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Diamondbacks' CEO: Publishing Steroid List Would 'Finally Put It Behind Us'

Friday, 31 Jul 2009 | 11:50 AM ET
Diamondbacks
AP
Diamondbacks

This morning, Arizona Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall came on CNBC to talk about how the team, in a market with the lowest per capita income of any MLB city, is dealing with the downturn.

Hall also talked about being the first team to put out season ticket renewals for next year. We finished with asking him about the report of more names -- David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez -- of the 2003 doping list becoming public.

On being down 15 percent on attendance this year...

Hall: Knowing our performance and the economy coupled together, I think that down 15 percent is pretty good in this environment. It think it could have been a lot worse. What we've seen lately too in the last home stand in particular is that it has gone up. We've seen a lot of fans walking up and buying tickets just before the game, which tells me that the "staycation" theory is coming true. Rather than going to San Diego or to the mountains to escape the heat they're finding alternative entertainment options at our place.

Diamondback Strategy
CNBC's Darren Rovell discusses the baseball business with Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall.

On having the cheapest tickets in the majors for the last three seasons and how important price is today...

Hall: I think a lot of it is price. The team has to play well. But we focus so much on the experience. Part of that experience in the ballpark is affordability. We had to creat value items throughout the ballpark -- $1.50 hot dogs, sodas and pop corn, $8 T-shirts, $7 caps on our family value pricing. Walking around the ballpark you can find the value items throughout the concourse. We have $4 14-ounce beer -- that's been a huge hit. But we've had to do that. Get people in and make sure they know you're not going to gouge them.

On being the first team to offer season ticket renewals next week and the extended pay option with no interest being offered...

Hall: Traditionally teams like ourselves would put out the renewal kit and that's our bread and butter -- season tickets are our base -- we put them out in December or November. We wanted to do it now in the middle of the season while baseball is top of mind. And it gives fans flexibility for payment for payments. And in our market, where we have been hit so hard, to have the ability to pay over 10 months for example is one of our plans. We take the hit. No interest, no financing, that's OK. We need to make sure that we make it easy for our fans, we're trying to add value to their season ticket pricing.

On Ramirez and Ortiz' name being revealed on the 2003 doping list...

Hall: Baseball has done a good job of trying to put it behind us. As long as names keep coming out, it's going to be difficult to close that door. I would love to move on. I think we have. We've now got a tough, tough policy. The commissioner is committed to make sure it is a part of our past and no longer a part of the game. I think with that in mind, I know there's litigation involved, there's confidentiality with that list. But I think that if that list was out it would finally put it behind us. It's not going to be. As long as names come out, it affects the game and it affects us. We're in a different situation. We have a lot of young baseball players on our team that we know are clean and they do it the right way. Our fans know that. Baseball has to look to the future, look forward and put this behind them.

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