So if you don’t need to attend a Major League Baseball game in person to watch one, why do teams such as the Atlanta Braves need a new stadium?
Something of a rhetorical question in the 21st century, of course. But the sport’s economics were on display again recently, via business involving the Braves.
A recent media report noted that 156 of the Braves’ regular season games in 2014 will be televised by regional networks owned by the FOX network. And the remaining six games will be subject to national telecasts.
“Take Me Out To The Ball Game”? Well, data show that Turner Field, the Braves’ home park, was just more than half filled on average in 2013 (average attendance: 31,465). In other words, the Braves can’t some close to paying all those big player salaries with ticket revenue. And that is only the beginning for fan costs — there’s also parking and food. It doesn’t take long for all of that to exceed the price of a big-screen TV.
So the drive for that new stadium is interesting. Of course, the Braves have announced plans to build a new park near a prominent freeway intersection in suburban Cobb County. And local government officials have signed off on the deal.
Turner Field opened for baseball in 1997, and is located in a downtown area that is neither near mass transit or downtown freeways. So a case can be made for a new stadium, but it’s clear what the driving revenue force is for the Braves, and probably for other MLB teams as well.
— What’s your preference for baseball, TV or attending a game? Leave a comment below.