Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dodger Stadium Turnstile Count Down By Over 33% Since 1982

NBC LA had an interesting nugget buried in their article on the Dodgers' ongoing bankruptcy proceedings, revealing how bad the attendance dropoff at Dodger Stadium truly is:

Also on Tuesday, a request from the team's souvenir vendor to expedite a decision on its contract with the Dodgers was denied by the judge. During that proceeding, attorneys for merchandiser FMI testified that the turnstile count this season at Dodger Stadium is projected to be 2.2 million to 2.3 million.

That was compared to 1982, when the count was 3.6 million.

The turnstile count is a more accurate number when determining how many people are actually in seats at a game. It refers to the number of tickets used as opposed to the number of tickets sold.

No wonder it seems like a ghost town out there at the Stadium this year. And just wait until season subscription appeals begin--it's going to be a bloodbath unless Frank McCourt gets ousted, soon.

UPDATE 5:35p: Whoops, I missed Bill Shaikin's LAT article, with much worse statistics:

If every one of Dodger Stadium's 56,000 seats were filled for every game, the team's attendance for the season would be 4.536 million. If the Dodgers attract 2.25 million people, they would play to 49.6% of capacity.

"The only thing I can describe it as is a sad turn of events," said Fred Claire, the former general manager who served the Dodgers in various roles from 1969 to 1998.

"It's striking. It has to be of great concern to everybody involved. It's certainly in stark contrast to what the Dodgers have known and what Dodgers fans have known."

The Dodger Stadium turnstile count was 3.6 million in 1982, so a 2.25-million count this season would represent a drop of 37.5%.

The no-show rate — the percentage of tickets bought but not used — would be 25% based on current attendance.

The Dodgers' no-show rate was 17% two years ago, according to records filed in the divorce case of owner Frank McCourt and his ex-wife, Jamie, and 21% last year, based on Arenson's testimony that the Dodgers' 2010 turnstile count was 2.8 million.

photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times


Steve Dittmore said...

Turnstile count is important for concessionaires and merchandisers because it can yield a more accurate average amount spent by each person attending (known as per cap). This is useful for staffing and inventory as it can reduce overhead costs if properly planned. MLB per caps run around $5.00, but LA's could be higher given the market size and number of premium seats. Average concessions contracts give teams 33-40% of sales. I don't know the Dodgers split.

So, the Dodgers 25% no-show really means the team is not receiving $2.00 per no-show (based on a per cap of $5.00 and a 40% split of concessions). Parking could add additional lost $$$ for each no show.

Still, I don't think it is winning argument in bankruptcy court to say the Dodgers no-show rate is hurting team finances. They still have the revenue from the sale of the tickets.

Good finds Sax!

rbnlaw said...

What Ditty said.

Steve Sax said...

@Prof Dittmore: It's not a huge impact, I agree: but 1.4M fewer turnstiles x $2 is still $2.8M.

That's more than three extra years of Dioner Navarro.

Or one month of clubhouse food for Dioner Navarro.

Steve Dittmore said...

@Sax - Or 4 years more of Vladimir Shtunpt or whatever the heck his name was.