SBD/January 28, 2011/Franchises

Brewers Could Break Attendance Mark But Still Lose Money

Brewers could surpass Miller Park attendance record of 3,068,458 set in '08
Brewers Exec VP/Business Operations Rick Schlesinger said that if the team "returns to its winning ways, there is a good chance it can reach its all-time attendance mark," but noted that the team "could still lose money," according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The Brewers in ’08 set a franchise attendance record of 3,068,458 fans at Miller Park, and the team drew 3,037,451 in ’09, “before dipping to a still-solid 2,776,531 last season.” The team this offseason acquired Ps Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, and Schlesinger said that the “team's payroll, expected to be in the neighborhood of $90 million, is a significant investment for the team.” Schlesinger: "This is a big year for us, there's no question about it. This is the year we said to our marketplace: We are not going to settle for .500. This is a team that we built to win the division." But he added the Brewers are “not going to be making much money at 3 million fans.” Schlesinger: “Obviously, if we are able to achieve that kind of attendance, that means we had a pretty good year in the field, and that bodes well for 2012 and beyond. I don't want anybody to feel sorry for the Brewers that in 2011, we lose money or break even. It's great for our business model, but it shows you how difficult it is in sports, especially in baseball, to have a very competitive team and also make money." Brewers officials last week “announced the team had reached one million tickets sold, which tied the 2009 record for the earliest date the club had hit the milestone.” Still, Schlesinger said, "It is fair to say, without revenue sharing, the Brewers are not a viable, going concern." He added that the Brewers are the “poster child for the success revenue sharing has brought to baseball” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/28).
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