Wisconsinites belly up to bar; stakes raised

Around 10 years ago, major league baseball in Wisconsin was seriously in doubt, as former owner (now commissioner) Bud Selig was complaining that his Milwaukee Brewers were not marketable in Wisconsin with County Stadium as their venue.
So…then Governor Tommy Thompson and others bellied up to the bar with some government financing (I forget the specifics, but I recall a $90 million tax credit or low-interest loan to build the $300+ million ball park) in hopes that a spiral would occur:
* Better venue (read: newer, better sight lines, more creature comforts) would lead to more tickets sold
* More tickets sold would lead to more revenue for the owners
* More revenue for the owners would lead to more cash to spend on player payroll (and more state income tax for the state)
* More cash on players would lead to better results on the field (read: a winning record, and eventually the World Championship denied to us by the Cardinals back in ’82)
* Better results on the field would mean even more tickets sold…and at higher prices.
The Brewers reached the winning record in 2007–after more than a decade hiatus–and promptly raised ticket prices. No matter…the cycle has proven successful: The Brewers reported yesterday that they set a record for first day single game tickets sold with 98,000+ tickets sold…despite having a “significant” increase in season ticket sales for the season beforehand. While only a 4,000 unit increase over last year, the increase is magnified when you consider that a fair percentage of last year’s first day single game tickets were for opening day, which was not the case this year, as 95% of opening day seats were already sold as part of packages.
So…the cycle is almost complete. Now all that is left is the World Championship.

Quantcast