Both the link and the general thrust of the commentary comes via this BTF thread (others provided the commentary; I made the first Spaceballs reference, though) but I’d be remiss in not passing it along. The story:
Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan projects the team will lose $16 million this season and says the recent trades of Cy Young winner Cliff Lee and All-Star catcher Victor Martinez were necessary long-term moves.
Dolan estimates the team will draw about 1.7 million fans this season, more than 500,000 less than the team expected before Opening Day.
If you divide $16 million by 500,000 paying customers, you get $32 per customer. What’s the per-customer revenue assumption per game figuring in ticket price, concessions, parking, etc.? I wouldn’t be shocked if it was in the neighborhood of $32 a head.
If that’s right, Dolan’s “$16 million loss” is really a loss in projected revenue based on projected ticket sales. For that to be a loss in the profit-loss sense of the term — which he’s clearly implying — original budget projections had to have been based on the Indians turning zero profit. Call me crazy, but I doubt that the Indians are a 501(c)(3).
I don’t doubt that the Indians have lost some money this year — and certainly are short of their projected financial goals — but if I’ve learned anything over the past decade or so, it’s that you can’t take a word a baseball owner says about money at face value. This is post-Martinez and Lee trade P.R.