Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why aren't fans attending games at Camelback Ranch?


You should go to Camelback Ranch.

I don't work for the Dodgers and I'm not trying to sell a product.

I was reading Bill Shaikin's article on Camelback Ranch and I was not surprised to read that there isn't much of a profit. {linked here}

Camelback Ranch had quite the grand opening in 2009. By its third season, neither the Dodgers nor the Chicago White Sox made much money from playing there, according to documents filed Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The Camelback Ranch profits fell 65% in two years -- from $2,162,047 in 2009 to $759,017 in 2011, according to the documents. The teams split the profits almost equally, the documents show, so neither the Dodgers nor the White Sox could have used their share to buy even a minimum-wage player last season. The minimum major league salary last season was $414,000.

The main source of income at Camelback Ranch is ticket revenue, which fell from $3,567,800 in 2009 to $2,973,801 in 2011, according to the documents.


I noticed this the last two years where I can basically sit anywhere. Which is good for me since I'm not a fan of large crowds. Plus it's easier to connect with the players when there aren't many fans around.

But what's the reason for you not going to Arizona? I'd like to read your comments on this.

I've been going every year since the Dodgers opened Spring Training in Camelback Ranch and I always have a great time. I believe I went twice one year.

I do plan on going this year but not sure when. I can only go during the weekend and having a baby now might be a little harder. We'll see.

14 comments:

Rob said...

Roberto -- Even though I think the McCourts stink and the Dodgers are on track to be a .500 team, I would still go to see them if I thought the park was a good experience. But Camelback has been designed from the start to be one of the worst fan experience parks in the Cactus League. My main beefs with it are

1) The park has almost no shade in the stands. By itself, not that unique in the Cactus League, but this was a wholly predictable consequence of the weird northerly orientation of the stands; most baseball stadiums put home plate at the southwest, so the sun is at your back in the late afternoon.

2) The inverted orientation means you have to walk all the way around the park to get to your seat. It's just silly.

3) Parking. It's gotten better -- and to their credit, the Dodgers actually adopted some of my suggestions to fix the issues with traffic -- but it's still a mess thanks to the one-way-in, one-way-out nature of the avenues. The best parking remains offsite, which is simply unbelievable. (Also: a followup post on the same subject.)

Madmex91 said...

Some people may still be boycotting Arizona for their views on immigration.

Steve said...

McCourt I'm sure has a lot to do with it, regardless of location. Camelback Ranch was his pride and joy. I'm pretty sure 2009 was also the Spring that we all could see Manny up close and personal after that great 2008 playoff run. I think most Dodger fans made it out to Camelback that year. After Manny left, the team has lost some of its media appeal despite Kemp and Kershaw's greatness and fans don't have the money or reason in this economic time to drive or fly to AZ right now. Maybe once the new owner steps in, things will change.

Robert Lozano said...

Gas Prices to travel from California to Arizona is insane. The Political controversies going on in Arizona. Frank McCourt Fan Protest until he leaves are all plausible causes for people not attending games.

suzyq said...

Vero Beach was a magical place. There was nothing like it and there never will be. It was a big mistake to move to Camelback.

jfore said...

Going at the end of March; went last year, too. My son is at ASU, so it's fun to visit and take in a game or 2. Don't know that I'd make the effort if he wasn't already there, the economy & all...

Nacho said...

Love Camelback Ranch and believe that one of the few right decisions McCourt made while owner was to move team there. I went to Dodger Town in Vero Beach and it was great but to visit any other team facilities meant getting in your car and driving for awhile. Add to that unexpected rain storms, cross country flight and time change I am glad they moved to Arizona. My son and I have been making the trip every year since they moved and have a great time each year. We usually see the Dodgers at Camelback and see them at a couple of other stadiums which are only a few minutes away. The weather is great (just heating up but not quite summer), the people are friendly and there is so much to do around the Phoenix area. Sure its expensive but not as bad as Vero. Thanks McCourt for leaving and thanks for bringing the Dodgers closer to L.A.

Cindy said...

I am headed to Camelback on the 4th of March, timed to get there before spring break and the crowds. Got a timeshare exchange into Scottsdale, so my room is very affordable, and the drive is mostly freeway (20 to 30 minutes). Had a blast in just a couple of days same time last year, the players are fresh and willing to sign and take pictures. And did I mention no crowds! Best kept secret! Being able to go for the weekdays before spring breaks is definitely key for me. Sure , gas is expensive, but I work hard and play harder!

Falling LEAVes said...

I'd love more than anything to be able to go. I just simply can't afford it at the moment. Maybe next year, that's my motto. The last few years were hard, being unemployed after 2009 and even before that I was barely scraping by. Hopefully by next year, I can say, YES I'll be there!

Orlando said...

What's there in Arizona? Dback fans and there not gna go to dodger games we are there division rivals duh. And its a long drive for us busy hard working dodger fans . It's as simple as that. How ever I am goin to the fan fest and a few games after I'm willing to do a few road trips

MarcoS. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MarcoS. said...

In a nutshell, traveling to Arizona is a little more convenient than traveling to Florida in the sense jumping out a 2 story window is a little more convenient than jumping out a 3 story window. They are both not convenient.

If the Dodgers played their Spring training games in Rancho, you better believe I'm going 10 times a year. Even if they played in Vegas I would make up a excuse to take at least one trip a year.

Arizona league attendance is down all around though. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2011-03-25-cactus-league-attendance-down_N.htm

Vero thrived because of the locals, but Arizona doesn't have the local fan support to help most teams, including their own team.
Maybe MLB should explore moving spring training from Arizona to California?

Monica Acevedo said...

My husband and I go every year since they moved there and its come a long way since first year when we parked in a dirt lot. Its fun to see new and upcoming players as well as the stars. Its also nice to visit the other stadiums, looking forward to it......Love spring training!

DemBums said...

I flew to Vero Beach to watch the Dodgers play there. I haven't driven to see them in Arizona. Vero had the history, Arizona doesn't. Once we get a big name contract (like Pujols) and the Dodgers create buzz on the field instead of the bankruptcy courts, I will drive from LA to AZ.