Million Dollar Rain Out

Today the White Sox face the prospect of a rained out double header.  It’s ugly outside and it has been an extremely wet spring.  Besides having to reschedule two games, the possibility of a rain out means thousands of dollars in lost revenue for hundreds of people.   How many thousands?  Just think of how many people are affected by a rain out.

Direct Effect

The first, and most obvious loser is the team's owner.  If there is no make up date the team will be forced to host a double header (a rained out double header means two double headers). This means the team must sell twice as many tickets as they would have for individual games, essentially impossible, just to break even.   Less ticket sales means less concessions, souvenirs, and parking.  Every revenue generator for the team is stymied. 

But don’t cry for the owners.  After the second Jordan retirement I promised never to have sympathy for Reinsdorf.  The people who really miss that money are the ushers, vendors and parking attendants who all the sudden have to deal with one less day's pay.  No game means at least a hundred guys and girls don’t get a paycheck, and that's just the beginning.

Indirect Effect

I got the idea to write this article from a friend of the site Dan Jerez, who is routinely cut from his job at a Wrigglyville bar when a game is canceled.  There are easily thirty bars depending on Cubs baseball traffic for summer revenue.  Dan, who works at Casey Moran’s, estimates that on a Saturday night a rain out can cut their staff from 55 down to 40.   Casey Moran’s is hardly the biggest bar on the strip 15 workers across thirty bars make 450 people out of a day's work.

Bars only represent a fraction of the small businesses effected by Cub or White Sox traffic. There are convenience stores, cabs, CTA, souvenir shops, restaurants and t-shirt guys all depending on money from sports fans.  It would be difficult estimate the real cost of a rainout because there are so many small businesses involved.   But, with the sheer number of people involved it's hard for me to imagine that the revenue loss isn’t in the hundred thousands or millions.

Is it too early to start petitioning for Wrigley Dome?


  1. I wouldn't petition too much for change. I grew up in St Louis and spent my high school and college years attending games. My grandfather was my go-to guy for catching some summer-fun pennant-race action. When the new owners got their way to build a new (unnecessary stadium) they eviscerated seating for joe-paycheck fans like myself and the whole thing became a monument to corporate boxes. Baseball is dead to me now.

  2. That's just a joke at Cubs fans about Wrigley Dome. I'm fascinated by rain outs because of the many people they touch, but I don't think baseball should be played inside.

    I am, however, surprised by your reaction to the new Busch stadium. Is it that much more expensive to get in the cheap seats? I am looking at their seating chart and it is more spendy than the White Sox, but it seems pretty comparable to the north-siders.

    Any red bird fans care to comment?

  3. You know, I don't know the exact numbers. I know the time I went though, it was a totally different feel. In the old Busch it had the whole Colliseum vibe where it went round and round in a whole circle. There were tons of cheap seats and you had pretty ultimate freedom walking around the place. When this new one opened, since they went to the older "style" where there were no seats in the outfield it seemed like less affordable seating was available. What folks like me looked at as affordable translated to the fringed sides of the place. If seating were a haircut it'd be a balding accountant where the sideburns were yer cheap seats and the back of the head was yer boxes. Anytime you tried to walk freely around the stadium if you walked across the middle they stopped you and asked to see your tickets because that's where the moneyed folks sat.

  4. Wrigley Dome is a great idea

  5. Man I don't know who wrote the comment in support of Wrigley Dome, but if you have a petition I will sign it (as long as they don't use my taxes to build it).



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