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Dodgers attendance woes could cost team $27 million

Los Angeles DodgersA bad season for the Los Angeles Dodgers gets worse, as a significant drop in attendance could end up costing the team some $27 million in decreased game-day revenues — or even more.

The Dodgers have experienced a significant drop in attendance this season to 36,706 a game, some 16 percent this season versus the first 60 games of the 2010 season. That’s the announced attendance; the actual turnstile counts are probably lower.

The Los Angeles Times estimates that the attendance drop is costing the team some $27 million in lost game-day revenues, based on 2009 financial figures submitted as evidence in the McCourt divorce proceedings. We won’t go into all the specifics of how the newspaper arrived at these figures — the calculations are pretty exhaustive — but they’re certainly plausible. And they may end up being on the conservative end, says Steve Dilbeck.

Perhaps that’s why owner Frank McCourt smartly called for a cease-fire of sorts with Major League Baseball and negotiated a loan with MLB for $50 million at 7 percent interest, complete with a pledge from MLB not to seize the team in case of default. The McCourt-MLB relationship has been strained, to say the least, but with an agreement in place, McCourt can turn his attention back to running the team and untangling his marital assets.

RELATED STORIES: Judge: Dodgers must accept MLB loan; MLB: McCourt not acting in best interests of Dodgers; Dodgers: Selig was unfair toward us; McCourt files for bankruptcy on Dodgers, Dodger Stadium; Selig: No to proposed Fox/Dodgers TV deal; McCourts reach tentative divorce agreement, allowing Frank to keep Dodgers — maybe; Could McCourt lose Dodgers and keep Dodger Stadium?; Gloves are off for McCourt: Selig has no right seizing Dodgers; Schieffer new Dodgers monitor; McCourt response to Selig: strong words, no lawsuit; Selig seizes Dodgers from McCourt; Stow still in critical condition; No arrests at Dodger Stadium with new security system in place; Dodgers scrap half-price drink promotion; All quiet at AT&T Park last night; Security tight for tonight at AT&T Park Dodgers-Giants tilt; Dodgers up security; will it be enough?; Giants fan severely beaten in Dodger Stadium parking lot; suspects sought; Selig shoots down Fox loan to Dodgers; Messy McCourt divorce takes another turn


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