Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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Cost of an empty Orioles stadium

April 29, 2015

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Camden Yards, when full. It won't be on Wednesday.

The Chicago White Sox will play the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Wednesday. Nobody will be there.

With riots breaking out across the city, Major League Baseball decided it was not safe to allow fans to attend the game. Instead, it will be played in an empty stadium.

The unusual move comes after two games were canceled. According to The Atlantic, it is a particularly sad first, and a costly one.

According to ESPN, the Orioles have averaged 33,288 fans at each game this year, 10th best in MLB. Statista calculates that the average ticket sells for $24.97.

That means the Orioles are losing $831,201.36 in ticket revenue from Wednesday’s game, presuming it would draw a typical crowd.

And, those people have to eat. According to Sports Management Degrees, the typical fan pays $6.10 for a beer, $4.13 for a hot dog and $3.71 for a soft drink. And, many don’t buy just one.

Meanwhile, the vendors that sell those products also stand to lose out on their salaries and tips. Camden Yards has one of the most famous vendors in MLB: Mark Rosenberg, the lemonade shaking guy.

On top of that, parking lots will be empty. Trains that fans normally take to the park will probably have plenty of space. Area bars and restaurants may see a drop in business (although there will be the curiosity of standing outside a park where things go on to an audience of none).

Fans won’t be completely left outside the park. According to The Atlantic, fans with tickets to the game (or either of the ones postponed) can exchange them for a game later in the season, and they’ll still be able to watch Wednesday’s contest on TV.

But, it will be odd, not to mention eerie, to have no one watching.

If two MLB teams play in an empty stadium, does it make a noise?

— Kevin Paul Dupont (@GlobeKPD) April 28, 2015

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