Baseball League moves between RD $3.0 and RD $4.0 billion a year
SANTO DOMINGO. Although it has never been quantified, but what is certainly very clear is that, between the formal and the informal businesses, Dominican professional baseball moves billions of pesos.
This is not just about the tickets, the concessions, the sale of memorabilia of the teams, but also about those that sell baseball caps outside of the ballparks, the fast food stands outside and even the little plastic trumpets.
The president of the Dominican Baseball League (Lidom), Leonardo Matos Berrido, did not speak of a precise number, but he did talk about an approximation of the economic movement. “There are various suppositions, with talk of RD $3.0 to RD $4.0 billion being moved by baseball each year,” he said.
The president of the League was the principal invitee of Dialogo Libre which is organized by the Diario Libre newspaper. And the meeting was also attended by Quilvio Fernandez and Miguel Guerra, the presidents of the Aguilas Cibaeñas and the Tigres del Licey, respectively.
The number mentioned, argues Matos Berrido, includes, for example, everything from the guy who sells pirated merchandise to the person who manufactures them. This is just one chapter of so many tentacles which generate earnings thanks to baseball; some of the money goes into the treasury of the teams and some other remains in the informal economy.
“This is because baseball moves so many activities that neither the League nor the teams can control them, but also many times they don’t know about them,” noted Matos Berrido.
Tolerance with piracy (counterfeit items)
An authentic baseball runs about 1500 pesos. The League, which is to say the teams, does little or nothing to combat the competition from piracy, or counterfeit items, which on many occasions find sellers of baseball caps, offering them at 300 pesos.
And it is not just this point. The same thing, given as an example by Matos Berrido, is that any citizen can put up a point of sales for memorabilia with the logos of the different teams, who are “the owners of those logos and the proprietors of those brands” and nevertheless, they are sold without necessarily anything going to the league.
“There is extreme tolerance,” on the part of the League, as recognized by Matos Berrido, and it is because at this time both parties are benefited, the one who earns money from the team logos and the teams by the promotion of their names.
The secret of the earnings
The constant rumor is that the teams obtain earnings and if they don’t, how do they manage to survive? This dilemma attracted the attention of Matos Berrido. “At times I laugh when I hear people talking of the benefits, the earnings of the teams. No team shares out earnings,” says the League president, who has been the head of the entity for more than 20 years.
According to the explanation of Matos Berrido, in his own words, if there is a difference between what a team has invested in a championship and what it obtains, it is reinvested in improving the team or the structure of the Stadium in many cases.
“That is true. Each year, especially over the last decade, the infrastructure of the ballparks has been changed notably. In the case of the Quisqueya Stadium, they are working on a new clubhouse for the visiting team. What remains as a question is then, how do they survive so much investment without receiving anything in exchange, especially if billions of pesos are moving around,” he noted.
Dreams and difficulties in the administration of Matos Berrido
In his little more than 20 years at the head of the Dominican League (Lidom), Leonardo Matos Berrido has had dreams. He is also had deceptions.-
Before leaving his post he would like to see more teams in the Fall – Winter baseball circuit. “I would not like to leave the league without being able to promote a couple more franchises so that instead of six (teams) there would be eight.”
One thing is for sure, he warned that obviously, there had to be the social economic conditions in the community and people who would take the responsibility.
He explains that when people talk about an expansion they only look at the number of ballplayers that we have and, so we do, there are ballplayers for probably 20 teams, “now we have to see in which communities the conditions exist.”
The greatest disappointment
“The most unpleasant situation was that which came about last year with the team from San Francisco de Macoris,” recalls Matos Berrido, the league President since 1991. The Gigantes were in an economic crisis and “the creditors” kept up the pressure with several calls to Matos Berrido.
“Happily there occurred what could happen to this franchise after an economically responsible group appeared and took charge,” he said. “For me this is been the most unpleasant situation,” he pointed out.
Category: DR News |