Why the Small “Market” Brewers have a Bigger Payroll than the Small “Market” Pirates

Milwaukee vs. Pittsburgh

Since 2007, the Brewers have drawn 21,153,000 to Miller Park. In that same time frame, the Pirates have drawn 13,575,000 to PNC Park

The Brewers average ticket price is $6 more than the Pirates. So, let’s say that over the last seven seasons the Brewers average has been $22 and the Pirates has been $16.

Approximate revenue – from ticket sales alone – since 2007:
Brewers: $465,366,000
Pirates: $217,200,000

Approximate revenue PER SEASON – from ticket sales alone – since 2007 (counting 2014 as 0.33 seasons):
Brewers: $63,487,858
Pirates: $29,631,650

The Brewers average PER SEASON revenue – from ticket sales alone – is approximately $33,856,208 more than the Pirates over the past 7.33 seasons.

Brewers estimated 2014 payroll: $91,625,000
Pirates estimated 2014 payroll: $71,545,000

The Brewers payroll is approximately $20,080,000 more than the Pirates. Their annual ticket sales revenues, however, are approximately $33,856,208 more than the Pirates.

It isn’t market size that matters. It’s revenue. And, versus Milwaukee, the Pirates ain’t got it.

***  The revenue figures do not include food and drink sales at the games, merchandise sold at the games, or parking.

***  Attendance and Payroll figures can be found at baseball-reference.com
http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/PIT/attend.shtml

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6 thoughts on “Why the Small “Market” Brewers have a Bigger Payroll than the Small “Market” Pirates

  1. Have tried for years to get to people to stop using the term small market team, it does not matter how many people live in an area it matters how that area supports the team. Better terminology would be low revenue which is all that really matters. Then maybe people would stop comparing the Pirates to teams like the Brewers,Twins, or even worse the Cardinals (a top 6 revenue team). Alas some “fans” will still dream of some owner buying the team with no regards to losing tens of millions and sign all the best free agents the bottom line be d#%^#.

    • I agree completely and wholeheartedly. It is ridiculous to compare the Pirate payroll to a team that annually draws hundreds of thousands more in attendance – regardless of the number of people who live in those markets. To compare the Pirates payroll to the Cardinals is just not in touch with any kind of reality. The Cardinals draw more than 3 million every year – sometimes much more.$11

      And there is no billionaire who is going to take $30 million out of his own pockets to give the Pirates amid-range payroll. Billionaires did not get to be Billionaires by throwing money away.

  2. The Pirates need to find a way to create more revenue. Fans need to stop complaining how much the Pirates spend and criticize the Pirates for not finding ways to generate more revenue.

  3. Revenue ($mil)
    Pirates 204
    Brewers 197

    This was a one year 19% increase for the Pirates. Pirates rank 20th in revenue. Values calculated by Forbes (March, 2014).

  4. I was fine with the team making $30M in profits in 2007 & 2008 combined, details here: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5484947. I was fine with the lowest payroll in the game in 2010 when the rebuild was underway. Now that the team is in position to contend, I expected them to spend more and move in the 20 to 25 range of team payroll, as opposed to being tied with Tampa at 27th, ahead of only the Marlins and Astros. Given the increased revenues across the sport, I have to believe that revenue sharing is going up as well. Obviously, the team is spending double its 2010 payroll this year, but that isn’t an apples to apples comparision given the overall revenue growth of the sport. In summary, I’m fine with a bottom 5 payroll most of the time, but expect it to spike in years like 2014 when an extra $10 to $15M could be the difference in making the playoffs or not.

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