Friday, February 11, 2011

Beyond the Game : The Stephen Strasburg Effect

Stephen Strasburg, the man that saved the Washington Nationals. And of course, by saved, I mean made them relevant again. That of course until Bryce Harper came into the picture. The Nationals need to make money, because not only are they a business, but they spend a lot of money , more than they should. Regardless, they picked up an amazing pitcher who was going to get them into the playoffs. The sad things is that most teams that are bad really struggle to get out. However, the Nationals can afford a few loses with the change in attendance from this guy.

Below is a bar chart of the games Strasburg appeared in.

A few things to note about this. At the end, Strasburg was injured, so a lot of fans werent interested in coming if he wasnt going to pitching. Another note is that the Phillies always sell close to capacity, so it is hard for any given factor to increase attendance.

Attendance increase on average 38% when Strasburg came pitched. So although he is injured and may never play another game, it did show to the nationals that the city will come if you put great players on the mound!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

First Look : Attendance vs Winning

This is a rough rough sketch of a greater idea, sadly i dont have the time to do a full analysis, but this is an interesting finding. People always think, their team will sell more seats if their team wins. I took a look at four teams, the Yankees, the Red Soxs, the Rays and the Nationals. The first three teams are all actually good, while the Nationals could use a little more help.
The plot below shows the attendance rate. This is basically (Attendance of Game) / (Max Attendance of season). The closer to 1, means the team is closer to capicity (for that season of course). As one can see, the Yankees and Red Sox's sell out most of their games, and they do this regardless of their winning percentage. That is because (or so i think) since the beginning of time these teams have been winning and have a very large base of dedicated fans, but i wont go into that. The more interesting part to look at are the Nats and Rays, both small market teams (second graph shows just those two). These two teams are much more volatile compared to the heritage that is the Yankees and Red Soxs.

What is even more interesting is their winning percentages. Notice how they both have two extremes. The Rays, who qualified for the playoffs by winning (debatable the hardest) their division. The Nationals on the other hand, got more fans to come see How Do You Know at park than the Nationals.

Now if you were to overlay these, you would see that winning doesnt make a whole lot a difference in a given season. Fans love to see baseball live, its about the Foul Ball, not the result.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Snow Go Away

As my friends can probably tell you, I love the weather (or just data in general). I actually love it so much that I normally run models on it and show historical data. With the All-Break halting sports statistics I figured I would share some weather data, visually and tell you some neat facts at that.

The graph below is of DC's snow fall, with Years : Current, Average,Last and the record amounts.

Lowest snowfall in DC history was 2.2 inches in 1972
Since 1950, DC has only received less than 10 inches 18 times.
The most amount of snow in a season was 2009-2010 with over 73 inches of snow.
A perfect storm, if it snowed the high, for every month there would be 133 inches of snow!

Now i am not from New York, but I have a few friends that live in the city, and complained how much snow they got this season. So i figured i would do the same analysis of their city as well.

Lowest snowfall in DC history was 2.8 inches in 1972 (as well!)
The most amount of snow in a season was 1995-1996 with over 75 inches of snow.
A perfect storm, if it snowed the high, for every month there would be 154inches of snow!