Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Kids Move Back Home

When I read yesterday that the Braves are moving their AAA team to Gwinnett County -- about 40 miles north of Atlanta -- I was perplexed. I mean, they already have the Atlanta market pretty much covered, so why not try to expand the brand a bit by staying up in Richmond or, short of that, moving someplace else? Moreover, won't having a cheaper baseball option available to people just north of Atlanta divert some of them from Turner Field?

No worries, says Braves fan, author, and economist J.C. Bradbury:

I consider major and minor league sports to be complements not substitutes. While I am sure there will be some families that will choose to attend more Gwinnett games at the expense of Braves games, I think this loss will be minimal. The opportunity cost of going to a Gwinnett Braves game is most likely doing something at home, not going to a Braves game. The proposed stadium site is nearly 40 miles from Turner Field. My guess is that most fans will switch from doing something else in Gwinnett rather than canceling trips to Turner Field; thus, this will be a net gain to the big club.

Click through to read the basis for J.C.'s conclusions. He has convinced me.


dlf said...

I'm a Braves fan who lives in Forsyth County, right next door to Gwinnett. Going to Braves games is a six hour committment -- if there is zero traffic, a true abnormality in Atlanta. Going to see the Gwinnett version will be 3 hours and much cheaper. With two pre-teens, the choice is pretty much a no-brainer.

Pete Toms said...

Isn't it simply that Gwinnett will build a new stadium and Richmond was dragging their feet on the same?

The Braves - an oddity, they own all but 1 of their affiliates - should be able to rake in more $$$ at the new yard. No?

Shyster said...

I would think that they could make a boatload close to home. The more I think of it, my initial thought -- extend the brand out in the country -- makes less and less sense. Sure, at one time Atlanta was something of a national thing, but as local teams are putting all of their games on television it makes less and less sense for the Braves to try to compete in non-Brave markets, thus the retrenchment to the South.

Same goes for the minor league teams. Lock up your home base, maximize profits there, and things will look good. Using such an approach, the Braves may be suited to truly lock up a whole region like Boston has the NE as opposed to mess around with the America's Team nonsense.

Chris said...

Incidentally, I wonder if this means that the Nationals will move their AAA club from Columbus to Richmond? Just a thought.