DOES A NEW STADIUM
HELP A TEAM?
The Cardinals unveiled new Busch Stadium on April 10, becoming the ninth team
since 2000 to open a ballpark. The construction wave has been driven in part by
the notion that a new building helps a team competitively by increasing its
revenue, which it can then spend on better players. In reality, however, the
state-of-the-art facilities have done little to boost success. Of the last
eight teams to christen new parks, only three--the Giants, Astros and
Padres--have reached the postseason in their new digs. But like St. Louis, San
Francisco and Houston were already established contenders when they moved. The
new stadiums in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Detroit
have yet to host a playoff game. Since 2000 teams in new parks have, on
average, won at a slightly lower rate (.475) in each of the first three seasons
in their new homes than they did in the two seasons before (.480). So the
Cardinals may win the NL Central again this year and remain contenders
thereafter, but that will have more to do with the work of G.M. Walt Jocketty
than the effects of the new park.
> More from
Tom Verducci and Baseball Prospectus at SI.com/baseball.