When the Phillies suck, the working man suffers

The team is terrible. That means attendance is down. And that means the stadium's workaday folks feel the pain.

By Randy LoBasso
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 13 | Posted Aug. 20, 2014

Share this Story:

Nice stadium. But who's buying the beer?

Photo by Ffooter/Shutterstock.com

Former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is counting himself lucky tonight. He’s getting an award he claims he doesn’t really care about, and, in a rare showing of fan support this season, virtually all the seats in Citizens Bank Park are filled.

“I was here nine years, and nine years went by real fast,” says Manuel, who stands on a stage in the infield, speaking jovially into a microphone. “We had some great teams, and everybody played a part in those teams.”

Manuel—who led the Phillies to five straight division championships, two World Series appearances and one World Series win between 2007 and 2011—is being honored with a plaque on the “Wall of Fame” beyond Center Field in Citizens Bank Park, where an etching of his mug will be on display next to Phillies greats like John Kruk and Steve Carlton—both of whom are physically standing on stage with Manuel, along with several other Phillies legends.

There are 39,153 fans here—the fourth highest home attendance of the year—to watch it happen.

Manuel’s got a blue and white, checkered button-down shirt on underneath his Phillies jersey. His face is beet red, and the view from the large screen shows he’s begun sweating as he rambles through an obviously-unprepared speech, in which he accidentally calls Broad Street “Broadway,” in a reference to the 2008 World Series victory parade.

Fans cheer anyway.

Beer vendors strut up and down the aisles, too, calling out brands from Miller Lite and Coors Light to Stella Artois to Bud Light Raz-Ber-Rita, the latter of which the stadium began providing this year. Many beer sellers seem eager at the prospect of an extra hour to move their product.

“When you go to events like that, when they come to town, we look forward to working harder, working more, sweating more and pushing more,” says Andrew W. Reddin, a beer vendor who sells Miller Light, aisle-to-aisle, “but it’s stuff like that that’s drawing crowds. Not the team.”

The Phillies 2014 season is a wash, as is, really, any upcoming season in the near future. And, as vendors note, it’s actually been bad for a while. Of everyone associated with the Phillies’ 180-degree turn from first to worst, it’s actually the beer vendors whose pockets are directly impacted by the team’s suckitude.

“As far as vendors are concerned, the last three years have been pretty much consistently . . . you can call it bad,” says Reddin.

For many of Citizens Bank Park’s workers, it’s simple trickle-down economics: pay rises and falls with the team’s fortune. These workers, who vend beer section-by-section, aisle-by-aisle, are paid based on tips and commission. Poor teams mean fewer fans. Fewer fans means less product moved. Less product means less pay—and as the team gets worse, for lots of these workers, their wallets get emptier.

We got a reality check in June, when Emory University in Georgia released a study analyzing Major League Baseball fans, attempting to show the correlation of “attendance sensitivity to performance and prices”—meaning, they conducted a scholarly study to find out which city’s fans were least likely to show up if ticket prices went up and winning percentage went down, using data from 1998 to 2013.

If you’re a Phillies season ticket holder, the results were not shocking.

“The most demanding MLB fans live in Philadelphia,” wrote Manish Tripathi, a professor of marketing at Emory, who conducted the study. “This fits the stereotype of Philadelphia fans as aggressive, demanding fans that are willing to cheer injuries and boo Santa. The numbers say that Philadelphia fans require their team to perform or they won’t show up.”

Despite the tired, clichéd, stupid example of “booing Santa” and the fact that he cited data which revolved around one of the two historic World Series wins, Tripathi has a point.

In 2009, the year after the Phillies won the World Series, Philadelphia had the third-highest attendance in baseball, averaging 44,453. They only lagged behind the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 2010, attendance went up, and so did our ranking: 45,027 fans per game, ranked second in the majors. 2011: First in the MLB; 45,440 per game. In 2012, we were first again (largely due to pre-season ticket sales), averaging 44,021 fans per game.

Then things changed. The Phillies missed the Wild Card in 2012, and the reign of powerhouse players like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins was largely declared over, even though all three received large, extended contracts.

Last year, the team slipped to eighth in attendance. So far in 2014, we’re ranked 15th, averaging just 30,289 fans per homegame, the biggest one-year drop in Major League Baseball. And things are looking down.

Page: 1 2 3 |Next
Add to favoritesAdd to Favorites PrintPrint Send to friendSend to Friend


Comments 1 - 13 of 13
Report Violation

1. Anonymous said... on Aug 20, 2014 at 08:15PM

“Neglected to mention in this article about the rising cost of a ticket for a game or a season. There comes a point when the number of dollars required are measured against other venues. It's called price resistance.

Report Violation

2. Joe Ogorki said... on Aug 22, 2014 at 12:53PM

“I recently received three tickets from a friend at no cost. Had I bought them, they would have set me back quite a bit. At the game, I bought two beers, a bottle of water and two pretzels. Price tag: $48.25. Add that to the heavy parking fees and you have a night that could break the bank for most working folks.
The game had about 31,000 in attendance. I'll go out on a limb and say that at maybe 25 thousand people spent at least ten bucks on concessions...so...25K x ten bucks equals...a quarter of a million bucks in hot dogs, beers and crab fries. Not bad for an off night. And I'm sure that many people spent much more than ten bucks.
I dislike being gouged for some crappy chow at stadiums and I dislike whiners with fat contracts at stadiums even more. In a time of near depression conditions in America, when a nickle ain't worth a dime, they should be glad anyone comes out at all.
May a sink hole open and swallow the sports complex!”

Report Violation

3. John said... on Aug 24, 2014 at 04:24AM

“Simple statement: that Phillies team stinks out loud. Rollins, Howard, and the "Phenom" Dom Brown and especially Cody Asche. They stink. Utley is still good but looks tired and frustrated. Forget about going to a game at that price gouging stadium. I still watch on TV occasionally, but if someone were to offer me free deluxe box tickets I would certainly decline.”

Report Violation

4. Anonymous said... on Aug 28, 2014 at 04:55AM

“Any baseball team has ups and downs in the standings. It's the nature of the game. The Red Sox have gone from first to worst in their division and Fenway prices make Citizens Bank look laughable. While teams like the Phillies and the Red Sox are terrible to watch on television, the atmosphere of the stadium compensates for poor play and gives the fans a chance to partake in booing underperforming players. The Phillies rode the high for a long time and now they stink, but that shouldn't deter anyone who likes the game from still attending. People need to tone down their hysterical reactions, accept that the team will take time to rebuild and enjoy the game experience as a chance to have a few drinks and socialize. And Glen b should take his medication.”

Report Violation

5. DaveFC said... on Aug 28, 2014 at 09:43AM

“Baseball and sports is cyclical . You have highs and lows over the years and sometimes generations. It's just the way it is. I totally get the decline in attendance. The only thing that bothers me is the Philadelphia sports fan calling ourselves the best in the world, or implying that we are. We are no different then any other city in that we want to see a winner.
My .02. Cheers”

Report Violation

6. benedict said... on Feb 19, 2015 at 02:06AM


An amazing testimony on a spell caster who brought my wife back to me.. My name is Andy Sowers,i live in Australia,and I'm happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids.A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife.so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce.she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she didn't love me anymore.So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife.So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too.So i never believed in”

Report Violation

7. Saran Wilson said... on Mar 8, 2015 at 12:37AM

“I'm sharing this testimony because someone out there might have same problem,Am very happy today because i was through difficulties ever since the only man i have ever love in my life left me for another woman,trying to get him back i went online where i met this testimony of a Woman called Erin and she said somebody called Dr Marvel helped her to bring back her lover. i took a leaps of faith and contacted Dr Marvel and he also brought back the only man i have ever love to me.I'm so happy sharing this testimony,contact Dr Marvel in his email: extremespellhome@hotmail.com. you can also reach him directly on his website http://extremespellhome.webs.com or call his mobile number 2348106985072. And believe me his going to make you happy once again good luck.”

Report Violation

8. LOVE SPELL HERE:shakesspear23@gmail.com said... on Mar 20, 2015 at 04:35PM

“My Name is Peace..I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster once when i went to Africa to Execute some business..He is really powerful.The woman i wanted to marry left me 3 weeks to our weeding ceremony and my life was upside down.she was with me for 3 years and i really love her so much..she left me for another man with no reason..when i called her she never picked up my calls and she don’t want to see me around her…so,when i told the man what happened.he helped me to do some readings,and after the readings he made me to realize that the other man has done some spells over my wife and that is the reason why she left me..he told me he will help me to cast a spell that bring her back.At first i was skeptical but i just gave it a try…In 2 days,she called me herself and came to me apologizing..I cant believe she can ever come back to me again EMAIL: shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com .... CONTACT HIM TODAY VIA THIS EMAIL ADDRESS: shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com AS HIS POWERS ARE SO STRONG AND VERY EFFECTIVE AND HAS NO BAD EFFECT INSTEAD IT HAVE A VERY GOOD RESULT AFTER CASTING THE SPELL.”

Report Violation

9. Melissa Lopez said... on Mar 23, 2015 at 09:07PM


Things can only work out in your relationship only if you give chance to the right person to assist you. My love life turned out to be something great after i contacted Dr.EWAN through these details 2347053122686 or via email COVENANTSOLUTIONTEMPLE@GMAIL.COM I still can't really say what Dr.EWAN did actually but i can boldly say that Dr.EWAN gave my relationship that perfect fixing that my relationship was lacking and through this my lover is seeking for me to marry him without wasting no more time..

Report Violation

10. Anonymous said... on Apr 16, 2015 at 02:35AM

“My name is ROSEMARY, I almost took my life because of my ex who left me and stop picking my calls. He said he do not trust me anymore, I tried to convince him, but he will not believe me until we had a fight and broke up for 8months, after then I realize I can not live without him because of the love I have for him. I tried everything possible to get him back, but non worked for me, some fake spell casters scammed me and went away with my money until I came across this man called Dr Otis Darko, he cast a spell for me and behold my ex came back after three days, begging me for forgiveness, I was so surprised that spell caster like DR OTIS DARKO still exist. If anyone here needs some help, with all sincerity, contact Dr Otis Darko via his email:otis.darko.60@gmail.com”

Report Violation

11. Anonymous said... on Apr 29, 2015 at 07:35PM

“Do you need an urgent spell to get your ex back there is a great spiritual father who can help his name is dr BEN of can help you solve your love problems and any problems you are encountering he is a problem solver and he will solve all your problems for you as he solved mine problem with my husband and made our family to live as one again if you need his help on any problem you can contact him on his email on- {benedictsolutioncentre@yahoo.com}”

Report Violation

12. Anonymous said... on Apr 29, 2015 at 07:35PM

“Do you need an urgent spell to get your ex back there is a great spiritual father who can help his name is dr BEN of can help you solve your love problems and any problems you are encountering he is a problem solver and he will solve all your problems for you as he solved mine problem with my husband and made our family to live as one again if you need his help on any problem you can contact him on his email on- {benedictsolutioncentre@yahoo.com}”

Report Violation

13. kuqya said... on May 23, 2015 at 03:51PM

“We are upfront here on this temple on what we do. { GET YOUR SPELL CASTED HERE }mail: great.spellcaster@yahoo.com .. Also get it noted that we deal with serious minded customers here as we are the best spell caster online and always have so many work to attend to here as if you send email and you seems not to be serious you will not get a respond from me as you will be ignored and allowed to go and meet fake spell spell casters that will rip you off your hard earned money. To enhance fast communication, Kindly send down your Name : Country: State: Address: More about the kind of help you want here: Phone number: Age: Gender : Job: and any other information's you know it will be so helpful on the kind of work and help you wish for here.”


(HTML and URLs prohibited)