Kyle Lohse and Miller Park Attendance | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

I got a phone call yesterday from the Milwaukee Brewers office: “Hi this is Mark from the Milwaukee Brewers. We saw that you bought tickets from us last year. Would you be interested in a buying a 10-pack?” Yes I would!

The baseball season is almost here, folks, and I’m ready to see the Brewers in action. Watching Carlos Gomez fly around the base paths, chanting “MVP” as Ryan Braun steps into the box and cheering with splendor as a Kyle Lohse fastball is called “Strike Three”.

The signing of Lohse has been a controversial one. Our own J.P. Breen tried to make sense of it and so did dozens of other baseball writers. The general consensus seems to be that while the signing has made the team better in the short run: a) the Brewers may still not be good enough to get a playoff spot, and b) it makes the already below-average farm system even worse; an important aspect of a small-market team. But as a friend recently told me, “I don’t care about the farm system: Let’s go Brewers!”

And she’s not alone. Most baseball fans care much more about the team they have now than the promise of a better team in the future (ask a Houston Astros fan). Milwaukee fans, in particular, are known to come out and support their team despite being in one of the lowest populated areas. Last year, despite an abysmal start and a faltering bullpen Miller Park was 6th in attendance in 2012 among National League Teams.

Rob Neyer of SB Nation had this to say:

The Brewers have constructed a sort of unspoken compact with their fans: We’ll keep trying to win if you keep showing up. And the fans, vice versa.

And boy is he right. Take a look at this chart of attendance, wins and payroll at Miller Park since 2002. I ignored the 2001 point as an outlier because it was the park’s first year. Since 2004, Mark Attanasio has built a culture of winning in Milwaukee and the fans have responded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brewers tickets cost $57.74 on average (lowest in the majors). As the chart shows, 240,000 fewer people attended in 2012 than 2011. Having Lohse on the team makes the Brewers better contenders and more people will attend the games. If he can bring in 190,000 of those “lost” fans, he’ll pay for himself this year. According to USA Today, such a return on investment is already on its way. On the day that Lohse was signed, the Brewers sold 34,000 tickets.

But even if he doesn’t, Kyle Lohse and the rest of the players are going to be fun to watch. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters. Baseball is entertainment. So I’m calling Mark and letting him know that I want another 10 pack. Let the fun begin!

References

Rob Neyer, SB Nation: http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/3/25/4145298/kyle-lohse-signing-contract-milwaukee-brewers

Bob Nightengale, USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/brewers/2013/03/25/milwaukee-brewers-sign-kyle-lohse-to-three-year-contract/2019687/

Buster Olney, ESPN: http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/olney_buster/id/9099293/milwaukee-brewers-setting-fall-kyle-lohse-deal-mlb

Baseball-Reference: http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIL/attend.shtml

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Comments

Tell us what do you think.

  1. THE KID says: March 29, 2013

    I have fought (and lost) that battle with friends and strangers alike on line (still think the original Greinke trade the Brewers gave up way too much, & the jury is still out on the second one) many times.

    It is a fine line between mortgaging your future and playign for the present. And you’re absolutely correct in that the average fan cares not about the future and has no idea who the prospects even are they just gave up in a 4 for 1 trade for a MLB’er they know they’ve seen on Sportscenter.

    And that’s fine. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. And having previously lived in Appleton and seen 25-30 Rattler (for years Mariners, then recently Brewers prospects) games a year I probably am too much over on the “keep the prospects” side of the argument because I do know who they are and have seen what i think they can eventually do for the big club.

    And sure, the argument can easily be made that what if the pick the Brewers made this June had they not signed Loshe turned out to be Eric Arnett Part II? Very valid point.

    So again, there’s that fine line that you’re only mortgaging your future on trades & signings like this if you make strong picks or evaluate your MiLB talent correctly. And that’s far from a science.

    The one thing that the Brewers don’t have going for them is that they’re not the Yankees or the Dodgers or the Red Sox where they can throw money out in the FA market to correct a bad trade or pick or general lack of organizational depth.

    That’s what makes these trades, non-trades & drafting so much more important for clubs like Milwaukee.

    • Ryan says: March 29, 2013

      I could not disagree more with your Zack Greinke argument. The only player that I miss is Alcides Escobar. I follow prospects in the Brewers organization with the best of them. At the time that we traded for CC Sabathia I was extremely upset over one of the prospects and it was not Matt La Porta, it was Michael Brantley. The person I am most upset about for the Greinke trade would be Escobar but I feel fine now that Segura has shown what he is capable of. He will more than likely hit anywhere from an avergae of .275-.285 with an OBP of .350 and outstanding defense. There is nothing wrong with that. Those other three prospects we traded away have yet to do anything and one of them got shipped again in Odorizzi. That trade worked out extremely well for the Milwaukee Brewers because none of those prospects would be in the majors except for Escobar and we have Segura now with the help of Hellwig and Ariel Pena on the way. Zack Greinke did a lot of good for this organization and I’m extremely pleased with the way Doug Melvin and Mark handled him.

      Go Brew Crew, can’t wait to see what this team is capable of. Here is to hoping they surpass all expectations!

      • Ross B says: March 29, 2013

        I would bet Cain would have been in the big leagues this entire time without being in the deal, but then I also don’t think they trade for Morgan or sign Aoki.

  2. THE KID says: March 29, 2013

    Thank you Ross…I thought about mentioning Cain (whom i like very much)…but that would have been shot down by the Melvinites as saying all he’s been is hurt with KC…which of course is no indiction of how healthy (or not) he’d have been with the Brewers. But if healthy, Cain is clearly better than the hybride of Gomez/Morgan.

    I think it’s also a Melvinistic to discount Odorizzi because he was included with Will Meyers in the James Shield/Wade Davis trade. Tampa obviously has a loaded starting staff right now which is why Odorizzi (15-5, 3.03 AAA 2012) is starting out in AAA again. I’d predict he’s helping Tampa Bay before Hellwig and Ariel Pena are helping Milwaukee.

    • Ross B says: March 29, 2013

      Cain I think would have been and will be a productive big league player, but I don’t see any possible way he would have been more valuable than the platoon over that same time frame. Morgan was fantastic in 2011 and the difference between Gomez and Cain with the glove is enough to tilt the scale in their favor for the the past two years and possibly even going forward. Cain might see like the young exciting player, but he is only 5 months younger than Gomez, who was just rushed to the big leagues long before he was ready.

  3. THE KID says: March 29, 2013

    No Mas, No Mas…

    • Ro says: March 29, 2013

      Looks like your losing another argument

      • THE KID says: April 2, 2013

        So many other avenues to discuss baseball objectively…being a fan is one thing, being a homer is quite another.

        • Ted says: April 2, 2013

          So if people think it was a good trade they are a homer? Show me an article from any writer stating the brewers gave too much up. Then they got a good return in the flip. We can disagree but liking the trade isn’t strictly for homers.

          Look at Morgan/Gomez stats in 2011 and tell me how Cain is “clearly” better. I was not a fan of trading Cain but you need to trade good players to get good players and the crew had Gomez.

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