The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Marlins New Stadium One Step Closer to Reality

Sigh... it seems like it's going to happen:
Miami-Dade officials estimate the Marlins stadium would generate up to $8 million in new sales taxes for the state and in return they are asking the state to let them keep $2 million of that each year for the next 30 years.

Apparently state lawmakers, at least these committee people bought this. If the $8 million in "new sales taxes" (which I'm taking to mean $8 million in incremental tax dollars - over and above whatever tax dollars the team/stadium currently generate) proves to be accurate, you and I (and other baseball fans across South Florida can expect to be responsible for generating that extra money).

How much would have to be spent to generate $8 million in incremental tax revenue?

Well, if the tax rate is 7%, to generate $8 million in tax revenue, you'd have to generate north of $114 million in sales. If the Marlins attract 2 million fans to their new ballpark each year, that would mean each fan would be paying $57 more for their experience than they do now at Pro Player Stadium.

To me, that sounds ludicrous. People aren't going to pay that. Maybe my math is wrong, but I don't think that it is.

Sure, the glitz and glamour of a new stadium (I'll give them - although it's at best a stretch - that it's more ideally located) can justify higher ticket prices. And maybe with more food choices and some VIP amenities you can squeeze out a few extra dollars per person.

But $57 on average per person per game? That's a lot of money. That type of an increase will sure turn off some average families and even some passionate baseball fans. That's a lot of money to ask of people.

Sure, you could work around it by keeping bleacher seats attractively priced, but for every seat you don't raise the prices on, you'll have to increase the revenue you get from another "fan" by $114. Look around town folks, there aren't the business in Miami-Dade (or Broward) to support that kind of expenditure.

$57 per fan for each game would equal $4,617. That's not your bill for tickets. That's your bill over and above what you pay for tickets, concessions, parking, merchandise, and everything else today.

I suspect though that the "real" expectations for the new ballpark aren't that high. No one can really think that this stadium is going to generate an incremental $8 million in tax revenue (7% of gross revenue) per year. But by the time people catch on to that the Marlins will already be playing in their fancy new digs.


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