Raw footage of Bill Veeck at Murphy's shot for the documentary "Veeck: A Man for Any Season." In this tape, Veeck talks about the theory behind baseball promotions and the challenges of rising costs and ownership in baseball today.
00:00Copy video clip URL Bars and tone.
00:25Copy video clip URL Veeck finishes talking about “Bat Day” promotions, and then is asked by Weinberg to comment on the theory behind the promotions. He responds by saying that you start with the idea that there are a given number of people who will go to see a below average ball club and who are there because of the “geometric pattern of the game” and will enjoy the game no matter what. Next, you find new ways to get the other people interested and convince them to come at least once or twice. The idea is that you can entertain both the fan and the non-fan equally because you created an atmosphere that was enjoyable.
04:45Copy video clip URL He compares this to the experience of purchasing a table at a store, in which there are many barriers but in the end you can justify the work of it because of your enjoyment of the table. He says that the experience at the ball park leaves you only with an ephemeral idea that you had fun. So, that makes all the details the important part of making or breaking your day.
06:40Copy video clip URL “Next to a winning ball club, the most important thing in the ball park are the clean ladies rooms. And next to that are good concessions and reasonable prices.” He goes on to express concern that the price of concessions may be pricing families out of coming to the ball park. He claims the rise in costs is due to the “unbridled ego of some owners” who pay too much for players. “I happen to believe that the baseball team belongs to the fans and the ownership is the custodian. But I have learned that this is not true.”
08:55Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks whether there’s any possibility of ownership being public utility the way the Green Bay Packers do it. Veeck calls it the only community operation out of 100 that has worked.
10:35Copy video clip URL He tells the story of how at the theater they used to give away dishes. He uses this as an example that sometimes the promotions can get out of hand at times, and that they can be overly commercialized.
13:00Copy video clip URL Weinberg raises the question of cost and pricing out the fans. He says that there may be a big concern in the future, but at this point, there’s still an ability to hold on to prices. He notes that ticket sales are cyclical based on team performance. He recommends that if you have to raise prices, raise the most expensive seats, but “leave the bleachers and the general admission alone. It’s still the best buy in entertainment. It’s the most for the dollar. It’s the cheapest date. And the most enjoyable. But it is getting close to not being.”
17:15Copy video clip URL “We have sold the game of baseball on the won and lost column. We have never sold the game as the most delightful way to spend an afternoon or evening.” He comments on Wrigley’s quote, “All you need is a winning team,” calling it one of the dumbest remarks for a bright man that he’s ever heard. He says that this idea dooms most all the other clubs without ever a chance.
18:25Copy video clip URL End of tape.