How the Economy is Affecting Professional Sports: MLB

This post about how the economy is affecting the MLB makes it clear that baseball organizations have been negatively affected by the recent state of the economy.  It was helpful to read about the specific examples of teams in New York, Arizona, Florida that have had trouble selling their more expensive tickets.  It was also very interesting to see how these teams have reacted to their financial troubles with various price drops and promotions.  Decreasing ticket prices immediately comes to mind as a solution to teams losing ticket sales, but I never realized that the seemingly “money-hungry” professional sports franchises would result to giving away tickets or offering money credits towards fans’ mortgages and leases.

As an avid sports fan who attended several Philadelphia Phillies games this past season, I am fascinated with how the economic recession is affecting my hometown professional sports teams.  While at the time I did not pay any attention to ticket prices or attendance, it’s very interesting to go back and think about how this post may relate to the Phillies organization.

The post concludes by suggesting that the teams are making these changes to keep from losing money and to gain community support.  But giving away season tickets and mortgage payments wont exactly earn any extra income for the teams.  And why wouldn’t fans jump at the chance to attend baseball games when given free tickets?  It seems to me that the teams are simply worried about their reputation above all else.  I absolutely agree that the money-saving promotions are wonderful gestures to the team’s fans, but there is a reason that these price cuts and promotions did not exist before about a year ago now.  Teams are still building new stadiums and paying even mediocre players millions of dollars.  The teams mentioned in the post seem to taking the financial hit for now and just want to make it out of the recession with a popular reputation.  MLB teams are “buying” their fans and not fans paying to be part of their favorite teams.

As an update to the post, I am curious about how ticket sales were during the playoffs of the 2009 MLB season.  Did attendance still suffer while the best teams in the world battled it out?  It would not look very good if games were played in empty stadiums on national television.  And also how did playoff ticket prices compare to that of earlier years?


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