Spinning off from today’s story about sizing up how the Dodgers are attracting some 7,000 fewer fans per game this year after 25 dates compared to last year (linked here), some other things to note:
== More from David Carter, the executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute, a professor of sports business at the school, and principal of the Sports Business Group, which provides stragetic marking and business development services to the sports industry:
“The (Dodgers) brand will get them through this. The corporate sponsors will let this pass and know it can turn around with new ownership, and they don’t want to be on the outside when it happens. You have to be careful when you give up seats now.
“Still, you can’t turn on the news and constantly hear the drip of bad news. Women and mothers are big in making purchase decisions. When they’re asked to go to the game, I sense that the response is more, ‘Naw, let’s wait it out.’ That response is a real chllange going forward. Now kids aren’t coming out.
“Once the MLB comes in and new owners come, people will return to being faithful fans like you’ve never seen before and believe that happy days are here again. That’ll also give the new owners too much initial credit. Until they finish in fourth place.”
== More from Tom Leykis:
“I had my season seats a year but I didn’t go. I had them mostly to give to people or sell them off. But there was very little demand for them. When the team now is constantly offering deals and packages to get people to come, that’s a sign that the demand is soft. Just check StubHub — on any given night, they’ll have the $12 top-deck seats for $1. Sometimes the reserved seats are a low as $3-$4. Those are people who bought season-seat plans and tried to sell them at face value but now they’re down to nothing.
“The economic factors are big. The parking prices have hit people hard. Some day they’re now trying to charge $16 for some high-end beer. We’re not talking about this being the Lakers with half the home dates and more championships. Go back to the O’Malley days when, in good times and bad, it was always affordable.
“I finally let my season seats go (see Leykis’ blog posting on his back-and-forth with the Dodgers’ ticket department). When I first came to L.A. to live in 1988, the year of the Kirk Gibson home run, prior to that I was in Phoenix and Miami, and neither had a major-league team. I hadn’t lived in a major-league city, so the first thing I did when I got here was call about season seats and the woman laughed me off the phone. ‘Are you kidding? There’s a waiting list.’ And the Dodgers won the World Series and everyone was delirous. I got tickets in the early ’90s in the reserved section and went to a lot of games, but when they got rid of Mike Piazza, I was out. I took the money I saved on seats and got DirecTV. That was all the Fox ownership back then.
“But last year, when I had the season seats, there wasn’t even a demand for any of the home games against the Yankees. I couldn’t even sell them at face value. I lost money having seats last year.”