Sunday, February 24, 2008

Slanted and Enchanted* (Part Two)

*This is a lengthy one

Why are professional sports players paid so much money?
A. This question surprisingly gets asked a lot. First, there is so much money in professional sports it is kind of disgusting. Let me just quickly run through an example. Take the Boston Red Sox. They are one of the biggest spenders in Major League Baseball. You ask how can they possibly afford it? One of the largest streams of revenue comes from ticket sales. Fenway Park is the smallest stadium in MLB, but the Sox don't need to worry because they are charging some of the highest prices for tickets. The fact that people are willing to dish out the big bucks every single home game literally pays off for the team. I was just looking up ticket prices and in 2003 the average ticket price was $42.34. There are approximately 38,805 seats at Fenway. The math is quite easy. The Red Sox bring in $1,643,004 per game. Multiply that number by 80 home games each year and for one given year the total amount of ticket sales is $131,440,320. That amount is almost enough to cover the entire Red Sox 25 man roster payroll which is currently somewhere around $143,123,714. Another major source of income is television. The Red Sox own a major portion of NESN, which is obviously the most watched Boston sports television station. They definitely allocate income from there to the players. Also, just by watching NESN or whatever station, people are being exposed to the team. And we all know that once you start watching and becoming a fan, you "must" buy merchandise to show your support. And merchandise is, by the way, a microcosm of another major source of income for teams: licensed items. These items include aforementioned merchandise (hats, clothing, bats, and toys) as well as video games, food, and beverages. The numbers can get outrageous in this category. Just say that 500,000 fans own $100 worth of total Red Sox related goods. There is another 50,000,000 there. In summary, the fans of the Boston Red Sox are paying the players by supporting them. If you think that they should be payed less, then stop buying Red Sox related shit and stop buying tickets. If you don't mind how much they are getting paid, then keep on doing what you are doing. Always remember that professional sports teams are corporations and businesses.

1 comment:

  1. I think they are paid a lot because there are so few people who could do their job well. For example, a plumber doesn't make much because there are thousands of people who could do their job at the same quality.

    And for the merchandise, the Sox don't get all the money for their jersey sales. Major League Baseball takes all the revenue from merchandise and divides it equally to every team. For example, the Yankees sell about three or four times as many (estimating) jerseys as a team like the Pirates. i mean, how many Pirates jerseys do you see anywhere? Under this rule, the Pirates and Yankees get the same amount of money. This caused controversy in Pittsburgh because the owner took that money and put it in his pocket instead of paying for decent players. This caused the fans to stage a walkout, where everyone left during the middle of a game. And yet, the Pirates still suck and the ownership has done nothing to change that.

    So really, not going will only hurt our beloved Red Sox franchise and won't affect the salaries.


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