After adding in the three sell-out crowds from this weekend, the Cincinnati Reds can rightly celebrate a large jump in home attendance for the 2013 season. In just 80 home dates (remember the Reds had to give away one of their home games to San Francisco), nearly 2.5 million fans passed through the gates at Great American Ball Park. That’s up 144,808 from 2012 (and 2012 was 133,000 over 2011).

Attendance numbers from 2013 average out to 31,151 per game, an increase of more than 2,100 over 2012.

Using an estimate of $60 per fan earned in 2012 [Forbes Magazine] the Reds’ generated $10 million in new in-house revenues. That doesn’t include increases derived from higher prices in 2013 and whatever payoff they presumably received from exporting the Giants game. Other revenues, like their portion of MLB broadcast contracts and digital platforms, local media, and potential postseason games would be in addition to that.

Attendance revenues alone represent a 5% increase in cash available for the Reds to spend however they so Choo-se.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 62 Comments

  1. Choo-se. I see what you did there 🙂

  2. Nice Choo-se pun, but I think you’re mistaken Steve. Ludwick told me that there’s no fans at the game.. something about Reds fans not showing up for a weekday Mets series like the Pirates fans showed up for a weekend Reds series.

  3. After the contract Hunter Pence just signed, there is no way the Reds keep Choo. He’ll receive close to $100mil this winter, maybe more.

    We’re already paying for Brandon Phillip’s decline phase for the next 4 years. As much as I love Choo, it’s not a good use of resources.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Agree. 5-years/$90-million for Pence tells me that Choo is going to get north of $100-million. I don’t think the Reds need to make that move as much as I like Choo.

  4. Choo certainly had a good season, and it would be nice to see his career continue in Cincinnati, but I’d rather see ownership lock up Bailey or Latos with that money. Reds are in the playoffs this year because of their starting rotation and that needs to be kept in tact as long as possible. Plus, Hamilton is eventually going to take over CF and moving Choo to LF doesn’t help solve the problem created by the lack of a RH power hitter.

    • @GolfGuy75: But what if the Reds put Choo in LF, Hamilton in CF, the “RH power hitter” role filled by Mesoraco and supplemented with a (hopefully) healthy Ludwick as the 4th OF / first RH bat off the bench?

      I agree that locking up pitching is important too. Hopefully the Reds can host a handful of playoff games this year to create some extra revenue.

      • @dc937:

        Meso quite possibly could fill that role. Of course, we would have to rewrite the rules of baseball so that catchers don’t have to bat 8th, but that’s a different topic.

        Ludwick’s contract is pricey for a 4th OFer, but Hamilton, Choo, Votto, Meso, Bruce, Phillips is a pretty good top of the order.

        How much of the new revenue has already been spent on Votto and BP’s deals?

      • @dc937: Is Hamilton really going to be ready next year? His stats from AAA are not that good.

  5. I would love to see the Reds Choo-Choo-Choo-se to take that money and sign Latos to a long-term deal.

    The only way Choo comes back is if we can get the Yankees to take BP off our hands. Which at this point, I’m not even a little opposed to.

    • @vanwilder8: Are the Yankees looking at BP?

    • @vanwilder8: You mean if they don’t resign Cano?

    • @vanwilder8: Although you’d think the last thing the Yanks want to be doing right now is keep getting older. That’s already where they’re at.

    • @vanwilder8: For a team to take BP and his contract, it’s a pretty small list. The Mets, Orioles, Yankees (Cano isn’t going anywhere tho), Giants, and Dodgers would have the $$$ and need I would think.

      You could take some of that savings and land the kid from Cuba for less than half of what you’ll be paying Phillips over the next 4 years. Makes a lot of sense not to explore it.

      • @Sultan of Swaff: I had believed a year or so ago that BP was a natural fit for the Dodgers — and thought they would try to get him. I don’t see the urgency there now, however.

        Urgency? Did I use that word?

      • @Sultan of Swaff: Cano asked for $350-million. I’m guessing the Yanks are somewhere around $250-million… Do you think they will get together? Cano rocks but how good will he be at 40? I wonder what the market will bring Cano. It is gonna be scary for a team like the Reds to see.

        • @LWBlogger: Part of the deal with the long-term contracts is that the players are proving that they CAN be almost as good at 40 as as 33. A bit slower, yes … maybe likely to miss a few games … depends on what kind of PED’s they can sneak past the sniffers. Players are in better shape now. So bargaining out to age 40 for guys who are in prime health now … I think there’s not as much worry there.

          I agree, it’s a risk I’d weigh heavily, depending. I’d never give a pitcher that kind of dough to pitch at 40. I might … for Joey Votto-type players.

          • @Johnu1: Which players are proving they can be almost as good at 40 as at 33? My reading on this issue from everywhere else has been exactly the opposite. Post PED world, players are dropping off much more quickly than before. It’s extremely rare to find players worth their value at age 36 let alone 40. I believe you might be the one and only person who believes “there’s not as much worry there” about “bargaining out to age 40.”

          • @Steve Mancuso: Well, Marlon Byrd is having a heck of a season at age 36. It’s even more remarkable when you realize he played most of the year in a giant ballpark. Hmmm, Marlon Byrd comes back from a steroid suspension and puts up the best numbers of his career in a pitcher’s park at age 36. Nope, nothing suspicious about that.

        • @LWBlogger: Take a look at Joe Morgan’s splits – PED-free players fall off after the age of 32 (BP). The Reds need young studs – like Mat Latos (26 in December). Some players are just finding drugs that keep them one step ahead of the wave – just ask Ryan Braun.

      • @Sultan of Swaff:

        The Atlanta Braves. His family lives just down the road at Stone Mtn., GA.
        The Braves are dumping Uggla from 2B. Uggla batted .179. BJ Upton batted .186. They will need a proven commodity. The Brave’s Mike Minor is a huge fly ball pitcher, but Medlin or Teheran plus a position player might do it for BP.

        • @WVRedlegs: And why would they make that trade? Give away good young players for a guy headed downhill, somebody would lose their job about that.

    • @vanwilder8: Not sure the Reds are interested in moving BP, or that anyone really wants to take him off their hands.

      But I think we can all agree that BP isn’t going to be a better player by the end of this deal. Defensively, I think he’s lost a half-step, and he’s not going to get quicker. Most of his value is tied to him being elite defensively, and that value is going to erode over the next few years.

      My point is, if the Reds can get out of that contract, there’s a chance they can take his money to land the impact RH bat they need. And I’m not opposed to re-signing Choo, if Dusty isn’t the manager and we can have a 3-headed LF/CF platoon of Choo, Heisey, and Hamilton.

      • @vanwilder8:

        Signing Choo to a $15M/year contract and then platooning him?

        Doesn’t seem like a real good idea.

        And I agree with others about Pence, the difference is that Pence can hit both LHP and RHP. Then again, the SF Giants have a penchant for over-paying talent (Barry Zito anyone). After watching Choo in tonight’s WC game, Red’s fans may want to rethink their position on Choo.

        Reds will win tonight’s game in large part to their SP.…/reds-starter-cueto-tough-against-pirates

        And Cueto is 27. Stay young Reds, older players (with the possible exception of Michael Young who would have looked great at 3B over Todd Frazier and would have added maturity to the Reds) tend to burn you as their greatest body of work has already been performed.

  6. I say we forget Choo, and bring back Stubbs! We won 97 games with him at the top of our order, and only 90 games with this Choo guy. The last two season just go to show that OBP doesn’t matter at the top of the order!

  7. I think signing impact players is to define the type of player who can help the team. That may be somebody you haven’t considered, as opposed to the top-tier guys. I don’t have a list of names that qualify there, but just as an example — Sam LeCure. You wouldn’t wave a hand over his contract, but he’s pretty darned useful. Can’t win a pennant with him in a key spot but … all the same, you might.

    It’s safe to say I’d rather have Headley than Hannahan, but I am likely to get something in between. How that guy fits is hard to tell, with the way the Reds are managed. Or for that matter, how any team is managed.

    Contracts are only part of that.

  8. I’d consider looking to see if other teams were interested in BP as well. I’d hate to see him go and I think it would be tough to trade him, but you have to think outside the box. I love Choo and would like to see him come back but I don’t see the Reds being able to afford it. I’d prioritize Latos and/or Bailey, see what I could get for BP, and see what Choo wants. I’d like at some other guys as well when Choo leaves. Maybe Headley for 3B, I’d think he’d be a bit more reasonable after a down year. Although there are constant questions about his attitude, I’d be really intrigued by Rasmus in Toronto. He has one year of arbitration left and they are loaded in the OF. I’ve always loved Alex Gordon as well, although with the Royals finish, they will be looking to contend next year.

  9. The Yankees need a closer more than anything else and the Reds have him. The Yankees might even see him as a starter. They need reliable starters. I would look for Walt to put together one of his 3 team deals to get the needed right handed hitter. I still think Trout can be had due to the Angels payroll tax issues (they have not extended him) and the need for starters. The “whatever Choo wants pay him approach” is a suicide pill for the Reds.

  10. I am not certain, but I think the math is off on this. If you read the explanation of $60 per fan earned, which according to Forbes is (Local revenues divided by metro population with populations in two-team markets divided in half.) I don’t think that you can just say that 144,00 more fans equals 144,000*$60 which is approximately equal to $10million. If it were that simple, then you would say the 2.5 million fans would bring in $150 million in revenue, which doesnt seem to be listed by Forbes.

    I think a better estimate would be to take gate receipts of $56 million, divide by 2.5 million fans, and say that each fans brings $28. So the extra 144,000 fans would equal $4 million, a good number, but not $10 million you estimated.

    • @yevkazim: Concessions are just as big as tickets. You have to account for everything the fan buys, not just the ticket.

      • @yevkazim: Concessions are just as big as tickets.You have to account for everything the fan buys, not just the ticket.

        What percentage of concession money do the Reds get?

  11. Money-wise, I believe we have to straighten out Arroyo/Latos/Bailey. If we bring back all 3, we essentially have 6-7 major league ready starting pitchers. Someone would end up getting traded, then.

    Regular starter-wise, I believe our needs are the same as last seasons. Plan 1A) Get a right handed power bat, preferably someone to back up Votto, or Plan 1B) A leadoff bat. We couldn’t find 1A last season, but we found 1B. Devin could be that person for 1A, but with as much as he plays (see below), he will never be able to keep in a regular playing frame of mind, etc.

    That’s where what I believe is most needed, getting rid of Baker and Jacoby. Sorry, I don’t believe they have been any good for us (I still hope I get proven wrong with this playoff). This team is good because of the current and last 2 GM’s we’ve had, not because of Baker. If anything, we’ve had to play from behind at the beginning of each game with Baker and his lineups. Who replaces Baker? I don’t know. But, I bet the D-backs were saying the same thing before Kirk Gibson. I bet the Pirates were saying the same thing before Hurdle. I bet the Orioles were saying the same thing before Showalter. The thing is, we won’t know until we see who actually applies and interviews for the position. But, with as much talent as this club has, I would think the line of candidates would go all the way up I-71 to Columbus.

    • @steveschoen: Arroyo not coming back.

      • @vanwilder8: Agreed. Re-signing him, rather than letting Cingrani have his spot, would be a HUGE error. He’s old and will want too much money. Time to use our cheap, left-handed Kid Furious!

        And, if Chapman ends up in the rotation, by some miracle, we have the opportunity to trade Leake or keep him as a reliever who will convert back to the rotation in case of injury.

  12. Quasi-serious question…

    I wonder if they have numbers on average number of beers sold per fan in the various types of games. I wonder if there’s any difference between a close 1-0 game, or a high scoring 8-10 game, or a blowout both positively and negatively as far as alcohol consumption goes.

    Would it be better for beer sales if you’re the Pirates and your fans are excited about a winning season for the first time in forever, or if you’re the Reds and you’re not particularly enjoyable to watch for most of the season? I’d imagine consumption is tied to some kind of feelings. Just curious as to which.

  13. I think WJ really needs to take a hard look at the roster.

    I’d prioritize extending Latos and/or Bailey. If they can’t be signed reasonably, they could go on the trade block, along with Leake. I would really try to move BP. I’d see if Choo can be brought back at a even slightly-reasonable deal, like 3yrs/$50 million. If he can, I’d dump Ludwick. Farr Dusty, so Chapman can be a starter.


    Choo (against RHP)/Hamilton
    Choo/Hamilton/Heisey (LHP)
    FA/trade 2nd baseman

    • @vanwilder8: Gotta go with Latos over Bailey. Better ERA, more innings, better history of success, combined with being two years younger than Bailey.

      Although I am probably going to get railed by Steve for saying this since it can be quasi-perceived as a negative against Bailey, it also seems like Latos is a lot more active/friendly with the other players. On a team that lacks excitement and likability, Latos brings at least some of what the team needs more of.

      • @ToddAlmighty: I don’t know if it qualifies as “railing” to point out that we have no way of knowing which player is more active or friendly with the other players. But we don’t.

        Then you blur the fact that the team “lacks excitement” whatever that means, with likability and I guess we’re supposed to assume that Homer is less likable, even though, again, we have no way to know that. So Homer’s unproven lack of popularity with teammates, combined with an unproven connection between that and whether the team plays “with excitement” now becomes your latest of many reasons (you forgot to use the words “head case” and “melt down” this time) to trash Homer.

        Just think, if you stuck to ERA, innings, history of success – you know objective stuff – you could make a strong case for Latos over Bailey. Too bad you always bring all this personal garbage about Homer into play.

  14. It occurs to me we’ve begun to deconstruct the team and retool for ’14 before this season is over. Let’s get pumped about tomorrow and a playoff run. I’m starting “the wave” right now at my desk right now. Ok… go!

  15. Let’s get a poll up. How far will the Reds advance in the 2013 playoffs?
    And don’t think I didn’t notice that half-hearted wave you people did. ALL the way up. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

  16. This team has absolutely exhausted me. Wake me up when Dusty Baker is no longer the manager.

  17. I am calling BS on Forbes’s estimate of $60/ticket extra revenue to the Reds for additional tickets sold. Maybe $30, which generated less money than Jonathan Broxton’s contract fully absorbed.

    The Reds’ financial future rests on the new local TV contract.

    I think Walt Jocketty’s weakness is extending veterans ‘ contracts, when they need to be let go. The contracts for Broxton, Brandon Phillips and Ludwick are utter duds–about $30 million in dead money next year.

    • @Big Ed: I would think Forbes has some pretty smart people that work on that series every year. $30 may not even be high enough to be the average ticket price – plus parking, beer and other concessions, team swag and I don’t find $60 gross rev/person to be hard to imagine.

      • @Steve Mancuso: But we are talking about the marginal revenue on the marginal ticket. The high dollar tickets have generally already been sold, so the marginal ticket value/price is less than the average price. Many, for example, were sold at various discounts, like for the Cardinal series. And many are/were sold to price conscious customers who cannot and do not buy much by way of concessions.

        And the beer and dogs are not pure profit, nor does every customer pay the Reds to park.

        I just don’t believe the Reds generate close to $60/ticket on the marginal ticket. A team in a larger market might, but not the Reds.

    • @Big Ed:
      Forbes uded the term FAN REVENUE not ticket revenue. Steve M used FAN REVENUE also. I hope you don’t do your own taxes.

    • @Big Ed: Agree about Ludwick – dead $$ (and BP’s contract will start haunting the Reds sometime soon, if it hasn’t already). The key is in controlling a team’s good young players – not players who can already hit the free agent market.

      And beer and dogs aren’t pure profit? Darn near – as beers probably costs the Reds about .50/piece and dogs about .25/piece. Can you say about a 1800% profit margin? And those souvenir Reds cups with JV’s image – those cups and soda cost the Reds about .20 and they are sold for $10.

      Great racket – ordinary company’s in the market place salivate at the thought of pro sports profit margins. Can’t be found hardly anywhere else.

  18. Steve wrote; “Using an estimate of $60 per fan earned in 2012 [Forbes Magazine] the Reds’ generated $10 million in new in-house revenues”

    Big Ed wrote; “I am calling BS on Forbes’s estimate of $60/ticket extra revenue to the Reds for additional tickets sold”

    The increased dollar estimate that Steve posted is close to being correct and your assumptions are based on an incorrect premise. The $60 number is not based solely on attendance (tickets sold). It is based on local revenues (excluding TV) divided by metro area population. What is local revenue I don’t know but I do know that ticket sales (gate receipts) are only part of the equation.

    Revenue per Fan8 : $60 8. Local revenues divided by metro population

    • @George M: Steve used the term “in-house” revenue, so I assume he meant cash flow generated by the team by persons going to the ballpark. Generally, although I don’t know the Reds’ arrangement, the concessions are by contract done by Outside firms that pay X percent to the Reds.

      There is no question that the Reds can cut and will cut a much better local TV contract in the next year or so, but that is a separate issue.

      We can all agree that extra attendance will generate more revenue. The Cardinals generate more in-stadium than the Reds do, and the team could and should narrow that gap over the next few years.

    • @George M: Forbes’s “local revenue per fan” is bit goofy (and irrelevant to Steve’s estimate of additional revenue per additional fanny in the stands). One unique thing about the Reds’ market is the proximity of nearby cities fitting into the natural fan base: Louisville, Lexington, Huntington, Columbus, Indy. The same ring around every other Midwestern team doesn’t yield the same amount of satellite towns.

      The Reds have great TV viewership. They don’t generate as much revenue from that as they should (yet), nor do they generate the in-house revenue that they should. But they are getting there.

  19. Ryan Ludwick says “still not enough fan support. Snoochie Boochies.”

  20. The good news is that whatever team signs Choo will surrender a draft pick to us. That, and Choo’s love of this team/city (from what I can gather) means we may have a shot to keep him at a reasonable price. Or, I should say, at a reasonable price?

    • @tpteach: Don’t be fooled. Players talk all the time about how they love their team and city and lalala. But as Lance Berkman said one time, it’s always about the money. Every time. That is what it always comes down to. Choo will be no different so don’t set yourself up to be disappointed.

  21. So if each fan that attended a game this year were to give Bob Castellini $1.13 or so, we could buy out Dusty’s contract?

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


2013 Reds, More Choo!, Reds - General