Detroit Tigers: Projected to Lose $84 Million Per Report

DETROIT, MI - JULY 19: A rainbow appears in the fifth inning during a MLB game between the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park on July 19, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JULY 19: A rainbow appears in the fifth inning during a MLB game between the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park on July 19, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /
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The average loss would be $640,000 for each game over the proposed 82-game season in empty ballparks. But all the talk of money loss for the owners and the players overshadows the local economic trickle-down effect.

Playing without fans would come at a deep cost. According to a report that was released from the Associated Press yesterday, the Detroit Tigers would lose $84 million without fans. Detroit would have the lowest negative EBITDA of all the major league clubs. What is EBITDA? As defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Those numbers do not include figures from the league office that according to the story, which projects to collect $1.34 billion in media revenue.

According to the article, the 12-page document that was titled ” Economics of Playing Without Fans in Attendance” was the first step in saving the season. With the recent proposal according to the story, the league would stand to lose $4 billion dollars and players would receive 89% of the revenue.

The main takeaway from yesterday’s article was how much the larger MLB markets would lose without fans.  The New York Yankees at $312 million, was number one followed by the LA Dodgers at $232 million then the NY Mets, Chicago Cubs, and the Boston Red Sox.  The 2019 revenue split, according to MLB, 39% from tickets sold, and other in-park sources, followed by 25% central revenue, 22% local media, 11% sponsorship, and 4% other.

A few numbers also pop out in terms of projected revenue per the presentation: 

  • 2020 projected numbers before the pandemic were $9.967 billion in revenue, with $7.548 billion at the local level.
  • Under the new projected plan, the revenue would be $2.87 billion,  with $1.522 billion at the local level.

The obvious statement of them all: Detroit Tigers fans continue to lose more than just the ball game.

I miss baseball and I would like to start in the safest way possible without endangering the public, team staff, vendors, and the players. The whole experience of going down to Comerica and establishing whatever your pre-game or post-game routine is not happening. I can bet however, it involved a trip to one of the businesses in either Corktown, Mexicantown, or Midtown to grab a bit to eat before the game.

Mind you, if you head to Detroit for more than a ballgame, not seeing shows at El Club, Saint Andrews, The Filmore, and the Fox you had planned have damped your spirits a bit. Your whole week could have been centered on checking out an event followed by a Tigers game on the weekend. For anyone who loves soccer, I am sure you are missing out on watching Detroit FC play.

We do not have any numbers exactly on the financial impact on those yet but whatever happens in the next few weeks, whether we have baseball or not, the entire experience of going to a ballpark in 2020 is forever changed going forward. I want those local businesses we hang out at to continue to thrive after this whole pandemic is over but that may not happen and to put in simple as this, it sucks.

We all miss our spots, no doubt but it seems like there is a lot more sorting of finances to do before we even come to close of hearing the words “play ball” with a cold beverage in our hands.