Why World Series host cities barely break even

Cities home to pro sports teams are often in store for some big time money if one of their teams enters a championship match. Now as the 2014 baseball World Series is ready to begin, Kansas City and San Francisco will soon be sharing hosting duties; like other cities before them, it’s a chance for both areas to gain millions upon millions of dollars in revenue. Ticket and merchandise sales, sports-related events and local tourism make the biggest impacts for restaurants, hotels and stores that translate into tax revenue for the city.

The Fall Classic is one serious series of moneyball, but it doesn’t come without its expenses. While neither host city will ever spend more than it earns, they stand to incur plenty of costs that can greatly impact revenues. Is your city’s team competing in the World Series this year? Read on to see how the local economy can be negatively affected.

Host Cities Benefit Financially

In last year’s World Series, three games held at Busch Stadium created a positive economic impact in St. Louis of at least $7.9 million per game, according to Alicia Jessop of Forbes.

Over in Beantown, the 2013 series’ winner was estimated to raise up to $10 million per home World Series game for Boston — almost 10 times the amount raised by a regular season Red Sox gathering, according to CBS Boston.

Even more impressive was the San Francisco Giants’ 2012 World Series victory. During that championship series, visitors spent between $18 million and $40 million, according to data reported by the San Francisco Examiner. That stimulus, however, was tempered slightly by the city’s celebratory parade for the team’s World Series win, costing taxpayers more than $225,000.

The winners’ parade isn’t the only type of expense that World Series host cities can anticipate this year.

Revenues Offset by other Factors


Following the April 2013 bombing at the city’s annual marathon that killed three people and wounded more than 260, Boston police were on high alert when it came time to provide security at Fenway Park and in the vicinity of the stadium for the 2013 World Series. There was an enhanced police presence for the first two games, but rules and police presence were tightened even further for game six, spreading thin a police force that still needs manpower

St. Louis, as well, upped its security measures for the series, installing metal detectors at the stadium gates, employing bomb-sniffing dogs, monitoring the air for foreign substances and conducting random searches on fans, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Neither police department released numbers on the cost of the increased measures.

Parking and Traffic Restrictions

Also put in place by local law enforcement, stricter parking regulations and street closures around the host city’s baseball stadium can impact revenues of nearby businesses that aren’t allowed to provide parking in front of their storefronts for the duration of the series.

During last year’s World Series, noted WCVB, the Boston mayor asked downtown businesses to let their workers go home at 4 p.m. to relieve traffic congestion; city staff also requested that local bar owners take down their outside displays by the fifth inning and cover their windows to discourage crowds from watching their TVs from outside. By restricting their operations, local businesses can lose both money and productivity during the game.

Lack of Non-Baseball-Related Business

Businesses that don’t directly cater to the baseball crowd could actually lose money from a decline in business during the World Series. A few years ago, the New York Daily News reported that the Yankees/Phillies World Series face-off produced revenues averaging $40 to $110 million for New York City; however, some local merchants not capitalizing on baseball took it as a hit to their business. “The playoffs hurt us and the Series will be the same,” optician Robert Robles told the paper. “The fans going to the games don’t need to get their eyes examined.”

Smaller, non-sports-oriented bars and restaurants can experience a drop in customers – and a loss of revenue — come World Series time, since patrons who aren’t interested in baseball are in the minority. A St. Louis eatery named Stellina published its thoughts in the River Front Times during last year’s Red Sox/Cardinals championships: “The truth is, if you aren’t located within two blocks of the stadium, or have 400 TVs in your place, you are most likely looking at an empty restaurant.”

The restaurant’s chef, Jamey Tochtrop, believes that businesses simply need to adjust and adapt to the change. “It hurts business, but it’s also something we have to deal with once in a while. We’re a baseball town, I get it,” he said. “We’re not mad — there isn’t a real great solution.”

Turning Financial Losses Into Wins

World Series host cities don’t necessarily retain their popularity after the games. “If it’s not a popular place, hosting the World Series won’t change people’s minds,” said Dennis Coates, a University of Maryland economics professor, in the Christian Science Monitor. So how can cities and business turn this scenario around?

Marketing and economy experts suggest that businesses unrelated to sports — like grocery stores or museums — should promote some baseball pride (at least temporarily), even if it’s something as small as “Go Dodgers!” in their front window to attract more sports-minded customers. For residents and visitors in a host city: Don’t hold back on your love of the World Series, but take it a step further — remember, win or lose, local businesses need your support before, during and after the baseball season.

Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like