Friday, August 23, 2013

Dodgers Win --> Los Angeles Wins

When the Angels won it all in 2002, Los Angeles didn't get this type of economic boom. But here come the Dodgers, here comes a city energized and excited to embrace a hero, and here comes the economic boom from the Dodgers' 2013 resurgence:

Struck by Dodgers fever, James and many other Southern Californians are generating extra and unexpected sales business for Southland restaurants, sports bars and apparel shops.

"Demand just shot through the roof," said Coby Goodman, owner of Los Feliz sporting goods shop Bling Circus. "We started calling vendors, 'Anything you've got. Send it. Whatever it is.' "

Although economists say the Dodgers are only a minor stimulant to the local economy, the team's winning streak — 45 out of 55 games in the last two months — has been a boon to businesses that cater to sports fans.

"It's certainly reinvigorated the L.A. sports scene," said UCLA economics professor Lee Ohanian. "I don't remember this sort of excitement since Fernando Valenzuela."

Bling Circus sold about three to four Dodgers hats a day in early June, when the Dodgers looked awful and were in last place. A month later, the Dodgers had rocketed up the standings and Bling started selling 15 to 20 hats a day. Vintage Brooklyn Dodgers merchandise has been particularly in demand.

"The Dodgers fans have their swagger back," Bling's Goodman said.

Bling and a handful of other apparel shops reported that anything with outfielder Yasiel Puig's name on it has been swept off racks as soon as it arrives. The sensational and enigmatic rookie from Cuba joined the team in June. By mid-July, his jersey was the 10th best-selling one in all of Major League Baseball.

Most retailers sell jerseys for about $100. But even the official Dodgers stores, where prices are slightly higher, said in June that Puig jerseys were selling faster than anything else in the stores' history.

Major League Baseball said other top-selling jerseys included those of Hyun-Jin Ryu, Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw.[...]

The Dodgers also now lead the league in attendance. Average attendance at home games is 45,000, up 10% from last season. A team-record 31,000 people have season tickets.

Those fans have poured into Chinatown, Echo Park, Silver Lake, Glendale and other neighborhoods surrounding Chavez Ravine before and after games. [...]

Dining and drinking spots that show games haven't seen their customers this happy in ages. The tumult surrounding the divorce of former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt from both his wife and the team angered many fans. A few die-hard stragglers once hung around bars to curse at televisions, but now casual fans are willing to stay until the last pitch. [...]

Average monthly viewership for Dodgers games broadcast on Fox Sports PrimeTicket soared 33% from May to the first half of August. On KCAL-TV Channel 9, average viewership has risen 32% from last year to 276,000 people a game.

Imagine how much further this could go if the Dodgers keep this incredible pace up. Imagine what this could do for Guggenheim Partners if the market value of the Dodgers appreciates this aggressively.

It's very nice to be in the pole position again!