Sunday, December 17, 2006

Dodgers' Increase in Ticket Prices, Part 2

The Dodgers announced this week that season ticket prices were going up on most pacakges by an increase of 14% to 40%. Given that they doubled the prices of some tickets for the 2006 season, the rapid inflation is both annoying and painful, and at least should give some pause for reflection.

SoSG made the point earlier that this was the cost of the new Juan Pierre era. But I wanted to take a quick back-of-the-envelope look at salaries of the players lost this year, versus the salaries of the new players coming in next year, to see why McCourt is sticking it to the fans.

Losses (’06 salary) Holds Additions (’07 salary)
Drew -$11M Garciaparra Schmidt +$15M*
Gagne -$10M Saito Wolf +$8M
Maddux -$9M R Martinez Pierre +$7.5M
Lugo -$5M Gonzalez +$7M
Lofton -3.5M Lieberthal +1.1M
Cruz Jr. -$3M
Hall -$2.2M

So we've shed seven players whose combined salaries were $43.7M in 2006, and we have signed five players whose combined 2007 salaries will be $37.5M. (Schmidt is earning $12M in 2007 but we have a balloon payment of $10M as a signing bonus at the end of this three-year contract, so I added $3M for good measure.) Numbers also do not include incentive bonuses; it's otherwise pure salaries.

Now I know this is pretty crude arithmetic, since some of the new Dodgers were signed to contracts which have increasing salaries over their terms. But given that the offseason market is a rich one (as every player lost got a salary increase), isn't it odd that we are paying less in 2007 salaries than we had in 2006? I mean, I have read that our payroll went from $98M last year to an estimated $114M this year, which I get. But the fuzzy math of just looking how the 2007 lineup changed from the 2006 cast certainly doesn't seem to merit the increase in ticket prices.


Orel said...

Interesting analysis. Once again, image trumps reality. As long as we fans feel McCourt is spending more, we'll pay more.