Chicken or the Egg? Attendance Vs Payroll Vs Record..


It was brought up another Fan Post about Payroll and Attendance. First thing that I found is that this information isn't easy to come by. I found the attendance here. For The Salary, Record, and the Attendance rank I used Baseball Reference. I copied the CSV from the roster and put it into a into a spreadsheet and used that to add up the Salary. Rookies and late season additions do not have their salaries listed there. This leads to some flaws in the data and if anyone has a better place to find this data please speak up. Something that would really help is rank of payroll Vs. other NL teams. Also if someone knows where to find Gross Profit and Net Profit for the cardinals that would be awesome.


Year Salary Record Attendance avg. Attendance rank (NL)
1990 $19,548,334.00 70-92 31,768 3 of 12
1991 $19,325,001.00 84-78 30,231 3 of 12
1992 $26,968,836.00 83-79 29,858 3 of 12
1993 $23,067,334.00 87-75 35,123 6 of 14
1994 $28,938,601.00 53-61 32,746 5 of 14
1995 $37,101,000.00 62-81 24,570 7 of 14
1996 $40,269,667.00 88-74 32,774 4 of 14
1997 $45,301,667.00 73-89 32,519 4 of 14
1998 $54,122,521.00 83-79 39,453 4 of 16
1999 $49,228,195.00 75-86 40,197 3 of 16
2000 $61,453,863.00 95-67 41,191 1 of 16
2001 $74,013,333.00 93-69 38,390 3 of 16
2002 $74,260,875.00 97-65 37,182 4 of 16
2003 $82,881,666.00 85-77 35,930 4 of 16
2004 $83,228,333.00 105-57 37,634 6 of 16
2005 $91,346,833.00 100-62 43,647 2 of 16
2006 $87,356,371.00 83-78 42,588 2 of 16
2007 $88,904,823.00 78-84 48,853 3 of 16
2008 $91,476,449.00 86-76 42,353 3 of 16


Looking at this we can see that through-out most of the 1990s the Cardinals attendance was in the high 20,000s to low 30,000s.  DeWitt purchased the team in 1995 and the payroll started raising. By 1998 the Attendance moved up to the high 30,000s low 40,000s. 1999 was a bad year as far as the record went, but there were other reasons for fans to show up that year. (I wouldn't know, I was in Japan.)


To me this shows that payroll steadily increased for a few years before attendance started picking up. Of course there could be countless other factors that lead to the attendance increase. Obviously bad teams in 94 and 95 would have lead to a decrease in interest from the fans.

So I going to go ahead and open this up to discussion. If a team like the pirates open up the pocket book for a few years, and sees improvement in their team, do you think attendance will rise enough to support this extended payroll?

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