Baseball season is upon us, in the wake of scandal. But business is brisk.
As the season approached, advance ticket sales, as of March 31, were up 6.5 percent over last year, to 49 million. In addition, seven new corporate sponsors have signed on in the past year, including Bank of America, General Mills, General Motors, DHL and The Home Depot.
The sport's Web site, MLB.com, has sold 10 million tickets to this season's games, nearly as many as it sold all last year, and total revenue is projected to rise 40 percent to $190 million. And a deal with XM Satellite Radio, which began with the Boston Red Sox-Yankees season opener Sunday night, will provide baseball with $650 million over the next 11 years.
In the midst of this, comes a survey which appears on the surface to have negative implications.
Player's high salaries were named as baseball's "biggest problem" by 33 percent of those surveyed, followed by steroids at 27 percent and the cost of going to a game at 22 percent, according to the telephone poll done for the AP and AOL Sports by Ipsos-Public Affairs.
The story in the LA Times focuses on the steroid issue, which is understandable - thank your congressman for that. But the steroid issue is likely in the sport's rear view mirror. High salaries for workers and rising prices for the product (ticket prices are reportedly up 6.3 per cent) reflect a healthy business, with high and growing demand. They are problems any business would like to have.