Big League Stew

Major League Baseball pays record $1.2 million for rights to Rockies.com

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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It took until the first week of January, but the Colorado Rockies have finally made a high-priced offseason acquisition that should leave their fans happy.

And while the bad news is that the pickup is not an actual player that will help the team, the good news is that the Rockies won't be footing the big bill for saving their fans a couple of keystrokes. Major League Baseball is picking up the $1.2 million tab for the rights to rockies.com and clicking through that link now takes you to the official website for the baseball team instead of toward information for a vacation north of the border.

Josh Leventhal of Baseball America has the scoop:

Major League Baseball has paid a record $1.2 million to secure the domain name Rockies.com from the Canadian tourism portal Tourism Canadian Rockies. The sale was brokered by Venture Capital Group, which announced the sale was the largest for a sports domain transaction.

Venture Capital announced last fall that the Rockies.com domain name, which had belonged to the Website that fittingly promoted the Rocky Mountains, would be put up for auction along with several other Canadian tourism web assets. The auction was expected to garner between $200,000 and $400,000 for the Website, industry expert Domain News Wire reported in late September.

As Leventhal notes, the $1.2 million is the largest for a sports domain. If we're talking prices for all domains, rockies.com is tied with find.com and phone.com for 51st overall. Sex.com set the overall record after it was sold for $13 million in November 2010, breaking the previous record of $11 million that hotels.com had set in 2001.

[Also: Twins' future depends on owner's willingness to spend cash]

Getting the rights to Rockies.com was a coup for MLB but it came at a big premium. The most the league had ever paid for rights was $200,000 for angels.com. There are now only four MLB teams that still don't have the right to their nicknames + .com — the Giants, the Rangers, the Rays and Twins — and one assumes the league would like to have them all under its ownership.

Total domain domination, however, may be an impossibility, no matter how much money the league wants to throw around. Giants.com is owned by the National Football League and there's probably no way that baseball will be able to pry that one away.

Stay warm this winter!
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