Baseball Notebook

Daily Baseball Blog

2008-2009 Attendance Comparison

Due to a faltering economy baseball attendance was expected to drop and it seems to the case when looking at comparisons of attendance figures compiled by the Sports Network

http://www.sportsnetwork.com/merge/tsnform.aspx?c=sportsnetwork&page=mlb/stat/attendance.htm

The Yankees with a new stadium and higher ticket prices would be a good place to start. The Yankees had attendance of 304,222  after playing six home games in 2008 but have dropped to 267,014 a drop of  37,208.

They averaged 50,704 in 2008 but are averaging 44,502 a  home game in 2009 a drop of 6,202 a game. Fans attending Yankee games have the double whammy of a faltering economy and exorbitant ticket prices.

The Mets also have a new stadium but their attendance has taken a precipitous drop from 352,798  in 2008 to 261.967 in 2009 after seven home games in both seasons. That is  a drop of 90,831 in total attendance and the average attendance of 50,400 in 2008 has dropped to 37,424 in 2009 which means 12,976 fewer fans a game.

The Yankees and Mets combined have lost 128,039 in total attendance and they have combined to lose 19,178 fans per game.  That translates into a huge loss in revenue even using an extremely conservative presumption that each fan that didn’t attend the games would have spent $20 at the game for ticket, parking and concessions.

When multiplying the 128,039 fewer fans by $20 that totals $2,560,780 that has been lost in revenue and if you use $30 as average money spent by each fan that totals goes up to $3,841,170.

The two teams have combined to lose this much money after having played only 13 games which is not even ten percent of the 162 games the two teams will play at home in 2009. If we pretend that it is the ten percent mark these numbers translate into a loss of  $38, 411,700 over a full season for the two teams.

I am not sure of the Mets ticket pricing but the Yankees exorbitant ticket pricing is keeping people away from the ballpark. They could have filled up the stadium all season if the tickets were reasonably priced but got greedy thinking if they built a new stadium they would come but they didn’t come and are staying away in droves.

Yankee president Randy Levine doesn’t want to talk about the empty seats at the new Yankee Stadium because it shows his inability to realize there is a recession going on and tried to gouge Yankee fans by overcharging for luxury boxes and the best seats.

Now he is in a bad place where if he lowers prices for some others will want their ticket prices lowered. He needs to get fans in the ballpark even if he has to lower ticket prices so he can recoup the losses after the first six games or at the worst break even.

Fans can’t spend money at the ballpark if they stay at home and watch the games if they aren’t blacked out or listen to the games on radio.

It may not be a fair comparison but the Chicago Cubs playing in a smaller park at Wrigley Field drew 317,207 after the first eight home games in 2008 but have drawn 316,655 a drop of only 552 fans over those eight home games.

Their daily average attendance after the first eight home games in 2008 was 39,651 while that number is 39,582 in 2009 a drop of 69 fans a game.

When adding their crosstown rival the White Sox to the equation there has actually been an increase in attendance in 2009. In 2008 the total attendance after seven home games was 175,302 while in 2009 that total is 190,388 for an increase of 15,086.

Daily average attendance for the White Sox after seven home games was 25,043 for the White Sox in 2008 but in 2009 it is 27,198 a pickup of 2,155 fans for the White Sox in 2009.

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