Bad Break for Baseball

26 09 2009

Attendance at Major League Baseball games is 7% lower than last season, leaving clubs forced to lower playoff tickets, said said Tom Van Riper in his article Baseball’s Bargain Playoffs.

During the 2009 season, only four of the 30 major league teams played to 90% capacity or higher, and 16 of them played to 60% or lower.  The average number of fans per game dropped from 32,543 in 2008 to 30,302 in 2009, and attendance at nine clubs dropped by at least 4,000 fans a game, according to Van Riper.

Typically, regular season ticket prices will increase 30% to 50% going into post-season, however franchises are trying to respond to the economic distress felt by their fans. 

“Four of baseball’s eight likely playoff teams – the Angels, Yankees, Cardinals, and Rockies – have announced their post-season prices,” said Tom Van Riper.  “Non-suite seats aside, all but the Angels are offering up plenty of cut-rate tickets from the regular season.

For example, the New York Yankees dropped their $325 regular season tickets to $275, and the St. Louis Cardinals reduced their prices from $16 to $99 to $26 – $52 for Division Series Tickets and $38 – $82 for the League Championship Series.

Will the drop in prices work?  These teams hope so, but similar efforts implemented during regular season play were wholly unsuccessful.  Many teams attempted “to combat the recession with aggressive price promotions, like the Washington Nationals offering a package of five games for the price of four, and the Yankees’ attempts to fill in some empty seats in their expansive new stadium with a “Buy Three/Get One Free Program,” said Riper. 

The one hope for these clubs is that fans who refused to pay for regular season tickets on the chance their team could lose will come out and support their favorite players as they fight for their chance to play in the World Series.

Who needs their fans to buy tickets the most? 

Here are Baseball’s Top Five Most Valuable Teams and their Five Least Most Valuable Teams (from The Business of Baseball):

Rank Team Current Value1 ($mil) 1-Yr Value Change (%) Debt/Value2 (%) Revenues ($mil) Operating Income3 ($mil)
1 New York Yankees 1,500 15 95 375 -3.7
2 New York Mets 912 11 76 261 23.5
3 Boston Red Sox 833 2 29 269 25.7
4 Los Angeles Dodgers 722 4 58 241 16.5
5 Chicago Cubs 700 9 0 239 29.7
26 Tampa Bay Rays 320 10 19 160 29.4
27 Oakland Athletics 319 -1 28 160 26.2
28 Kansas City Royals 314 4 13 143 9.0
29 Pittsburgh Pirates 288 -1 35 144 15.9
30 Florida Marlins 277 8 32 139 43.7




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26 09 2009 tracking back Bad Break for Baseball… tracking back Bad Break for Baseball…

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