But I'm not talking about baseball stadiums in this case; I'm talking about theme parks.
Last week, Disney World, Universal Orlando, Busch Gardens, and Sea World all announced new price increases that make even expensive trips to the ballpark seem affordable. Here's a great price graph of theme park prices from USA Today.
Most of the time, theme parks attribute the increases to new improvements and construction that "improve the value of a ticket." But this comes even as theme parks set record attendance levels, so it would seem the corporations are making the moves to increase profit margins, rather than simply just maintain them. And in many ways, it's the same way baseball teams operate.
Even though new stadiums will boost attendance numbers, much of the increased revenue they provide comes in the form of higher ticket prices.
In the Rays' situation, we can all acknowledge - all things being equal - a stadium in Downtown Tampa would draw better than a stadium in Downtown St. Pete. I admit I'd go to more games too.
But what if the Tampa option came with higher ticket prices (which every new MLB stadium has)?
Would you start losing families that go to the Trop because it's so affordable?
Fans can hold out hope that the Rays would keep their lower-level seats affordable, but when franchise owners talk about "new revenue streams" associated with new ballparks, what they really mean, as John Henry explained last year, is "higher ticket prices":
"New stadiums that are publicly financed make sense for clubs. I've never heard of a club turning down a publicly financed stadium. But privately carrying new stadiums is an enormous challenge.
"New stadiums increase revenues primarily by raising ticket prices — especially premium seating.
"In America, as an example, 3 NFL (American football) clubs have moved into new stadiums over the past 3 years. The New York Jets average ticket price rose by 32% when they moved into their new stadium. The New York Giants rose by 26% and the Dallas Cowboys rose by 31%. In baseball, ticket prices rose 76% when the New York Yankees moved into their new stadium 3 years ago."