Get ready to see Jamie Foxx’s deadly-serious visage staring back at you as you stand facing any men’s room wall inside Great American Ball Park next season, the subliminal message one that Peter Edward Rose could surely appreciate.
In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to look anywhere without being reminded that while money may not be spent next season in the Ballpark Down By the River, more dollar bills will most certainly be raked in as the Reds become the second team in baseball to install a sportsbook mere feet from the diamond. The Reds new betting partner will also have a suite and club seats to fête the high rollers.
The Nascar-ification of baseball has been a long time coming as the Reds align their resources with BetMGM, including a permanent outfield sign that will likely still be there long after Elly De La Cruz has retired from the game:
“Additionally, under this new deal, BetMGM signage will be prominently featured at Great American Ball Park, including a permanent outfield wall sign, messaging behind home plate, and a branded foul line during select times.”
Is Pete Rose invited to throw out the first betting ticket?
— Stephen Nover (@StephenNover1) October 11, 2022
Due to MLB rules, you’ll only be able to enter the sportsbook from outside the ball park. This is intended to give the thinnest patina to the notion that baseball is keeping the integrity of the game at arm’s length, while it tattoos itself with a different message entirely inside the park.
“With sports gaming coming to Ohio, the Reds sought to bring the highest quality operator to our ballpark for those fans who choose to participate in sports gaming,” said Doug Healy, the Reds’ chief financial officer, said in a statement. “BetMGM is renowned for their expertise in entertainment and sports gaming, and we believe their brand best fits our high customer standards and will also help draw visitors to our city.”
Those “high customer standards” were on display via an empty ball park this season because of ownership’s very lack of “expertise” in creating on-field “entertainment.”
There’s an odd timing to the announcement, mere days after Nick Krall was sent out to deliver this pronouncement:
“We’re going to come into (2023) in a similar place that we are right now”
New revenue stream. Less spending. That’s the ticket. And completely on brand for a CFO. On-the-field entertainment has become passé.
“Thou art not for the fashion of these times, Where none will sweat but for promotion.”
Of the 12 playoff spots in this season’s expanded format, 9 were occupied by the top 12 in payroll for 2022, according to the website Spotrac. The 3 poverty teams to crash the party were the Guardians at $82M, the Rays at $104M, and the Mariners at $129M. Three of the top five teams in payroll have made it to the final four, with only the Astros—and their hardship payroll of $192M—rounding out the final field playing for a golden ticket to the World Series.
Money still talks.
— Baseball by BSmile (@BSmile) October 20, 2020