Hometown discount? Are you kidding me?

January 27, 2009 | Keith Melchior

I heard today that Terrell Suggs said he, Ray Lewis and Bart Scott should remain together in the Ravens defensive backfield. Who wouldn’t love to see that? But at what cost? I sure as hell don’t want my season ticket prices increased another 20% for 2009, do you?

Here we are in a deep recession. Companies are either laying off workers or closing altogether. People are losing money in the stock market, gas prices are slowly on the rise again, some companies are cutting hours and forcing mandatory furlough for employees. People are more in debt than at any time over the last 30 years.  So, how does the sports and entertainment world avoid all this?  Why do we continually foot the bill for high priced athletes while sacrificing other things that could be much more important?

There is one thing wrong with having two professional teams in the city when times are tough for the general public, so can you imagine how it is for the Washington having 4 teams, (2 of which are terrible and suffering from bad attendance). The Ravens and Orioles both need to compete for your dollar.  The Orioles have proven they are not willing to spend big bucks for higher level players. I think they know they aren’t going to compete for the AL East title and they have to do things on the cheap or else face huge losses of revenue in the coming season. Their way of cutting costs is damaging their hopes of regaining the top spot in the division as well as the miserable attendance predictions of less than 10,000 average per game. Winning has a lot to do with it and they have proven that attendance dwindles as the losses continue.

The Ravens, on the other hand, are on the upswing. They overachieved this season missing a shot at the Super Bowl by about 5 minutes. No one thought they’d win 11 games and make it to the AFC Championship game. Now the expectations for them in 2009 will be much higher as Joe Flacco continues to develop into  the much needed franchise quarterback the team has needed since 1998. They have numerous free agents, with the 3 most important being Lewis, Suggs and Scott. A really good hometown discount would be 4 years and $30 million divided between all three of them. I doubt that is going to happen.

It is so funny listening to talk show callers share their views about trades, signings, and cutting players. Unless you make over a million a year, you have no concept of the amount of money they are dealing with in the sports world. This is NOT fantasy baseball or football. But you’d think it was if you listen to what quite a few people actually think.

Sorry folks, there will be no hometown discount for the Ravens. Suggs wants a big payday, Ray needs money to prepare for life after his football playing days are over, and Bart Scott has proven his value and will be looking for a big payday. So, what do the Ravens do now? I have heard people talk about trading Chris McAlister to the Cardinals for Anquan Boldin. Yeah, right!! Boldin wants big bucks too and dumping McAlister won’t help the salary cap figure, then again neither will raising my season ticket prices.

It is going to be a very interesting 7 months until training camp opens.

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