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Nats are third in operating income


(Getty)

Well, this will certainly call off the dogs. Despite having middling attendance and the worst-record in baseball, Forbes reports the Washington Nationals now rank third in Major League Baseball in operating income. The magazine says the Nats' operating income in 2009 was $33.5 million, behind only the Marlins (?) and Red Sox.

The franchise ranks 18th in revenues, and 18th in value, at $387 million.

Here are more numbers. Team Marketing Report put out its annual cost fan index study this week (PDF file), and while the Nats didn't respond, they were still ranked based on 2009 responses and Web site information. Some other sports executives have told me Team Marketing Report's data isn't always accurate, so bear that in mind, but the study says the Nats rank 8th in average ticket price, at $30.63.

The teams in front of them include the Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees, White Sox, Phillies, Mets and Twins. Four of those seven teams made the playoffs a year ago. Six of them have made the playoffs at least once in the past two seasons. The Nats' average premium seat cost of $192.89 is fourth in MLB, behind only the Yankees, Cubs and Dodgers, according to the report. Of course, the Nats' number is inflated by having such high-end premium seats; the average premium seat cost of $192.89 is fourth in MLB, behind only the Yankees, Cubs and Dodgers, according to the report.

The Nats' program cost of $5 is tied (with a bunch of teams) for highest in the league. On the other hand, the average beer cost of $6.00 is only 11th, and the average parking cost, listed at $5, is among the cheapest in the majors. The team's Fan Cost Index, encompassing two adult tickets, two kids, two beers, four sodas, four hot dogs, parking, two game programs and two caps was $215.52, 10th in MLB. Read the report here.

And in continuing Opening Day feedback, MLB.com's Bill Ladson talked to Ryan Zimmerman about the crowd.

"It's not good when you feel like the visiting team at home," Zimmerman said. "But that's what winning gets you....Are we envious of it? Yeah, of course we are. It's kind of embarrassing to get booed on Opening Day in your home stadium, but that's how it is."

"It's hard to not notice when there are 'Let's go Phillies' chants before the game even starts," John Lannan told Nats Daily News. "You've got to win to get fans."

And the angry fan posts keep coming.

We Love DC: "You are cowards. You should feel ashamed. But instead, you're just laughing all the way to the bank."

Nats Triple Play: "A Nationals' game could easily become another must-see item on every tourist's agenda. The danger with that aspiration is that you run the risk of turning the home team into the Washington Generals. You'll be world renowned, make millions of dollars and everybody will leave the stadium happy, having seen their hometown "Globetrotters" demolish their opponent."

We've Got Heart: "Nationals fans love their team, often despite the baseball. A lot of us spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on tickets, while feeling like the organization doesn't care, or probably more accurately, doesn't care enough about us. It's a little bit like a bad relationship where she's totally obsessed, and he's just not that into her."

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 8, 2010; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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Comments

Yeah, Nats Triple Play has it about right. Henceforth, I'm gonna refer to them as the Washington Generals. Prove me wrong, Nats. Prove. Me. Wrong.

Also, approaching 1,000 for the DC United Philly invasion this weekend. So, you know, we've got that going for us. Which is nice.

Posted by: EdTheRed | April 8, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

They should be ashamed to have that much in revenue and put pitching out there like they do. Kasten is a carnival barker,the Colonel Tom Parker of MLB. Only prob is he's got no Elvis.

Posted by: ridgely1 | April 8, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

As far as I know, you can't get a beer for less than $8 at Nationals Park.

And $5 is the absolute lowest parking option, and that is a 15 minute walk to the stadium!!! most of the lots are $20 and higher.

That is just a sampling of how inaccurate some of these fan cost items are.

Posted by: natsfan76 | April 8, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

beer 6 bucks? Parking 5? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I'd love to know where these are available.

Posted by: JDB1 | April 8, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I am generally supportive of the Nat's, but Ryan and John can thank StanK for Monday's fiasco! And JDB1 is right - where is $6 beer, and we have only one $5 parking lot - the rest are 10, 25, and up!

Posted by: 1of9000 | April 8, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Beer is 7.50 and up at Nat's Park, never seen it for less. Please tell me where it's $6!

Posted by: futbolclif | April 8, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

There have never been $6 beers at Nats Park. They're $8 this year if I recall.

Kasten can suck it. The airplane bottle system worked great last year...so the $5 scalp and byoa for me.

Posted by: HogsHaven | April 8, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Just say NO to the Nationals.

I no longer go to games and don't watch on TV if there is anything better to do.

Once this team makes a commitment to getting better, one that does not involve waiting 5 years for an 18 year old prospect to turn the corner, there will be reason to come back.

If there was ever a team that needed a marquee acquisition it was not the Redskins with McNabb but the Nationals.

The pitching staff is the worst in the NL.

By being the absolute worst of the worst the club managed to draft Strasburg in a no-brainer move.

So, by midseason the club will have Zimmerman and Strasburg and will still be looking for 22 other players.

Posted by: leopard09 | April 8, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeah - $8 for a domestic 16oz. $8.50 for a premium.

Funny, a successful, larger market club actually lowered their beer prices to $6 last season...

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=mlb&id=4060483

Posted by: Kev29 | April 8, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

And $5 is the absolute lowest parking option, and that is a 15 minute walk to the stadium!!! most of the lots are $20 and higher.

Posted by: natsfan76 | April 8, 2010 2:08 PM

Remember, the report is based on last season so they might have factored the free spots available at RFK in their averaging.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 8, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

...and you have to keep in mind that the three biggest attendance days for the Nats were the three games with the Red Sox last year in which each successive game's attendance topped the attendance of the previous game...and the attendance at the April 5 pre-season game? You would have thought you were in Fenway - and for those of us who are members of the Red Sox Nation,such as I am, this is the best we can get. Just think what the attendance figures would look like if the Nats just played the Yankees, Phillies, and the Sox!! It'll be like this until the Nats win - but regardless, the Nats' owners are going to clean up financially. Go Sox!

Posted by: colinhrdng | April 8, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

These comments suggest that Stan doesn't need to invite Phillies fans to make money through beer sales. Nats fans like beer too. (And they'd love it at $6.)

Posted by: jenjensn | April 8, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"The team's Fan Cost Index, encompassing two adult tickets, two kids, two beers, four sodas, four hot dogs, parking, two game programs and two caps was $215.52, 10th in MLB."

Dang, I thought NatsTown was at least a 6 drink minimum...

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | April 8, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem with the team being so bad and taking a long term development strategy. But I do have a problem with them making so much money while providing such a poor product.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | April 8, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

PindarPushkin, you nailed it. If they're making money, they should be spending it. Maybe then we could convince more DC residents to give up their childhood teams and start cheering for their new home team.

Posted by: PJoice | April 8, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Three of these teams are playing in new stadiums. Yankee Stadium and Citi Field are in their second years. Target Field just opened this year.

-----

The teams in front of them include the Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees, White Sox, Phillies, Mets and Twins. Four of those seven teams made the playoffs a year ago. Six of them have made the playoffs at least once in the past two seasons.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 9, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The stadium is beautiful
The location is fantastic
DC fans are loyal and great

The Nats need to stop embarrassing everyone and win games

The minors look promising but promising doesn't win games right now

Posted by: Bious | April 10, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

The longer this goes on the more I am convinced that for the Lerners, the Nationals are really about a 20-year waterfront real estate development deal. The thing was, in order to make it all happen they also had to buy a baseball team. So they did. But their focus is always going to be on developing the area around the stadium.

Mind you, I don't think the Lerners expected the team to be THIS bad. I think they would have been have been happy to be .500 while squeezing as much cash as possible out of the team for debt servicing. Back-to-back 100-loss seasons were probably not part of the plan, and forced them to spend a bit more.

But really, how much has changed? They're spending a bit more money, but they're still cheap. Only now it's a "long-term development strategy." And they are still raking in cash.

I don't think the Lerners are lousy owners; I just think they are indifferent. IMO anyone expecting the Lerners to be passionate or committed to DC baseball is going to be disappointed. They aren't in this for the love of the game; they're in it for the zoning variances and the tax breaks.

Posted by: hubcap | April 11, 2010 4:23 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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