Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"Filling the Stadium isn't Nearly as Critical for Teams as it Used to Be"

There are two teams in Tampa Bay right now that are only halfway through their stadium contracts, yet they cannot fill the stands if their lives depended on it.

However, while the Tampa Bay Rays are rumored every other month to be jumping to a new city, there has been no such talk (yet) for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Why?

WTSP's Adam Freeman poses that question and arrives at this possible answer:
USF Associate Professor of Sports Management Dr. Mike Mondello says filling the stadium isn't nearly as critical for teams as it used to be.
...
"The NFL is in such a great position with their national TV that teams andorganizations, it's almost gravy what they make at the gate," Mondello explained.
And while it's easy to point to the NFL's $9 billion annual revenue figure as evidence, don't forget MLB was turning $7 billion a year before signing a new multi-billion dollar TV deal.

So if the Bucs prove that you don't need to sell tickets to be profitable and MLB is turning record revenues, why are the Rays hinting at relocation while the Bucs aren't?

It's a simple lesson in leverage.

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