Major League Baseball’s arrival in Secaucus this year has been a public relations boon for the town and that publicity coup will continue as the league said this week that its closely watched draft will be held in Secaucus on June 9.
The first round of the so-called “first-year player draft” will be aired live to the world from the network’s Studio 42 at 40 Hartz Way starting at 6 p.m. The following rounds will be streamed via mlb.com.
“We’re looking forward to Studio 42 being the backdrop for the beginning of many promising baseball careers,” said Tony Petitti, president and CEO of MLB Network.
The WNBA held its draft earlier this month at the NBA Entertainment headquarters in Secaucus. The location resulted in the scores of reporters who covered the event filing national stories with a “Secaucus” byline, giving the town plenty of exposure and added credibility in the public eye and business community.
The MLB network will air the first-round selections live from the studio and cover all 111 picks on the first day from Secaucus. The remaining two days — the draft was stretched to three days total this year — will be conducted via conference call from MLB’s Park Avenue headquarters in Manhattan, starting with the fourth round.
The Yankees will pick 28th in the first round, but the Mets had to surrender their first-round pick to the Angels for signing pitcher Francisco Rodriguez. The order is determined by the previous year’s finish; as such, the Washington Nationals will pick first based on their tough 2008.
“As the Draft has gained more prominence in recent years, fans have embraced it with great enthusiasm,” said baseball commissioner Bud Selig.
Last year’s MLB draft was held at a Disney resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The MLB network claims a reach of about 50 million homes.
MLB’s Hartz Way address was renamed MLB Network Plaza in February by the town.