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What Does the World Series Mean to a Team and its Town?

By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

October 20, 2011

In the cases of the Rangers and Cardinals, winning (or even losing) the World Series could mean $30-50 million over the next five years in incremental ticket, merchandise, and sponsorship sales.  Both teams have considerable room for improvement on ticket sales; a World Series win could provide a hefty boost.

This season, the Rangers, who join the Phillies as the only teams in the past 10 years to have made consecutive World Series, played to a stadium at 74% of capacity, while the Cardinals played to 89% capacity.  The three World Series games scheduled for Rangers Ballpark in Arlington have led to 57.4% of North Texas area hotel rooms being booked for those nights, according to data collected by TravelClick, a hotel reservation data provider.  When the Rangers were in the World Series last year, only 38% of hotel rooms were booked at the time.

If the Cardinals go the distance in the World Series, St. Louis projects economic impact from the playoffs to exceed $56 million.  Each game in the division and league championship series was worth $5.2 million; World Series games likely are worth $1-2 million more.

To accommodate fans searching for World Series gear – including apparel featuring St. Louis’ new darling, the Rally Squirrel – the Cardinals’ store at Busch Stadium “more than doubled its normal staff on Monday -- and plans to keep it that way throughout the week,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Thanks to the team’s newly adopted furry mascot, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation raised more than $210,000 for a playground above the Bob Costas Cancer Center through its initial Rally Squirrel T-shirt, and began distributing its newest “Squirreled Serious” shirt to local stores on Monday.  Foundation execs are hopeful the revered rodent, named Buschy, will help them raise the entire $300,000 cost of the playground project.

Data from Scarborough Sports Marketing, as shared with SportsBusiness Journal, highlights some notable differences between fans in the two markets.  St. Louis is admittedly a baseball town, so it’s not surprising that 73% of adults surveyed – an MLB market high mark – attended, watched, or listened to a Cardinals game in the year leading up to the study, compared to 54% of adults polled in the Dallas metro area. The sampling comprised 2,000 adults 18+ in St. Louis and 3,000 adults 18+ in Dallas.

What’s more, 19% of all adults surveyed had purchased Cardinals licensed apparel in the 12 months prior to the survey, while in Texas, 12% of all adults had bought Rangers gear.  Scarborough also revealed that Rangers fans are more technologically inclined, buying more tickets online and more often utilizing social media and texting while owning more HDTVs and smart phones.

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Beyond the Scoreboard
Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.
Beyond the Scoreboard eBook
Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.

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