Brewers extend Schlesinger, Quinn
Owner Attanasio locks up two executives for five more years
CHICAGO -- The Brewers came to terms on a couple of long-term contract extensions Thursday.Sorry, fans, it had nothing to do with Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.
While talks appear to have stalled with those two on-the-field stars, Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio locked up two of his most senior off-the-field executives for an additional five years. Executive vice president of business operations Rick Schlesinger and executive vice president of finance and administration Bob Quinn saw their contracts extended through 2012."Any time you've got long-term deals in place on a whole host of levels, it helps your budgeting and forecasting," Quinn said. "For the management team -- me and Rick and the team we've built up over the last few years -- [knowing] that we're going to be here is a positive. It takes some time to plan and develop programs, and we've been able to do that." The Brewers hired Schlesinger in December 2002 and Quinn in January 2003, and since then the duo has played a lead role in creating the annual and long-range business and financial plan for the team. Attendance for Brewers home games has increased 69 percent in the past five seasons, from 1.7 million in 2003 to a franchise-record 2.87 million in 2007, and the season-ticket base has more than doubled. Since the payroll bottomed out at about $27 million in 2003, the Brewers have spent more money on players each season, moving over $80 million this year, according to Attanasio. "I believe our executive management team is among the best in baseball, and Rick and Bob have led us to significant achievements on the business side," Attanasio said in a statement released by the ballclub. "We have set franchise records for attendance and reached new heights in virtually every measurable category." Quinn and Schlesinger have also overseen a focus on improving Miller Park, which opened in 2001. New features for 2008 included a renovated Metavante Club for season seatholders, a new kids area in the right-field corner and a new team store at the home-plate entrance. Fans seem to have noticed. On Wednesday, Sports Illustrated released results of a fan poll, and Miller Park ranked second-best in baseball behind Cleveland's Progressive Field. In the most recent issue of ESPN The Magazine, the publication's annual "fan satisfaction rankings" placed the Brewers 13th out of 122 major sports franchises. Projects in the works at Miller Park include a new scoreboard system and suite renovations. Schlesinger, Quinn and the Brewers are also trying to figure out what to do with the area formerly occupied by the "Big League Blast" on the loge level. "We have tried to improve the fan experience in and around Miller Park," Schlesinger said. "We're looking for different ways to not only make the fans' experience better, but also to generate revenue ... for the club that we can give to [general manager] Doug Melvin to keep the payroll going up. That's how we view our jobs in some ways." Schlesinger, a Milwaukee native who came to the Brewers from the Angels, oversees the club's business affairs, including sponsorships, marketing, ticket sales, guest services, public relations, community relations, broadcasting and communications. Quinn is a fourth-generation baseball executive and the grandson of John Quinn, the general manager of the 1957 world champion Milwaukee Braves. Bob Quinn oversees the financial operations of the Brewers as well as human resources, information systems, Miller Park operations, Arizona Spring Training operations and business administration.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.