If Baseball Is Cancelled Who Will Care?
It's a game of who's bluffing whom as Players Dare the League to Cancel the Season.
- The owners want to pay the players 37% of their salary for 44% of the games.
- The players demand prorated salaries based on the number of games played no matter what the attendance is.
The bitter negotiations have already cost baseball the chance to restart by the Fourth of July and play 80 games or more—about half of a normal season. If the two sides reached a deal now, about two dozen additional games could be added to the schedule for a total of about 75. Staging them would cost the owners, whose industry generated about $11 billion in revenue last year, about $20 million per team in player compensation.
- In 2019, only two of the last 13 home games had more than 40,000 in attendance and three of those games were under 35,000 in paid attendance? The reason is simple — the tickets are too expensive!
- For a 19-game stretch from mid-June to early August, the cheapest STH ticket price (Upper Reserved Outfield) is $39. Speaking from a Southern California perspective, the Dodgers, Angels and Padres have traditionally had tickets from $10-15 for almost every game during the same period. Many families can not afford those prices, and as a result, the Cubs are not developing that next generation of Cubs’ fans.
That article was written on November 18, 2019, long before Covid-19 was an issue.
Baseball Attendance and Payroll
Table from Baseball Reference, highlights mine.
Lg Payroll: Sum of player salaries in our database. This will not be a 100% accurate accounting of league finances
Payroll/Tm: Approximate Payroll Per team. Sum of player salaries in our database divided by teams. This will not be a 100% accurate accounting of league finances
Attendance peaked in 2007. Attendance is less than in 1999.
In 1999, payroll per team was $50,119,641. In 2019 payroll per team was a whopping $133,327,569.
Is the baseball any better? Is it more entertaining?
I have no sympathy for either side if the entire baseball season is cancelled.