Million Dollar Rain Out

Today the White Sox face the prospect of a rained out double header. It’s ugly outside and it has been an extremely wet spring. Besides having to reschedule two games, the possibility of a rain out means thousands of dollars in lost revenue for hundreds of people. How many thousands? Just think of how many people are affected by a rain out.

Direct Effect

The first, and most obvious loser is the team’s owner. If there is no make up date the team will be forced to host a double header (a rained out double header means two double headers). This means the team must sell twice as many tickets as they would have for individual games, essentially impossible, just to break even. Less ticket sales means less concessions, souvenirs, and parking. Every revenue generator for the team is stymied.

But don’t cry for the owners. After the second Jordan retirement I promised never to have sympathy for Reinsdorf. The people who really miss that money are the ushers, vendors and parking attendants who all the sudden have to deal with one less day’s pay. No game means at least a hundred guys and girls don’t get a paycheck, and that’s just the beginning.

Indirect Effect

I got the idea to write this article from a friend of the site Dan Jerez, who is routinely cut from his job at a Wrigglyville bar when a game is canceled. There are easily thirty bars depending on Cubs baseball traffic for summer revenue. Dan, who works at Casey Moran’s, estimates that on a Saturday night a rain out can cut their staff from 55 down to 40. Casey Moran’s is hardly the biggest bar on the strip 15 workers across thirty bars make 450 people out of a day’s work.

Bars only represent a fraction of the small businesses effected by Cub or White Sox traffic. There are convenience stores, cabs, CTA, souvenir shops, restaurants and t-shirt guys all depending on money from sports fans. It would be difficult estimate the real cost of a rainout because there are so many small businesses involved. But, with the sheer number of people involved it’s hard for me to imagine that the revenue loss isn’t in the hundred thousands or millions.

Is it too early to start petitioning for Wrigley Dome?