Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Lost $27M In Revenue Sure Could Have Bought Some Good Players

The Dodgers' attendance woes have been evident to anyone attending a game this year, and seeing the closed concession stands and rows of empty seats. It might be good for getting out of the Dodger Stadium parking lots in a timely manner. However, the lost revenue is also making a visible mark on the Dodgers' coffers--to the tune of $27M:

The sharp drop in attendance at Dodger Stadium this year is likely to cost the Dodgers at least $27 million in reduced ticket sales, concession and parking revenue for the 2011 season.

Based on the Dodgers' $286 million of total revenue in 2009, the most recent year for which public figures are available, this season's attendance-related declines would amount to at least a 9.4% drop in the Dodgers' total annual revenue.

As the Dodgers open a homestand Monday night against the Philadelphia Phillies, announced paid attendance is down an average of 7,902 a game so far this season at Chavez Ravine amid the ownership fight between owner Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball, and the team's sub-.500 play.

That is the biggest per-game drop this season among the 30 Major League teams. The next-biggest is 4,213 for the Seattle Mariners, and baseball overall is averaging a per-game attendance decline of 91. [...]

Average paid attendance at the Dodgers' 59 home games so far this year was 36,731, a decline of 7,902 (or 17.7%), compared with its per-game average for the first 59 home games in 2010.

Those figures reflect tickets sold, and there is widespread agreement that the number of people actually attending Dodgers games is down even more, further cutting into the cash the Dodgers receive. [...]

All told, that $27 million in lost revenue would pay this year's combined salaries for Dodgers players Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Hiroki Kuroda. [...]

According to Team Marketing Report, the Dodgers' average ticket price this year — which includes season-ticket sales but excludes "premium" tickets and luxury suites — is $30.59. Team Marketing Report, a Chicago-area firm, calculates the well-known "Fan Cost Index."

Assuming the reduced attendance rate continues for the full season, the 7,902 average fewer fans at Dodger Stadium multiplied by the $30.59 average ticket price comes to $241,722 per game, and that figure multiplied by the season's 81 home games totals $19.6 million in less ticket revenue.

The lost revenue is likely higher when premium seats are included. About 8.6% of the 56,000 Dodger Stadium seats are premium-priced, and the average price of those tickets is $222.38, according to Team Marketing Report. (That figure does not include luxury suites.)

Yikes, that's a lot of missing coin. But it's not like Frank McCourt needed that money this year, of all years...