Economic Crisis? Not In Minor League Baseball

Josh LevittSenior Analyst IJune 29, 2009

SAN BERNARDINO, CA - MAY 14:  Residents attend a peewee baseball game south of the San Andreas Rift Zone, the system of depressions in the ground between the parallel faults of the San Andreas earthquake fault, which runs along the northern edge of the city, May 14, 2008 in San Bernardino, California. New calculations reveal a 99.7 percent chance that a magnitude 6.7 quake or larger will strike by 2037, according to the first-ever statewide temblor forecast released by the scientists of the United States Geological (USGS), Southern California Earthquake Center and California Geological Survey last month. Scientists have particular concern for the people living along the southern portion of the 800-mile-long San Andreas Fault east of Los Angeles. This section of the fault has had very little slippage for more than 300 years and has built up immense pressure that could release an earthquake of historic proportions at any time. Such a quake could produce a sudden lateral movement of 23 to 32 feet and be would be

Despite the crumbling economy, minor league baseball continues to be a strong seller:

"Recession! What recession?

Economic downturn? Or an opportunity?

Contrary to conventional thinking, these difficult economic times in which we are currently residing have not adversely affected area-minor league baseball franchises.

General managers from Reading, Harrisburg, and Lancaster recently reported that attendance at home games have pretty much toed the line, or in some cases even increased.

How is this possible without the names, glitz, & glamor of major league baseball?

The answer is simple: Minor league baseball is very affordable for families, many of which cannot afford the grandiose prices of major league baseball.

“What’s happened is that we’re way ahead in daily gates, families coming out to the game,” said Scott Hunsicker, Reading’s GM. “People are turning to us in this economy. Affordable family entertainment, free parking, affordable food. Affordable entertainment is good in a booming economy, and it’s good in a down economy."

“We’re in a unique situation in that we’ve had some growth,” said Harrisburg general manager Randy Whitaker. “I really think minor league baseball is positioned well for the current economic climate. It’s affordable family fun. People still want to be entertained. They’re not going to go fall in a hole somewhere.”

So, think about it this way: Would you rather spend $400 for a family of four to watch the Yankees at the New Yankee Stadium, or would you rather pay $40 for a family of four to watch the Newark Bears?

For my money, I'd go to Newark.

Would you?