Baseball and the Economy

Mobile, AL – Alabama is the only state in the southeast with four Double-A baseball teams. And baseball provides a multi-million dollar impact for the economy in the state's four largest cities. Alabama Public Radio's Chris Newbold has this report.

Baseball - the all-American sport - is quite a hit in Alabama. America's favorite past time is in full swing. But baseball means more to Alabama than runs, hits and errors. It generates millions of dollars for the state's economy. Bill Shanahan is president and general manager of the Mobile Baybears, one of four Double-A teams in the state. He estimates baseball's direct economic impact here in Mobile at two to three million dollars a season.

15.07.08 - "you have uh the players
... Travel money here."

And there's the umpires who travel into an Alabama city to make the call. Plus there's the fans who sit in the stands to cheer on their favorite team.

15.07.58 - "14 percent of our
...minor league baseball."

The money spent on baseball does not stay in the ballpark. It makes its way into different areas of a community. Some would consider the indirect economic impact a financial home run.

15.08.32 - if you want to break ...
... Adds up in a hurry."

While the players delight their Alabama fans with fast-balls and strike outs, the athletes are not taking swings for free. The athletes on the Mobile Baybears' roster are being paid by a major league team, the San Diego Padres.

15.11.17 - "you've got 24 on the
... Three thousand a month."

While other teams have come and gone, the Mobile Baybears have been the most successful minor league team to hit Mobile since their first run back in 1997. Team officials take a business approach to managing a baseball team.

15.12.26 - "we're in the
...for our share."

Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery also have Double-A minor league teams which generate money for those areas' economies.

For Alabama Public Radio, I'm Chris Newbold in Mobile.