MLB moved the Cubs/Astros series to Milwaukee’s Miller Park due to Hurricane Ike, and in doing so, saw Carlos Zambrano throw a no-hitter against the Astros on their designated home field. Brewers fans no doubt bemoaned the idea of the Cubs having a no-hitter in their ballpark. Painful, yes, but how about the Astros?
Richard Justice complained that Miller Park was far from a “neutral field” given the location of the game.
As Justice wrote, “Anywhere else would have been better than what the Astros walked into Sunday night. This was a home game for the Cubs. Plain and simple. And dumb.”
Well, there was one way to clearly say it is a “home series” for the Astros: they’re getting all of the ticket revenues for the games at Miller Park. As reported by the Houston Business Journal:
A source close to Major League Baseball said the Astros insisted that they receive all ticket revenue from the two games as the series was originally planned to be played in Houston. However, due to Hurricane Ike hitting Houston on Saturday, Major League Baseball decided it would be better to play the game in another city.
In addition, the source said the Milwaukee Brewers will be reimbursed for all of the team’s expenses in staffing the games with concession workers, ushers and security personnel.
Tickets for Sunday’s game ranged from $25 to $60. Attendance was 23,441 for Sunday’s game. Monday night’s game drew 15,158.
Let’s be conservative and say the average ticket was $37.50. Total attendance for the two games was 38,599. That would mean before paying the Brewers for staffing, the Astros have pulled in $1,447,462.50 in ticket revenues. Not bad.
While there’s little doubting that the Astros aren’t playing at a neutral location, at least Drayton McLane is pulling in some green that would have otherwise been lost due to Hurricane Ike.
However, before Ike changed the Astros’ plans, they sat 8.5 games out of first and 2.5 back in the Wild Card. Now, with two losses to Cubs, they’re still hanging on in the Wild Card at 2.5 back with the Phillies and Brewers now knotted up for first, but now sit 10.5 back in the NL Central.
As for the Brewers... They've now hosted two series for teams that have been impacted by weather. Last April, the Indians hosted the Angels in Milwaukee due to snow conditions.