Gennaro: The payoff for winning comes from the postseason

From SABR President Vince Gennaro at Diamond Dollars on August 9, 2012:

There are several important findings I can add to my previous post on the financial payoff from reaching the postseason, as well as the overall impact of winning on revenues. There are clear exceptions to this largely valid model, with the Tampa Bay Rays at the top of the list of exceptions. The absence of a suitable ballpark facility in an acceptable location have aborted this virtuous cycle of playoffs, followed by a jump in revenues. Despite leaping from a 66-win team in 2007, to averaging 92 wins for the next four seasons, including a World Series appearance as a 97-win team in 2008, the Rays have shown little gains in revenue—far below what any MLB-wide models or analysis would expect. Interpret this to mean there needs to be a baseline of underlying factors that make for a healthy franchise.

Despite one of the best leadership teams in all of MLB, the payoff from winning in Tampa is nowhere to be found. This is not conclusive evidence that the Tampa/St. Petersburg market cannot sustain a big league club, but a confirmation that the Rays’ stadium situation is untenable. The stadium is poorly situated in a part of the metropolitan area away from the population center. The perfect storm of a devastating economic climate, lengthy drive times to the ballpark, and a generally unappealing facility, all served to inhibit attendance and revenue growth following a highly successful four-year run, including three trips to the postseason.

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Originally published: August 9, 2012. Last Updated: August 9, 2012.