Here are things that that are true about the 2017 Cardinals:
- Produced 5-14 record against the NL Central champion Chicago Cubs
- Finished in 3rd place with a 83-79 record
- Ended the last 10 games of the season with a 3-7 record
- Did not qualify for the postseason
- Had attendance of 3,447,937 patrons
According to the most recent data I could find, the average ticket price to a Cardinals game (circa 2016) is $35.24.
The average price is probably higher two seasons later in 2018, but, let’s use that $35.24 number.
3,447,937 x $35.24 = $121,505,299.80
Just on tickets alone, the Cardinals produced 121.5M+ of revenue in heading into 2018.
- Local TV deal (estimated 50M for 2018)
- National TV deal (estimated 55M+ for 2018)
- MLBAM sale payment (50M for 2018)
- Streaming rights through MLBAM
- Radio deal (w/ KMOX and all radio affiliates)
- Stadium concessions
- Stadium parking
- Stadium advertising (including naming rights)
- Ballpark Village revenue
- Merchandise and product sales
- Team licencing (think ‘official water of Cardinals’ and the like)
- Concerts at Busch Stadium
- Rental of ‘Special Event‘ space at Busch Stadium
- Exclusivity deals (only use AB products and the like)
- Premium stadium seating (luxury boxes, green seats, et al)
Plus things I’ve probably forgot about.
It’s good to be a DeWitt, my friends.
And no, this isn’t a post about how the Cardinals are “cheap”.
By some back of the napkin math the Cardinals should easily clear 300M this year. And with that one-time 2018 rip from MLBAM’s recent sale, could get over 400M!
But they’re also spending money on payroll, employees, Ballpark Village expansion and debt service, stadium debt service, city/state taxes, charity and other things.
Both things are true: the Cardinals make A LOT of money and the Cardinals spend A LOT of money.
That’s how successful businesses work.
The company makes a lot, the company spends a lot and it provides income and opportunity for a lot of people directly and indirectly involved with the company.
I pointed all the above out because I think that the Cardinals are having a tough time looking in the mirror and owning their place among the elite.
Here’s GM John Mozeliak from earlier this week:
Maybe he’s working on more moves. Maybe he really is happy with the team as is.
I don’t know.
But after the Cubs singed Yu Darvish, I do know that not a single MLB season preview you’ll read over the next month will pick the Cardinals to win the NL Central.
We’ll see how the season plays out and if those predictions come true. The Cardinals could surprise some people. They could be right around where Las Vegas predicts (84.5 wins). They could fall off a cliff.
Time will tell.
However, the incongruity with how the man running the team feels as spring training starts and how pretty much everyone else feels?
And all I can conclude is that Mo doesn’t feel like he’s got a roster that is that far behind the Cubs when the data from the past 2 seasons tells a much different story.
More importantly, though, the ‘let’s not get to aggressive and dig ourselves into a hole’ ethos from the front office (and a faction of the fan base) screams insecurity about the teams place in the hierarchy of MLB.
The Cardinals are 1 of 5 teams that can be super aggressive and not bottom out or be in danger of not turning a profit.
- Red Sox
Those are the other teams.
All I ask moving forward is that the Cardinals (and the rest of us fans) realize that the past 20 years of success have propelled the Cardinals into the MLB VIP club.
“Pretty active” isn’t really going to get the job done.
Not when the Cubs are looking to seek and destroy the division.
The Cardinals can do more. We should expect them to do more. And no one should worry about the team collapsing. They are gooooooooood.
PS: Lance Lynn and Greg Holland are still out there…