The economy has taken a bite out of every sports league this past year, but for Major League Baseball, they were able to actually see revenues increase in 2009.
According to information provided to The Biz of Baseball by the league, gross revenues were $6.6 billion for 2009, a record figure for MLB. The figure is a 1.5 percent increase the $6.5 billion pulled in for 2008.
The increase of revenues comes against the backdrop of MLB seeing a decline in attendance this past year. While still the fifth highest on-record, MLB saw a total paid-attendance figure of 73,418,529 for 2009, a decrease of 6.58 percent from a total of 78,591,116 in 2008.
Baseball focused heavily on promotions and affordable ticket options in many ballparks, helping to keep in-ballpark revenues afloat during the chilly economy. The increase also can be attributed to centralized revenue streams through television, radio, MLB Advanced Media, and merchandise sales.
A key factor in the increase can also be laid at the feet of the Yankees and Mets. Both clubs opening new stadiums this past year, and charged premium prices for tickets.
By comparision, the news that MLB saw record revenues for 2009 falls on the heels of the National Basketball Association reporting that it was $400 million in the red last season. Revenues for the NFL were $7.6 billion for the 2008-09 season. The NHL topped $2.6 billion in revenues for the 2008-09 season.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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