Before we get into this, let me stress that I am by no means a whiz when it comes to money. I’m about as financially savvy as a Dragon’s Den (or Shark Tank for our American audience) contestant that producers choose to make the show more amusing. In fact, the biggest investment of my life, not counting bar tabs, was the $100 I’ve spent on getting the first three Upper Deck baseball card sets. Note: I’m available, ladies.
So, please bear with me on this, and feel free to correct me in the comments section.
My first impression when I saw that the Toronto Blue Jays had filed a claim for $470,854 from the Canadian government was that it was exorbitantly high. I remember the fervor with which the Toronto Blue Jays, at the time, bent over backwards to let it be known that moving the June 25-27th series against the Phillies to Philadelphia because of the G20 Summit was their idea and not forced by the federal government. They wanted fans to know that they took their safety seriously, and despite plans from law enforcement that would’ve made holding the series in Toronto feasible, the team chose not to go down that path out of concern for their supporters.
Thanks a lot.
At the time, I was against it. Then I was against moving it to Philadelphia, which seemed like a strange compromise considering that there was a precedence for neutral site games. Then I saw the G20 madness unfold and baseball sort of wasn’t as pressing of an issue.
But now we’re here, and the Blue Jays, along with several other businesses are seeking reparations for losing revenue that awful weekend.
So, where did the organization come up with a figure around half a million dollars?
If we take the Rogers Centre capacity seating (49,539) and look at the average ticket price , it’s not ridiculous to think that a three game weekend series in June against the Phillies with Roy Halladay pitching one of the games would bring in around $4 million at the gate.
According to Forbes, the Blue Jays made $34 million from gate receipts last season, but had an operating income of $3.6 million, or just under 10.6%. That same portion of $4 million would be $424,000 which isn’t that far off the $470,854 that the team is asking of the government.
Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that. There’s the merchandise sales, the concession sales and any financial considerations that the Blue Jays may have given to the Philadelphia Phillies for operating their stadium for three extra games (although something tells me they weren’t complaining too much). And there’s also the matter of how gate receipts are split at the Major League level, with 66% going to the home team and 34% going into a pool which is split evenly between all teams.
All in all, it appears as though almost half a million dollars isn’t as outrageous as it might seem at first glance.