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MLB revenue rising, but are the fans happy?

Bill MckillopCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2009

Major League Baseball revenue has been on the rise ever since the 1994-95 strike came to a end. This upward trend shows no signs of slowing down as even in these economic times the business of baseball is still healthy. Attendance is down in 2009 but MLB Revenues should remain on a upward trend overall. This is all great news for the Business of Major League Baseball.


Two new stadiums are coming online in the next couple of years: one in Minnesota in 2010 and one in Miami in 2012.  The two new state-of-the-art stadiums should really provide a financial boost for both franchises, which, in turn, will help them compete for playoff spots. These increases are certain to help MLB’s overall revenue.

How happy are the Fans / Customers?


Major League Baseball had its largest revenue increase in the period now known as the Steroid Era (from after the strike until drug testing began in 2005). I think we are past the period of rampant use but I testing will always need to adapt to catch the new performance-enhancing drugs that hit the market. I don’t think steroids were the only reason the revenues increased so much in that time period; the Wild Card format, new stadiums, Interleague Play, and increased access through TV and the internet helped energize Baseball. Personally, I hold all groups involved in Major League Baseball--includes the Players Union, Players, Owners, and Commissioner--responsible for letting drugs take over the game.

Competitive Balance in Major League Baseball

Competitive balance has been baseball's biggest problem over the last decade. MLB has made good strides with Revenue Sharing and Luxury Tax but the problem persists. Either the owners of subsidized teams pocket the revenues and the fans are disappointed, or the teams make the postseason once or twice before fading back to the bottom. I think its hard for fans in Pittsburgh, Washington, Kansas City, Oakland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Toronto, San Diego, and Miami to get excited about a 162-game season in this current landscape. The Marlins won it all in 2003 but are still pretty much last in attendance. You can blame their woes on the competitive Miami Market, the fact they play in a football stadium until 2012, or that they do not spend much money on their players, but whatever the cause the customers do not seem happy. A salary cap would not be a good solution; it does not work well in the NBA or the NFL, whereowners have opted out of it for 2011.

MLB Playoffs Since 1995

Of the 28 teams that have advanced to the World Series since 1995, only three of them (11%) have had payrolls of less than the league median.

 I personally would like to see MLB adopt a realignment plan that puts like geographic teams and like payrolls in the same division. I also think that adding four more playoff teams to get to 12 teams total will get more markets excited about the season and post season.

My plan and it can be viewed at:

 What do you think the issues are ? or as a paying customer are you happy with what is going on?

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©2009 The Fair Ball. All Rights Reserved.


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