Siberian Baseball

Monday, August 27, 2007

Could the key to Yankee success be seats?

Forgive me if I'm coming late to the party on this one, but it kind of struck me yesterday when I was driving back from Chicago.

The White Sox radio broadcast team was talking about the large and increasingly rowdy Red Sox fan base that was taking over late in Sunday's blowout.

They made reference to the fact that many people will travel to see the Red Sox on the road because they're better served by opponents' ballparks than their own. (It's worth noting that they also advanced the theory that there were a lot of Boston transplants in town, too, so I assume they were just throwing everything they had at the wall to see what stuck.)

My train of thought went from thinking of seating capacity at Fenway (listed at 36,108) and Wrigley (listed at 41,160) as compared to Yankee Stadium (currently at 56,937, with 74,200 listed on the Yankee site as the attendance for the first home game).

The quick math says Yankee Stadium has 15,777 more seats than Wrigley and 20,829 more than Fenway. (Quick disclaimers - these are the best stats I can find, so if they're off, let me know. Also, I'm betting I'm not the first one to explore this possibility - only the laziest.)

Multiply that capacity out on sold-out games or nearly sold out games and that becomes a serious chunk of change. In a sport without salary caps, is it that much of a stretch to say that for three teams that have similarly-sized fan bases (huge) the Yankees might be doing better because they can produce a larger supply for their demand?

There are too many factors for me to track down tonight - this sounds like more of an off season project - but even with a full capacity, no fire marshall crowd at Fenway, the best they could do was 47,627 for a Yankees game in 1935, according to the Red Sox site.

Just think of all that lost revenue that comes from having a goofy wall and aging ballparks that the community is attached to.

(Image from



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