Monday, January 31, 2011

Factors of Production: Land

In looking into how each of the factors of production relate to the industry of Major League Baseball, land is one of the most important.  Without land you can't have ball parks. Without ball parks you can't play games, and without games you don't have a league.  The amount of land each team needs depends on many different things.  Each team exists in a unique market and has to make choices based on their particular situation.
In the last couple of seasons much has been said about  he need of the Florida Marlins to build a new stadium and they are finally doing so.  By building a new stadium with a retractable roof the hope is that it will increase the number of fans that attend their home games thus increasing revenue.  Before they finally got approval and funding sorted out to build their new park they had to ask themselves a lot of different questions.  First where to build the stadium.  The Marlins, like all Major League teams, are located within a large city.  Property in cities like Miami, FL. doesn't come cheap and just because you have the money doesn't always mean that the land is available.  For this reason they are building their new park further away from the downtown and tourist heavy areas in Miami.  They are gambling that enough people will be willing to drive away from the tourist heavy areas to come watch a baseball game.
After finding the space with which to build the park they have to ask themselves how many people do they think will be willing to come to games.  They have to make certain to put enough seats in the stadium to accommodate all the fans willing to pay for tickets but not so many that they can't sell seats.  Cleveland faced the later problem with their Cleveland Municipal Stadium.  They had room to seat more fans than any other park in MLB but couldn't sell enough seats to pay for upkeep.  Each team has to look at their situation and decide not just how many seats to put in but how much to sell them for in order to pay for upkeep and make a profit.  This prediction is a matter of guessing how much the demand will be for those seats based on how many seats are being supplied. If you have more seats then you can sell each ticket for less money but with less seats you can increase the price a bit and make more per seat.  Establishing where the perfect balance lies is an ongoing process that each team faces year to year and game to game.
Parking lots, practice areas and office spaces all have to be accounted for as well.  With out gaining access to large amounts of land in highly urbanized areas no team would be able to get their product to their customers, the fans.  The main source of revenue for most every team is based on attendance and without not just the park to play the games in but the land needed to grant access to the games making any profit would be impossible. So when thinking about buying ticket to a game keep in mind that each ticket you buy is in part helping to pay for the land needed to put that game on.

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