No Beer, No Baseball

Sadder than the end of "Casey At The Bat"

Sad news out of Utah today as Hot Corner Baseball LLC, owners of the Golden baseball League’s St. George RoadRunners, announced that the team will suspend operations through the remainder of the 2010 season effective immediately.

Minor league baseball is always struggling to get any return on their investment(s). Parking and concessions bring in more than gate recepits and merchandise sales, so getting people there at all is a victory. What led to the downfall of the RoadRunners was beer sales. Rather, no sales.

The RoadRunners have simply run out of money,” said Joyce. “We tried everything we could think of to encourage attendance, and nothing seemed to work.

“I know it was a controversial issue, but beer sales was critical to our success here, in terms of increasing attendance, increasing revenue, and as a factor in attracting necessary outside capital investment. It simply makes no sense to operate a minor league franchise without beer sales. Beer concessions comprise about 33 percent of total revenue stream for minor league baseball operations.

Let’s put this into further perspective. The former concessions provider for Nassau Coliseum was selling bottled beer at $7 a pop. They paid roughly 23-cents per unit. One beer was 2943% NET revenue. This is not a condemnation of the sports concessions industry, just small look at one facet of revenue for teams and facilities, and the difficulties most teams and leagues face when meeting revenue goals. Through all of this, the RoadRunners are working on a plan to provide for their employees and vendors while team finances are reviewed.

Here’s to a RoadRunners return in 2011.

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