Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Sports Fan Base of South Florida, Part 2

Second in a series

In the past some have said that south Florida simply can’t support a Major League franchise. Some have debated whether a new ballpark for the Marlins should be in Miami-Dade or Broward. Some have said that Hispanics don’t support the team the way MLB had hoped they would. This series of posts is an exploration into these issues.

All of the data that I will be using in this analysis comes from the 2006 Miami/Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach Scarborough Release 2 Studies. These are demographic studies of consumers, which I have access to in my role as an advertising executive.

Comparison of Marlins game attendees to those of other sports available in South Florida

In the first post I explored the question of where Marlin game attendees come from. Now it’s time to see how the Marlins numbers stack up to the other sports properties in town.

Adult Dolphins game attendees by county

Miami-Dade County: 186,800
Broward County: 145,600
Palm Beach County: 59,400
Total for Tri-County: 391,800

At first glance these numbers look unbelievable when compared to the Marlins numbers, which are much higher. Miami is supposed to be a football town. There are probably a couple of reasons for this. First of all, the Dolphins only play 8 home games (10 if you count pre-season) a year. Secondly, the Dolphins have a large season ticket base (in excess of 50,000 of the 75,000 available seats). What this means is that there is much more duplication among attendees. In other words, from week to week the Dolphins are hosting a lot of the same people and not many new people.

The proportion of Dolphin game attendees coming from each county is very similar to that of the Marlins.

Adult Heat game attendees by county

Miami-Dade County: 290,000
Broward County: 151,700
Palm Beach County: 30,900*
Total for Tri-County: 472,600

Again the numbers of unique attendees for the Heat are higher than those for the Dolphins. The same logic applies here. The Heat play 41 home games plus pre-season and playoffs. The recent success of the Heat also needs to be taken into account.

The proportion of Heat game attendees coming from each county skews heavily toward Miami-Dade

It would not be stretch to see similar proportions for the Marlins if the new ballpark is built at either of the two locations currently on the table.

Adult Panther game attendees by county

Miami-Dade County: 21,300*
Broward County: 124,300
Palm Beach County: 43,100*
Total for Tri-County: 188,700

Not surprisingly, the number of Panther game attendees is significantly lower than the other sports properties analyzed thus far and those attendees are overwhelmingly from Broward County.

Adult Hurricanes football game attendees by county

Miami-Dade County: 120,700
Broward County: 58,800*
Palm Beach County: 21,000*
Total for Tri-County: 200,500

The Hurricanes drew less unique attendees than all the professional sports except the Panthers. The county breakdown is similar to the Heat.

Here’s a visual recap of the 5 sports properties analyzed when it comes to unique game attendees.

The bar graph shows that the Marlins lead the way in terms of unique game attendees. Simply put, baseball is the game that the most adults in South Florida experience in person every year.

Next, a look at TV viewership for the 5 sports properties.

Read Part 1

*Items denoted with an asterisk are relatively unstable projections due to less than optimal sample sizes.

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