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Monday, August 12, 2019

Nashville Orioles? Baltimore needs a local buyer to step up to the plate

If the family were to sell, that means another complication: Would they sell to local investors, or to out-of-town owners who might move the team? The lease on Oriole Park, which helps tie the team to Baltimore, ends in 2021.

One rumor has the family retaining ownership but the club moving to Nashville, where John Angelos and his wife have one of their homes. That rumor takes on legitimacy mainly because of sinking attendance at Oriole Park.

But knowledgeable sources say the family would much rather sell – and keep the club in Baltimore, if a local buyer can be found.

Among potential Baltimore buyers whose names have surfaced: David Smith, executive chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group; Raymond “Chip” Mason, founder and former chairman and CEO of the Legg Mason investment group; Jim Davis, founder of the Allegis Group staffing company, whose cousin is Ravens owner Steve Biscotti.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2019 at 03:30 PM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles

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   1. Bote Man Posted: August 12, 2019 at 06:52 PM (#5870693)
Well, moving the Orioles to Nashville would be one way to solve the long-running MASN TV rights dispute with the Nationals.
   2. Brian C Posted: August 12, 2019 at 07:43 PM (#5870716)
Indianapolis would be a fine market as well, and they could probably get a good deal on middle-of-the-night van rentals.
   3. rconn23 Posted: August 12, 2019 at 10:35 PM (#5870797)
I'm from Nashville. It would not be a good baseball town.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: August 12, 2019 at 10:42 PM (#5870799)
but every cabbie I had in Nashville in January told me the same story - Nashville is growing even more than vaunted Austin, TX!

tons of construction downtown, for sure.

speaking of Indianapolis, their cabbie 1990s script was tell you about St. Elmo's Steakhouse - gotta go there.

compared to most steakhouses around the U.S. - it serves steaks.
   5. Master of the Horse Posted: August 12, 2019 at 10:49 PM (#5870803)
Nashville or maybe it’s all of TN has a 24 percent tax on liquor. So a simple gin and tonic is outrageous
   6. Answer Guy. Posted: August 12, 2019 at 10:50 PM (#5870804)
Baltimore is 50% larger in terms of population than Nashville, and that doesn't count anyone from south of the Patuxent River which is classified as Greater Washington. They already have a gem of a ballpark.

It's not a great place to sit outside in July and August, but I'm pretty sure Music City is worse.
   7. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 12, 2019 at 10:51 PM (#5870805)
While #2 is a hilarious post, I live in Indy, and there's no way they could support a 3rd major sports team, and particularly not baseball. I love the AAA park, and they appear to be healthy, but to the extent there are hardcore baseball fans here, they seem committed (Reds, Cubs, Cardinals), and then the host of transplants like me, who still are gonna pull for our hometown team.

Re: St. Elmo's, great bar, and lounge upstairs, but the only food draw to me is the shrimp cocktail, and now that they bottle that sauce and sell it at retail, its just another steakhouse in a city with plenty of them.
   8. rconn23 Posted: August 12, 2019 at 10:55 PM (#5870807)
"It's not a great place to sit outside in July and August, but I'm pretty sure Music City is worse."

Camden Yards is a great ballpark and yes Baltimore is larger - although Nashville is going to be like Atlanta in 10 years. It's growing at an absurd rate. Nashville is a waaaayy better city than Baltimore, but it would be a shame to see the Orioles move after all these years.
   9. Oriole Tragic didn't have the teams Lebron had Posted: August 12, 2019 at 11:34 PM (#5870815)
edit: double post
   10. Oriole Tragic didn't have the teams Lebron had Posted: August 12, 2019 at 11:35 PM (#5870816)
Nashville is a waaaayy better city than Baltimore
Will you unpack this a little more, or are crime rates doing pretty much all the heavy lifting here?

I have been to Nashville and I lived in Baltimore. (I am a West Coast native.) I get that certain people will never want to live in Baltimore, but I'd move back there 10 times out of 10 if given a choice between that and living in Nashville.

In many ways, my experience living in Baltimore was a superior compared to where I live now in San Diego.
   11. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:00 AM (#5870822)
That rumor takes on legitimacy mainly because of sinking attendance at Oriole Park.


Well gee, what do you think is mostly the cause of that sinking attendance? Try to win a few more games and the fans will show up(Tampa caveat plays here as usual).

Even at Fenway, Wrigley, Yankee stadium number whatever, Dodger stadium, etc...if you put a cr*p product on the diamond the fans do tend to lose interest in the late summer.

Nashville is a waaaayy better city than Baltimore


How do you figure? I'm not trolling, I've actually never been to either place but can see advantages for either.
   12. rconn23 Posted: August 13, 2019 at 01:44 AM (#5870838)
"I have been to Nashville and I lived in Baltimore. (I am a West Coast native.) I get that certain people will never want to live in Baltimore, but I'd move back there 10 times out of 10 if given a choice between that and living in Nashville."

I have been to Baltimore and while I like the harbor and the crab cakes, I just didn't enjoy it overall. I was amazed how run down major parts of the city were. Nashville has changed a lot and the traffic is becoming insufferable, but the amount of stuff to do dwarfs Baltimore. The music scene (not country) is hard to beat and the culinary scene there is really burgeoning. The crime rate in Baltimore is part of the story, but Nashville isn't exactly the safest city either.
   13. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: August 13, 2019 at 02:19 AM (#5870840)
Nashville is a great city. Baltimore is fine. The most unlivable major city in the US (defined as a city with at least one Big 3 sports team), by far, is New Orleans. Infrastructure sucks, food has one genre and that's it, tons of mosquitoes, drunk annoying tourists, and oh by the way a hurricane is gonna drown you once a decade. Not ideal.

Phoenix is second worst. God, Phoenix is boring.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: August 13, 2019 at 02:31 AM (#5870842)
Phoenix is No. 1 with a bullet. but anyone who stays in Phoenix instead of Scottsdale - which is manageable - deserves their fate.

N'Orleans livability is an issue, but there is plenty of genuine culture there.

I'd rather drown in a flood there than live longer and die early - or ever - in those other cities.





















   15. TomH Posted: August 13, 2019 at 08:14 AM (#5870859)
Teams move when the expectation is they will be better off financially somewhere else.

"better off financially" correlates strongly with ticket sales.

The O's are not drawing all that well, but hey guys, a team that (a) was as bad as could be last year, (b) is as bad as could be THIS year, and (c) doesn't even have the young-stars thingy that the Blue Jays have (JRs Guerrero/Biggio/Bichette); do you really think they would be drawing better if they moved to Nashville 5 yrs ago? Not.

   16. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: August 13, 2019 at 08:49 AM (#5870869)
Indianapolis would be a fine market as well, and they could probably get a good deal on middle-of-the-night van rentals.

Only if Brick Heck throws out the first pitch (*first pitch*).
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 08:53 AM (#5870871)
I think Nashville will be a great expansion candidate in about 10-15 years. The South is still a bit untapped, and Nashville provides an interesting cultural hub that probably fits well with a lot of MLB's fan and player population.
   18. Rally Posted: August 13, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5870890)
Baltimore recently had a good 5 year run, not a single losing season and playoff appearances every other year. Attendance was between 2.1 and 2.4 million.

Much better than the 1.4 million they are on pace for with a terrible team, but also well below the 3.5 million per year they were getting with good teams in the 1990s. If they put together a competitive team, can they beat 2.1-2.4 million in Nashville?

I'm skeptical. Smaller area than Baltimore, even looking at the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area and not DC. A bit smaller than Cincinnati, which draws between 2-2.5 million when they have a good team. Nashville doesn't have the baseball history than the Reds do.
   19. Zonk, your King of All that Is Real Posted: August 13, 2019 at 09:56 AM (#5870892)
You can get a good steak almost anywhere in the midwest -- it's one of the region's many fine qualities.

As for the N'awlins bashing... I strongly disagree. I do agree that living there full-time might be a challenge - I am not a big fan of humidity and skeeters - but I love visiting the place... The food is outstanding - yes, it helps if you enjoy the local fare, but I don't think I've ever had a bad meal of any sort. Music... culture... history...
   20. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: August 13, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5870899)
Phoenix is No. 1 with a bullet.


Phoenix is the only place I can remember opening a door with my foot, because I would have burned my hand otherwise ...
   21. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5870949)
I know I've said this before on this site, but I've spent well over 30 hotel/house nights in the Phoenix metro area in my life (only b/t October and March), and have never set foot in downtown PHX. I'm not so sure I've ever driven through it, maybe once.
   22. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: August 13, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5870950)
is New Orleans. Infrastructure sucks, food has one genre and that's it, tons of mosquitoes, drunk annoying tourists, and oh by the way a hurricane is gonna drown you once a decade. Not ideal.


P.J. O'Rourke described New Orleans as "like sleeping in a high crime drainage ditch" (IIRC).

The food, however, is fantastic, though my choice would be Charleston, having been to both several times.
   23. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:00 PM (#5870954)
Phoenix is the only place I can remember opening a door with my foot, because I would have burned my hand otherwise ...


Motel.

4:30ish PM.

West facing door.

112 degrees.

I should have gone with "melted my hand otherwise" ...
   24. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5870959)
St. Elmo's steakhouse


It's no Charles Mulligan's
   25. Zonk, your King of All that Is Real Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5870963)
St. Elmo's steakhouse

It's no Charles Mulligan's


They did sadly break character and visit St Elmo's in an episode IIRC.
   26. . Posted: August 13, 2019 at 01:54 PM (#5871001)
Well gee, what do you think is mostly the cause of that sinking attendance?


1. The Nationals.
2. The Ravens.

Actually maybe even flip-flop that. The Ravens are to Oriole attendance what Browns II are to the Indians'. The secular downturn in both cities coincides almost perfectly with a new NFL team in a modern NFL stadium.

Bigger picture, baseball popularity is simply on a slow, progressive downturn that shows no sign of abating. We're now something like 20 years into that. Mallpark and merchandise revenue and bubble cable revenue give a lot of people a false impression otherwise.
   27. Rally Posted: August 13, 2019 at 02:33 PM (#5871011)
Maybe the Ravens have some effect. I'm not saying they don't. But it makes no sense to me that it could be all that much. OK, Sunday afternoon in September, people fill up M&T and leave Camden Yards abandoned. But how often does that happen? Once or twice a year at the most?

I think they try to avoid scheduling both on the same day if possible, but even if schedules were done randomly and independently you would expect it to happen once per September. 4 coin flips, and each team is 50/50 to be home or on the road.

I'm not buying that it's financial in that people budget X number of dollars and if they spend it going to Ravens games they don't have the money for Oriole tickets. Sure, there are a lot of people with limited financial means but they aren't, for the most part, the people who go to Camden Yards.

Outside of September Sundays Ravens shouldn't have any effect at all on the Orioles' attendance.
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2019 at 02:56 PM (#5871017)
OK, Sunday afternoon in September, people fill up M&T and leave Camden Yards abandoned. But how often does that happen? Once or twice a year at the most?


I would guess never. I don't believe they schedule games at both facilities at the same time, given the kerfuffle a few years back when the defending champion Ravens wanted to open at home on a Thursday night but couldn't because of a previously scheduled O's home game.

Now, the O's September home dates may be dinged by people staying home to watch a Ravens' road game, though given the Ravens' rather consistent performance as a contender, I imagine this has been an ongoing issue for most of the past 20 years, rather than a recent development.
   29. Zonk, your King of All that Is Real Posted: August 13, 2019 at 03:07 PM (#5871020)
I was in Baltimore for work probably ~10 years ago now - and I know they had a Ravens game and Orioles game on the same day (but I think the Ravens game was a noon game and the Os played at night). My hotel - cannot remember which one - had a really nice view of Camden.... not nice enough that I could actually watch the game mind you, but having taken in many games from Wrigley rooftops (including before they all became Bar & Buffet "experiences"), it was kind of neat to look in on the park the same time I had the game on TV.
   30. SandyRiver Posted: August 13, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5871023)
It's not a great place to sit outside in July and August, but I'm pretty sure Music City is worse.

Nashville's overall climate is probably a bit milder than Baltimore's, but humidity in the latter is truly awful, especially in late summer (when I was there years ago for early football practice) when the bay is like bathwater. It's not just its position on Chesapeake that won Baltimore the title of "Armpit of the East."
   31. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 13, 2019 at 03:15 PM (#5871026)
I'm not buying that it's financial in that people budget X number of dollars and if they spend it going to Ravens games they don't have the money for Oriole tickets. Sure, there are a lot of people with limited financial means but they aren't, for the most part, the people who go to Camden Yards.

I don't know about that. I don't live in Baltimore but I've been in Philly for a dozen or so years, and the people at Phillies games seem to range the class spectrum.

Leisure time is another finite resource. If someone wants to devote a Sunday going to a Ravens game and they have to coordinate friends and family, I can see them being less likely to go to an O's game in August or September. Especially if the team is not doing well.

There's also something to be said for being the only game in town. Good or bad, the Orioles were the only team to follow in Baltimore for a while. The Ravens have taken up a lot of oxygen in the room. It's possible that deflates some of the enthusiasm for following the Orioles, which means depressed attendance.
   32. Wayne Newton's pet monkey (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 03:52 PM (#5871048)
Very SSS, of course, but my co-worker just got back from a convention in Baltimore. He liked the part of the city where it was held, but said other sections are almost (bad parts of) New Orleans-esque in their vileness.
   33. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 13, 2019 at 03:57 PM (#5871050)
I was going to say something similar to No. 31. It's not the head-to-head competition with the Ravens that the Orioles have to worry about; it's the competition for time, money and affection.
   34. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 13, 2019 at 04:23 PM (#5871067)
One problem with arguing that the Ravens are a significant cause of the Orioles' woes is that the Orioles' best year for attendance came in the season after the Ravens first played. That was, perhaps not coincidentally, the year the Orioles won 98 games. Then over the next 14 years the Orioles finished an average of 28 games out of first, with a high in wins of 78. I'd be surprised if the Ravens and Nats didn't have some sort of effect on Baltimore's attendance, but it's impossible to separate that out from from the effect of consistent suckiness in a division with a couple of heavyweights on top.
   35. . Posted: August 13, 2019 at 05:07 PM (#5871085)
Sure, but they got good again in the 2010s for five-six straight years and their attendance wasn't remotely close to where it was in their last good cycle. Same for the Indians. That's what a secular decline means.

The Browns opened up their new stadium in 1999 and within four years the Indians' attendance was down 50%. And it's never come close to recovering, even through a lot of good teams. No way that kind of plunge happens ex-Browns.(**)

It's the oxygen in the room theory, not the crowding out dates. For whatever reason, BTFers want to downplay it, but football is extremely popular with extremely deep and wide roots in a way that baseball just isn't. (*) I'm not sure why people care so much about that -- hockey's probably my favorite sport and it's pure niche and I give zero ##### about its mass popularity -- but that's clearly the reality of American sports.

(*) With the Patriots' ascension, St. Louis stands alone as the only market where baseball is clearly more popular than football. And, while again no one should really care about this, if college football is counted as it should be, football has been more deeply and widely popular than baseball in the United States for coming up on 100 years now. Baseball was probably at its peak in actual mass appeal compared to football from about 1978-1985.

(**) The Browns were 1-31 in 2015-16, basically worse than if they were intentionally trying to be bad. Three years later, the buzz around them is as high as its been arguably in the history of football in Cleveland. Without question, it's the highest it's been in New Browns history. Just no comparison to Cleveland baseball.
   36. Howie Menckel Posted: August 13, 2019 at 07:18 PM (#5871117)
I know I've said this before on this site, but I've spent well over 30 hotel/house nights in the Phoenix metro area in my life (only b/t October and March), and have never set foot in downtown PHX. I'm not so sure I've ever driven through it, maybe once.

you haven't missed a thing.

I was there once on a Super Bowl night - the game ends around 7 pm local time - and 3 hours later ONE non-hotel bar was open in downtown Phoenix (Dan Majerle's sports bar). the game was played about 15 minutes away in Glendale, btw.

re New Orleans - this was a quote written on a chalkboard of a bar when I was there in January:

“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.”

― Tennessee Williams

will second a thumbs-up for Charleston, SC.
   37. Master of the Horse Posted: August 13, 2019 at 08:33 PM (#5871129)
Actually the US has a lot of great cities. If we were not so in bed with the car culture things might be near perfect. I like driving fast sure but fundamentally roads and traffic suck. But otherwise, go USA!
   38. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 13, 2019 at 09:17 PM (#5871139)
About the only things that suck more than traffic are trying to ride a bus when you're confined to a wheel chair or take your three kids to the park on a train that costs $10 a head. I personally like being able to ride right into D.C. without worrying about traffic and parking, but the words "I" and "personally" do a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence. And the U.S. cities that have a useable transit system (useable even for the things such a system is useful for, that is) can be counted on the fingers of one hand. One of the big reasons why my wife and I go to Orioles games, and she's become a huge Orioles fan over the years, is that we can drive into and out of the city easily and park in walking distance of the stadium for a reasonable price.

Now that a 1995 stadium and a 1994 stadium have been replaced, I guess it's not completely crazy to think that an Orioles ownership could consider the unthinkable. I can't imagine that Baltimore or anywhere nearby would lay out the money for a new stadium, though--Camden Yards might be the most loved sports venue in the country, and I think the locals here would take it as a bigger slap in the face for the team to want it replaced than they would anywhere else. If it were to become empty, it would move past everywhere else as the number one relocation target, too.
   39. Master of the Horse Posted: August 13, 2019 at 09:24 PM (#5871144)
Camden Yards might be the most loved sports venue in the country By locals? I don't know Packer fans are pretty passionate about Lambeau. Or the venue is most loved by the country as a whole? Setting aside how to measure I don't know how any baseball stadium besides maybe Wrigley or Fenway cracks any list with so many other sports having higher appeal.
   40. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 13, 2019 at 09:42 PM (#5871153)
One thing that needs to be factored into this is the Pimlico horse racing track.

The place is a dump (it's 150 years old and in the worst possible location for a horse racing track in the year 2019, through no fault of anyone in particular) and proposals to refurbish Pimlico are ludicrously expensive. This may be a case of the owners intentionally letting it go to seed, like Fenway Park in the 90s, because the owners of Pimlico own another racetrack 15 miles away in Laurel that they are desperate to move the Preakness to. And the proposals may only seem ludicrously expensive because it only hosts like 8 weeks of racing a year now, since the owners moved everything out to Laurel. But... the owners of Pimlico own another racetrack 15 miles away! So I think it's inevitable that it will move there, maybe in less than 5 years.

Anyway, in the face of losing the Preakness and having Pimlico turn into a full-time venue for weird music festivals or the world's largest flea market, I think the city may be more receptive to building a new stadium than one would think. Year after year of saying "$400 million to refurbish Pimlico? That's just a bit too high, like 1000% too high" could lead to $400 million sounding like a bargain for a baseball stadium. Or, since it would be preposterous to replace Camden Yards, doing some other favors for the Orioles to make sure they don't leave too.
   41. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2019 at 09:54 PM (#5871158)
Setting aside how to measure I don't know how any baseball stadium besides maybe Wrigley or Fenway cracks any list with so many other sports having higher appeal.


For starters, other than football, I don't know there are so many other sports having higher appeal than baseball, at least not meaningfully. But more important, I don't think other sporting venues resonate with fans the same way baseball stadia do, in part because you can do more to make your playing field and park different than in the other major sports, which have standardized playing field sizes and where walls and other things don't come into play.

I don't see people making pilgrimages to see all 30 NBA arenas or all 32 NFL stadia the way people do with baseball parks.

   42. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: August 13, 2019 at 10:47 PM (#5871171)
we can drive into and out of the city easily and park in walking distance of the stadium for a reasonable price.


If you look hard enough, there's street parking over by the hospital that's free.

As for the stadium:

Of course you never know, but there's a danger to building a really nice stadium. One of the places that attracts a lot of affection and becomes a local landmark, and not just in a "turn left at the stadium" sort of way. The danger is that it'll be hard to muster the political and, if you will, cultural will to replace it. Camden Yards isn't a part of the Orioles brand the way that Fenway and Wrigley are for the Sox and Cubs, but it's also not not a part of their brand, either. I long ago learned never to underestimate what rich people will do for more money, but replacing Camden Yards would be a pretty heavy lift, even by rich people standards.
   43. Answer Guy. Posted: August 13, 2019 at 11:11 PM (#5871178)
Now that a 1995 stadium and a 1994 stadium have been replaced, I guess it's not completely crazy to think that an Orioles ownership could consider the unthinkable. I can't imagine that Baltimore or anywhere nearby would lay out the money for a new stadium, though--Camden Yards might be the most loved sports venue in the country, and I think the locals here would take it as a bigger slap in the face for the team to want it replaced than they would anywhere else. If it were to become empty, it would move past everywhere else as the number one relocation target, too.


No way. Baltimore is an East Coast city. Not that OP@CY is "historic" exactly in the Fenway/Wrigley sense, but I do think it's part of the Oriole brand and part of the Baltimore brand. It still makes DC baseball fans jealous because Nats Park has decent creature comforts but is an antiseptic nothing in terms of ambience. The one thing it had going for it - literally monumental views - went away the day they put up the huge parking garage next to it. Now the place could be Anywhere with Money, USA.

ATL and DFW, OTOH, are places where almost nothing is built to last and people have no compunction about tearing buildings down.
   44. Brian C Posted: August 13, 2019 at 11:28 PM (#5871184)
I don't think the Orioles' problem is football so much. It's just that when Camden Yards was built, it was:

a) a genuine revelation in new ballpark design
b) at a time when the Orioles were still regarded as among the elite franchises in the league, and
c) when the Orioles had a truly historical phenomenon (Ripken's streak) as a daily draw

In other words, however the Orioles' position within the sports scene in Baltimore has changed, they've also faded a great deal just within an MLB context. They're now an also-ran franchise, with widely despised ownership and a seemingly permanent spot behind NYY and Sox in their divisional pecking order. Back then, they were legit contenders against those teams, but now even their good years are hard not to view as temporary upticks that cannot last.

All that said, there's no reason to sniff at 2.4 million fans, like SBB was above. That's pretty good! It's not 3.4 million, no. But there's no reason to think Baltimore can't draw perfectly well with sustained success and marketable stars, i.e., if they can re-establish themselves as an elite franchise. Whether that's still doable in Baltimore, who knows, but it would be no more doable in Nashville or with a new Baltimore stadium.

Cleveland, on the other hand, seems like a more difficult case to me. I suspect that losing the 2016 WS was a tremendous psychological blow to that fanbase, and that they'll need to win one before the fans ever fully commit again. But outside of the 7-8 years after opening the Jake, they don't have much history of consistently drawing fans to the park at all. But then, they've been a terrible franchise for most of their history, too. So I dunno, but still I think that it would be a different story for them if they had won in 2016.
   45. BrianBrianson Posted: August 14, 2019 at 01:24 AM (#5871200)
Even at Fenway, Wrigley, Yankee stadium number whatever, Dodger stadium, etc...if you put a cr*p product on the diamond the fans do tend to lose interest in the late summer.


Yeah, of course. This applies to literally every professional sports team in North American except the Toronto Maple Leafs.
   46. Rally Posted: August 14, 2019 at 09:08 AM (#5871222)
I was going to say something similar to No. 31. It's not the head-to-head competition with the Ravens that the Orioles have to worry about; it's the competition for time, money and affection.


The affection part I don't know. Maybe people who used to care about the Orioles now ignore them because they look forward to football season. On time though, football just doesn't demand very much time from their fans. 3 hours, once a week. And nothing before September.
   47. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 14, 2019 at 01:05 PM (#5871293)
If you think the newly-created Ravens are a problem, just wait until the Nashville Orioles are going against generations of Tennessee Vols fans.
   48. DL from MN Posted: August 14, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5871299)
I don't think the Orioles' problem is football so much. It's just that when Camden Yards was built, it was:

a) a genuine revelation in new ballpark design
b) at a time when the Orioles were still regarded as among the elite franchises in the league, and
c) when the Orioles had a truly historical phenomenon (Ripken's streak) as a daily draw


All true. Also the Orioles were drawing a lot of attention from Washington DC in the 1990s. The Nationals have successfully captured that market now. That is good for MLB (attendance > 4M for Washington and Baltimore combined) but not good for the Orioles.
   49. Walt Davis Posted: August 14, 2019 at 07:12 PM (#5871474)
From 1952-1992, Cleveland never drew 1.5 M fans in a season, coming close to it only 3 times. In 93 (last year of Municipal) they were just over 2 M. In 94, with a good team and Jacobs field, they were crusing along nicely before the strike and they cruised nicely through 2001, winning 6 of 7 ALC titles and 2 pennants. They settled in around 2 M for several years but won only one ALC title. For the last decade, they've generally been in a range from about 1.5-2 M.

Which trend do you want to look at? Compared with pre-Jacobs, they are doing way better than they were. Compared with the one period of sustained excellence that coincided with a new stadium, they're doing terribly. Since those glory days, when they win their division, they draw about 2 M; when they don't, they draw around 1.5.

All of that in a metro area that has actually lost population over the last 40 years and generally seen its economy tank. When my sister passed away, we were only able to sell her house for the same amount she had bought it for 25 years earlier -- that's the same amount in raw dollars, not inflation-adjusted dollars. Seven years after the GFC and there were still a half-dozen foreclosed properties for sale within about a 5-block radius of her house.

The Browns draw about a half-million per year. Maybe 600-650 K with pre-season games. Even if every single one of those people would have attended an Indians game instead (an absurd assumption), the Indians still wouldn't come close to matching the attendance of their glory days -- heck, they'd barely compete with the O's. You need to buy into some sort of super-multiplier effect for the Browns new stadium -- the attendance of the Browns not only directly takes attendance away from the Indians on a nearly 1-1 basis but has an attention-grabbing effect that costs the Indians another 1-2 tickets sold ... and that the old Browns and the new Browns (pre-stadium) had no effect whatsoever on Indians' attendance ... to believe that the presence of the Browns is the main factor here.

And of course missing from this is the question of ticket revenue rather than attendance. The first stat I find is Forbes' overall revenue estimates which show the Indians nearly doubling team revenue from 2001 to 2018 (a bit more than double if we use 2002-4 as the baseline). That's in raw dollars I believe but with low inflation over that period but the inflation calculator puts that at about a 33% real increase. According to an article in Crain's Cleveland Business, the Indians claim that ticket revenue is the fasting growing revenue segment for them over the last few years. Apparently they were 26th in ticket revenue in 2016 and are now 19th, 17th in season-ticket revenue.

Presumably they were doing much better in the glory days when they were 2nd in attendance (to Balt naturually) even if real ticket prices are up (which I don't know that they are). That's one of the nice things about glory days. But the notion that drawing 3.5 M fans a year is some sort of "natural" state for a declining metro area of 2 million people is silly. It's not impossible -- ####### Cardinals ... who somehow seem unaffected either way by the coming and going of the Rams.

And for a bit of history -- the last year of the NFL Cardinals in St L (1987) saw a big jump in baseball Cards' attendance. Then they dropped/steady for 2 years after the other Cardinals left, then they fell back to where they were in the mid-80s. Of course the 87 team won the division and when they slid back, so did attendance. Then they got consistently good again and attendance jumped big time and they've maintained at that level ever since, even through the recent doldrums.

The Rams came to town in 1995. You'd think that would be huge -- MLB had the strike in 94 and the Cards were well below 500 in 95. Instead in the 96 season, the Cards attendance jumped by nearly a million (over 50% growth) as they won the division with a weak team (88 wins). They stayed there in 97 and saw another big jump in 98 (thanks Mac) and basically stayed there until jumping again in 2005. The Rams left after the 2015 season resulting in no change in the Cards' attendance.
   50. Bote Man Posted: August 15, 2019 at 03:22 AM (#5871564)
From 1952-1992, Cleveland never drew 1.5 M fans in a season, coming close to it only 3 times.

But Rachel Phelps still couldn't move the team!!

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