With rumors about a possible second wild card swirling, it seems that the future of baseball’s post season will include more than eight teams. If each league adopts a second wild card, then one-third of Major League Baseball teams would make the payoffs.
With the TBS and FOX television deals, the league clearly makes plenty of money off of the post season and distributes it among the teams involved. I am sure that this data is easily available. But, what I wonder is what is the value of a post season appearance beyond the “winner’s purse?”
This past summer, I posed the question, What is the (economic) value of the Most Valuable Player? and I want to ask a similar question here. I know there is an explicit monetary award for post season appearances, but just as there is a trophy that goes to the MVP and ROY, what other benefits, both explicit and implicit, are awarded to these teams?
Specifically, free agents are more likely to sign with a contender, so a team like the Arizona Diamondbacks will benefit greatly from the playoff exposure. Certainly next season’s season ticket sales will be higher in places like Milwaukee and Detroit based on their performances. But how much more benefit does actually making the playoffs infer.
Consider a team such as the Cleveland Indians who garnered more respect around baseball and more support in Cleveland. Certainly their season ticket sales will be higher in 2012, just as it will for the Brewers and Tigers as mentioned above. There are econometric processes to tease that information out of the data. I will file this idea away until next season’s attendance data is available; when it is, this could make a fascinating study.