How much is your stadium’s atmosphere worth?

DMZ · August 29, 2004 at 12:29 am · Filed Under Mariners 

If you’re wondering what the Mariners hoped to make by installing those seats:

I count 240 seats in section 101 (and it has got to suck to be in the middle). Assume they all sell, every game.
240 * $24/seat * 81 games = $466,560

Plus say two home games in the first round of the playoffs @ $36 = $25,920
Three home games in ALCS @ $48 = $34,560
At least three home games in the World Series at $72 = $51,840

Maximum possible return on destroying the beer garden: maybe $600,000 for the season if the team’s competitive and sells the section out all season.

What did we pay to build Safeco Field as a civic treasure for all to enjoy, blah blah blah? About $340m from the food tax and rental cars, right?

How about this for a compromise, Mariners — take out the bleachers and then you can bill us every year for that $500k you didn’t make, and we’ll take it out of your tab. In 680 years, we can revisit the issue.


6 Responses to “How much is your stadium’s atmosphere worth?”

  1. tede on August 29th, 2004 2:31 am

    Since Larry Larue just wrote Bob Melvin’s obituary in Sunday’s TNT, I think the M’s are gonna need this extra revenue to pay Bob Melvin in 2005 to watch baseball on TV while he phones around for a job as an advanced scout.

  2. Paul P on August 29th, 2004 10:21 am

    Don’t forget the $20ish per game each person pays for concessions, parking and the like. So it’s possible that the revenue is $300,000-$600,000 more than you calculated. That’s probably the number the M’s used when making their decision.

  3. G-Man on August 29th, 2004 6:06 pm

    I hope they can compare the beer revenue for that area in each configuration, with seats and without. They might find out that they’re losing money in that respect.

    It seems that it wouldn’t be hard to implement a system to sell these seats for some popular games but not others. I’d be curious to hear the problems they see with doing that.

  4. Martin D on August 30th, 2004 12:05 am

    You know, I don’t really have a problem with this.

    I’m a purist. I go to the game to see the game, not to hang around the beer garden and pick up chicks. More seats means more of a chance for me to get into games against attractive opponents. I would happily sit in a concrete bowl that seated 75,000 to watch baseball, although in some ways it would be less pleasant.

    This is a rare example of a business decision also corresponding with the interests of purists.

  5. DMZ on August 30th, 2004 12:14 pm

    If it’s the case that you’d be happy to watch baseball in a stadium that seated 75k, then why build the park at all? What’s the point of these elegant stadiums with their nice fields, instead of easy-to-maintain fake turf and roll-away infields?

    At some point I think we have to admit that the experience of watching baseball is influenced to a great degree by the environment we’re in. Seeing a game in the old Candlestick is entirely different than SBC Park, even though it’s the same team, it was outdoors…

    And who’s to define what a purist wants?

  6. Paul Weaver on August 30th, 2004 12:22 pm

    If the enjoyment of each fan per game decreases, there will be fewer fans at the game. I can understand the move of adding seats during a pennant run, and intense baseball atmosphere…but wouldn’t it be better to make this decision when it appears that will be the case rather than at the beginning of the season? Especially 1 month into this season?
    When it’s a bad year, it’s still fun to go to the park, whine about how the team is doing, have some brews, breathe in the air, relax and watch pro baseball. The bad year is not the time to put unneeded seating in an area that makes the atmosphere more enjoyable – then fewer people will go just