BOB: Yankees cry ticket foulby Brian Borawski
June 13, 2012
Yankees blame secondary market for attendance declineLast year, the New York Yankees' attendance declined about three percent from the year before. This year, attendance is down more than another three percent and team president Randy Levine is blaming secondary ticket market king StubHub.com. The Yankees are saying even more people are going to the secondary ticket market to get their tickets instead of buying them directly from teams. The Yankees are saying that StubHub.com is pricing the tickets too low.
The team’s contract with StubHub.com expires at the end of the year and Levine said the Yankees will look at alternatives.
While teams want to sell season tickets, few people can go to every game, so the secondary ticket market has become an important determinant in people’s decision to renew their season obligations. If you limit or take away that option, you could be robbing Peter to pay Paul because you could see season ticket sales take a drop. Still, with another year of decline, the Yankees must feel that something has to change. Who they have process their secondary ticket sales will be one of the things they look at.
San Jose Giants caught in stadium crossfireA lot has been made about the Oakland Athletics' pursuit of a new stadium in San Jose and the fact that the San Francisco Giants are blocking the move because San Jose is in their territory. A tertiary discussion can also revolve around the Giants’ Single-A affiliate, the San Jose Giants. With the big league club owning a majority of the team, if the Athletics were to move to San Jose, the minor league club would have to be uprooted.
Within this Wall Street Journal article, you have a range of emotions. You have people on one side who said San Jose getting a big league club would be a good thing but then you also have those loyal San Jose Giants fans who say that they won’t go to an Athletics game if they move there. You’d also have the logistics of the San Jose Giants finding a new home if they were displaced. For now, it looks like things are at a stalemate.
Peoria Sports Complex sees attendance and revenue gainsBoth revenue and attendance were up at the Peoria Sports Complex this spring as both the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners had a successful (from a monetary point of view) Cactus League season in 2012. Attendance was up eight percent and revenue was up $175,000 to $5.2 million from a year before. Ticket revenue was down, but this was made up for by other revenue sources like parking and concessions.
Overall, Cactus League attendance was up seven percent in 2012. Earlier this year, the Mariners and Padres agreed to a 20-year extension in their lease, which was set to expire in 2014. In exchange, the city is going to spend $48 million to upgrade the complex that opened in 1994.
Minor league attendance sees further gainsThrough the end of May, minor league baseball attendance had drawn 13,939,583 fans which is a 6.3 percent increase from 2011. In all, over 800,000 more tickets were sold in 2012 than in 2011 and you wonder if this is the year that minor league baseball knocks on the door of its record-setting attendance in 2008. Solid weather has been a big factor: There have been 62 fewer games lost this year because of weather than in 2011.
The first short season leagues begin this week, so we’ll see how those leagues do to help prop up the attendance numbers. Lehigh Valley is once again atop the attendance heap with 8,573 tickets sold per game.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.
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