(Potentially) Why The Atlanta Braves Are Switching Stadiums

The head office talks about the fan experience — how much folks spend in, and around, the ballpark.

It’s central to the way the Braves do business. Because if you’re going to the game, it’s unlikely you’ll be cooking dinner at home that evening.

The Atlanta sports franchise wants a piece of that. They want to own an attractive property, a place for concession stands and restaurants.

Today, the stadium isn’t, well, that. So, under controversial circumstances, the team is building a new spot in Cobb County.

A Wired Magazine analysis, using data from processing company Square, shows, perhaps, some of the reasoning.

WIRED asked the payment-processing company to look at the sales data collected from the areas surrounding several baseball stadiums on opening day. Then, we cross-referenced the sales data with how well or poorly those stadiums performed in WalkScore, the website that ranks physical properties by how accessible they are to pedestrian foot traffic. To absolutely nobody’s surprise, the most pedestrian-friendly ballparks generated a lot more revenue for local merchants on opening day.

honan_square_baseball_USA[1]

Notice the Braves in last place. Bummer.

And so you see very walkable stadiums with all this economic activity going on around them, like AT&T Park in San Francisco, which saw a payment volume of $44,463.68 on opening day. Just across the Bay in Oakland, where the Athletics play in a stadium that’s essentially in the middle of an asphalt desert, practically accessible only by car or from the transit station that’s physically attached to it, transaction volume was a lousy $526.39. (Which is actually an improvement. In the three weekend days leaning up to opening day, for which Square also pulled data, stadiums for the Oakland A’s, Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, and Anaheim Angels saw only dozens of payments, compared to hundreds or thousands it saw elsewhere.)

 

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