While we were rooting for the Yankees this past weekend, we were nonetheless impressed with how the victorious Red Sox (“Sox”) improved Fenway (the “Green Monster”) instead of destroying it, as the Yankees did with the old Yankee stadium. In so doing, the Sox saved taxpayer money, as Mr. Mark Yost rightly points out in The Green Monster Goes it Alone. Yankee fans (and businesses) can learn from Boston’s conservative approach to growth and, obviously, from their playing.
At times, a business will need to increase capacity in order to satisfy growing demand. This can be done in many ways. The most cost efficient way is often to improve existing facilities rather than reinvent them from scratch. Of course, technological advances can shift the supply curve so much that existing facilities become obsolete. However, that was not the case with the Green Monster. And so the Sox improved the small stadium rather than demolishing it. Their revenues weren’t hurt: the Sox, whose players include Mr. Dustin Pedroia, pictured left, are the third highest revenue generating team in baseball. Other teams often demand taxpayer financed loans or incentives from their local municipalities, and often threaten to leave if they don’t get what they ask for. For example, Los Angeles did not give into Raider demands and, as a result, the team relocated to Oakland. While we appreciate the new Yankee stadium, we also think that the Sox more conservative approach to growth is apt, especially in these tight economic times where states and municipalities are scarce on funds.