As any sports fan knows, the Kansas City Royals and other professional teams have the absolute right to charge what they want for tickets, beer, nachos and parking.
How do you expect the clubs to pay for those multimillion-dollar player contracts anyway?
Which brings us to the latest off-season Royals’ move, the somewhat surprising end to a long sponsorship by the Hy-Vee grocery chain.
It was all about the money, according to Hy-Vee officials. The company didn’t want to pony up what the Royals wanted. And the club was in good position to ask for more given its two World Series appearances — and one championship — in the last three seasons.
Then again, Hy-Vee also stuck through very, very thin times with the Royals, when the team was at the bottom of the barrel in Major League Baseball. It at least looks like bad form to kick Hy-Vee to the curb after it was loyal to the Royals for so long.
Are the Royals being greedy — or realistic — in trying to get more money from Hy-Vee?
Further, are the Royals being greedy — or realistic — in charging at least $14 for parking next season, up from $12 in 2016?
Finally, are the Royals going to look like they are being greedy — or realistic — when they renegotiate what is one of the worst and cheapest television contracts in baseball?
My answers: No, yes and no.
Someone will come along to be the prime sponsor of Royals games. It’s an effective marketing tool, for the right price.
Costs for stadium parking personnel didn’t increase by more than 15 percent over less than a year. Plus, as a survey found in 2016, it’s already pretty expensive to go to Royals games compared with other cities.
Finally, that TV contract puts the shoe on the other foot: Why isn’t Fox Sports Networks renegotiating a fat, new contract to give the Royals more money long before the deal runs out in several years?
Here’s why: Fox Sports Networks is enjoying all the record viewership and money that comes from broadcasting such a popular team — while not wanting to pay more bucks for the privilege.
Turns out greed can be a two-way street in the world of sports.