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29 April 2008

2008 FCI - WTF?

The A's are off the charts, folks.

I'm not referring to the team's popularity or TV ratings, nor is it an attendance phenomena. Remember this chart?

This year's Fan Cost Index by Team Marketing Report has the A's average ticket price for 2008 at:
$29.20
It's way off the above chart, a whopping 22.3% increase over 2007 ($23.88). That's good enough for third highest in MLB, behind the Yankees and Cubs.

The increase contributed to an overall FCI of $206.80, 11.5% over 2007 and good for 10th in baseball. That's higher than most teams with recently built ballparks, including the Nationals ($195.50), Padres ($201.72), and Giants ($183.74). The Giants actually posted a FCI drop of 0.7% relative to last season - but only because they were allowed to go back and adjust prices after the season was over.

But is $29.20 right? Compared to last year, several seating sections received $4-6 ticket hikes, whereas roughly one-third of the stadium has only a $1 increase. There's premium game pricing for the Yankees, Red Sox, and Giants, but that's only 11 out of 79 games (Tokyo doesn't count). There's also the addition of the all-you-can-eat seats, but even that only equates to a $1-1.50 hit. (I've sent Team Marketing Report a request for clarification but have not received a response.)


If one were to follow simple supply-demand rules, a ticket price hike (whatever the final number) would appear to be a major cause for the significantly reduced attendance this year (see sidebar). Reduced expectations and a revamped roster with few big names haven't helped, neither have the oddly cooler temperatures observed for A's homestands as opposed to Giants' games. Now that the team is leading the division and Frank Thomas has returned, there should be some uptick from the bandwagoners and youth, along with warmer weather. However, I don't think they'll catch last year's total or eclipse 2 million unless they go on a massive winning streak or run away with the division - thoughts that were unheard of in the winter.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

ML - You didn't mention the possibility that the significant reduction in attendance this year might also - at least in part - be the result of the disillusionment experienced by many of the local A's fans regarding the future relocation of the team. That would seem to me to be another potential contributing factor to the decrease in attendance. I wouldn't be surprised if that trend were to continue until the team leaves Oakland - unless they do incredibly well this season and, as a result, pull in fans who wouldn't have otherwise attended A's games at the coliseum.

Marine Layer said...

That's certainly a factor. Some number of fans are being lost because of the move talk. But how can this be quantified? And how would a trend be tracked?

Anonymous said...

I suppose you could begin to get a rough sense of that by calculating how many season ticket holders decided not to renew their purchase after word of the move was officially announced. I suppose though you would really need to do something like a general phone survey soliciting input from Easy Bay/Greater East Bay/Sacramento/San Francisco, etc. residents to determine who no longer attends A's games as a result of the future move.

Jeffrey said...

It is most likely that ticket price increases, uncertain venue future and traded "name" players are all responsible to some degree. Understanding which is causing the biggest drawn down is probably not all that likely.

Marine Layer said...

In the economic impact report submitted last year, the A's allowed a peak into fanbase demographics by showing a breakdown of season ticket subscriptions. Somehow I doubt they'll update this and release the figures during the intervening years. It's potentially bad PR.

Anonymous said...

how about sheer amount of lower a's fans in the bay area ... and shrinking.

Anonymous said...

WHY NOT COMPARE THE PRICE AND ON FIELD PERFORMANCE OF THE A'S TO THE GIANTS. YOU MUST REALLY DISLIKE THE A'S.HE A'S OFFER THE BEST VALUE FOR PRO SPORTS IN THE BAY AREA.

SexFlavoredPez said...

Did you catch this?

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/specials/fansurvey/2008/athletics.html

They have the average ticket price at $25.43.

Jeffrey said...

Shrinking?

Does anyone have definitive proof of that? I mean attendance is a number that has fluctuated a great deal over the past 40 years, so a dip in attendance after trades portrayed negatively in the media, an uncertain venue future and the ticket price increases noted in this thread is not really an indication of any great change is it?

Also, the teams first losing season in nearly a decade doesn't help. It will take more than a hot start to bring people back out to the park.

Doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

I think by now the oakland only crowd has already made up its mind what they are doing. I think its more likely the factors of trading everyone, poor expectations, poor weather, and people upset about them.