Sunday, April 26, 2009

Time to rethink arena revenue assumptions?

A reader points me to pollster Zogby International's blog, in a post headlined Box Seats or Paying the Rent?:
The new Yankee Stadium is making news, but not for the reasons team management wants. In addition to building a stadium that, after a few games, seems to be allowing too many home runs, empty seats in prime viewing locations are painfully obvious.

According to the Associated Press: “At the new Yankee Stadium, the best seats in the house have turned out to be the emptiest. The most expensive spots in America’s costliest ballpark have become an embarrassment packing a financial sting to the proud New York Yankees, as the Legends Suite section in the infield has been filled only once in the six games since the $1.5 billion stadium opened last week."

...A Zogby Interactive poll done on Feb. 23-24 found 70% saying have cut back on entertainment, recreation and eating out at restaurants. We reported then that: “The slashing of entertainment budgets isn’t just taking place in poorer households - around 70% of those in all household income brackets, including those with more than $100,000 in household income, said they have reduced their spending on entertainment and at restaurants in the past year. Younger adults are most likely to say they have cut back - 76% of those age 18-29 are spending less on entertainment, compared to 55% of those age 65 and older who say the same.”

Are the Yankees, and perhaps other pro teams, out-pricing the market for seats at games? Would you pay those prices to watch a ballgame?


Here's Neil deMause on "Seatgate."

The AY relevance: even if an arena could get funded (assuming lawsuits are cleared), all the assumptions about revenue require a rethink.

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