10.28.2009

Go Cubbies! Wooo!!!

You've all seen them, certainly heard them, probably even sat next to them. They are the bane of each and every Brewers fan's existence. Of course, I speak of the Cubs fans who each and every year descend upon Miller Park like a swarm of locusts, eating, drinking, and insulting anything in their path. Everyone hates them. Well, make that everyone but one Brewer fan: me.

How can I not despise these people? These people who turn our home games into neutral to road/neutral games? People who will call you any and every name in the book, and none of them pleasant or repeatable here? People who will go to a NON-Cub game just to root against our beloved Brewers? How can I not hate these people, or at least this phenomenon?

I'll tell ya. The almighty dollar, that's how. Let's be realistic, Milwaukee is a small market team with a small market television deal. Which means that the Brewers have a small market salary as well. Unlike teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, or Cubs, the Brewers rarely make a big splash in free agency, and when they do, cannot afford to miss. Can you say Jeffrey Hammonds or Jeff Suppan? Signing these players to huge, long-term deals really hampered the Brewers' ability to patch holes in their lineup when players either did not perform or were injured.

The truth is, like them or not, the people who trek north from Chicago help pay our bills, and may have even been integral to the Brewers ending their 26 year playoff drought. Let's look at the numbers. Over the past two years, the Brewers have averaged 37,691 fans per game. When the Cubs come to town, that total jumps up to 42,100, more than 4,400 extra butts in the seats. And as we all know, there are waaaaay more than 4,400 Cubs fans at Miller Park at a Brewers-Cubs game. I think that there were that many Cubs fans under my canopy when it rained at the last game I went to, much less the entire stadium.

But how much do these extra attendees really help the bottom line? Guessing very conservatively, let's say an average Cub fan pays $25 for a ticket, spends $5 on parking (assuming a carpool of 3 people), and spends another $20 on beer/food/merchandise at the game. That's an extra $210,400 per game in the Brewers' collective pockets. With an average of 8 home games against the Cubbies each year, that's almost $1.7 million a year. And if you use the figure that at least 30% of people at a Brewer/Cub game in Miller are Cub fans, that number jumps up to over $5 million per year, still being quite conservative. That extra cash helps us pay for our free agents (hello Mike Cameron), our big trades (CC Sabathia anyone?), and our big contract extensions (Ryan Braun comes to mind).

So, next time you're tailgating outside Miller Park at a Brewer/Cub game and someone yells something like, "WOOOO! Screw you Milwaukee, you f*****' hicks! Go Cubbies! WOOOOOO!!!," just remember one thing: that guy is helping pay for our next free agent. So instead of yelling back obsenities, thank those FIBS for helping our cause. On second thought, yelling obscenities back is too much fun. Go Brewers! Wooo!!!

5 comments:

  1. whoa whoa whoa....double you tee eff! DOUBLE double you tee eff! Yes, when the Cub fans come to town they spend money...but you make it sound like the Cubs fans are the sole reason for the 37k avg attendance! I hope someone does research for me, I would, but I was laying in bed already when I read this and thus would not like to research myself. The Cubs were in town, what, like 8-10 times this year, with the supposed average of 42k for those games that is a fraction of the home games? The Brewers had a redonk amount of sellouts this year, with or without the Cubs. You don't think those Cubs games would have been any different attendance wise if the Chicago fans didn't show up? They would have had as many seats filled with or without the Cub scourge! I would agree with this argument in 2003, but the case was made for the, last couple of years. Absolutely not, we supported ourselves Milwaukee fans, WE pulled that average up over 81 home games, not the 9ish games the Chub fans came to town! It is not easy getting 20k+ fans to weekday games, but damn it, we sold a lot of those weekday games out and we should be PROUD OF THAT (and do it again and again and again..hopefully). One of my best friends is a Cubs fan, and actually bought a 9 pack...I thanked him for his support of the Milwaukee Brewers, but we both know his seats would have been gone regardless, he just happened to be the one enjoying the American baseball experience.....damn it, I want some stadium sauce now!
    I guess this is the beauty of blogs, the ability to agree or disagree and share your thoughts, what are all your thoughts on this? Please share :)

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  2. I don't think he was suggesting the Cubs fans were the reason for the attendance average, but rather their attendance alone unwittingly helps the Brewers franchise. And as someone who attended a late season non-sellout Brewers-Cubs game and sat in a section heavily saturated with Cub-scum (with dugan, no less), I think he's right.

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  3. As dbauhs said, I never said that the Cubs' games were the reason that the Brewers had good attendance numbers, but that Cubs fans pump much needed money into the Brewers' system. Brewers fans are great, but as a small market team, we can use all the extra cash we can. And in my opinion, taking a little abuse at the hands of Cubs fans is definitely worth it.
    And I do think that the Cub/Brewer attendance numbers would be different without Cub fans. I'm not saying they'd be drastically different, but there would be less people at Brewer/Cub games without Cub fans, no doubt.

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  4. Sorry, still hate cubs fans. The total attendance gained isn't worth the assholeness. Plus the nominal gain in money ($1.7 million is what you pay a fourth outfielder, $5 million is slightly more than Braden Looper made) hardly provides enough to really impact a team. I'll take their money, but they can still go fuck themselves.

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