Wolff claims ballpark could boost A’s revenue almost $100 million annually

Last Friday, Lew Wolff was interviewed on an episode of CNBC Sports Biz, which you may have missed because it airs on NBC Sports Network instead of CNBC (what?). The show also is one of the few NBC properties that can’t be pulled up via streaming. Maybe the identity problem has something to do with it.

Anyway, in the interview, Wolff told CNBC’s Brian Shactman (who took over the spot from now-ESPNer Darren Rovell) that the A’s annual revenue could rise by almost $100 million with a new ballpark.

Asked to further clarify Wolff’s comment, Shactman followed up with another tweet.

Since we can’t see the interview (reruns only played over the weekend with none scheduled this week), we don’t know what Wolff’s context is. Is he referring to a revenue rise without the $30+ million revenue sharing check? The revenue sharing check that’s supposed to go away with a new ballpark, after 2016? That’s the only way the number makes sense to me, though clearly I don’t have access to the books. When I talked to Wolff over a year ago, he suggested that numbers proffered by Forbes overstated the A’s actual revenues.

In any case, Wolff is probably using that figure to press the case with the other owners and with the national media. Whether that makes any difference – well, we’ll see about that.

34 thoughts on “Wolff claims ballpark could boost A’s revenue almost $100 million annually

  1. $100mm not hard to justify. Probably draw 1.5mm more fans in a 39 k seat stadium. At $50 a ticket, that is 75mm. Throw in additional merchandising and concession sales and you can get to the 100mm.

  2. Crazy town… So if we buy that the A’s are at about $130M today… Cisco Field (or Clorox Colsieum, or whatever) would put them at roughly $230M. That’d be equivalent to the Giants, Cardinals, Angels, Rangers… It’d be enough to put them top 10.

  3. The context is so important. I wish we could get that. It’d be interesting if he’s talking about a new stadium in San Jose, or just a new stadium in general.

  4. That seems pretty unlikely…

  5. LS, Seems obvious he’s talking about San Jose, since that’s the stadium he’s working to have built and all his focus has been on.

  6. I don’t think it’s obvious. They might have asked him about a stadium in general. The other question is how do you pay for it, and then, I’d assume that he said San Jose is the only option with no public money.

  7. Absolutely awesome game tonight. The crowd was something to experience. Congrats to the A’s on the most improbable of seasons. Let’s get that division title!

  8. Ha ! junk=jgmj . Autocorrect is awesome.

  9. Ok looks like my original post didn’t go through . . .

    Awesome game tonight, the house was rocking. Proud day for a’s fans everywhere.

  10. @ML- Your thoughts are off, much like your original thoughts about the 49ers new stadium.

    100M? I am a not a “homer” as you have called me before, I am very realistic……but 100M is really an underestimation by Wolff.


    You greatly underestimated the financial power of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area in general. This is in fact the wealthiest market in the US and the 49ers success on such a larger scale with much fewer games shows the potential.

    The Giants and A’s are both too far away, there too many fans like myself who just invested in a 6k seat license at the 49ers new stadium who would not mind buying 20 games just for fun….Some days I may go, others I may sell? Would I buy a 2k-4k seat license at Cisco Field?….Where do sign up? I will bring friends…Like my lawyer buddy from Fremont who bought the seat next to me or his sister who doesn’t care about football but works at Google and bought the 2 seats next to him as an investment?….for real.

    It is the sad, because the A’s would get so many fans with Cisco Field they would be a powerhouse immediately….On a much larger level than the Washington Nationals.

    Why? The A’s have been the Bay Area since 1968, so many basic baseball fans would come to games for their families, leisure, or just for something to waste money on since they know the A’s…Their reputation is actually good in the South Bay……Most do not know this.

    Once upon a time the A’s were the toast of the Bay Area and even in the South Bay. The Giants know this full well…..Silicon Valley grew to a level that no one could have predicted .

    Lew Wolff is stating the Giants argument…..The A’s one day…..If they stay good like they are now could overtake the them and run….For years to come….Especially if the Giants start losing,

    The A’s getting good now kills the Giants more and they now will try to lock out Silicon Valley even more….Bud Selig has to croak or make it happen for the A’s……..I believe either will happen soon for the betterment of baseball.

    • @Sid – I tend to err on the side of conservative numbers, for good reason. You, on the other hand, have never actually produced numbers to support your arguments. Pardon me if I only take you half-seriously.

      Here’s your chance. Explain how the A’s can get an extra $100 million. Break it down, show your work.

  11. I was going to help Sid out with stadium numbers,but my head is spinning from watching last night game . To many variables to guess without knowing what the prices will be for the luxury boxes (41), estimated stadium parking, ticket prices, concessions, etc. Will the stadium have a 36K-39K capacity. I could definitely see the A’s doing packages around the Yankees, Red Sox, and Giants games.

    The A’s would have to average over 37,500 fans per game to hit the 3 million mark each year. (SF Giants say this is magic number to be profitable lmao) Easy to achieve as long as the team remains competitive and quality free agents are acquired each year. There would no longer be a discounted ticket prices that you currently see now in Oakland. Gone would be the $2 Wednesdays…Too many variables to add I am still recovering from last night..heheh good luck Sid with coming up with those numbers.

  12. If there are not enough A’s fans in the bay area willing to spend $10 a seat to fill a crumby 33,000 seat stadium when the A’s are the hottest team in baseball going for a playoff clinch, where are the 39,000 fans willing to pay $50 a seat to fill a beautiful stadium going to come from when the team is average?

  13. @4Libertee – If you’re referring to the 21k announced attendance last night, I guess I can repeat it for the fifth time here too.
    The official attendance was 21k.
    This was the last makeup game for season ticket holders who missed earlier games. The tickets were exchanged for stuff near the plate, as I understand it. They cannot count these people as attendance because they were already counted as attendance on the day they missed the game. If they did, they’d be double-counting them and misrepresenting the yearly attendance.
    Also, this was the $10 ticket deal game, and those people all were sitting relatively close to the infield. This is what completed the illusion of the full house on most every camera angle.
    The real question is what the turnstile actually said.
    It had to be at least 25k, but perhaps even 28 or 30k. There seemed to be hardly anyone in the Plaza Reserved section, but the rest of the park looked 90% full.

  14. Okay, here’s a WAG on the numbers.

    Current average attendance – 20,000
    Capacity of Cisco Field – 36,000
    Difference – 16,000
    Average price of these 16,000 seats @ Cisco – $30.00
    16K x 30 x 81 = $39M
    Average increase in ticket prices at Cisco – $25.00
    20K x 25 x 81 = 41M
    $39M + $41M = $80M
    Not sure how much more they would receive from concessions, merchandising and advertising/naming rights. Gotta also believe they would receive more in broadcast revenues.

  15. I was there and it was pretty packed, but not 90% full. There were plenty of open seats especially on the visitor’s side in plaza level and plaza outfield. I may have a bad memory, but that place was the loudest I can remember. You couldn’t even hear Melvin being interviewer over the loud speaker. Wherever, whenever they get a new stadium, the tickets will go up a lot. Take advantage of the LOW prices at the Coli and get to the games.

  16. Was there last night as well….I’d give an estimate of around 23K in attendance, but it seemed much more because of the raucous crowd. Quite a number of walk up tix sales too, but still somewhat disappointing given the circumstances (playoff berth, vs. Texas, last homestand series, etc.). Anyhow, if they win today, might have to take Wed off! Let’s go A’s!

  17. Just from stadium attendence seems hard to see to $100 million. Max you could draw is somewhere around 2.7-2.9 million with a capacity in the high 30s. What would the increase be in club, boxes etc? That seems a bit high, but who knows. Tickets are definitely going to go up wherever it is.

  18. @liberty,
    A crumby 33k seat stadium…you answered your own question. Remember Candlestick Park when the Giants played there, right smack in a run down area of Frisco?…build it and they will come.

  19. yeah it felt like it was 40k strong at the coliseum mon night. didn’t not 21k, at the very least in the mid or even high 20k. great day for all of us who love the a’s.

    off topic but saw on mlb network that sea is FINALLY moving in their of walls, mainly it will effect the lf portion of the of.

  20. Why would the A’s get more money from broadcast revenue if they move to San Jose? It is just 30 miles down the road. LOL!

  21. @ Lone Stranger: I guess I was referring to last night, last Friday night, Saturday night, or Sunday, or for that matter, tonight or tomorrow. The team does not draw even when they are in the hunt and are pretty exciting.

    @Tony D.: Other teams who benefited by new stadiums have had large fan bases who did not come to games due to the poor stadiums. I would judge the large fan bases based on merchandise sales, radio ratings, TV ratings, and the ability to draw fans to the old park on the occasional time when the team is doing good. A rule of marketing: It is much easier to convince your customer base to spend more with you than it is to get new customers. Wolff is going to have to get new customers in order to be successful in the long haul. That will not be easy. How many Giants fans are going to immediately switch allegiances due a new A’s stadium? How many non-baseball fans are going to become baseball fans? Another $100 million in revenue from fans is not going to be easy for him.

  22. 35000 x 81 x $35 = 99,225,000. Now, I doubt they increase the average ticket price by $35, but it’s not entirely unreasonable to get upwards of $20 – 25 if they have a hot ticket. And that gets you half way there. Add in naming rights, additional marketing/ad dollars for the stadium itself. Additional merchandise & concession sales. It’s less laughable than you might think. Not guaranteed by any means, but not out of the realm of possibility.

  23. Yay Papa is going on his rant of no chance in hell San Jose ever happens. The Giants are one of the strongest teams in baseball, there is no chance baseball hurts them for a struggling team. He even said why should just the A’s be allowed to go there. No owner will say yes because every owner would want to go there, you dont think the white sox don’t want to move there also because of the money.
    Just what I want to hear the day after A’s clinched a playoff spot is Papa’s stupid I hate the A’s rants on the A’s station.

  24. And Rich Lieberman is seemingly drunk. The last couple hours have been filled with Anti-Wolff/Anti-SJ tweets.

  25. @lonestranger I can’t take Lieberman seriously after he spammed warriors world forum for a couple weeks constantly all day. I believe up until he got banned.

  26. So, I’m as pumped as anyone about taking in some Playoff baseball at the Coliseum but since it’s the Playoffs, the issue of its location is amplified. I want to party before (and hopefully after) the Playoff games there. But, it’s in the middle of no where so you’re either stuck in traffic or dealing with the BART platforms. I know, I know. This is nothing new, but it still sucks. Et’slay aysay ethay Athleticsway inway ethay Orldway Eriessay at the Coliseum… that party ends the minute you hit the concourse. The dead horse says the A’s needs to be in a downtown area.

  27. @Ethan,
    Better ballpark + better location = greater fan interest
    Greater fan interest means the A’s will be in a better position when negotiating with Comcast and KGMZ.

  28. Briggs, excellent and appropriate use of pig latin, if ever there was one.

  29. @fc,
    Could not have said it better myself.
    The A’s are planning a move from Oakland to San Jose, not Omaha to San Jose! That “new customer” stuff is nonsense. You’ll get many A’s fans from Union City South, Tri-Valley and right here in the South Bay. There are a lot more A’s fans down here than you think (this fella included). Build it and we will ALL come (not just 2-3 times a season).
    (FWIW, all that “Giants fanbase” down here only average about 2-3 games per season at AT&T Park. It’s not legions of season ticket holders down here. And they’re not changing their allegiance to the SJ A’s; don’t need to)

  30. same old argument before the Sharkie landed in SJ. Remember, hockey in SJ ? You must be nuts or drunk but somehow, 17K come and still coming

  31. The A’s will thrive in SJ. Which is exactly why the Gints are fighting so hard to keep it from happening.
    $100m is not such a reach when you consider all the luxury suites and club-level seating. They will sell quite a bit more merch as well.
    The South Bay is hungry for a team of its own.

  32. I’m sorry -, some giants fans (also the giants owners group) are so pathetic and insecure. Selig has already said that the bay area is a two-team market. (The gnat’s owner’s group’s fantasy of the A’s relocating to Portland, etc. is not going to happen.

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