New parks and new attendance

You probably know Jon Bois best as the moderator of The Dugout, but there’s more to him than merely inventing insanely clever screen names for ballplayers. Like this piece for example, in which he takes a look at the often erratic and increasingly diminishing attendance spikes new ballparks have brought their teams. Upshot: recessions and labor stoppages rather suck.

It’s more of an observational piece than an opinion piece, but I do take slight issue with one of Jon’s conclusions:

I wonder, though, whether the Yankees and Mets would have built these stadiums if they knew a recession was on the way. Based upon the attendance trends of the other baseball stadiums built this decade, they probably won’t get the short-term revenue boost they could really use.

Maybe not an attendance boost — and given that the parks are slightly smaller, that’s a given even if they sold out most games — but given how much more expensive everything about these new parks is, I think that revenue will increase substantially.

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  1. Nevin said...

    Not only that, but my understanding is that teams can claim exemptions from revenue sharing for spending money on “facility improvements”, which would include these new stadiums; and that said exemptions can be rolled over from one year to the next, if the expenditure exceeds some maximum amount, to be applied to succeeding years, until such time as the total exemption has been claimed.

    So not only is everything more expensive, but the Mets and Yankees, both can continue to spend more money than other teams, and have to pay less money to their competition.  Let’s say they have 5 – 6 years of not having to pay the revenue sharing.  With all the extra money coming and plus money saved, they can afford to spend more on the on-field talent (which we see at least the Yankees doing), and if they can use that 5 – 6 year window to actually win a few pennants or championships, it should serve to even further increase the attendance and ad revenues from their respective networks.

  2. Larry said...

    The more expensive part is going to be a disaster. It was going to be a disaster before the bottom fell out of the economy, because trips to the park were already outrageously expensive. Now, fewer people/families/organizations will even consider the ballpark an option for the meagre discretionary dollars they (will) have to spend.

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