In a time when we can dissect every aspect of the game in terms of its statistical elements, judging players on launch angle, pitchers on spin, it seems only logical that the next step of in-game analytics would turn it’s attention to the fans.
Recently, the Berkeley School of Information did an in-depth look at the most quantifiable elements of sports fandom. We can’t put a price tag on memories, but we can certainly place a value on how much money fans spend), and we can’t create an easy data set on how it feels to see to rival teams clash, but we can determine which stadiums are the most fun to visit using a basic algorithm (actual fun had may vary by attendee).
What this gives us, then, is a lot of very interesting data on precisely how much it costs to be a Detroit sports fan, and where the team compares to others in the league.
All charts and data gracious supplied by datascience@Berkeley, the online master in data science program from UC Berkeley.
First, let’s take a look at how much it really costs to attend a game. Berkeley used the following formula to determine the closest real cost of attendance.
The Chicago Cubs ranked top of the list, to no surprise, with the average cost of game attendance hitting a whopping $104.07. The Tigers, on the other hand, represent a relative bargain, with per person attendance hitting a mere $47.90. They were 25th out of 30 teams as far as game cost went. By comparison, attending a Lions game will set you back about $121.96 using the same metrics.
Impressively, Berkeley was then able to use this cost data, compared to win data, to determine how good of a deal it was to attend games. The Tigers ranked sixth overall. The calculated win percentage is for the last five seasons, giving it a pretty fair average of games from both good and bad seasons, but certainly encompassing some of the Tigers best years. With the rebuild in full swing their value might change, given there will be more losses than wins, but based on low ticketing costs, they should continue to be considered a good deal overall.
Then, they took things a step further and decided to try determining which team is the most fun. How can you quantify fun, you might ask? I certainly did. The way the Berkeley team did it was to take the cost of a 12oz beer, the cost of a ticket, and the fullness of the stadium, on average.
The Tigers ranked 11th out of 30 teams here (the St. Louis Cardinals are the most fun, based on this metric).
So there you have it, the breakdown of just how much it costs to be a Tigers fan (not much!), the value of going to a game (pretty good!), and the amount of fun you’ll have (this probably depends on if they win or not, in practice, but on paper your odds of having fun are high).
And if you cheer for more than one Detroit team? Berkeley has you covered there, too. Here’s how much it costs if you were to cheer for the Tigers, Lions, Pistons, and Red Wings.
The Tigers might not be a championship team right now, but at least you don’t need to break the bank to have fun at their games.