Comment 68580

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted August 29, 2011 at 14:11:08 in reply to Comment 68574

I'm not disputing that larger crowds are possible, but I'd say that a 41-year sample is reasonably even-handed and makes room for a lot of ifs. (I'm sure that the City would consider building a larger stadium if the Cats or their backers saw the value in paying for the additional capacity.)

One of the hindering factors is perhaps IWS 1.0 itself. Another factor is doubtless the on-field product, which fumbled its 30K+ crowds around 1972 and has never matched that mass-market appeal. Another factor also the rabid resistance to ticket price increases, which presumably will be in the cards as the team swaps an 80-year-old facility for a factory-fresh stadium (if not another hike between now and then).

If we're serious about transforming this franchise into a sustainable business that doesn't leech off the taxpayer's teat, the Cats must become at least revenue neutral. And that means paying for the enhanced game-day experience. The thinking seems to be that the team would be more efficient if it's not constantly having to make concessions to the cheap seats. My sense is that this is going to be a 2.0 era for the fanbase as well, which is possibly why there's not more push-back on the 22,500 capacity. A smaller venue better embodies the cozy came-day experience IWS is known for, and it makes supply/demand more manageable. If they hike prices and attendance drops, that's less noticeable in a stadium this size than one that's 5K-10K larger. And since the intention is that Cats not be the sole tenants of this stadium, the scale must makle sense for all other potential tenants. I think their compromise is a sound one.

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