Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Bob DuPuy Marlins/Indians comparison is misleading

I love fellow Dartmouthians, but Bob DuPuy (COO of MLB) is misleading folks with his comparison of the Indians/Marlins television ratings to attendance ratio.

"Cleveland was like that back before they got their new ballpark. Cleveland was a good baseball market. They had great TV ratings and they didn't draw flies, and when the new ballpark came they sold out for four years" (http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/baseball/story/606076.html).

First, the Indians absolutely stunk up the joint when they played at Cleveland's Municipal Stadium. They hadn't finished in first place since 1954 (when lost the World Series to the NY Giants, thank you very much)! The Marlins on other hand have won two world series in the past 15 years. Further, they are dead last in the Majors right now in attendance despite being a game and half out of first place.

Second, the Indians move to Jacobs Field happened to coincide with the Indians.... get this, I know this is amazing... winning baseball games!!!! In fact, in 1994 (the year of the strike), the Indians were playing their best baseball in ages at 19 games over 500. They won the American League Championship in '95 and '97 and made the playoffs all the way through '99.

And wouldn't you know it, when the Indians started losing ballgames, their attendance dropped. They are currently 8th in the American League and 21st in the Major Leagues.

Hardly a success story...

I should say that there are reasons to believe that the Miami market is a good market for baseball. The TV ratings for one. Its high population for two.

But reasons exist for the opposite view.

DuPuy points out "[t]hey will be going against the traffic and they are going to know the game is going to start at 7 o'clock and they're going to know the game is going to be over and there's not going to be a rain delay, and there are going to be restaurants around there, and we're hoping it will induce people to come to the ballpark".

A lot of these folks go to bed by 10pm..... I know these old folks... I'm related to them.

If they aren't going to come out for a winning team, why would they even with a new stadium? Yes, I know no rain.... but really, is that the only problem?

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