Another baseball game, another baseball story. Free tickets provided by my buddy Anthony Presti. The story starts with a parking lot and a walk to the stadium. Walking through the exterior, by default, I saw a lot of red shirts. One guy was wearing a throwback Don Sutton Angles jersey, which I thought was pretty rad. I didn’t meet all 42,000+ attendees but I would imagine that there weren’t a lot of fans sporting a Sutton jersey. A little note about Sutton, of the 23 years he played in the majors, only two of them were with the Angels, ’86 and ’87. Something else on stadium grounds that I noticed was Clyde Wright’s BBQ tent. Wright spent 10 years in the majors, all of which were with the Angels. Wright’s stats include: All-Star in ’70, career average ERA of 3.50, and 667 total strikeouts. I hadn’t really paid much attention to this guy until I saw his BBQ tent at the game.
As we made our way into the stadium, I took note of the memorabilia display cases that featured signed balls and other items for sale. What’s the deal with the inflated markup for these items at the Angels stadium? Who’s gonna pay $399 for a baseball signed by Manny Ramirez? Really!?! Not to knock on the asking price but that’s a complete rip-off! If you really must have a Manny ball, they are routinely available on eBay and at local hobby shops for around a cool $100.
You ever notice how my entries regarding certain baseball games I have attended have little to do with the actual game but instead all of its peripheral engagements? Yea, I noticed that too… I think the reason for this can be chalked up to pre-mid-post game distractions. I’m there to see baseball, that is expected, it’s all of the other stuff that is unexpected that I seem to wright about. Perhaps the unexpected is simply more surprising? Like this free mini-sample of a pro-biotic drink. What on earth is this and what’s it doing at a baseball game?
You know what though, while everyone else is covering the game, the players, the stats, the weather, I’m here talking about bbq and free diet drinks. You should know me by now, I love stats but for right now, we’re gonna discuss a story behind a certain hot dog…
If these so called “red hots” were never paired with America’s favorite pastime, what do you think would be sold on $0.50 ____ night? I suppose whatever the case had been, I would still be asking the same question with reference not on hot dogs but instead on said alternative. Maybe the answer to that question could have in fact been hot dogs. How’s that for food for thought, no pun intended.
::What’s this guy talking about? Why don’t you go back to talking about baseball, fella::
As Anthony consumed the hot dog, I got to thinking. How many hot dogs are consumed per game each year on average? How many are consumed per team each year on average? How many are consumed by the MLB each year on average and what’s the total gross revenue? Let’s break it down.
Ticket and Hot Dog sales – a gross generalization:
Angel’s stadium is quite a beautiful place. Whenever I attend major league games, I’m always impressed with the tremendous size and capacity of the stadiums. As I sit in my seat and watch the game, I take a moment to look around at the other attendees and consider where they’re sitting and what the game looks like from their perspectives. There are so many people in the stadium, this particular game hosted an attendance rate of just over 42,000. Although my attendance was free, if you’ll review my ticket, you’ll notice that there’s actually a $28 admissions fee attached to it. I know a range of admissions prices exists but for the sake of discussion, let’s assume that all tickets no matter the proximity to home plate are $28 ea. This means that gross ticket revenue for this game alone is as follows:
42,000 x $28 = $1,176,000 (gross ticket revenue per game at Angels stadium, on average)
That’s only assuming that all tickets cost $28. The total is likely much higher than my estimate due to variations in ticket prices. Let’s go a little further here. There are a total of 30 teams in the MLB, each team plays 162 games which puts the total games played in a season at 4,860.
30 teams x 162 games ea. = 4,860 total games/season
According to an article from MLB.com, roughly, 26 million hot dogs were consumed at major league games in 2004. This means that on average, 5349.8 hot dogs are consumed per game per season and that each teams stadium’s sells roughly 866,667.6 hot dogs per year. Obviously, this is assuming that all of the 4860 games attract the same 42,000 attendance rate and again assuming hot dog sales are consistent across the board. According to this article, in 2004, Angels stadium sold 1.1 million hot dogs which equated to 6,790.1 (round to 6,791) hot dogs per game. Let’s generalize those numbers for 2010 and assume a $3.50 average price point per hot dog. Our equation looks like this:
6,791 x 3.50 = $23,768.5 (gross hot dog revenue per game at Angels Stadium, on average)
So we’ve calculated a total gross income with variables including only ticket and hot dog revenue to come to a total of $1,199,768.5 per game ($194,362,497 per season). That’s only factoring ticket and hot dog sales. This number doesn’t account for sales of: drinks, other food sales, parking, stadium capacity variation, memorabilia (which may or may not include a $399 signed Manny ball) and/or revenue from Clyde Wright’s BBQ tent!
With these figures, let’s generalize them to all other teams per season and calculate the total gross ticket and hot dog revenue for all of the MLB per season assuming an on average attendance level of 42,000. Our formula would look like this:
30 x $194,362,497 = $5,830,874,910 (gross ticket + hot dog revenue per year from MLB, on average)
According to my estimates, just over $5.8 billion is generated each year by the MLB from ticket and hot dog sales, on average. That number is going to vary significantly because we are only considering the following variables: 42,000 attendance rate, average ticket sales and average hot dog sales.
The Angels won this game by 1 point. Although I was an eye squint away from home plate, I had a pretty good view of the first base line and for that I was stoked. It was great to watch Ichiro play live. That guy is a machine, if you added up his Japanese and American totals, he would have 3499 hits and a .342 AVG. That fact always shocks me. He’s a hell of a ball player and a first ballot Hall of Famer.
If you’ve read up to this point, pat yourself on the back. Enjoy baseball and thank you for reading. See you next time.
Question of the Day:
How many hot dogs have you eaten this year?