars Club and Promenade. All season-ticket holders will be given access to the Caesars Club, Acela Club and Promenade Club. In addition, the Champions Club, one level above field level, will become a members-only area where the ticket price includes food and nonalcoholic drinks -- much like the Legends Suite seats at new Yankee Stadium across town. The trustee trying to recover money for victims of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme is seeking up to 386 million from the Mets' ownership group -- 83.3 million in fictitious profits and 301 million in principal.

Source: Kaepernick visits 49ers headquarters

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Source: Kaepernick visits 49ers headquarters

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who faces an uncertain future with the 49ers, visited team headquarters in Santa Clara on Wednesday morning, according to a league source.

Kaepernick was likely there to meet with 49ers general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan for the first time since they were hired to replace Trent Baalke and Chip Kelly.

On Feb. 9, Lynch said Kaepernick “reached out” to him shortly after he was hired as general manager. Lynch said he and Kaepernick planned on meeting in the near future.

Earlier this week, Lynch said he would have open and honest communication with Kaepernick about the club’s plan at the quarterback position.

“The one thing we will do very well with Kap is we’ll communicate,” Lynch said Tuesday on 95.7 The Game. “And I think that’s very important for both sides. Like everything else, that process is well in the works. We’ll continue to do that and we’ll be very up-front with him, in terms of what we’re thinking and we’ll want to know what he’s thinking, as well.”

Kaepernick and the 49ers agreed to a restructured contract in October. The sides tore up the final four years of Kaepernick’s contract and replaced it with a deal that enables Kaepernick to opt out to become an unrestricted free agent in March. Kaepernick's non-guaranteed scheduled pay is $14.9 million for the 2017 season.

Kaepernick does not currently have agent representation, according to the NFL Players Association.

He started 11 games last season after replacing Blaine Gabbert in the starting lineup and bounced back with a solid statistical season. Kaepernick threw 16 touchdown passes and just four interceptions for a passer rating of 90.7. He also rushed for 468 yards and a career-best 6.8-yards per carry.

 

MLB players’ union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

MLB players’ union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

NEW YORK -- There won't be any wild pitches on intentional walks this season.

The players' association has agreed to Major League Baseball's proposal to have intentional walks without pitches this year.

"It doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I know they're trying to cut out some of the fat. I'm OK with that," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, such as raising the bottom of the strike zone, installing pitch clocks and limiting trips to the mound, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change.

"As part of a broader discussion with other moving pieces, the answer is yes," union head Tony Clark wrote Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press. "There are details, as part of that discussion, that are still being worked through, however."

The union's decision was first reported by ESPN .

"I'm OK with it. You signal. I don't think that's a big deal," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "For the most part, it's not changing the strategy, it's just kind of speeding things up. I'm good with it."

There were 932 intentional walks last year, including 600 in the National League, where batters are walked to bring the pitcher's slot to the plate.

"You don't want to get your pitcher out of a rhythm, and when you do the intentional walk, I think you can take a pitcher out of his rhythm," Girardi said. "I've often wondered why you don't bring in your shortstop and the pitcher stand at short. Let the shortstop walk him. They're used to playing catch more like that than a pitcher is."

Agreement with the union is required for playing rules changes unless MLB gives one year advance notice, in which case it can unilaterally make alterations. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope Tuesday that ongoing talks would lead to an agreement on other changes but also said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Some changes with video review can be made unilaterally, such as shortening the time to make a challenge.

"I know they were thinking about putting in a 30-second (limit) for managers to make a decision," Francona said. "I actually wish they would. I think it would hustle it up and if we can't tell in 30 seconds, maybe we shouldn't be doing it anyway."