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Jpup
07-15-2009, 06:00 PM
http://www.cnbc.com/id/31906772?__source=RSS*blog*&par=RSS


It’s the All-Star Game and that gives us a perfect time to discuss how Major League Baseball is doing from a business standpoint.

The most obvious, public evidence is attendance, which is easy to tally but often misreported.

As I’ve chronicled in the past, in order to accurately compare attendance figures, you have to compare it to the same point last year, instead of against the final season statistics.

Using this method, we find that MLB attendance is down 5.5 percent this year.

Last year, 31,766 fans per game attended games for the first half of the season.

This year, that number is 30,003 fans per game.

As you’ll see in the charts, almost all of those who have attendance increases can be classified as "have-nots." There’s a reason for this, of course. It’s a lot easier to see a rise in attendance when you come from smaller numbers.

The most interesting numbers from the group that has experienced an attendance increase this year is the Kansas City Royals, which are getting the renovation and Zack Greinke bump despite heading into the break 14 games under .500. It also might come as a shock that the Rays, who made it to the World Series and are still in the chase to make the playoffs, are only up 11 percent from their measly attendance at this point last year.

Baseball officials say that the attendance decrease isn’t as bad as one might think because both the Mets and the Yankees are playing in new, smaller stadiums.

The Mets are down 22 percent and the Yankees are down 13.5 percent on a per game basis as compared to this time last year.

But the Mets are actually up (+4.8%) on a capacity comparison, while the Yankees are down less than half their total attendance number (-6.2%) when you consider the cutting of seats at the new stadium.

I know they’re in economic hell, and they even raised some of their ticket prices, but it’s a bit surprising that the Tigers have the second-worst attendance slide in the league (-21%) when they are leading the AL Central and are nine games over .500.

The Reds attendance is down 0.10%. Attendance percentage change for every team is at the link provided.

BRM
07-15-2009, 06:02 PM
What's the excuse for not bumping payroll going to be now?

Falls City Beer
07-15-2009, 06:02 PM
I'd like to hear Bud's follow-up to his -20% prediction.

EL OH EL.

BRM
07-15-2009, 06:03 PM
Bud was the one who predicted 20%? I remember someone making that prediction but I didn't know it was Bud. Wow. How is he going to backpedal on that one?

Falls City Beer
07-15-2009, 06:05 PM
Bud was the one who predicted 20%? I remember someone making that prediction but I didn't know it was Bud. Wow. How is he going to backpedal on that one?

It's like the guy thought he was selling washer/dryer sets, not ice cream and ephemera.

This is America, where the entertainment dollar never dies.

westofyou
07-15-2009, 06:10 PM
This is America, where the entertainment dollar never dies.

Unless you are trying to sell another football league to the masses.

But hey.. don't listen to me, I just post on Redzone to bide my time before I get to fish and hunt again.

Rojo
07-15-2009, 07:03 PM
Curious about revenues.

TheNext44
07-15-2009, 07:59 PM
Curious about revenues.

Good point. Teams have been slashing ticket prices, concession prices, offering package deals, more promotions... that has to be hurting the bottom line as much as attendance.

Rojo
07-15-2009, 08:02 PM
Good point. Teams have been slashing ticket prices, concession prices, offering package deals, more promotions... that has to be hurting the bottom line as much as attendance.

The 20% figure sounded like baloney, but I thought a 10% dip in revenue wasn't out of line.

bucksfan2
07-16-2009, 08:57 AM
Good point. Teams have been slashing ticket prices, concession prices, offering package deals, more promotions... that has to be hurting the bottom line as much as attendance.

I remember a few years ago when the Reds did the dollar dog promotion they put a blurb in the news paper about the results. They ended up selling a ton of hot dogs, but their profit was down on their usual hot dog sales.

I would love to see a revenue breakdown for the Reds. How much money comes in from corporate sponsors, advertisements, luxury box sales, MLB Revenue, season tickets, walk up tickets, and then concessions.

I would also think the Reds would be more happy to sell out their Diamond seats than have a big walk up crowd. At $230 a pop you would have to sell 46 outer view level tickets to make the same amount. If you get all the premium priced tickets sold you should have a pretty profitable year.

Sea Ray
07-16-2009, 09:29 AM
...but it’s a bit surprising that the Tigers have the second-worst attendance slide in the league (-21%) when they are leading the AL Central and are nine games over .500.

Why should this writer be surprised? The whole state has quit spending money.

Amazing that the Mets attendance has dropped so much. How is it profitable to spend a billion on a new stadium and have attendance drop 22%? I don't get that math.

Chip R
07-16-2009, 09:33 AM
Why should this writer be surprised? The whole state has quit spending money.



Probably because they are in 1st place. Conventional wisdom says that a 1st place team should draw a lot of fans. But anyone with half a brain could see that no matter what, the Tigers' attendence was gonna sink like a stone.

BCubb2003
07-16-2009, 09:38 AM
If you signed a media contract before the recession, you might be in pretty good shape. If you're one of those teams that owns the broadcasting outright, you might be suffering.

Chip R
07-16-2009, 09:44 AM
If you signed a media contract before the recession, you might be in pretty good shape. If you're one of those teams that owns the broadcasting outright, you might be suffering.


Good point. How many people here wanted the Reds to create their own Superstation?

Roy Tucker
07-16-2009, 10:18 AM
Probably because they are in 1st place. Conventional wisdom says that a 1st place team should draw a lot of fans. But anyone with half a brain could see that no matter what, the Tigers' attendence was gonna sink like a stone.

Yeah, that's what I thought too. With the auto industry on life-support, Detroit is a particularly economically devastated area. Duh.

westofyou
07-16-2009, 10:25 AM
Good point. How many people here wanted the Reds to create their own Superstation?

Considering the quality advertisers that show up for their games I'd venture that that's a pipe dream, a large pipe too.

Strikes Out Looking
07-16-2009, 10:35 AM
Attendance is only one portion of the revenue stream. What is probably getting killed is advertising that was not locked in prior to 2008 and teams generally don't announce that.

AtomicDumpling
07-16-2009, 06:01 PM
Attendance is only one portion of the revenue stream. What is probably getting killed is advertising that was not locked in prior to 2008 and teams generally don't announce that.

Yes. Teams get about 2/3 of their revenue from television and radio contracts and advertising. Ticket sales and concessions make up the rest.

Rojo
07-16-2009, 06:22 PM
Attendance is only one portion of the revenue stream. What is probably getting killed is advertising that was not locked in prior to 2008 and teams generally don't announce that.


I'm guessing the corporate luxury boxes they've been so eager to build are pretty dang flat as well. Declines there will impact attendance little but revenue a lot.

Falls City Beer
07-16-2009, 06:28 PM
I'm guessing the corporate luxury boxes they've been so eager to build are pretty dang flat as well. Declines there will impact attendance little but revenue a lot.

Honestly, I doubt it's as severe as it might seem. Sure, there might be fewer promotions and partying, but not because it can't be afforded, but because it would look gauche. You gotta maintain the appearance of deep seriousness when you're rich and you don't want to show it.

Rojo
07-16-2009, 08:56 PM
Honestly, I doubt it's as severe as it might seem. Sure, there might be fewer promotions and partying, but not because it can't be afforded, but because it would look gauche.

I'd say both reasons. At my job we cut everything that looked like fat at the end of last year, this spring we've been deciding which bones to chuck.

Falls City Beer
07-16-2009, 09:42 PM
I'd say both reasons. At my job we cut everything that looked like fat at the end of last year, this spring we've been deciding which bones to chuck.

I thought you worked for a non-profit. I know times are actually hard for some outfits. But times are fine for a lot of others.

bucksfan2
07-17-2009, 08:54 AM
Honestly, I doubt it's as severe as it might seem. Sure, there might be fewer promotions and partying, but not because it can't be afforded, but because it would look gauche. You gotta maintain the appearance of deep seriousness when you're rich and you don't want to show it.

Isn't happening. Companies just can't lay off workers yet entertain guest at their high dollar luxury box. Most companies I have heard of are cutting back in all areas. Luxury boxes are an easy expense to cut back upon. Just look at the high dollar seats in Yankee stadium. Those would have gone like hot cakes a year or two but now they just aren't selling.

Rojo
07-17-2009, 12:44 PM
I thought you worked for a non-profit. I know times are actually hard for some outfits. But times are fine for a lot of others.

I do. We have a membership base that gives $35 to $500 annually. That's down about 10%. But we also count on grants and large donors. The large donors are down about 50%. In good times the membership is taken for granted, ignored even. Resources are spent hunting down the rich folks who can write six-figure checks. Now, the membership base is keeping us afloat. I'm guessing that same dynamic is mirrored in baseball.