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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 9, 2009 1:21 PM. The previous post in this blog was PDC salaries: nothing too fancy. The next post in this blog is Reed as poster child. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Much better by day

After last night's abysmal turnout, the Portland Beavers are playing a day game today -- I believe it's one of their early starts in which they invite school kids and try to draw in businesspeople goofing off over a long lunch. Whatever the gimmick, it obviously puts a lot of fannies in the seats:

As for last night's announced attendance of 2,440, when there were fewer than 400 people actually in the stadium, we asked Branch Rickey III, director of the league in which the Beavers play, about that this morning. He tells us: "Most frequently, throughout the minor leagues, the announced attendances reflect 'tickets sold.'"

Comments (12)

"Tickets sold" - does that include season tickets?

"Branch Rickey III?" Great. I'm I the only one who's sick of nepotism?

Hopeful, I would certainly think so.

If you look at today's photo, most of the choice seats right behind home plate are empty. I assume those are season ticketholders who didn't show up.

BTW, today's official "attendance" was 5,991.

Mars Candy Co subsidiary Banfield (the Pet Hospital) was in attendance today, though I'm not sure how many staff attended. Apparently we won't be buying Beavers season tix, as the SO was bored to tears by the whole endeavor.

If you are pitching a stadium as an economic multiplier, you want to use "butts in seats" rather than "tickets sold," because while it's great that somebody buys a ticket, it doesn't help the local bars and etc. if they stay at home. And that's what Merritt/Randy/Sam are claiming will be so great about the Beavers in Lents: ALL those people will come to the game and patronize the local establishments. But what Mr. Rickey III says indicates the opposite.

I'm all in favor of kids getting out of the classroom now and then, but, in these days of cutting school budgets, this doesn't make much sense to me. People are screaming about the idea of cutting school days, yet they are sending students to a baseball park?

When I walked past this morning, bus after bus were unloading students.

Here's today's seat-filler info:
US Bank Arts & Science of Baseball Day presented by Intel ::
Date: Tuesday June 09, 2009
Time: 11:05 AM

*Fred Meyer $4 Tuesdays - A select number of tickets will be offered for $4 on Tuesday games at local Fred Meyer outlets & the PGE Park box office. Offer good day of game only.

"Tickets sold" is a fine metric for most purposes. After all, the point of running a ball club is to sell tickets.

But it's simply not a good metric if you're trying to pencil out the economic impact of bringing all those bodies into a particular neighborhood. Obviously, a ticket that doesn't come with a body ain't gonna head down to the local pub afterward.

Perhaps someone can ferret out an answer on what the typical/average/median no-show rate is.

In a couple of other games earlier this spring, the no-show rate at the Beavers was about 1200. Monday night, it was about 2000, probably a bit more. Assuming it's usually 1500, the supposed average of 5500 per game is really more like 4000. So far in this season (about a third of the way over), the real attendance is probably averaging 3000.

There aren't enough fans to make a dent in the Lents neighborhood's economic problems, that's for sure.

"Tickets sold" is a fine metric for most purposes. After all, the point of running a ball club is to sell tickets."

That's one theory. But if you look at bush league sports, the real money seems to be in milking cities and joining the line to milk the next round of owners.

I think MLS is a perfect example of bubble psychology ... with every round, the price of poker shot up by 5 or 10 million, until only trustafarians like the Barefoot Lord could play. (People who have built businesses and understand something about appealing to the public -- usually the people who are the backbone of the sports owners group -- have stayed away from MLS in droves).

The real play in sports these days is selling viewers to advertisers. Because of its anemic appeal to TV, MLS is more like the National Chess League than the National Football League. And the problem with soccer is that there's world-class soccer available on the very same teevee with MLS.

The bottom line is that the deal being shoved down Portland's throat is a very good deal if you're one of the other team owners, but it's a terrible deal for Portland. It would be an unthinkable deal for Paulson except that the Three Amigos have taken leave of their senses and can't wait to butter this guy's bread. He has played them so well that he's got very little invested himself that can't simply be moved elsewhere when the magic wears off this scam.

I watched the game from what looks like the same vantage point: the MAC Club's balcony. Beautiful bb weather; well-played game. More important: no one I sat with favored the notion of MLS-only in the ballpark. No, we're not cheapskates; we usually pay for tickets in the seats. But this was special.


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